Fitbit’s Versa line has become a fantastic entry point for those hunting down their very first smartwatch.
No longer the display of all Fitbit’s talents, the Versa is now a neat way for users to avoid an expensive cost and still receive an extremely capable core smartwatch experience.
Unlike the Fitbit Sense 2, it doesnâ $ t have an ECG sensing unit, nor will it delve deeper into the bodyâ $ s reaction to tension. However, it does still use some signature activity and sleep tracking, along with support for the likes of Amazon Alexa and GPS.
At $229.95/ Â ₤ 199.99, itâ $ s a reasonable amount less expensive than the Sense 2, too. It likewise comes in much less than the Apple Watch SE, and promises a much more sleek experience than options on the truly spending plan end of the spectrum.
Still, there’s a lot to unload here – there are now plenty of options for those who desire a mid-level smartwatch experience, after all. And with minimal modifications to the Versa this time around – with only truly the reintroduction of the side button and some added tracking modes to mention – it’s reasonable to wonder if this is enough to attract those who being in the middle of the smartwatch spectrum.
We have actually been coping with the mass-appeal Versa 4 in order to discover.
Fitbit has actually offered smartwatch features a back seat with the Versa 4, however, if you long for industry-leading sleep tracking and some intuitive activity tracking, this is still an excellent option. While it holds true that it certainly feels even worse off than its predecessor in some aspects, there’s still more than enough here to justify the price tag.
- Invite return of the side button
- Extremely friendly UI
- Great sleep tracker
- No music features
- No third-party app support
- Mixed HR accuracy
On the Versa 3, Fitbit decided to eliminate the physical button from the watch case-likely to produce a cleaner, more fluid design. The alternative was a haptic button, which, we
think itâ $ s reasonable to say, was a little a shocker. Fitbit has actually seen the error of its ways and brought that button back, however, and weâ $ re grateful it has. You can push it to awaken the screen, enter into the app menu screen or delve into a shortcut menu screen, and it will summon Amazon Alexa when you hold it down. These arenâ $ t groundbreaking uses of a physical button, however its existence general makes the Versa 4 a lot nicer to communicate with day-to-day.
Outside of that buttonâ $ s return, not a great deal has changed on the design front. Itâ $ s still connected to a square, 40.5 mm aluminum case thatâ $ s a little thinner than the Versa 3, with a band style thatâ $ s still nice and easy to remove. The clasp option isnâ $ t our preferred, and it can make getting the best fit a little bit of a challenge at times, however it’s still manageable.
The case likewise comes in more color options than the Sense 2, which launched along with the Versa 4, and the all-black number we had strapped to our wrists actually felt quite streamlined. It certainly emits strong unisex vibes, though bigger-wristed folk might prefer something a little bit more dominant.
Fitbit has stayed with using the very same size and resolution 1.58-inch, 336 x 336 AMOLED screen here, also, where the black bezel does consume into that screen. The general quality, seeing angles and the capability to use it in an always-on mode stay the same as they did on the Versa 3. Regrettably, this suggests the screen is still relatively sluggish to respond to the raise-to-wake gesture or a double tap.
Thereâ $ s no budging on the level of waterproofing, either, however thatâ $ s barely unexpected – this isnâ $ t a watch youâ $ ll most likely want to go diving with. If itâ $ s a trip to the swimming pool from time to time, however, or keeping it on in the shower, the 5 ATM score ought to be more than fine.
A stripped-back smartwatch
The Versa 3 was quite strong when it came to imitating a smartwatch. It dealt with features like alerts support well, offered contactless payments and even boasted music features. With the Versa 4, however, youâ $ re absolutely getting a lower smartwatch-and we canâ $ t assistance thinking this might have something to do with the arrival of its glossy new brother or sister, the Google Pixel Watch.
Though it’s offered a wider remit than Google’s first smartatch, working with both Android and iPhone, Fitbit has actually fine-tuned its OS substantially here. Your notification feed is now a swipe up from the watch screen, and swiping left and right gets you to scroll through widgets like exercise tracking shortcuts or the weather condition. It certainly feels more like Wear OS in its execution.
The issue here is that scrolling through these screens doesnâ $ t feel as smooth as it does on a new Use OS smartwatch, and it leads us to believe that the Versa 4 might gain from a huge increase in the processor department.
