Introduced in March this year, Fitbit’s latest smartwatch – the Fitbit Versa has hit Malaysian shores. The lightest Fitbit smartwatch yet, the Fitbit Versa boasts advanced health and fitness features, 4+ days of battery life and has added female-focused health tracking.
Fitbit is currently the #1 wearable brand globally, with over 76 million devices sold to date. It’s also the #1 Health & Fitness app on iOS and Android (in the US). The brand is sold in over 46,000 stores globally across 78 countries.
Worldwide wearables sales are estimated to grow by an average of 20 percent each year over the next five years according to industry analyst CCS Insight.
This growth is said to be powered by smartwatches, with fitness trackers losing ground in 2017. This is an interesting insight, seeing that over 71 million smartwatches are expected to be on consumer wrists in 2018 and expected to double to 140 million in 2022.
While the Apple Watch dominates the smartwatch segment, Fitbit is the undisputed leader in the overall wearables category, with Huami (subsidiary of Xiaomi) nipping behind. Both companies account for 80 percent of the whole market.
Fitbit’s bread and butter remains in fitness and activity trackers. That said, it has expanded its portfolio into smartwatches like the Fitbit Ionic, and the new Fitbit Versa. The company has diversified into other products like wireless headphones (Fitbit Flyer) and Wi-Fi smart scales (Fitbit Aria 2).
Fitbit’s second attempt
With the growth potential in smartwatches and wearables, it is timely for Fitbit to debut a full-featured smartwatch at an affordable price.
The Fitbit Versa is Fitbit’s lightest and smartest-looking yet. It features an ultra-thin, anodised aluminium case with rounded edges. The display offers an impressive 1,000 nits of brightness, which would be useful under bright sunlight.
One of the reasons why it’s superlight is also because Fitbit removed the GPS module found on the Ionic. It now offloads GPS tracking to your phone (Connected GPS).
In terms of fitness features, the Fitbit Versa offers enhanced 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking, on-screen workouts from Fitbit Coach, over 15 Exercise Modes, automatic swim tracking with 5ATM (water resistance up to 50m), plus automatic activity and exercise tracking.
An increasing focus for Fitbit is sleep tracking. You can use Sleep Stages and Insights to see how well you’re sleeping, and you can set a restful sleep schedule.
Cardio Fitness Level tells you how fit you are, and to nudge you on throughout the day is the Reminders to Move function.
There’s also a relative SpO2 sensor to potentially track important health indicators in the future, for example sleep apnea.
Fitbit Versa features the latest Fitbit OS 2.0 release, which comes with a new personalised dashboard that provides a more simplified, intuitive and holistic view of your health and fitness data.
As a smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa ticks plenty of checkboxes, including notifications and the ability to send quick replies. At the moment, only Android phone users can send a pre-populated or customisable reply via the smartwatch. Apparently, due to the nature of iOS, the function isn’t available on the platform. Fitbit, however, assures, they are “working on a workaround.”
With built-in storage, you can also store over 300 songs from your music collection, or Flow from Deezer, and listen phone-free via Bluetooth headphones. Also, when you buy a Fitbit Versa, you’ll get a three-month Deezer subscription for free.
The Fitbit Versa also has the ability to do contactless payment with Fitbit Pay built-in. The feature isn’t currently supported in Malaysia but is already available via over 40 banks in 14 countries including Australia and Singapore, through American Express, Mastercard and Visa networks. More countries and banks will be rolling out in 2018.
A smartwatch isn’t just about function, though. It’s a fashion accessory on the wrist and an extension of your personality. With Fitbit, there’s room to personalise by adding new bands, changing clock faces and installing new apps.
There’s currently a wide range of apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery including from Fitbit, Fitbit Labs, and popular apps like Strava and Weather.
The store has more than 550 apps and clock faces, with over 16,000 app developers on board the platform.
The next new big feature pertains to female health. The Fitbit Versa helps womenfolk understand how their menstrual cycle connects to their overall health. It helps them stay on top of their menstrual cycle by recording symptoms like headaches, acnes and cramps, and it also lets them stay informed about health and life planning.
The feature uses Fitbit’s new proprietary cycle algorithm that actually gets smarter over time. You’ll be able to see dynamic cycle predictions and when to expect your next period.
Part of the beauty of the Fitbit platform is the community of users surrounding Fitbit devices. You can join other women through Groups in the Community tab of the Fitbit app for support.
Fitbit Versa offers plenty of stylish bands over various styles and materials: Classic, stain-resistant, swim-ready; Horween leather; Stainless Steel – steel links, metal mesh bands; and Designer collection.
There’s also a Fitbit Versa Special Edition, which comes with exclusive woven bands in lavender with rose gold aluminium case or charcoal with graphite aluminium case, as well as a black Classic accessory band in box.
Pricing and availability
The Fitbit Versa is available now starting from MYR990 for the standard black with a black aluminium case, gray with a silver aluminium case, or peach with a rose gold aluminium case.
The Fitbit Versa Special Edition retails for MYR1,120, while accessories range from MYR130 to MYR420.
The products are available now at all leading stores including All IT Hypermarket, AONE Plus, Best Denki, Harvey Norma, Timekeeper, Thunder Match Technology and Lazada Malaysia.
For more info, visit Fitbit.
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