There may be a lot of action in the smartwatch category but not every prospective customer has taken a bite just yet. Fitbit’s new smartwatch trains its guns on fence sitters who are still not quite sold on a smartwatch with a price point that the California-based wearable brand believes could sway them. The Fitbit Versa Lite cuts some corners from the Fitbit Versa, a device that we enjoyed using and reviewing. The big question is does it go too far with trimming the frills.
The Versa Lite looks almost identical to its 2018 predecessor. At a touch under 40 gms, we like how weightless this feels on your wrist. It’s easy to forget you’ve strapped on a smartwatch, particularly handy for folks who like to sleep with their smartwatches and track their sleep patterns. You might notice a couple of small changes. There’s only physical button that sits on the left spine of the watch; the Versa sports an additional two physical buttons on the right side corner. It’s not a big deal, given that most Versa users use the on-screen navigation buttons to get around the device. The Versa Lite is available in more colours – there’s a funky Mulberry variant and we dig the Cool Versa Lite Marina Blue option that we tested.
Just like the Versa, you get an additional strap size in the box and the option to swap your strap for a host of Fitbit and third-party strap options. The big changes or in this case the omissions are under the hood. The Lite has no internal storage option for Music. I’ve enjoyed having the option of connecting my Bluetooth earbuds to the Versa as a music source at the gym. The Versa can store about 300 songs but it’s quite a process to move it from your laptop to the device. The music storage option is not a deal breaker for most users who seldom access music on their Versa. The other thing missing is the altimeter – so you can’t keep track of all those elevator rides you skip to gloat about all the floors you climbed. There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, you will need to download apps or watch faces via Bluetooth through your smartphone.
Bluetooth connectivity may not be as seamless as the Wi-Fi option on the Versa but you really won’t notice it in real time usage. The good news is you can access a bottomless list of watch faces and also some cool Apps via your paired smartphone. Just like the Versa, the Versa Lite doesn’t have GPS either. This is an add-on Fitbit has reserved for the Ionic in its current portfolio. Again, as Versa users will tell you GPS is not a must have to track workouts. Lastly, the Versa Lite misses out on a gyroscope that is handy if you want to track your swim laps.
The Versa Lite Edition features the same vibrant 1.34-inch screen that we saw on the Versa. Visibility is great even under harsh sunlight and the Corning glass display is quite durable and doesn’t scratch easily. This smartwatch comes with all the stuff we like Fitbit for. Exercise tracking, step and calorie counts plus sleep tracking that many Fitbit users obsess with. After two days of testing, we found battery life very similar to the Versa – you should manage 4-5 days, which is significantly better than the Apple Watch.
Ultimately it boils down to your usage patterns – do you need music on your watch or do you need the altimeter. From my own experience of using a Versa over many months, these are features that are not critical for me. However, the price differential is not significant – the Versa Lite Edition gives you a price advantage of just Rs 4,000. If you don’t mind skimping on these features, then the Lite might just work for you.
The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition costs Rs 15,999/-