It’s been an age since Fitbit updated the Ionic or the Charge but the firm ignored both products for its latest product update and, instead, introduced the company’s most popular product, the Fitbit Versa 2. This is the second time the Fitbit Versa has been updated in 2019 and, once again, it isn’t a huge overhaul.
The design has been refined, the screen improved and a couple of new features added. The price, however, remains the same with the new smartwatch costing £199 for the standard edition and £220 for the Special Edition.
The Versa 2 launches alongside Fitbit Premium, a new wellness subscription programme designed to supplement the free services normally supplied with Fitbit wearable.
Fitbit Versa 2 review: Key specifications
- 8% larger AMOLED display with always-on option
- Optical heart rate monitor
- SpO2 monitor
- Connected GPS
- 5+ day battery life (2+ day battery life with always-on display)
- Alexa voice interactions
- Spotify control
- Swim proof
- Colours: black, rose gold and grey
- Price: £200 (special edition: up to £220)
- Release date: mid-September
Fitbit Versa 2 review: Key features and first impressions
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for wondering if anything, in fact, has changed. Indeed, on casual inspection, even sat next to each other, the Versa 2 and original Versa look pretty much the same.
The differences are subtle. Look closely and you’ll see that the edges of the front glass are slightly rounded this time around, resulting in a classier overall appearance. There’s now a single button on the left edge of the watch instead of three buttons.
The biggest physical change is a new AMOLED touchscreen that’s 8% bigger than the one adorning the previous Versa. In addition, it comes with a new, always-on feature. Previously, the screen would only activate when you raised your wrist; now you can set it to show the time all the time.
Fitbit has made other improvements to its new smartwatch but these are more difficult to spot. The company says that apps will launch faster, presumably because the processor has been upgraded. Battery life gets a boost, too, from “4+ days” to “5+ days” – although if you choose to enable always-on display, it’s only “2+ days”.
The Fitbit Versa 2 now also supports Spotify playback control although you still can’t download tracks and playlists to play them from local storage without a smartphone being present.
There are also improvements to the watch’s sleep tracking functions, the most potentially useful being the new Smart Alarm function, which will only wake you up if you’re not in deep sleep. Fitbit has also added a single “sleep score” that expresses the quality of your sleep in a single number.
Perhaps the strangest addition to the new Versa 2, however – or the most notable, depending on your viewpoint – is that it now comes with Alexa built-in. Press the button on the left edge activates Amazon’s voice assistant, at which point you can speak your request and Alexa will either answer your question or act upon your request.
This is, inevitably, more limited in scope than an Echo speaker, partly because there’s no speaker output – the watch is only able to respond via text on the screen – but among the voice commands you will be able to use include being able to ask about the weather, check how many calories there are in various foods, set timers and reminders.
Other than these features, the Versa is largely as it was. It’s roughly the same size and shape on your wrist, has a heart rate monitor on the rear and is swim proof.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing carried over from the original, however, is that there’s still no native GPS. If you want accurate pace and position data from your activities, you’ll need to take your smartphone out on your run with you and keep the watch and phone connected via Bluetooth.
Fitbit Versa 2 review: Early verdict
At the same price as the original Versa – it’s £200 for the standard version and up to £220 for the Special Edition, which comes with a second fabric wristband – the Fitbit Versa 2 is definitely a worthy upgrade.
It may look the same as the original but it now has a larger, better quality screen, a more classy look and some neat new features to play around with. We liked the original, so unless there’s something badly wrong with the new model, we’ll almost certainly like its replacement. Check back for the full review, which we’ll be posting soon.