In the war of wearables, Fitbit and Apple have been clashing for the past several years. Now, the former is making a big move to help advance its cause. Fitbit recently announced an update to its flagship smartwatch, Versa, that sees many improvements over the original model.
Versa 2 will ship with an OLED display, Amazon Alexa voice command compatibility, and more. In a refreshing turn of events, the smartwatch will retail at $199.99, the same price as the original Versa. Thanks to the new features and some tasteful design changes, Fitbit is getting closer than ever to having a true Apple Watch competitor.
“Alexa, track my run”
One of the Versa 2’s more unique features is its Alexa compatibility. This will give users true sci-fi-like powers to talk to their watch just like they’d talk to their smartphone. Unfortunately, since the watch doesn’t have a speaker, responses will only come through on the display. Still, the Alexa support means users can initiate exercise tracking, control music, and respond to texts on Android phones.
Speaking of the screen, Versa 2 features a stunning OLED display. With deeper colors and brighter backlighting, users will be able to see the time better in any condition. Despite the improved display, Versa 2 also gets an increase in battery life. The watch will now last five days rather than the original’s four.
One thing that will decrease the battery life is Fitbit’s new Always-On Display. Some users will likely appreciate the feature despite the fact that it drains the battery faster. For example, healthcare workers will be able to take advantage of a clockface that stays on without needing to flick their wrist or tap the screen during vital sign assessments. Even with Always-On Display enabled, Versa 2 should last multiple days on a single charge.
On top of this, the new watch will come standard with NFC capabilities. Users won’t have to shell out for a “special edition” for that feature this time around. All Fitbit-brand straps for the original Versa will also fit this model so users who upgraded to a leather or metal band can save some money.
Look Good, Sell Good
Perhaps the biggest complaint that consumers had with the original Versa is that “it’s ugly.” Though the watch did look much more modern than its predecessor, the Fitbit Blaze, it was nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as the Apple Watch. In a time where users have come to expect sexy design from their devices, this was a deal-breaker for many.
Fitbit obviously acknowledges this fact and it is evident in the Versa 2’s new design. The company finally removed its logo from the bottom bezel, leaving the watch face much cleaner. Meanwhile, two of the original Versa’s three buttons are missing on the new version. Having only one physical button will push users to utilize the touchscreen more often.
Finally, the watch’s bezel is actually a bit smaller than the original. The OLED display also spills gracefully over the edges, helping to disguise them a bit. With the new redesign, it is entirely possible to confuse the Versa 2 for an Apple Watch on first glance.
Hopeful wearers can pre-order the Fitbit Versa 2 now. It will be available starting September 15.