In 2018, the Fitbit Versa was probably the best smartwatch that Android users could buy in India. After the grungy Fitbit Blaze and the slightly more refined Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit finally seemed to be making headway with the smartwatch. It was about time too. For a brand that aced fitness trackers the smartwatch hasn’t been an easy path. It’s why Fitbit acquired Pebble a pioneering smartwatch maker and even more interestingly Google has just acquired Fitbit as the Versa 2 hits stores in India. You probably already know that the Versa 2 might just be the best bet if you’re an Android user or an iPhone user who doesn’t want to pay the premium for the Apple Watch. But should you upgrade if you already own a Fitbit Versa?
The Versa 2 is a good looking smartwatch. We like the square form and the slightly more curved display (a subtle difference from its predecessor). The bezels have shrunk slightly and the screen gets a slight expansion to 1.4-inches. It isn’t just size, the new AMOLED display is a significant improvement over last year’s LCD panel. Colours are vibrant and visibility is not a challenge even under sunlight. The chamfered edges are one of the many premium touches (we tested the special edition with the mist grey case) in a device that’s both elegant and feels weightless on your wrist.
A new processor is another improvement that you will notice especially while navigating menus and switching tasks. The Versa 2 opts for a single physical button (unlike the three that flanked the Versa) and a ‘hard-press’ can be used to invoke Alexa. A smart assistant is a given for a smartwatch and this is a useful update. The Versa 2 is the first Fitbit with a built-in microphone. But there’s no speaker, so Alexa’s responses to your queries are displayed on your screen. Android users will appreciate the ability to send responses to Texts, WhatsApp and Facebook messages. You can use standard templates or use the microphone to record messages that are transcribed into text. It worked quite well as far as I kept the messages brief and clear. I wasn’t able to use this feature when I hooked up the Versa 2 with my iPhone.
Fitbit is sorted on the wellness front and the Versa 2 is no exception. Fitbit’s sleep tracking is one of its key differentiators and then there are the standard calorie, step and workout tracking that Fitbit has perfected over the years. There’s no on-board GPS, the Ionic that’s almost 2 years old is the only option in the Fitbit stable for running enthusiasts. It’s not a deal breaker for most other users who should be okay with the Versa 2 hooking up with their phones for GPS. Music is another stumbling block. While there’s onboard storage available for about 300 songs, moving it from your laptop is not a fun experience that Fitbit hasn’t still fixed. The Spotify App allows you to shuffle tracks from your wrist but you still need a Premium Account and your smartphone to plug in.
The Versa 2 brings quite a few incremental upgrades but Fitbit Versa owners could possibly sit this one out. The App store is still bare (compared to the Apple Watch) but you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking to change your watch face every day. And then there’s battery life, one reason why the Fitbit Versa 2 is easy to recommend. Our initial tests validate Fitbit’s claims. You should manage 5-6 days on a single charge (2 if you switch to an always-on display). That’s something most smartwatches will kill for.
The Fitbit Versa 2 costs Rs 20,999. The special edition (in navy and pink with a copper rose aluminium case and smoke with a mist grey case) is available for Rs 22,999.