Science

Fitbit Versa first look: A step in the right direction?

Fitbit Versa first look: A step in the right direction?

Speaking of playing your favorite tunes on your wrist, the Fitbit Versa and Ionic are both getting Deezer global offline streaming... with a subscription and external headphones.

Fitbit today introduced a $200 smartwatch called the Versa, plus an low-cost new fitness tracker for kids.

Apparently, Fitbit was very close to keeping its newest smartwatch a secret all the way through, officially taking the wraps off the Versa just a few days after that name first made the rounds.

"As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price", said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. One downside of buying the Versa instead of the Ionic is that it theoretically lasts one day lesser (4 days vs 5 days). While Fitbit has been a staple in fitness technology for years at this point, they have yet to make a significant dent when it comes to luxury smart devices.

Announced by Fitbit today, the Versa is described as an "intuitive" smartwatch for communication and health and fitness. This is probably going to be turn off for serious athletes, but Fitbit is branding this for the masses. The range of bands available also looks to be trying to take on the Apple Watch in the fashion stakes. Fitbit also carries a couple of special edition versions, including charcoal woven/graphite aluminum and lavendar woven/rose gold aluminum. There's also a potentially massive new feature called "female health tracking", which lets women track their monthly cycles to look out for variations and changes.

Aiding the Versa's appeal to women shoppers, Fitbit also added a women's health app to its smartwatch software that includes a period tracker. It's worth noting that these will become available across all Fitbit devices, but with a custom experience for Versa and Ionic owners.

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The Versa will come in three options for $199.95: a black case with a black strap, a silver aluminum case with a gray strap, and a rose gold case with a peach strap.

The Versa will support Fitbit Pay, and the company says that its contactless payment system is now supported by 32 banks in 14 countries, with more arriving.

The device resembles the Fitbit Alta HR and is designed for children age 8 and older.

Like many of Fitbit's other products, the Fitbit Ace can automatically track steps, monitor active minutes, and remind kids to move when they've been still for too long. Like a regular Fitbit, the Ace uses push notifications to encourage children to increase their steps or get moving if it senses a sustained period of inactivity. It's an activity tracker, so it has a thinner and smaller profile than a standard smartwatch. A new Family Account mode in the Fitbit app gives parents control over their child's device, including who can follow them.

Of course, Fitbit hasn't forgotten about fitness, and the Versa is the first device to launch with Fitbit OS 2.0.

The Fitbit Ace is available for preorder today for $99 on Fitbit's website. Namely, it comes in two colors: Electric Blue and Power Purple.


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