Fitbit Versa 2 adds Alexa support and a new OLED screen
"Alexa, show me the Fitbit Versa 2." Support for Amazon's voice assistant is the big upgrade for the second-generation Versa, almost a year and a half after the original smartwatch appeared, though an OLED screen has also been added alongside several design tweaks.
Essentially though, the Versa 2 follows the same blueprint as its predecessor: a lightweight, stylish, fitness-focused watch that you might accidentally confuse for an Apple Watch.
The introduction of Amazon Alexa means you can talk to your Fitbit Versa 2 just as you might talk to an Amazon Echo speaker, though everything is routed via your phone (and replies are shown as text rather than spoken out). Ask about the weather, your upcoming schedule, the sports scores, and so on.
Fitbit says it's made the screen 8 percent bigger, reducing the bezels and switching from LCD to OLED display technology (which should mean brighter colors and darker blacks). Another improvement is battery life, which has apparently been stretched from four days on the Versa to five days on the Versa 2.
That doesn't apply if you enable the new "always on" mode, which displays a monochrome clock even when your arm isn't raised. The watch will last two days between charges with this mode enabled.
This being a Fitbit, all the usual activity tracking features are here, including sleep tracking (which Fitbit says is now more accurate and insightful than ever). There's no on-board GPS, but there is a heart rate monitor, and the watch is water resistant to 50 meters (164 ft).
As with the original Versa, you get customizable phone alerts, so you can see at a glance who's calling or texting you (or not, as you prefer). The internals have been upgraded too, though we don't know the specifics. Fitbit has also cut the physical buttons down from three to one, so presumably you'll have to spend more of your time jabbing at the touchscreen.
We were largely impressed by what the original Fitbit Versa had to offer, and this second generation seems to hit the mark in terms of smart upgrades (Alexa, battery life, an always on mode). Fitbit says there are now around 3,000 Versa apps and clock faces to choose from when it comes to customizing your wearable.
Pre-orders for the US$199.95 smartwatch are open now ahead of shipping on September 15, with three main color options: black, mist gray, and copper rose. They can be combined with a variety of rubber straps (first-gen Versa straps will still fit), while special edition woven straps are available for an extra $30.
Product page: Fitbit