- AMOLED Display
- Great Battery Life
- Easy to Swap Straps
- Good Connectivity
- Very Fitness Oriented
- Supports Amazon Alexa
- Now has Built in Microphone
- Lack of 3rd Party Apps
- Very little Smartwatch features
It’s no surprise that Fitbit has been in the wearable game for the longest. In fact, they are known for consumer-based fitness centric devices targeted towards fitness freaks. Last year, we used the Fitbit Ionic and it happened to offer interesting features, but it was dated. Then came the Versa Series and two generation later, we now have the Fitbit Versa 2 – which claims to offer better improvements over the last generation. What really changed and is it worth picking up at the nearest store – find out about it in our Fitbit Versa 2 Review.
Looks and Feel
Fitbit is sticking to its pebble-like (get it? Pebble?) design on the exterior as the first generation Versa but this time it’s a lot cleaner. They have removed the Fitbit logo on the front and gave it a very minimalist look which, personally, I dig it. The bezels are relatively thick and the moment you lay eyes on them, the Versa 2 somewhat resembles the Cupertino based company that has a wearable of its own. Other than that, it’s definitely an understated looking fitness wearable constructed in the aerospace grade aluminium that not only looks good but feels amazing. For a petite wearable, its without a doubt has a solid construction – which should be good for taking it for a dip in the water – yes, it’s swim-proof.
As for the feel, the Versa 2 that we received from Fitbit is the Classic Edition – Stone Mist Grey – comes with two different sized wristband – a small one pre-attached and a large inside the box which can be swapped easily with their easy removal clips on the strap themselves. Their Sport & Classic uses the same material, which is soft, stain-resistant and durable – which is good for workouts and day-to-day tasks. But if you want to switch to a different strap, well – they have the Horween Leather, Woven and Kim Shui Collection – which looks straight up good. It’s nice that the Fitbit Versa 2 not only looks good as a wearable, but they do have a sense of style to go with your day-to-day lifestyle and I have to give it to them.
On the front of the Versa 2 comes with an upgraded – display that’s now AMOLED and can go up to 1,000 nits. Which means viewing the display under the bright sun is possible and the colors look great. In order to try the colors out, we swapped it to a watch face that I personally love – This is fine, which you can find in the Fitbit app. Since it’s an AMOLED display, now it has the option for Always-on display. This is an interesting feature as you can tell time without having to press your button or tap the screen to wake just to see the time. But sadly, Fitbit doesn’t give you enough options to customize the always-on display and the only option you get is to use between their very own analogue or digital clock. Take note that the battery life does take an extra toll with always on, which we are going to get into in the Battery Life part of this review.
As a wearable with uninterrupted connection with the smartphone to communicate and sync data, the Fitbit Versa 2 lasted without the Always on Display for up to 5 days of usage and this definitely puts the Versa up on my list of fitness wearable to last that long with such full fledged features. During those times, the Versa 2 was connected to my ROG Phone 2 day in and day out, showing me notifications, controlling my music over the Versa 2 and including recording my workout sessions at the gym to get things sorted. The moment I turn on my Always on, now it does burn the battery and the battery life comes in about 3-4 days depending on how intense it is – which isn’t too much of an issue but personally, I am fine with turning the always on display off and have an extra day on my wrist.
Charging the Versa 2 isn’t too much of an issue, in fact, they include a clip like cradle that uses 4-pogo connectors to charge the Versa 2. Yes, it’s a proprietary charger. I do wish that the cradle had an USB-C port on the cradle itself, making it much more versatile in today’s world of all-things USB-C. It charges the Versa 2 from 18% to 100% in about 1 hours 40 minutes – which isn’t too long if you ask me and it uses a Lithium-polymer based battery.
As a Fitness Wearable
If you look at the Fitbit solely as a wearable that only does fitness centric things, well, you are going to love it. During my time using the Versa 2, I love how it alerts me to take 250 steps to stay active and not be a couch potato. On top of that, having these little achievements like hitting your maximum steps for the day and going past it, being active and so much more is a really good way of motivating in making you do more – so that you are up on your foot all the time. This is what you get with Fitbit in general. Coupled with their fitness tracking, it gets better. The Versa 2 has an Optical Heart Rate Monitor that keeps your heart rate in check and as you plan to work out, it monitors your heart rate in a very active manner as you work out.
Now as for workout, the Fitbit Versa 2 needs the Smartphone app to know more about you – what time do you usually get to work, your weight and height, age, to help you keep track of your health. Once that’s out of the way, you are good to go. Now there are plethora of options to choose from the Versa workout app, Running, Treadmill, Swimming and so on. The Versa 2 doesn’t have a built in GPS, so you’ll have to carry your smartphone with you for mapping. Once you are done with the workout, it does show the stats at the end – pretty useful.
Other than that, the Versa 2 acts as a Sleep monitor as well – which is cool. With being able to know your light and deep sleep, so that you can improve your sleep – it’s nice to know that. One other thing, the Versa 2 is good at – that’s the Female Health feature that it lets you keep track of your period cycle – we didn’t try this but expect a content from us on that soon.
As a Smart Wearable
Fitbit has made some improvements over the predecessor and has included a bunch of features to go along with the Versa 2. Starting off with the fact that it now supports Amazon Alexa, which is definitely cool but in Malaysia, Alexa doesn’t work and that makes it a bit disappointing. Other than that, they still have included a microphone into the Versa 2 – which thank goodness serves a wonderful purpose, replying messages. If there’s one thing Fitbit can’t do is type on screen and I am completely fine with that because if I do have something to type, I am better off replying it on my phone. But they did include a microphone to go with it and voice dictation works really well to my surprise. I have to give them credit.
The Versa 2 also supports Spotify Premium but here’s the catch, you cannot download your playlist on your Fitbit but rather use it as a remote which was useful especially during commute but at times, when I want to run on my treadmill, I just wanted my Fitbit and headphones with me but I had to carry my phone as well. At least on the side note, you can still sideload some of your favorite track files onto the Fitbit and still be able to listen to something – guess that’s a nice thing to have.
I’d be lying that the Fitbit Versa 2 doesn’t fall short as a smart wearable, in fact it does, especially in the app support area. The Versa 2 has very limited choices of apps to choose and sometimes not having certain app does feel like it’s a missed opportunity. This has to be looked into and get sorted.
Truth be told, the Versa 2 did improve a lot from its predecessor – in terms of battery, an extremely better display and on the software side like Alexa and Voice dictation for messages. It also brings better tracking as a fitness wearable in general. The Versa 2 is a good wearable and for RM 998, it sure does offer impressive features and so much more and if you are someone like me who wants a wearable that focuses more on the fitness than answering call on the wrist looking hideous – this is for you.
The Versa 2 is heading towards the right direction with right motive in mind but it feels like they have been playing safe for too long. It’s time for them to turn up the heat and bring some better app support, more smart wearable feature and claim the throne that was once theirs.
We at The Adventures of Vesper give the Fitbit Versa 2 a Silver Award for being a good fitness centric wearable and for improving a lot of things that made this wearable better than ever.
Thanks to Fitbit Malaysia for gracing us with the Versa 2 Classic Edition for making this review happen. Sending love.