This time last year in March of 2018, the Fitbit Versa was announced and then released in April. Well here it is March of 2019 and so far no official word for Fitbit regarding an upgraded version of the Versa but there are some leaks of possible new colors, or a lite version, or possibly an upgrade.
The Versa has been a great seller for Fitbit and one of my personal favorite fitness tracking devices. After Fitbit purchased Pebble there was hope that Pebble would rub off on Fitbit and we’d see a Febble but that didn’t happen. btw I made up Febble but I’d still love to see a love child between the two.
What I loved about the Pebble Time was the great battery life, the ability to respond to text messages by voice, the look, but most of all its’ personality.
It was a joy to interact with the watch with its lively animations, funny comments when I slacked off on my fitness for the day, and well, it’s just hard to explain but I’m not the only one who felt it. A lot of people really fell in love with their Pebble and greatly lamented its demise.
Then came the Fitbit Versa which had the squarish design, some of the same smartwatch features of a Pebble, and Fitbit’s fitness tracking capabilities.
So did the Versa live up to my expectations?
Well, it didn’t live up to the Pebble Time but I grew to really like the Versa as well. There were a lot of syncing issues that finally seemed to have been fixed with updates, a connected GPS that suffered from frequent disconnects with my phone which has seemed to also improve.
New features have been added over the past year as well.
There’s quite a few more insights into my fitness activities, sleep, heart rate, etc., all accessible now through the watch. Some new third-party apps and quite a few watch faces have been added through Fitbit’s app store.
Battery life of the Versa is one of the best as smartwatches go. Compared to the Apple Watch the battery lasts twice as long, usually lasting a good 3-4 days.
App selection is still a bit weak. New apps have been added over the past year to choose from but I’m not seeing the ones that I always add to an Apple, Samsung or Wear OS watch – namely Endomondo, ViewRanger, etc. I’d love to see more music streaming services supported like Spotify and iHeartRadio. Pandora and Deezer is currently supported.
Transferring music from my computer to the Versa was a pain and I didn’t even bother. That’s something that needs to be improved.
What I’m missing the most on the Versa, in terms of apps, is a good hiking app. I’d love an app with breadcrumbing and a compass. Even a simple native hiking app from Fitbit would be great. The Versa supports hiking as an activity but it would be useful to have breadcrumbing so I can follow my trail back and a compass.
There are compass apps available through the store but there’s no way to switch to that app while I’m recording my hike with Fitbit. Little tweaks like that are needed.
Still, with all my complaints, there’s a lot of things I like about the Versa. The screen size is ideal, it’s lightweight and comfortable to wear, has a good unisex design, is easy to use, has an accurate heart rate sensor, can be worn swimming, and has fun watch faces to choose from.
Features I’d love to see on the Fitbit Versa 2:
- built-in GPS
- native hiking app (or support for a great third-party hiking app)
- improved processor for speed and supporting more apps
- the ability to respond to text messages, even if connected to an iPhone (yes I know that’s Apple’s fault and not Fitbit’s but responding to messages through my watch is such a handy and essential feature for me)
- some Pebble personality :)
So is there going to be a Fitbit Versa 2? According to some leaks there looks to be new color options coming and possibly a “lite” version. According to the Android Police website that may be one possibility. I don’t know why anyone would want less features from the Versa, unless there’s also going to be a more pricey version coming too.
Maybe the non-lite version will have built-in GPS while the lite won’t. Who knows?
If I had to make a bet, I’d guess that there will be a Versa 2 because it’s been a good seller for Fibit and if Fitbit wants to compete with Apple, Samsung, and Wear OS, it’s going to have to match the capabilities of those other platforms and the Versa is capable of doing that with some tweaking.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll probably know the answer, so stay tuned.
Really, I’d just love to see the Pebble Time, same look, same personality, come back with Fitbit’s fitness features and I’d be one happy camper. I doubt we’ll see that but a girl can dream.
You can check out the Fitbit Versa on Amazon for current pricing.
UPDATE: I got my answer really quick after writing this! Check out the Fitbit Versa Lite.