Elsewhere, you can see alerts, weather forecasts, alarms and utilize Fitbit Pay, though Amazon Alexa integration still only displays responses to questions, rather than providing them by voice. There are the exact same Fitbit-specific questions you can fire at the smart assistant, like beginning an exercise or providing you a statistics update, however things havenâ $ t actually advanced beyond that.
Smart assistant assistance brings us to the very first significant missing function here, too – Google Assistant. While the Versa 3 provided the ability to choose in between Google and Amazon assistants, thatâ $ s not the case here any longer.
Fitbit has actually likewise gotten rid of Wi-Fi, which in turn sees the loss of an integrated music player. The Spotify control assistance is gone, too, and a quick browse of the Fitbit Gallery shows that there are now no third-party watch apps to download (though you can still change watch faces).
It does have some Google apps to eagerly anticipate, with Google Wallet set to provide an alternative to Fitbitâ $ s own Pay platform, along with Google Maps to offer some navigation skills, but it’s still hard to escape the reality that this is now a much more hollow smartwatch experience.
The onboard microphone will also support Bluetooth calling, we should discuss, but, again, thatâ $ s not live yet.
Half-baked sports tracking
When the Ionic landed way back in 2017, it felt like Fitbit was attempting to go toe-to-toe with the recognized sports view gamers, but that technique has actually certainly softened in more recent years. Youâ $ re still getting a smartwatch that can track runs, flights and exercises, however it definitely still doesnâ $ t feel like its essential strength any longer.
The Versa 4 supports 40+ exercise modes – up from 20 on the Versa 3 – and, on the watch, these are broken down into popular workouts like running, biking and yoga and other activities like golf and CrossFit.
The majority of these activities still just deliver heart rate and workout period, and it’s an embarassment that Fitbit hasnâ $ t progressed these to use more metrics – specifically when the likes of Amazfit and Huawei do that for less cash.
Fitbit does consist of integrated GPS here again, however, unfortunately, that GPS combination was a bit of a mixed bag for us. On most of our runs, the Versa 4 showed it couldnâ $ t select
up a reputable signal. We did manage to get a signal locked on for a couple of runs, and it actually didnâ $ t fare too badly against the Garmin Epix for range tracking and core running metrics, however this is still quite poor going.
This is a watch you can take to the pool, too, and, while tracking precision is a great fit for much shorter, 20-30 minute swims, the metrics on offer stay as standard as they did on the Versa 3. So, if you care about rich swim information, thatâ $ s not what youâ $ re getting here.
If youâ $ re concentrated on determining effort levels based upon heart rate, weâ $ re not exactly sure the Versa 4 is the very best suitable for that, either.
While typical heart rate data on steady-paced exercises resembled a MyZone chest strap, it still did tend to report higher maximum readings, often by nearly as much as 10bpm.
Above, you can see the data from a high-intensity treadmill run
where the Versa 4 produced these higher optimum heart rate readings.Fitbit does try to provide some useful insights around the data it does supply, like estimating fitness levels and giving you credit when you score a great deal of heart rate-based active zone minutes, as well as feeding this all into a Daily Preparedness Rating.
That score, nevertheless, is locked behind Fitbitâ $ s Premium membership and will need to take a look at sleep patterns and heart rate variability for over 4 days prior to it meals anything out.
Those Daily Readiness scores did roughly match the information on an Oura Ring 3, at least, which looks at comparable information to create readings.
A specialist at tracking the essentials and sleep
A lot of Fitbit’s success has actually been developed on its user friendly, reliable physical fitness tracking and sleep tracking, and thatâ $ s really what stands out on the Versa 4. It doesnâ $ t break brand-new ground, but, whether you want to track steps and get pushed when you havenâ $ t moved, keep an eye on heart rate and capture accurate sleep statistics, then the Versa 4 carries out in addition to anything on the marketplace.
The ‘Today’ widget on the watch offers you a nice breakdown of everyday development, giving you a sense of that progress from most of the watch deals with, as well. Daily action counts and were typically in line with contrast data from a Garmin and an Oura Ring 3, and, while Fitbit doesnâ $ t delve much deeper into day-to-day action overalls, it does likewise record range, calorie burn and elevation throughout the day.
