By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
The FitBitVersa 2 incorporates Amazon Alexa. It also features a larger, more glare resistant screen and a far more powerful processor than the original version of the Versa. It has a huge charge length of up to five days and is water resistant to a depth of fifty meters.
The Versa 2 does not include standalone GPS functionality. Rather, it piggybacks off your phone. Similarly, the Spotify Connect feature needs to be teamed with your phone.
The FitBit Versa 2 is a very functional fitness tracker for the majority of people. However, if you need to track your route without having to carry your phone, you might consider a device that includes GPS capability.
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FitBit is the originator and the market leader in the fitness tracking space. Their latest offering is the Fitbit Versa 2, the second generation of the Versa model. Reaction to the Versa 2 has been generally positive. In this Fitbit Versa 2 review, we go in-depth to discover what makes this smartwatch so good.
The Versa 2 is FitBit’s response to the Apple Watch Series 4 & 5 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Its most noticeable innovations over the original Versa are the inclusion of Spotify music and Amazon Alexa support.
The price point on the Versa 2 is significantly lower than the Apple Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2. However, the price of the Apple Watch 3 has come down significantly and is competitive with the Versa 2. A noticeable absence from the Versa 2 is GPS capability. This compromises the device’s functionality for serious athletes. It does have what it calls “connected GPS.” This means that the Versa will work with your phone’s GPS. Of course, you’ll need to keep your phone with you at all times, which is not always desirable.
There is quite a lot of overlap between the three versions of the Versa which are currently available on the market. The overall design of the watches is pretty standard. You will notice, though, that the Versa 2 has one button compared to three buttons on the original. However, the chargers and sensors are all uniform.
All three devices are water-resistant to a depth of fifty meters. However, only the original and the Versa 2 are able to track your swimming performance. All three FitBits offer the same basic functionality. This includes daily activity tracking, daily steps, calories burned, goals, distance move reminders, and sleep tracking.
All three of the Fitbit Versas feature the smart track function. This means that it will automatically pick up when you are doing an activity such as jogging. The three versions also include such smartphone features as notifications, alarms, timers, and compatibility with the best fitness apps.
Unlike the Versa Lite, the Versa and the original model both have onboard music storage, allowing you to store up to three hundred songs.
The straps between all three models are also compatible so you can switch them over as you need to.
In terms of price, the Versa 2 is about twenty-five dollars more expensive than the original Versa and about fifty dollars more than the Fitbit Versa Lite.
The most outstanding new feature of the Versa 2 is the addition of Amazon Alexa. You will need your phone to be within a range of about thirty-three feet for Alexa to operate. You’ll also need to be online and have the Fitbit app going in the background. The watch is fitted with a microphone, but it lacks a speaker. Still, it allows you to ask Alexa to do everyday tasks for you. However, it is not able to make calls or bring up music.
The Fitbit Versa 2 also has a larger screen size than the original. It has also done away with the Fitbit logo. Both of these changes make for a far more functional screen. The square OLED touchscreen on the Versa 2 is very impressive. You will be able to clearly read the screen, even in direct sunlight. The screen also has an “always on” option, allowing you to constantly be able to see the time.
The single button operation and intuitive touch input controls are highly functional and very user friendly.
The Versa 2 has a much faster processor than its predecessor. This overcomes the lagging nature of the original device.
A standout feature of the Versa 2 is its extended battery life. You can expect to get five days usage from a single charge. However, if you activate the “always on” display option, battery life will drop to around three days. But even that is more impressive than the battery life on the Apple 5 watch, which maxes out at about two days.
Another new feature on the Versa 2 is Spotify Control. This is somewhat like its GPS function in that it doesn’t actually provide you with Spotify on your device but allows you to control Spotify on your phone.
Other new features on the Versa 2 are a “Do Not Disturb” mode and FitBit Pay. An NFP (near-field proximity) chip is built into the Versa 2, whereas you had to get this separately on the older version.
So, is the Fitbit Versa 2 the best smartwatch on the current market?
That title would most likely go to the Apple Version 5. Keep in mind, however, that the Fitbit Versa 2 is a fitness tracker first and a smartwatch second. When it comes to the Apple 5, that formula is reversed. As a result, the Apple Watch does a stellar job as a smartwatch but not when it comes to fitness tracking.
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a very functional fitness tracker that looks great and works extremely well. Perhaps its most impressive feature is its extra-long battery life. The inclusion of Alexa capability is another bonus, though some people may feel self-conscious talking to their arm in public. The elephant in the room when it comes to this device is that it does not come with standalone GPS tracking. If you are happy to take your phone out on your runs or cycle trips with you, that won’t be a problem. If not, this may not be the best option. The Apple 4, which is about the same price, would be worth considering as an alternative. Go here for a comparison of the Apple Watch 4 vs FitBit Versa.