AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Heart Rate Functions
Fitness / Sport Features
Ease of Use
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into Fitbit Versa
A stylish and functional smartwatch from Fitbit for athletes of all sports. The Fitbit Versa is super versatile with pre-programmed sports profiles for 15 different disciplines. Featuring off the wrist heart rate sensor and connected GPS the Fitbit Versa is great for exercisers looking to track effort and distance. The Fitbit Versa has been reviewed by CardioCritic
Who Is It For?
Like the Fitbit Blaze before it – the new Versa is for those interested in keeping fit with training feedback and exercise guidance coming from the watch. Essentially it is a health & fitness smartwatch with a 4+ day battery featuring 24/7 heart rate, phone-free music, apps, coaching and more. HOWEVER – what’s it’s missing is it’s own built-in GPS. For those who want accurate speed and distance feedback the Versa must be connected to the GPS of your smartphone.
- On-Screen Workouts - personalised workouts that play on the Versa - they coach you through each move and adapt based on your feedback.
- Connected GPS - speed & distance feedback about your runs, rides & walks by enabling Connected GPS. Get realtime pace and distance on the watch, plus a map of your route uploaded to the Fitbit app.
- Music Experience - Store & play more than 300 songs on your watch (Bluetooth headphones required) – download your own or curated playlists from Deezer.**
- Bluetooth - Connect Fitbit Versa to wireless Bluetooth headphones like Fitbit Flyer. Listen to your favourite tunes without the fuss of the headphone wires.
- Apps - Access your favourite apps for fitness, sports, news, travel, transport and more with a simple tap.
- Smartphone Notifications - See call, text or calendar notifications on screen and get push notifications from your favourite apps. Requires Bluetooth connection to your phone.
- Over 4 Days of Battery Life - With a multi-day battery life of more than four days, the Fitbit Versa tracks your your entire day and night.*
- Heart Rate Tracking - get more accurate calorie burn feedback, optimise training effort during exercise & watch the progress of your cardio fitness level.
- Payments - With a built-in NFC chip, you can use your credit and debit cards on-the-go, anywhere that accepts contactless payments. See participating banks.
- 15+ Exercise Modes - Track specific workouts in modes like Run, Bike or Weights to see real-time stats on screen and get post-workout summaries.
- SmartTrack™ - Automatically record selected exercises like running, biking and more, and see them saved in the Fitbit app.
- All-Day Activity - Track steps, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, hourly activity and stationary time.
- Female Health - Use Versa and the Fitbit app to log your period, record symptoms and compare your cycle against other health stats like sleep, activity and weight. Coming soon.
- Personalised Reminders - Stay on track towards your goals with personalised reminders that remind you to stay active, get hydrated, stick to a sleep schedule and more.
- Sleep Tracking & Stages - See your time spent in light, deep and REM sleep stages and get personalised insights to help you improve. Learn more.
- Swimproof & Tracks Swims - Water resistant to 50M for wearing in the pool or rain. Tracks laps, duration and calories burned during swim workouts.
- Cardio Fitness Level - Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalised Cardio Fitness Score.
- Guided Breathing Sessions - Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalised breathing sessions based on your heart rate.
- Customisable Clockfaces - Personalise the hi-res colour touchscreen on Fitbit Versa by choosing from a variety of clock faces designed for any occasion.
- Syncs Wirelessly - Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to computers and over 200 leading iOS, Android and Windows devices.
*Battery life varies with use and other factors. Smartphone notifications unavailable on Windows devices.
**Deezer subscription is required.
- I'd have preferred to see the Versa with it's own built-in GPS - true away from phone freedom as per Garmin Forerunner 645 Music.
Main Features and Functions
As it stands – if you want Fitbit contactless Payment functions then you need to buy one of the Special Edition Versa models. Currently there are TWO such models that offer (subject to country specific implementation) Fitbit Pay – both models as shown below… If you think you might want Fitbit Pay buy one of these models now – you cannot upgrade the regular version.
Note – according to the Fitbit press release ALL models of Fitbit Versa sold in APAC and EMEA have Fitbit Pay functionality via the NFC chip. Please check when buying your Versa whether or not it comes Fitbit Pay ready…
15 Fitbit Versa Exercise Modes
- The Versa’s exercise modes have been tailored to show the most relevant data fields for each different sport. There are 15 x exercise modes to choose from. The full list is as follows:
- Interval Workout
- Circuit Training
- Martial Arts
Fitbit Coach – workouts on your wrist
Not too sure what exercises to do … or how many … or even how to do a specific exercise. The Fitbit Coach (used to be called Fitstar) provides personalised on-screen workouts that play on your wrist. Your Fitbit Versa will coach you through each move – it even adapts future sessions based on your feedback.
Heart Rate directly from the Wrist
Fitbit first introduced optical Heart Rate Monitors in the Fitbit Surge. As with any other quality optical LED Heart Rate sensor you can expect an accuracy of around 95%. For a vast majority of the time the Versa will give accurate heart rate readings that would reflect those of a chest strap sensor. If the heart rate appears erratic or erroneous then try moving the watch slightly further up the wrist away from the boney knuckle of the wrist. Having heart rate measured all day, every day gives a more accurate representation of daily calories burnt. During exercise – monitoring heart rate ensures a high quality workout – exercising the body’s system that you want to train most eg. Aerobic, Anaerobic, Fat Burning etc. The Fitbit Versa also provides a Cardio Fitness level so you can track your fitness progression.
Support from the Fitbit App
The Fitbit App was one of the first apps to support a fitness tracker. Like the Fitbit range of smartwatches and activity bands it gets better year on year. The Fitbit app is easy to navigate and understand. Packed with motivational goals, targets and statistics – it really can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Fitbit Versa Sizing Chart
Next Model UP
The next model up from the Versa is the Fitbit Ionic. Aside from the obvious design differences the Ionic has the built-in GPS giving true freedom from your phone when out running & riding. If the GPS function isn’t off major importance to you – get the Versa and treat yourself to some new running shoes with the $100 you’ll save.
Next Model DOWN
Dropping down from the Versa is the Fitbit Charge 2. The differences between these two models is far clearer. The Charge 2 is NOT water resistance – you can Swim in the Versa.
No apps, no contactless payments, no music controls, no on-board music store & no female health app. The Charge 2 will appeal to the user looking for a less watch like and more “fitness band” styled activity tracker.
Personally – I’d get the Versa over the Charge 2 mainly because of the clearer, all colour display. The OLED of the Charge 2 is hard to view in bright sunlight.
If you have been drawn to the Versa by the On-Screen Workouts then it’s probably best you stick with the Versa. Garmin and others do have exercise guidance apps but none I have tested are as good as the Fitbit Workouts. However, if your main priority is a fitness tracker with the following key features then there are alternatives
- Built-in GPS (not found on Versa)
- Internal Music Store
- Off the wrist Heart Rate
- App support to add personalized functionality
- Contactless Payments
- More technically focused sports features
If this resembles your shortlist of essential requirements then please take a look at the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 (also available as a Music version).