More than a decade ago, Fitbit set an audacious goal for itself—to make everyone in the world healthier. Truth be told, this San Francisco, California-based firm has built a reputation for itself in the marketplace. Fitbit’s diverse line of innovative and popular products (Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Inspire HR, Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Ace 2 activity trackers, as well as the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa family of smartwatches) support more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on its products to live a healthier, more active life.
During the entire lockdown period, this reviewer has been besotted with Fitbit Versa 2 (even sleeping with it), launched just before the Covid-19 pandemic-induced disruption began. Now packed with more advanced features and priced at Rs 20,999, this is the next generation of Fitbit’s best-selling smartwatch, Versa. It is available in three colour variants—Black with a carbon case, Petal with a copper rose aluminum case, and Stone with a mist grey case.
My initial assessment about this Fitbit innovation: It is a solid tracker that comes packed with even more advanced health, fitness and convenience features powered by battery life of 5-plus days. There are thousands of apps and clock faces and a brighter, crisper display with an optional always-on mode. Plus, there’s Alexa. Yes, you read it right. There’s an on-device microphone, which enables Fitbit’s first-ever Amazon Alexa smartwatch experience, along with a Spotify app that allows users to control their music and podcasts. Let us take a close look at some of its key features.
With its simplified one-button design, Versa 2 looks a classic timepiece that is precision-crafted with subtle material, finish and form updates. The watch is durable and water resistant upto 50 meters, yet lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day and night with rounded edges and a curved case. Inside, it is powered by a faster processor compared to Versa for better performance and seamless navigation. A larger AMOLED display delivers a superior experience with good viewability and crisper colours. There’s an optional always-on display mode, which boasts 2+ days battery life so you can easily check the time and see your stats during a workout without lifting your wrist or pressing a button.
Versa 2 offers all the essential smart features like smartphone notifications so you can view app, call, calendar and text notifications right from your wrist. If you have an Android phone, you can also use the new on-device microphone to reply to texts and notifications from the wrist.
Let me highlight some new sleep features that are intended to not only help you better understand your sleep, but actually help you improve it. First, there’s Sleep Score wherein you receive a nightly score in the Fitbit app for better insight into your sleep quality. Your score is based on heart rate (sleeping and resting), restlessness, time awake and sleep stages. Second is Sleep Mode. Herein, you can simultaneously disable your screen display and silence notifications for a night free of disturbances. This Sleep Mode can also be used anytime you don’t want to be interrupted, like during a workout or in a meeting.
Third is Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph that impressed me the most. This new feature utilises the red and infrared sensors on the back of the device to estimate the variability in your blood oxygen saturation level. The graph, which users can see in the Fitbit app under the Sleep tile, approximates the changes in your blood oxygen saturation while you sleep. Blood oxygen saturation measures the percent of your blood that’s saturated with oxygen. Typically, it’s at 95-100%, meaning the blood is carrying as much oxygen as it can. If you stop breathing or have other lung issues, the saturation level can fall since less oxygen enters the body. In general, variations should be low and seeing frequent, big variations could be a sign that you may be experiencing breathing disturbances during sleep.
Moving further, Versa 2 is the first Fitbit smartwatch with Alexa built-in, taking Alexa out of your home and onto your wrist to help support your active lifestyle, like starting a Fitbit Exercise on-wrist, finding the nearest gym, even learning the caloric value of an avocado (in case you’re wondering, it’s 322 calories). Alexa responds to voice commands on Versa 2 with discreet, silent on-screen text responses. This virtual assistant can help you with everyday tasks on-the-go, like setting alarms and timers, checking the local weather and news.
In summary there’s a lot more Fitbit Versa 2 can do than show notifications on your wrist. With its advanced health features, it can help you lead a healthy life and hence finds a strong recommendation.
Estimated street price: Rs 20,999