A brand new Fitbit smartwatch is able to maintain final yr’s Ionic firm within the system household lineup. Right now, Fitbit introduced the brand new Versa smartwatch, a thin-and-light steel wearable that runs on Fitbit OS. The longtime king of health gadgets knew it wanted to broaden into the smartwatch class, and it began that evolution final yr with the debut of the $299 Ionic. However the Ionic finally changed the Fitbit Surge, which was probably the most high-tech and complete health watch the corporate made on the time. Not everybody wants such a strong system, and that is the place the brand new Versa is available in—it is a smartwatch that mixes sensible features with essential health options to (hopefully) attain a wider viewers than the Ionic.

Within the quick time I had with the brand new Fitbit Versa, I used to be struck at how gentle it’s. Whereas Fitbit did not present the precise weight of the Versa, the corporate did be aware that the Versa is its lightest system thus far. The Versa is kind of snug to put on, however it additionally does not really feel flimsy due to its all-metal, rounded-square case. Its case is available in black, grey, and rose gold colorways, in addition to particular graphite and rose gold editions that include two band choices as an alternative of 1. Like different smartwatches, the Versa is suitable with a variety of silicone, leather-based, woven, and steel bands made by Fitbit.

Just like the Fitbit Ionic, the Versa has three bodily buttons on its sides and a 1.34-inch, 300 x 300 LCD touchscreen that collectively permit customers to navigate Fitbit OS. Lack of GPS differentiates the Versa from the Ionic, as the brand new system has an optical heart-rate monitor, onboard storage for music, as much as 50 meters of water resistance, and on-device teaching with Fitbit Coach like the corporate’s first smartwatch had. The Versa does have a related GPS function, although, that means you may map outside actions whenever you’re bringing your smartphone alongside for the experience.

The particular editions of the Versa have NFC capabilities for Fitbit Pay within the US, however all Versa fashions bought in Asia will be capable to use Fitbit Pay. The Versa additionally works with Android, iOS, and Home windows gadgets, and it has a battery life able to lasting greater than 4 days on a single cost.

Whereas Pebble wasn’t talked about in our briefing, Fitbit actually took be aware of previous Pebble designs when creating the Versa. The brand new smartwatch appears to be like like what a 2018 Pebble system might have been if the corporate hadn’t been bought by Fitbit on the finish of 2016. I say that as a praise as a result of, compared to the chunky Ionic, the Versa is way friendlier and simpler to put on. Fitbit made the Versa to be a mass-appeal smartwatch, in addition to a smartwatch that customers of its health trackers may improve. With its much less polarizing design, lack of GPS, and extra inexpensive $199 beginning value, the Versa positively has extra mass-appeal than the Ionic does.

Menstrual monitoring and different new options

Launching on the Versa is Fitbit’s new menstrual-cycle monitoring for feminine customers. Beginning this summer time, the Fitbit app will let customers observe their cycle by inputting once they have their interval and cycle signs, comparable to headache and cramping. Over time, Fitbit’s software program will be capable to predict the time of future cycles and provides customers details about how their cycle could also be affecting different elements of their lives. This goes hand-in-hand with smartwatches just like the Versa that observe each day exercise, sleep, and coronary heart fee—knowledge collected by the Versa may also help Fitbit’s software program be taught extra about how your each day habits are affected by your cycle, and vise versa.

It is unclear why it took Fitbit so lengthy to include menstrual-cycle monitoring into its app. There are many cycle-tracking cell apps that don’t require a companion wearable to operate as they rely solely on the consumer inputting info on a each day or weekly foundation. Fitbit customers should enter knowledge anyway since neither the Versa nor the Ionic can detect interval signs like cramping or temper swings.

At present, not one of the greatest smartwatches or wearable platforms—watchOS, Android Put on, Tizen, or Garmin’s OS—lets feminine customers natively observe their cycles. The launch of Fitbit’s cycle-tracking options seems to coincide with the Versa’s launch because the firm found out easy methods to intelligently monitor and analyze biometrics comparable to coronary heart fee as they relate to a girl’s menstrual cycle. Nonetheless, I am positive loads of feminine customers would have welcomed the power to watch their cycle and different health knowledge multi functional app a lot sooner.

Along with biking monitoring, the Versa will showcase Fitbit’s new on-device “customized well being middle,” which is absolutely only a redesigned Right now app. That is the place customers can see each day well being and health stats on their wearable, and Fitbit has added new each day and weekly metrics to the Right now app to offer customers a clearer image of their progress and targets. Fitbit OS on the Versa can even ship extra customized alerts, reminders, celebrations, and different notifications as customers meet their targets, cross milestones, and request details about their progress. Whereas individually small enhancements, new options like these contribute to the longevity of Fitbit’s gadgets and software program—the extra worth a Fitbit system can add to a consumer’s life, the extra probably these customers are to stay with the system and the Fitbit platform as an entire for the long term.

Android customers get an additional perk with the Versa within the type of quick-replies, which permit them to reply to textual content messages from the watch itself. Fitbit cannot provide this to iOS customers since Apple’s system is a closed one, however Fitbit claims it is engaged on some comparable options for iOS customers. Garmin additionally affords fast replies for Android customers on a variety of its wearables together with the Vivoactive three, however it, equally, can not achieve this for iOS customers.

A brand new tracker for youths

However the Versa is not the one new member of the Fitbit household: the $99 Fitbit Ace is the corporate’s first tracker for youngsters. Geared toward children who’re eight years previous and up, the Ace takes the design of the Fitbit Alta and makes use of specialised software program to trace children’ exercise. You’ll be able to consider the Ace as a fundamental health tracker: it displays each day motion and sleep, sends reminders to maneuver to the wearer’s wrist, and has a showerproof design, all with greater than 5 days of battery life. Dad and mom can monitor their kids’s exercise ranges from the Fitbit app, and youngsters can see their very own stats in a kid-friendly web page of the app.

“Child-friendly” on this case means eradicating pointless knowledge that Fitbit believes children should not be worrying about but, like energy and physique fats share. However children can see their each day exercise stats, badges earned by reaching exercise targets, and parent-approved challenges that they will participate in with associates (who’re additionally accredited by dad and mom).

It was solely a matter of time earlier than Fitbit made a tracker for youths. Garmin already makes a couple of wearables to trace children’ exercise, and as an organization that desires to supply well being wearables for all, Fitbit was certain to develop a tracker just like the Ace.

Examine again on Ars for our Fitbit Versa overview within the coming weeks. Each the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ace can be found as we speak to preorder beginning at $199 and $99, respectively. Each shall be extensively obtainable in April.

Itemizing picture by Valentina Palladino


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