The Versa appears to be like extra easily curved, and no extra Fitbit emblem, however has the same aluminum case Apple Watch-ish look.
Fitbit’s latest watch, the Versa 2, has Amazon Alexa onboard. In some ways, that is its most memorable addition. I have been residing with a Versa 2 on my wrist for the previous couple of weeks, seeing how I really feel about it. I beloved the primary Versa for its number of bizarre and sometimes-great watch faces, and the way it doubled as a stable health tracker in Fitbit’s wonderful social health ecosystem. However the competitors has heated up: Samsung’s latest watches are extra inexpensive and feature-packed than ever. The Apple Watch retains bettering. Garmin’s huge number of watches have GPS, music, funds and extra.
The $200 (£220, AU$380) Versa 2 finally ends up being on the extra inexpensive aspect of the smartwatch spectrum. And this is the excellent news: Its brighter AMOLED show appears to be like nice. Even higher, its sooner processor now not feels as weirdly laggy as the primary Versa.
The unhealthy information is that it nonetheless is not fairly as sensible as different smartwatches. Its extra awkward interface and extra restricted options (no assist for downloadable Spotify music and, notably, no onboard GPS) make it a better option for somebody who needs a Fitbit and a watch, however not essentially for others.
Apple people would possibly favor an Apple Look ahead to its extra superior and fluid iPhone connectivity, however Fitbit’s social health surroundings and the cheaper price make it a terrific funds choose (I wore it principally paired to an iPhone XS). The Fitbit Versa 2 additionally lets folks on Android use its microphone to reply to texts, however its stand-alone OS and app library will not work with Google Play like Google’s Put on OS watches do. In the meantime the equally priced Samsung Galaxy Watch Energetic feels rather more like a cutting-edge Apple Watch-level smartwatch.
Alexa has her limits
Would you like Alexa in your wrist? It may not be as interesting as you’d assume. This is how a typical interplay went in my time with the Versa 2.
Alexa, what is the climate? The Fitbit Versa’s brilliant show responds in textual content: 68 levels. Climate will probably be OK the remainder of the day, too.
Alexa, play music. No… not a lot.
Alexa works, however she would not communicate. And he or she will not management watch capabilities such as you’d anticipate.
Amazon, like all different firms with voice assistants, has had a tough 12 months incomes the general public’s belief so far as privateness’s involved. The Alexa-enabled Versa 2 is de facto an on-wrist conduit to the Alexa app in your cellphone. It might seek for most Alexa instructions, together with controlling sensible house devices, asking random questions in regards to the world and telling you the climate. (Critically, that final one could also be the perfect factor it does.)
However I’ve lived with Siri on the Apple Watch and Google Assistant on the Put on OS, which may do much more helpful issues to regulate your precise watch. Alexa cannot begin a exercise but, or management watch capabilities resembling loading apps and even taking part in music. A few of these capabilities will arrive later this 12 months, however the lack of voice-based management limits how useful Alexa is, and what you may understand it to be for.
Additionally, Alexa would not at all times work. Paired with an iPhone ($1,00zero at Amazon), I discovered I typically needed to re-sync the Fitbit in its app or launch Alexa. All it takes is a couple of fails to make somebody cease utilizing a characteristic.
Velocity: So significantly better
The Fitbit Versa used to run like a laggy outdated laptop computer. Now it is not precisely a race automotive, but it surely’s operating on the pace you’d anticipate. Whether or not you are scrolling or launching apps, every thing feels higher. The touchscreen feels extra responsive. These are what you’d name desk stakes for a smartwatch, so it is good they had been addressed. I admire the distinction.
The Sleep Rating score helps make sense of how effectively I rested… form of?
Sleep Rating: My nightly relaxation has a score now
Fitbit’s sleep monitoring tech is one thing I’ve at all times been confused about: My estimated REM, gentle and deep sleep totals aren’t essentially good or unhealthy, to me. Am I doing OK? The Sleep Rating quantity combines a couple of bits of information, however Fitbit solely makes a quantity rating out there in its free app. Extra detailed breakdowns and proposals are in Fitbit Premium, a service I nonetheless have not tried but.
Seventy-six. Seventy-eight. Eighty-one. That 81 rating one night sounds good. It looks as if, to this point, my sleep leans into the “OK however possibly not nice” aspect of the quantity scale. That is how I really feel, typically, too. However now that I understand how I really feel and the way it correlates to night time’s sleep, it is nonetheless a thriller what to subsequent. Do I sleep extra hours? Get to mattress earlier? Drink extra water? All of the above?
I examined Fitbit’s Sleep Rating beta earlier this 12 months, and appreciated the addition of the rating. The beta additionally provided deeper breakdowns that will probably be within the Premium model. For instance, there’s “Restoration,” which makes use of your coronary heart fee to measure restedness. I nonetheless discover the method considerably mystifying. However I additionally need somebody to inform me, merely, if I am sleeping OK.
Guarantees of Premium: Subscription service TBD
Fitbit’s upcoming $10-a-month subscription service makes daring guarantees of extra well being teaching, further health video games and deeper insights and knowledge. Once I can check it, I will let you know if it is value it. I already really feel like I’ve too many subscriptions, however possibly I want extra steering than the every day step and train targets and occasional motivators Fitbit provides me now. Possibly a health app might try this for me. Possibly I have to dig into myself or rent an actual coach. However the Premium service sounds extra formidable than what the Versa 2 can provide as a bit of . The 2 could also be finest dovetailed.
Fitbit Versa 2 (left) vs. Apple Watch Sequence four (proper): The Versa 2 has some enjoyable watch faces and bands, too.
Versa 2 appears like 1.5 (however I prefer it)
I could not assist however really feel that among the advantages Premium is promising are the magic that the Versa 2 lacks. Regardless of being a sequel in title, the on-watch app expertise and interface really feel just about an identical to the Versa Lite Version did after I used it again within the spring.
A brand new pull-down fast settings mode is useful. The AMOLED show is good. And there is an always-on mode now, that is new. There’s solely a primary black-and-white show choice, however the always-on mode lasted no less than three days after I tried it. If it is not set to always-on, the Versa 2 battery lasts 5 days.
No GPS feels odd
Fitbit has left an odd hole in its watch lineup by not placing GPS within the Versa 2. The years-old Fitbit Ionic is Fitbit’s solely GPS watch that may work with no cellphone. In the meantime almost each different competitor has GPS health alternate options, Garmin particularly. GPS looks as if a key characteristic for a step-up system, and an Ionic replace (or Versa Plus GPS) looks as if an inevitability… however who can say when it should arrive.
No FDA-cleared well being options but, both
One different factor the Fitbit would not do but, is act as an precise medically accredited well being system. There is not any ECG onboard, nor any irregular coronary heart rhythm notifications. (Apple and different tech firms use the abbreviation ECG, whereas docs typically say EKG.) And, whereas Fitbit has been exploring methods its sleep monitoring might finally reveal indicators of sleep apnea, nothing’s been cleared by the FDA but. It signifies that the Fitbit’s core monitoring capabilities, in some ways, are nonetheless very like they had been earlier than: health and well being targeted, however to a degree.
Health testing and Premium service testing to return
The Versa 2 assessment, now, is a piece in progress. The following check is a whole lot of exercises. Plus I wish to give Premium a strive.
What I can let you know after every week with Versa 2 is that that is the Versa I might favor to put on, and it is also Fitbit’s finest wearable. However the lack of Spotify music downloads, GPS and Alexa’s restricted makes use of imply it is not fairly the full-featured smartwatch you would possibly anticipate in 2019.