These days, fitness tracking wearables are a dime a dozen. But very few stand out for being feature-packed and truly accurate. Among these few is Fitbit. The company consistently launches wearables that not only look good, but also accurately track activities. It is little wonder that Google shelled out big bucks to acquire the company. The company’s latest fitness-centric smartwatch is the Fitbit Versa 2. On paper, it is an evolution of everything we have seen in the Versa series so far. So is it worth your hard earned money? Check out my Fitbit Versa 2 review.
At first glance, there’s no denying the design similarities with the Apple Watch. In fact, some of my friends genuinely thought that I had bought a new Apple Watch. Though some may call it a knock-off, it is by no means a cheap duplicate. The build quality is solid, and the anodized aluminum feels quite nice on your skin. The square-ish design is also very similar to the Versa Lite launched last year. There is also the one navigation button on the left like we saw on the Lite variant. On Versa 2 however, the button can also wake up Alexa assistant, but more on that later.
There are a few color variants to choose from. These include Black Carbon, Petal with Copper with Rose Aluminum Case, and Stone with Mist Grey case. There’s also a Special Edition, which comes in two variants – Navy and Pink with Copper Rose Aluminum, and Smoke with a Mist Grey case.
The box comes with two sets of bands to fit different wrist sizes. But the straps are still a pain to attach to the watch. One really misses the simple slide-in-slide-out mechanism seen on the Apple Watches. That said, the straps are really strong and no amount of pulling can unhook them.
Among the bigger upgrades is seen on the display. Unlike the LCD display on the Versa Lite, the Versa 2 comes with an AMOLED panel. This makes the display brighter, and the deep blacks help the thick bezels around the screen fade out of existence. No matter the surrounding lighting conditions, the display is quite bright and legible.
This time around Fitbit is also introducing an Always-On Display. This is similar to what we see on the Apple Watch and Amazefit smartwatches. This feature can be enabled from the Settings, and it helps you see the time and certain information without waking up the watch. The execution is quite nice, and since launch many new watch faces have launched with built-in support for Always-On Display. Weirdly though, enabling this feature disables the lift-to-wake function. And this happens without any indication. So if you enable AoD, you will then need to tap the side button to wake up Versa 2.
Performance and fitness tracking
On paper, the Versa 2 comes with an upgraded processor. In real-life it does feel smoother and far more responsive. Built-in apps load faster, and swiping between screens felt smooth. The same however can’t be said about apps relying on the smartphone. These include Spotify app, which lets you control music being streamed on the app. Alternatively, you can also download music on to the smartwatch using Fitbit’s desktop app.
When it comes to fitness, Fitbit wearables are right there at the top. There are various preset workouts you can track like treadmill, weights, interval workout, swim and more. During the workout, the wearable quite accurately tracks distance, steps, laps, heart-rate and more. It’s a shame though that there’s no built-in GPS. Since I’ve become serious about running, a smartwatch is a steady companion for me. With the Versa 2 however, I need to carry my phone as well to accurately track the distance and route.
Unlike the Apple Watch though, you can use the Fitbit to track your sleep. The Watch itself is quite comfortable to wear to your bed, and I got used to it very soon. Once you start tracking, the app will share a sleep score at the end of each night. This score breaks down the quality of your sleep based on time spent in different sleep stages.
Interpreting the data however is far from easy. For that, you will need to subscribe to Fitbit Premium. This service costs Rs 819 per month or Rs 7,000 a year. The service, along with Fitbit coach, breaks down the data and also offers personalized training, and challenges.
As mentioned, the smartwatch also comes with built-in Alexa assistant. The functionalities however are limited to asking a few basic questions. Unfortunately, you can’t even use your voice to start a workout.
When you consider the likes of Apple Watch, the battery life on the Versa 2 is a huge positive. Fitbit claims that the in-built battery is good enough to last up to week on a single charge. Realistically though, with notifications enabled, and fitness tracking every day, you get up to three days. But when I enabled Always On Display, the battery life plummeted to barely two days.
Fitbit Versa 2 Review: Should you buy it?
Maybe you’re a first-time fitness watch buyer, or maybe you’re considering an upgrade from an existing Fitbit. Either way, the Versa 2 is a compelling device. With prices starting from Rs 20,999, it is also not very heavy on your pockets either. At this price what you get is a really well built smartwatch you can wear all day, and which accurately tracks fitness activities. Third-party app support, Alexa integration, and long battery life are further plusses. The lack of built-in GPS support is a downer for those who are into running or other outdoor activities.
Then there is also the case of competition. At this price, you can also opt for the Apple Watch Series 3, especially if you’re an iPhone user. Though it is a tad old, it is still a very capable smartwatch. For a bit more, you can also get the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.