The Fitbit Versa is the fitness tracking brand's most recent attempt at a "smartwatch for all", with a modern design and affordable price tag, as well as a few new software tricks created to tempt users away from the Apple Watch.
Even the Versa's name is a hint at its design, being short for versatility. The screen itself is considerably improved, sharing similar specifications to the Fitbit Ionic. US users can also listen to Pandora. There will be a range of accessory straps from basic colour options for replacement silicon bands, through to Horween leather (£49.99), metal mesh bands (£69.99) and metal link bands (£89.99).
Why the discrepancy? Melanie Chase, Fitbit's VP of marketing, told us the reason is that adoption for NFC payments has been slow in the States. Although it lacks a built-in Global Positioning System and a cellular connection option, which the Apple Watch has, it boasts a battery life of up to four days (the Apple Watch lasts about 18 hours). The Fitbit app logs your weight, sleep, workouts, heart rate, food intake and, now, your periods; it then gives you insights based on analyzing all of that data.
Fitbit will also start giving users guidance for menstrual cycles, ovulation, fertility and common misconceptions.
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The all new Fitbit Versa is smaller than the Ionic, but comes with a lot of the same features we loved on that watch, from Fitbit Pay to third-party apps. Fitbit is bright and engaging, a pleasure to use and compatible with a great number of other services too.
Sleep tracking is, of course, also back. "Advanced health and fitness features like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking meet smart features like quick replies on Android, wallet-free payments on Fitbit Versa Special Edition, and on-device music - all with 4+ days battery life". If interested in that, you can learn more here. Essentially, Fitbit has replicated the smartphone app's dashboard on your wrist.
According to TechCrunch, the Fitbit Ace retains certain functions of the company's existing trackers, such as step counting and move reminders, and the device is water resistant and offers up to five days battery life.
While the Fitbit Versa is clearly aimed at women, the Fitbit Ace is one of the few fitness trackers aimed at children. The Ace is also available to pre-order right now, but won't be on your kid's wrist until May at the earliest. Melanie Chase says the closed nature of iOS doesn't allow them to offer the same functionality, but that it's looking at workarounds for specific apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. "This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women's health with real world data".
The Fitbit Versa can be pre-ordered beginning Wednesday, March 14, and it will be priced at $199.95.