Fitbit Launches a New Smartwatch You'll Actually Want to Wear All Day

Fitbit Launches a New Smartwatch You'll Actually Want to Wear All Day

Fitbit sold only 5.4 million total devices in the fourth quarter, down from 6.5 million a year earlier and 8.2 million sold back in 2015.

Fitbit just announced two new devices. With numerous same features at a less expensive price, it may soon be hard to justify shelling out hundreds of dollars for a luxury Apple Watch when the Fitbit Versa can do similar things for just $200 - $50 less than the base Apple Watch Series 3. Versa will be available for presale today on fitbit.com for $195.95, with retail availability starting in April 2018. It's fully compatible with all of the apps designed for its more expensive predecessor, the Fitbit Ionic, which debuted just five months ago.

Fitbit has yet to confirm the exact size or specs of the display on the Versa, but it's a smaller one than on the Ionic and reminds us quite a lot of the screen on the Fitbit Blaze. You can see most of the options in the image below.

The watch focuses on Female Health Tracking. Below the screen there's the Fitbit logo, but we don't now have any information on the screen technology or resolution. The longer you wear Versa and the more information you log into it, the more personalized its communication with you (think: reminders, celebrations, or prompts to take action) becomes over time. Fitbit has yet to specify an exact date for the watch's release around the world, but we'll update this hands on review when we hear more.

There are other new features in the Versa that are similar to what you can get on an Apple Watch: guided breathing sessions is one example. It also monitors heart rate, calories, daily activities, and tracks sleeping pattern and sleep stages.

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That will tell you how much time you spend in REM and other stats about your sleep as well as providing feedback to help you improve upon your night's sleep. There's also an App Store for adding more features, like sleep monitoring.

It runs Fitbit OS, which is limited in scope but comes with a variety of apps through the Fitbit App Gallery. This means you'll need to keep a paired smartphone in tow to use the Connected GPS option for more accurate distance and route mapping of outdoor workouts. I got a chance to take a look at the Versa at a special launch event in New York City, along with Fitbit's first fitness tracker for children, the Ace. This feature will expand to other messaging apps in the future too. The changes reflect Fitbit's need to attract more consumers who may not already actively exercise. It will also let parents approve any friend requests their child has on the Fitbit app. Now, Fitbit is launching a new smartwatch that it hopes will appeal to a much larger audience.

If you don't own music though, you'll be able to connect up a Deezer account to get streamed music on your wrist, but it looks like you'll have to download playlists or your FLOW to the watch before you start running as there's no 4G connection here.

The second major differentiator here is that the Fitbit Versa ships with an advertised battery life of four days.

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