It was a bit more unforeseeable when it pertained to our resting heart rate data, where it fell in line with our other wearables on many days, however did also offer higher resting heart rate readings on others. Sleep data is broken down in an extremely digestible way, mostly on the buddy app, however there is a watch widget, too, and this can display tips like setting a wake-up time in a bid to improve sleep quality.
There are likewise features surprise behind Fitbitâ $ s Premium paywall, like snore detection and a sleep profile that needs tracking for a month prior to you can start acting upon any long-term sleeping behaviors. Youâ $ ll likewise be appointed a sleeping animal to illustrate that sleep habits and modifications based upon your sleep metrics.
We’re uncertain about the animal things, but the metrics felt reputable on the whole. We compared the sleep tracking on the Oura Ring 3, and discovered both wearables fired out comparable information in regards to sleep period and awake times.
A progressing health and stress tracker
The greatest distinction between the Versa 4 and the more pricey Sense 2 is the absence of ECG and EDA sensors. Youâ $ re still getting an excellent selection of sensing units here, and the capability to spot severe health concerns using its optical heart rate sensing unit, however, ultimately, it’s an inferior health watch.
Nevertheless, unlike with the Sense 2, youâ $ re not making substantial losses on not having a Premium membership if you appreciate those huge health insights. You wonâ $ t get wellness reports or access to mindfulness sessions, but these donâ $ t seem like massive misses out on.
You’ll still get some informative health metrics displayed in the app, consisting of breathing rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature level, oxygen saturation and resting heart rate. You can see how those metrics trend over periods, but you’ll require to use your Versa 4 to sleep in order to get the complete range.
As mentioned, thereâ $ s no ECG sensing unit, however the Versa 4 does look out for irregular heart rate rhythms and atrial fibrillation using the onboard optical heart rate sensor. Again, you’ll require to make certain you use it at night to get info on this, and we didn’t receive any during our time with the watch.
Tension is another huge area for Fitbit, and itâ $ s absolutely using more functions tailored toward stress management and psychological health and wellbeing.
Their effectiveness on the Versa 4 is certainly up for debate, however. While it’ll produce ratings for stress management based upon heart rate, tracked exercise and sleep patterns, these stress metrics are generally closely tied to an EDA sensing unit, which keeps an eye on constantly – and, again, that isn’t present here.
While these scores alone may provide a sign of whether you may have sustained a difficult day, linking the dots to deal with it doesnâ $ t feel rather there yet.
Battery life that shames the competition
While the battery life isnâ $ t improved on the Versa 3, youâ $ re still getting a smartwatch that can last a week, which isnâ $ t something you can state about lots of smartwatches
-even much more expensive ones. Fitbit quotes around 6 days, and, while it does depend on how routinely features like the onboard GPS and always-on screen, we found everyday battery drop-off to be around 10-15%. Using the GPS for an hour of running saw the battery levels come by 10%, and a 30-minute indoor row and treadmill run saw it come by 3%.
When the battery is beginning to get low, a notice will make its method to your phone and your email to ensure you donâ $ t forget to charge it. Luckily, thereâ $ s quickly charging support, too, providing you a dayâ $ s play from simply 12 minutes on the charging cradle.
If thereâ $ s one thing that Fitbit has solved considering that it entered this smartwatch space, itâ $ s battery life. It might not be the very best you can get, but itâ $ s definitely going to be enough – and it assures more than Googleâ $ s Pixel Watch by some range, too.
Should you purchase the Fitbit Versa 4?
This is a difficult question to respond to. With Google now owning the business, there’s a guaranteed sense that we might be seeing an end to the type of Fitbit smartwatches we have actually familiarized.
With that stated, the Versa 4 does still represent the best of Fitbit in its core physical fitness and sleep tracking functions. The software on and off the watch still makes it one of the most user-friendly smartwatches to own, too.
However, it’s also true that the Versa 4 isn’t a huge dive from the Versa 3. And, in reality, if the older smartwatch continues to provide app support and music functions, it’s probably a better pickup.
If your choice is in between the two newest Fitbit watches, though, we ‘d definitely recommend going for the Versa 4 over Sense 2 – particularly if you donâ $ t care about the extra health and tension functions you miss out on here. Do not eliminate the Charge 5, either, if you’re content with another type factor.