Fitbit debuts the Versa, its smartwatch for everyone
Following up on the Ionic smartwatch we saw last August, we now have the Fitbit Versa, a cheaper, sleeker wearable that Fitbit says is "a smartwatch for all" – and yes it does look a lot like a watch made by Pebble, the company Fitbit acquired in 2016.
As you would expect from Fitbit, you get all the activity and sleep tracking features you could want here, including heart rate monitoring and swim tracking (so naturally the watch is waterproof to allow that). The only major omission is onboard GPS, so you'll need to connect a phone to keep tabs on your location.
The device can show basic call, text, and calendar notifications from your iOS or Android phone, as well as sync a selected number of tunes to its local storage, should you want to head out without your mobile device. NFC payments are also supported, for buying that post-run drink.
Making use of the extra display space, Fitbit is advertising on-screen workouts that guide you through exercises and adapt based on your feedback. There are also specific features for female users, including menstrual cycle tracking.
There's a stack of functionality here then, but Fitbit is promising an impressive four days of battery life between charges. That matches its predecessor the Ionic, and puts it some way ahead of the Apple Watch, which will get you through a day, just about.
Fitbit is actually taking a page from Apple's book by launching the Versa with a choice of bands in different styles and materials, including fabric and rubber, while the watch itself comes in black, rose gold, or silver.
What really marks this out as a smartwatch for all is its price: yours for US$199.95. Pre-orders are open now, with shipping scheduled for April. With a competitive price, and plenty of features, the Versa could be the mass-market smartwatch Fitbit is looking for – though from Fitbit's press materials alone it's difficult to judge.
Fitbit also had time today to unveil the Fitbit Ace, a simple activity tracker based on the Fitbit Alta HR that's aimed at kids aged 8 and above. It's showerproof and rewards steps, active minutes, and sleep, should your children need encouragement getting outside or getting into bed. A 5-day battery life is quoted.
The Fitbit Ace comes with a blue and purple band and costs $99.95. Pre-orders are open now, with shipping expected in May.