Fitbit Hopes for 'Mass Appeal' with New $199 USD Versa Smartwatch

Fitbit Hopes for 'Mass Appeal' with New $199 USD Versa Smartwatch

Fitbit Hopes for 'Mass Appeal' with New $199 USD Versa Smartwatch

The Versa is Fitbit's second wearable built on the Pebble software platform, after its acquisition of Pebble's "key assets" in 2016.

Fitbit acquired Pebble, a company widely credited for kickstarting the smartwatch industry in 2016, predominantly for its software assets. The Versa is available to preorder at Fitbit's store and select online retailers from today. Fitbit has yet to specify an exact date for the watch's release around the world, but we'll update this hands on review when we hear more. USA or Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed, so that may be a bit different when we hear from Fitbit. Apple announced late past year that it would take part in research study using its watch's heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing one. The watches still don't connect directly to cellular networks either, the flagship new feature on the latest version of the Apple Watch.

The watch comes with a silicone band as standard (worth $30/€30), but you can buy a Horween leather band for $50/€60 or a metal or mesh band for $80-$100/€80-€100.

A special edition of the watch also comes with woven material straps and includes a plastic strap in the box that you can switch to when you want to go out exercising. "The Versa has a 1.34" display covered with Gorilla Glass 3 with a brightness of up to 1000 nits.

The resolution looked good and while there are thick bezels around it the screen seemed responsive in our limited testing time flicking through apps. Fitbit OS now plays nice with Deezer, so you can download offline playlists from the streaming service and pair Bluetooth headphones for a phone-free experience (provided you don't want Global Positioning System as mentioned).

Some may find that frustrating, but it's a sensible feature to lose if you want to save a bit of money. The basic version of the Versa also forgoes the ability to make mobile payments, though a $230 special edition gets the Fitbit Pay feature back. The new Versa offers 24/7 heart rate tracking and offers onscreen workouts.

Fitbit Coach is also here for your home workouts to give you dynamic activities to do without even having to leave the house.

Fitbit will also start giving users guidance for menstrual cycles, ovulation, fertility and common misconceptions. As with any Fitbit product, the Versa also includes a robust array of fitness options.

Fitbit Hopes for 'Mass Appeal' with New $199 USD Versa Smartwatch

Swipe up on the touchscreen and you'll now be taken into a health dashboard, which shows you most of your vital health-tracking stats (although not, strangely, your sleep).

Kid's fitness trackers - the best options to get your young ones moving! Created to walk a path that gave you the convenience of the smartwatch - colourful display, apps, wide notifications - with Fitbit's popular tracking platform. Apart from that, however, Fitbit is offering all the major features on Versa.

It runs Fitbit OS, which is limited in scope but comes with a variety of apps through the Fitbit App Gallery. If the design looks familiar, that's because it's a redesign of the company's old fitness tracker, the Fitbit Ultra.

Fitbit will fold data about your cycle into the watch's Today app. Theres built-in storage, allowing you to carry 300 songs from Deezer (in the U.S. and Europe).

Smart notifications also work on the Fitbit Versa, so you'll be able to receive messages from a variety of apps right through to your wrist.

Fitbit is trying to adapt it for those who have Windows Phone or iPhone devices, but the wait may be a little longer for that. Thankfully, this remains the case with the Versa, with Fitbit promising more than four days of battery life.

We knew it was coming, and now it's official: Fitbit has announced the Versa, its "mass appeal" smartwatch, which is aimed at, well, everyone.

"As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price", Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park said in a prepared statement.

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