FITBIT IS having a second swing at smartwatches with the Fitbit Versa.
The new device runs on Fitbit OS, ripped from the burning wreckage of Pebble, the smartphone company it bought and stripped. It'll work with Android, iOS and Windows (we know, right?) though there won't be complete parity of features at launch.
It looks like an Apple Watch. Far more than the predecessor Fitbit Ionic. Like, totally and almost cringingly. Even the colours (black, grey and rose gold) are the ruddy same. The design, a square with soft edges, is being called "Squircle" which instantly makes us want to jump up and down on it screaming "that's not a word, you cretins". But we won't.
It's relatively basic - there's none of the whistles and bells of, say, the Apple Watch. There's no GPS. There's no SIM slot. It also strips out features we'd seen in the first Fitbit watch, the Ionic. But it's no slouch either.
It's definitely still in that Fitbit bread-and-butter area of fitness tracking. It's robust enough to swim in (or 'it's waterproof'), it has a heart rate monitor and a series of training sessions built into its memory banks. The full range isn't free though - it's an extra $39.95 per year. Ouch.
It stores around 300 MP3s or can stream from Deezer or Pandora, because… of course, why wouldn't it have Spotify? Logically, streaming will go via your phone, because, no internet connection. Tied in with that, it'll also take NFC payments (for an extra $30), which strengthens the feeling that it's a tethering deal.
Later in the year, it will add a mode that will monitor specific women's health issues, including menstruation. It'll spot problems and identify patterns, which is definitely a USP compared to most watches (aside from Apple, of course) and the sleep apnoea detection algorithms are back too.
Battery life is actually worse than the predecessor - four days instead of five, but there's also a significant price dip - it's $199, compared to $299. UK pricing seems set to be a 1:1 with the dollar price, unfortunately. µ
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