With the price having been cut on the standard Versa, the Versa Lite looks like a harder buy out the gate but has a lot to offer nonetheless.
- Review Price: £149.99
- Fitbit OS 3
- Swimproof up to 5ATM
- Connected GPS
- Interchangeable bands
- Up to 4-day battery life
- Automated sleep tracking
- PurePulse® 24/7 heart rate monitor
Fitbit’s latest smartwatch isn’t the rumoured second Versa. Instead, it’s a cheaper version of that very same watch, aimed at first-time wearable buyers.
It mimics the minimal design of the Versa, but ditches a few of the more luxurious features to keep the price down.
Fitbit Versa Lite release date and price
The Lite will be available to pre-order from today, with shipping beginning later in March. It will cost £149.99, a £50 saving off the RRP of the Versa – although, right now, you’ll find the Versa on Amazon for £155, making the Versa Lite less of an enticing buy.
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Those considering a choice between either the new Versa Lite or the regular Versa from 2018 will likely want to know the differences between the two devices, and whether the saving is worthwhile. So let’s start with what makes them different.
Even though the Versa Lite retains the 5 ATM (50-metre) waterproofing of its pricier sibling, it lacks any built-in tracking to monitor swims.
The coaching features of previous Fitbit smartwatches have been dropped, so you won’t be able to get guided workouts on your wrist. There’s also no internal storage for music and the altimeter sensor common to more expensive trackers has been cut. None of these really feel like deal-breakers, especially for the young smartwatch buyer Fitbit is trying to appeal to here.
The only design difference is that it has one physical button, not three. The touchscreen now acts as the main method of navigating around Fitbit OS 3. I used the Versa for a long time and generally found myself using its super-responsive screen anyway so the lack of extra buttons is more than forgivable.
The Versa Lite is a good-looking smartwatch, one that’s a lot lighter and easier to wear for long periods than an Apple Watch. It hugs the wrist closely and doesn’t protrude too far above it either. The Lite is available in livelier colours, too – a blue hue being the standout in the lineup. Since the strap mechanism remains standard, all other Versa straps will fit the Versa Light too.
Fitness-wise, the Versa Lite packs a good set of features. There’s an HRM on the back for constant tracking of your heart rate, day and night, and Fitbit’s excellent sleep-stage monitoring.
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Connected GPS is supported if you want to track any runs (this piggybacks your phone’s GPS, rather than using a dedicated GPS module in the watch) and all this data will be wirelessly transferred to the excellent Fitbit app across iOS, Android and Windows.
In the app, not only can you keep an eye on your stats, but you can compete with friends and enter challenges as well. Fitbit’s app remains the easiest to use and the best at using the data it collects to set challenges.
Fitness aside, the Versa Lite functions as a typical smartwatch. You’ll receive notifications from your phone and, if you’re on Android, you can reply to texts, control music and access the Fitbit store to download apps, ranging from Starbucks to Strava. The lack of NFC does mean there’s no payment service support available, though.
Fitbit states that there are more than 500 apps and clock faces available to download in the store and that more are being added all the time.
Like the Versa, the Versa Lite should last for around four days without needing to be charged, according to Fitbit. We’ll put this to the test once we have the device in for review.
Fitbit Versa Lite opening impressions
At £50 less than the standard Versa, the Lite appears to be a decent purchase, if the lack of local storage, NFC or the ability to track your swims isn’t an issue for you. That said, the waters do become a little muddied when you can pick up the original Versa – at time of publishing this article – for £155.
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