Disappointed with the sale’s of the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (that was released in October 2017), Fitbit has launched a new smartwatch that will be more appealing to the general smartwatch audience and more specifically, to the female gender market: The Fitbit Versa. It would be the next Fitbit “mass appeal” smartwatch and comes with brand new features and different look. Today, Fitbit has officially announced his new fitness and health smartwatch on his website and ready to pre-order. Let’s take a first look.
Why A “Mass Appeal” Smartwatch Now?
As reported by Forbes, the latest earning by Fitbit have been lower than expected. Still, CEO James Park is confident that’s ”strong sales of all his flagship products and a new mass appeal smartwatch will create a significant opportunity to increase our share category.” Park knows that it will be multiyear transition process that will leverage his company’s core assets of brand, community and data. And this is why the Fitbit Versa (Versa as for versatility), is what the users will find with this fitness watch. The Fitbit Versa will be sold at $199.95 for the standard version and $229.95 for the special edition that allows to do wireless payments (NFC and Fitbit Pay).
Fitbit Versa models (from the Fitbit website)
As you can see, the new smartwatch screen is smaller and less hard-edged than the Fitbit Ionic.This style will attract more the women audience with his smooth-rounded square design. The Fitbit versa will be available with different type of bands: silicon (pink and gray colors), metal (five models) and leather (four Hoween colors) materials. Inside the box, the smartwatch comes with a small and large silicon bands. The special edition (sold at $229.95) models comes in lavender woven and charcoal woven colors making the band look more classy. The Versa has definitely the Pebble touch within the design (even if Fitbit won’t tell us).
Hardware-wise, the Versa is equipped with the same characteristics from the Fitbit Ionic (but for $100 less) with three physical buttons, the PurePulse heart rate and SpO sensors. It is water-proof up to 50 meters with swim tracking capability (using the Fitbit app). The SmartTrack feature that automatically record specific exercises (e.g.:: biking, running) is also included in the watch. All the basics features (steps, distance, calories burned, floor climbed, active minutes, etc…) are embedded.
The downside is the no built-in GPS sensor. This was expected since the Versa will replace the Fitbit Blaze, a GPS-less modular watch that was released two years ago. So, to check your pace or distance on your display (or track your route), you need to connect your phone (via Bluetooth) and use the location service.
The LCD color display looks bright as the one from the Fitbit Ionic and his touchscreen let you navigate through all the menus easily. The battery life last around 4 days, depending on of the settings/usage that you will do with the smartwatch and you should be able to charge it in less than 2 hours.
Fitbit OS, Software and Apps
The Fitbit OS uses by the smartwatch seems to be inspired by the Pebble (owned by Fitbit now) and comes pre-loaded with the Fitbit Coach app, that guide you with tons of timed workouts that are displayed on screen. Take note that you can get a complete version of Fitbit Coach that add more exercises workouts for a cost of $39.99 a year. You can also store more than 300 songs on the watch or stream music (or downloading your favorite station) with Pandora or Deezer.
Another great add that will be soon (next summer) compatible with the Fitbit Versa is the female health tracking mode. This mode let female users to track their period, record symptoms and compare your cycle against other health statistics (sleep, activity or weight by example). This is something new for the company.
Like his predecessors, the Versa is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows. The built-in NFC (And Fitbit Pay) let you pay with your watch but this feature is only available on the special edition model if you live in the U.S. You can load ton of apps (weather, sports and more), add/listen to your music and get phone notifications (via Bluetooth).
The Versa’s Quick Reply feature (for instant messaging) is only, for now, been working on Android.
Does Fitbit Will Regain His Smartwatch Market ?
The low-cost of this new smartwatch will definitely attract many new users and more specifically women due to the design since it failed with the Fitbit Ionic. But will it be enough for Fitbit to regain his smartwatch market title that now belongs to Apple? Only time will tell us.
Let’s be real, this watch looks like an Apple Watch without the digital crown but cheaper (in terms of money and hardware). Still, the Fitbit Versa feels like a high-end time-piece than a sport watch and is coming at the perfect time for the wearable company due to his lost of gains during the last holidays earning reports.
One thing that is sure is that in the wearable world at first, the Versa’s introduction has been acclaimed way better than the Fitbit Ionic.
You can now order the Fitbit Versa through the Fitbit website or via Amazon (if you already have an account).
What do you think about Fitbit’s new smartwatch? Does the new look is more appealing to you now?
Your comments will be appreciated! Any questions, feel free to ask!