The Fitbit Versa is up for pre-order right now, is priced at $199.95, and ships in April. It's a device for serious athletes that don't mind paying a premium price to get the most top-of-the-line features. Fitbit promises it's also durable and versatile, with a thin anodised aluminium case and a variety of stylish accessories.
The Fitbit Versa resembles an Apple Watch, but that's not a bad thing. Fitbit's new child-friendly fitness band will be available in blue and purple, is showerproof, and should last for five days on a single charge.
The Versa will come in three options for $199.95: a black case with a black strap, a silver aluminum case with a gray strap, and a rose gold case with a peach strap.
The main attraction is, of course, the Fitbit Versa. Ace tracks steps, active minutes and sleep, has up to 5 days of battery life, and comes with an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors. If you're an Android user, you can respond to text messages with a pre-populated or customized reply directly from your wrist. That's an omission serious athletes will have to consider. A Special Edition will also be available that will include an NFC chip for use with Fitbit Pay.
Fitbit hopes more big name apps will flock to the platform soon too, so expect further apps and watch faces to appear on the gallery in the future.
Announced by Fitbit today, the Versa is described as an "intuitive" smartwatch for communication and health and fitness. At $200, it's less pricy than many market rivals, including the Apple Watch and leading Android Wear devices. For the first time, with an update due in May 2018, the Fitbit app will offer female health features such as period tracking.
It'll let you log your menstrual cycle data, recording symptoms like headaches and cramp. However, there is no built-in Global Positioning System and relies on your phone with the Blurtooth connection. While Fitbit has been a staple in fitness technology for years at this point, they have yet to make a significant dent when it comes to luxury smart devices. The Versa is extremely slim and, according to Fitbit, it's the company's lightest metal smartwatch in the US market. The new lineup includes a fitness wearable for everybody called Fitbit Versa, a children's wearable called Fitbit Ace, and an app feature the company calls "female health tracking". A new Family Account mode in the Fitbit app gives parents control over their child's device, including who can follow them.
There will be new introductions to Fitbit OS with the launch of the Versa, however. It will officially go on sale some time in the second quarter of this year. This will show a simplified version of the user's health and fitness data. It also looks like a slimmed-down Apple Watch, which most people will like.
But in the long run, I think Fitbit's female-focused software features will be more meaningful than the Versa's Apple-inspired design. It said cycle tracking is continually among the top five requested features by users and that 24 per cent of women now use an app to track their cycle. This is a huge deal, because all of those metrics are so deeply intertwined.
We'll put the battery through its paces when we get the Versa on our wrists for the full review.