The new Fitbit Versa Lite Specifications and features are similar to those of the existing non-Lite model and the key standout differences are the lower price tag associated with its lack of contactless payments and lack of music support.
The Fitbit Versa, Versa Lite, Versa SE & Ionic represent Fitbit’s alternative to the Apple Watch behemoth. Perhaps, in turn, they then stack up to varying degrees against various new Chinese brands and more established watches like Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 series and Samsung’s Galaxy Watches. And, in many cases, the Fitbits don’t compare well to these in terms of features, apps and true capabilities.
More truthfully they represent an upgrade path to very many longstanding Fitbit users who simply want something new and probably can’t be too bothered to look around that much. Perhaps those same people have a history of data and social connections residing in the Fitbit platform and want to continue with that platform also based on their brand loyalty and familiarity. Fair enough.
In many ways, Fitbit’s longstanding users have had it good. In my opinion, the Fitbit app/platform was always excellent and feature rich. Perhaps over the last year or so the platform has struggled to integrate the new Ionic and Versa devices as evidenced by falling satisfaction of the Fitbit app but when it works, it works well.
Yet those Fitbit users might well be in for a shock if they ‘upgrade’ their hardware and expect to get what their Apple Watch wearing friends enjoy from Apple apps and iTunes. Whilst the Versa does support proprietary apps and the number of those apps are increasing, I’m still not excited.
Many of Fitbit’s user base has moved on from activity tracking to tracking sports a little bit more and the reality for those people is that neither the Versa nor Ionic is THAT great compared to the competition. Maybe I’m being too critical and maybe Fitbit’s step-watchers, sleep trackers, stair climbers and occasional joggers will be perfectly happy with the trendy, modern look and feel of the Versa? Yes, they probably will be.
I kinda struggle to get excited by either the Versa or the Ionic.
I understand how the Versa Lite takes away Music. Music functionality IS worth a premium. Yet to also take away contactless payments (a revenue stream to Fitbit) seems strange considering Fitbit’s position and the capability of the device. Here’s a high-level overview of what features the Versa Lite gives you and I’ll add in more details at the end.
The 4-day battery life is impressive for a modern looking device with a sweet-looking screen. However that 4-day battery life is possible because there is no GPS onboard, no music and, indeed, no ability to connect anything other than your smartphone (eg for smartphone GPS).
Perhaps I’m being too critical? The Versa does have several inbuilt ‘nice touches’ ranging from the lightweight design through to guided breathing sessions. The FEMALE HEALTH functionality is also neat and allows you to log your period, record symptoms & compare your cycle against other health stats like sleep, activity and weight. Indeed SLEEP is another well-presented part of the Fitbit ecosystem and one that many people are interested in right now. Fitbit even claims to show your time spent in light, deep and REM sleep stages and get personalised insights to help you improve. Learn more.
Fitbit also continues to cite numerous scientific papers on their site. It would be great to really understand what these mean to the accuracy and usefulness of the device to you. For example, is there an independent study listed that verifies Fitbit’s approach to the correctness of the SLEEP STAGES analyses I just listed above? I suspect not even though Fitbit make quite a big deal about sleep stages (because that’s what the customers want to hear).
The Fitbit Versa Lite is a nice enough watch for a certain audience. Whilst cheaper, it’s still over-priced compared to other lesser known brands but probably IS worth paying that premium if you already an active Fitbit user who wants to get a little bit more savvy with what tech can offer in 2019.
Anyway, in more detail, this is the difference to the Versa and Versa SE models. If the ticks in the left-hand column correspond to what you want then unleash the Visa right now.