Fitbit Versa 2 adds Alexa, improves sleep tracking and display


Fitbit Versa 2 blue and rose gold

The Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch puts the California-based fitness company at the forefront of health and wellness tracking. Fitbit refined the design, upgraded the screen, added a microphone with Amazon Alexa support, and crammed new sleep tracking features all into a small, comfortable wearable that costs half that of most smartwatches.

Fitbit didn’t stop there. The Versa 2 supports Fitbit Pay and can be used as a transit pass. Moreover, with Spotify on board, fitness-minded owners have more motivation than ever to get moving. Here are all the details.

Fitbit Versa 2 hardware: Simpler, cleaner

Fitbit Versa 2 left profile

Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said the company intentionally took the Versa 2 a step up from the Versa and Versa Lite in terms of design and materials. It still relies on anodized aluminum, but the edges have been smoothed over and the seams more tightly pressed together. The glass is slightly more curved, as is the bottom surface, in order to make the wearable more comfortable to wear 24/7.

Also read: Fitbit Versa review | Fitbit Versa Lite review

The new AMOLED screen features deeper blacks and bolder colors that are bright and easy to see, even under sunny skies. The display measures 1.4 inches and has 300 by 300 pixels at 1,000 nits. Fitbit says it is 8.5% larger than the display of the original Versa. An always-on display means the time and workout stats will always be visible at a glance.

A single button now adorns the left edge, where previously there were two. Another simplification measure, says Fitbit. The company also integrated the charging pins into the sensor bundle underneath for a more seamless look and finish.

The always-on display means vital details such as the time and fitness stats are always visible.

Strap and accessory compatibility is unchanged. Fitbit says straps should look more integrated with the hardware, but the same clasp system underneath allows for easy swapping. The Versa 2 ships in black, gray, and rose gold, with plain silicone straps in the box. The company clearly hopes people will upgrade to its new range of straps made for dressing up the wearable.

For example, there’s a new woven nylon option that’s made from recycled fibers and includes a reflective strip for better nighttime visibility. There are also Horween leather options and ventilated sport bands. Fitbit teamed up with Recco and Kim Shui for unique options, such as the latter’s braided leather double-wrap bracelet. The accessories range in price from $30 to $100.

Fitbit Versa 2 family shot

Let’s not forget table-stakes features. Fitbit says the Versa 2’s 165mAh battery will deliver two to four days of battery life. There are also voice-reply messages (Android only), and water resistance rated to 5ATM for those laps at your local pool.

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Made for better Aaaaas and Zzzzzs

Fitbit Versa 2 rose gold in repose

Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant is on board! A built-in microphone allows Versa 2 owners to take the power of Alexa with them wherever they go. Fitbit says Alexa on its wearable can help people search for gyms or yoga studios, as well as check the weather, set calendar appointments or alarms, and control smart home appliances. Amazon responds via discreet on-screen text rather than answers spoken aloud.

Core among the new functions of the Versa 2 is dramatically improved sleep tracking. The company says it has analyzed some 10.5 billion nights of sleep in order to help people get better rest.

Fitbit has analyzed 10.5 billion nights of sleep.

Those who wear their Fitbit Versa 2 to bed will find a new sleep score awaiting them each morning. The app assesses factors such as time spent asleep, time spent in deep/REM sleep, and heart rate to determine the score. A smart wake feature will hold off alarms during deep sleep sessions (for a short timeframe) in order to maximize restorative rest. The night mode will fully turn off the display, as well as all notifications and vibrations. Last, the app will develop an estimated oxygen variation graph to show people if they experience breathing variations during the night.

Some of these features will be available to the original Versa and Versa Lite later this year.

More power, advanced tools

Fitbit Versa 2 apps

Fitbit says the Versa 2 has a faster processor under the hood, which means smoother operation throughout the day. In the few moments we spent with the wearable, the UI did feel a bit snappier than the Versa and Versa Lite.

Connected GPS — rather than integrated GPS — is available to help track runs and other outdoor workouts. This means the Versa 2 will rely on the GPS in your phone to gather the necessary location data. The watch can track dozens of exercises, including walks, runs, hikes, bike rides, and more.

Fitbit Pay is available to all variants of the Versa 2.

Spotify has created an app for Fitbit and the Versa 2. Spotify Premium subscribers can use the Versa 2 to control Spotify playback on their phone. Alternately, people can tap Deezer or Pandora for tunes, or store up to 300 songs locally on the watch itself.

Fitbit Pay is available to all the variants in the Versa 2 family. People will be able to use the watch to make tap-and-go payments, as well as to access seven transit systems around the world. These include MTA OMNY in New York City, Transport for London, and iPASS in Taiwan.

Fitbit Premium and Aria Air target serious fitness buffs

Fitbit Versa 2 on wrist

Looking for more than the simple wearable? Fitbit has you covered. Alongside the Versa 2, Fitbit also announced Fitbit Premium, a monthly service that offers advanced, personal training. For $10 per month or $80 per year, subscribers can access specific workouts, challenges, community, and expert help. The programs in Fitbit Premium cover all types of users, whether they are beginners or experts. People can pay more to get one-on-one coaching if so desired.

Fitbit Premium will be available in the Fitbit app starting in September. Everyone will be able to try it for free for seven days. People who buy the Versa 2 Special Edition can test Premium for 90 days before making a financial commitment.

Fitbit also simplified its connected scale in order to lower the barrier to entry. The Aria Air costs $50 and syncs directly with the Fitbit app.

Preorder today

Fitbit Versa 2 in blue on rocks

All of Fitbit’s fall offerings will reach the market shortly. The Versa 2 is available for preorder starting today, August 28. It reaches stores September 15. It will be available from Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target, Verizon, and Walmart in North America. The wearable will also be for sale in Europe, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The Fitbit Versa 2 will cost $200, and the Versa 2 Special Edition will cost $230. The former comes in black, gray, and rose, while the latter comes in rose with either copper or plum accents. The Special Edition will only be available from Fitbit.com.

The Fitbit Premium service ($10/mo) also launches in September. It will start in English in 17 countries, with others to follow in early 2020.

Last, the Aria Air ($50) will be available for preorder in late September, with retail availability expected in October.

At quite literally half the cost of the Apple Watch and most Wear OS smartwatches, Fitbit brings a lot of value to the fitness wearable equation.


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