If not for the brand new blueberry and mulberry colours, it’s almost not possible to inform the $160 Fitbit Versa Lite other than the $200 Fitbit Versa. They each have the identical sq. aluminum body. They each sport a 1.34-inch coloration show. And any of the unique Vera bands work simply tremendous with the Versa Lite.
The solely visible distinction between the 2 watches is the buttons: The Versa has three and the Versa Lite has one. It’s a easy change that really improves on the Versa’s navigation, and speaks to Fitbit’s philosophy for its new low-cost mannequin: Less doesn’t must be worse.
In reality, not one of the lacking options within the Versa Lite are central to the expertise, and for many patrons the choice between the 2 fashions will likely be a simple one. Unlike the selection between a 3rd– and 4th-gen Apple Watch and even Fitbit’s personal Inspire and Inspire HR, the variations between the Versa and Versa Lite give the 2 watches their very own id with out crippling the expertise for patrons on a price range.
Same design, new colours
There isn’t a lot to say concerning the Versa Lite’s design that I didn’t write in my authentic Versa review. It has a pleasant match that isn’t too cumbersome on my wrist, although I want the bezel across the display screen was smaller and extra uniform. As it stands, the underside edge is giant sufficient to suit the Fitbit brand, which cheapens the look considerably when in comparison with the Apple Watch and different slim-bezel round watches.
The two new colours give the Versa Lite a less-premium really feel as effectively, regardless that they use the identical aluminum body because the more-subdued silver mannequin. It’s not they don’t look good, however one thing about carrying a vivid blue or pink watch with an identical band doesn’t precisely scream luxurious. Swapping out the band with one which doesn’t match the colour precisely helps some, however my guess is that the silver mannequin would be the hottest by a large margin.
Even with the brand new Crayola-inspired palette, the Fitbit Versa Lite nonetheless seems like a strong wristwatch that prices way over its price ticket. I’ve used loads of watches and trackers on this value vary that look really feel plastic toys in comparison with the Apple Watch, however the Versa Lite can stand as much as every other smartwatch I’ve used, even these costing greater than twice as a lot.
A slimmed-down expertise
The Versa Lite’s single button has simply three capabilities: turning the display screen on, turning it off when on the clock, and going again on every other display screen. That’s undoubtedly a dumbing-down of the unique Versa’s three-button design, but it surely makes navigation and value that a lot better. It was by no means all that clear what the 2 buttons did, and never having them eliminates a layer of pointless complexity.
That’s true of the remainder of Versa Lite’s “missing” options as effectively. To shave $40 off the worth, Fitbit was clearly compelled to take away few issues from the Versa Lite, however most individuals aren’t going to note what’s gone:
- On-screen exercises
- On-board music
- Lap and calorie monitoring whereas swimming
Of these 5, the altimeter, on-screen exercises, and enhanced swim monitoring are solely going to matter to hard-core athletes, and so they’ll possible need to spring for the Ionic anyway. I assumed Wi-Fi can be a difficulty, however because it seems, the Versa doesn’t depend on all of it that a lot. Fitbit instructed me that Wi-Fi is especially used for music transfers on the higher-priced watch, and for the reason that Versa Lite has no storage, the Wi-Fi chip isn’t crucial. I used to be skeptical, however day-to-day performance, notifications, and Android fast replies all labored simply in addition to they do on the common Versa, even when my telephone was additional than just a few toes away.
The lack of music storage wasn’t actually a difficulty for me both, for the reason that Versa Lite can nonetheless management the music enjoying in your telephone. I’m not one to care a lot about storing music on my watch, and Fitbit’s uploading interface isn’t the friendliest to use. Since my telephone is greater than more likely to be round after I’m out and about, controlling my Spotify or Apple Music streams is completely tremendous.
Elsewhere, the Fitbit Versa Lite is simply as succesful because the Versa. You get the identical four-day battery life, related GPS, customizable train modes, and heart-rate monitoring, as effectively sleep, feminine well being, and computerized exercise monitoring. The solely slight inconsistency I discovered when in comparison with the unique Versa is with the heart-rate monitor. To get essentially the most correct studying, I needed to put on it about an inch greater on my wrist than with different smartwatches, lest I get a constant studying within the mid-80s, even when exercising.
All of the clock faces and many of the apps are current as effectively, together with a pair new ones to match the Lite’s particular physique colours. Now on model 3, Fitbit OS has come a great distance in a short while, however the developments aren’t when it comes to apps. While they load simply as shortly as they do on different platforms, apps on the Versa Lite are nonetheless overly simplistic and primarily a matter of occasional comfort on the Versa Lite somewhat than a necessity. None of the apps I’ve used outdoors of the health stuff and timers are essentially basically to the Versa expertise, and fairly frankly, they most likely by no means will likely be. More than a 12 months in, it’s clear that Fitbit isn’t making an attempt to compete with watchOS or Wear OS in the case of performance.
Like the remainder of Fitbit’s gadgets, its smartwatches excel are in the case of health monitoring, and the Versa Lite doesn’t skimp the place it issues most. The wonderful Today display screen remains to be accessible by swiping up from the underside of the display screen, and also you’ll see your entire stats (minus flooring climbed) while not having to leap right into a separate app. Like the remainder of Fitbit’s smartwatches, the Today display screen is my favourite function of the Versa Lite and the primary purpose to decide on it over every other band.
If you’re out there for a brand new smartwatch, Fitbit ought to definitely be a consideration. While the apps and performance pale compared to the Apple Watch and even Wear OS watches, they nail the fundamentals, supply improbable health monitoring, and look pretty much as good as their opponents.
On prime of all that, the Versa Lite brings great worth. While the Versa wasn’t precisely costly at $200, the Black Friday offers that introduced it all the way down to $150 virtually made it an impulse purchase. With a beginning value of $160 and almost the entire identical options, the Versa Lite is an ideal entry-level smartwatch for individuals who aren’t trying to pay tons of of for an Apple Watch however nonetheless need one thing that’s versatile sufficient to put on whereas working or understanding.
Unless you completely want to trace flooring climbed or retailer music, the Versa Lite is the smartwatch to purchase. Even should you go for good old school silver.