It’s taken two years and three cracks at it, but it looks like Fitbit may have finally produced a smartwatch product that’s worthy of consideration. Announced on Tuesday, the Fitbit Versa is the wearable manufacturer’s latest attempt at cracking into the smartwatch market, and by far their best-looking watch-based product to date.
As it continues to find ways to better compete with the Apple Watch, Fitbit’s latest product launch hits back in some rather provocative ways. First, there’s the price point of $199.95, which is $150 less than the starting price of the most up-to-date Apple Watch, and still $50 cheaper than the “entry-level” model Series 1. Fitbit postures the Fitbit Versa as a smartwatch that has an “approachable” price tag, and they’re not wrong. Coming in at $200 is far easier for most consumers to swallow than what they’d fork over for an Apple Watch.
The second major differentiator here is that the Fitbit Versa ships with an advertised battery life of four days. Four. Days. Sure, there are other fitness trackers out there that last a week or longer. But this is a smartwatch four a four—F-O-U-R—day battery life. That’s incredible in 2018.
Additional features of note include a redesigned and updated dashboard in Fitbit OS 2.0, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, onscreen workouts, internal storage that can hold up to 300 songs, wallet-free payments with Fitbit Versa Special Edition, quick replies for text messages (for Android users), new female health tracking tools, and more.
Noticeably missing from the Fitbit Versa is GPS tracking capabilities, which are almost a staple at this point in smartwatches. But it looks like Fitbit felt that was worth sacrificing in order to achieve the much longer battery life.
What really does stand out about the Fitbit Versa, though, is the very fashionable design of the product. Past attempts at creating a smartwatch device have resulted in clunky, bulky, and downright ugly designs. There was the Surge, launched back in 2015, that essentially was a super-wide Fitbit that showed the time and other information. Then there was the Blaze, which resembled the Surge but with an even fatter watch face that failed to gain traction from a developer standpoint. And last year’s Ionic attempted to slim things down but was still an enormous watch that looked too much like a modified fitness band.
The Versa goes in a completely different direction, dropping the sharp edges and corners in favor of a product that appears to flow around the wrist nicely. It’s smaller form factor will appeal to a wider audience, and so too will the myriad straps and color options. Fibit finally has bought into the customization game with the Versa by allowing for different material and color options that will serve as nice add-ons for the consumer—and the retailer. The watch itself is available in traditional colors: grey, black, and rose gold. Bands options include varying colors of silicone, leather, cloth, and stainless steel.
The Fitbit Versa is available for preorder now—along with all related accessories—through the Fitbit website. It’ll begin shipping and hit retail channels in April.