If you would have told me that my favorite smartwatch of 2019 would have a brilliant OLED display, great battery life, effortless fitness tracking, Spotify support, and an on-board assistant, I would have guessed it was the Series 5 Apple Watch. It’s not. It’s the Fitbit Versa 2.
Fitbit hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the Versa 2. Rather, a series of small but meaningful changes make it feel like a completely new device that’s ready to compete with the Apple Watch at half the price. Where the original model had clear shortcomings that I was willing to overlook due to its price tag, the Versa 2 plays in the feature-rich deep end, and feels like a veritable bargain as a result.
The Fitbit Versa 2 isn’t perfect, nor does it match up spec-for-spec with the latest Apple Watch. But the improvements it brings put it on equal footing with the cream of the smartwatch crop, marrying Fitbit’s fitness acumen with the features we want in a cutting-edge wearable device.
OLED is the difference maker
At first glance, the design of the Fitbit Versa 2 is nearly identical to the Versa. It has a squircle shape with tapered edges and a thin profile, and it’s just the right size to look good on the majority of wrists. Like the Versa Lite, which was introduced earlier this year, it has a single button rather than three on the original Versa, which simplifies both the look and the navigation.
At 1.34 inches, the display is the same size as before, but there are two notable changes that make a huge difference: It’s OLED and it’s centered. On the original Versa, text and images on the LCD display were a touch dull due to backlighting, but they’re bright and vibrant on the Versa 2’s OLED screen. Also, you have to try really hard to see where the display ends and the bezel begins, which gives it a classier overall feel.
Alexa is listening
The Versa’s maturity isn’t just skin deep. All models now include NFC for Fitbit Pay transactions, and it runs a new version of Fitbit OS that features thoughtful flourishes throughout, including improved navigation and better app support. My favorite change is the collapsable quick settings pane at the top of the notifications window that offers a variety of shortcuts.
But most people will be interested in a more obvious addition: Alexa. Rather than try to build its own assistant, Fitbit has partnered with Amazon to bring its digital assistant to the Versa 2, and it’s a fantastic debut. While the integration is relatively rudimentary, Alexa adds an important missing piece to Fitbit’s wearables that put it in the conversation with Siri and Google Assistant.
A battery that lasts and lasts
I tested the Versa 2 with the Galaxy Note 10 and the Pixel 3 XL running Android 10, and set-up was a breeze with both phones. I had sporadic issues with syncing when more than one phone was around, but it was cleared up with a simple restart of the watch. And besides it’s not a problem most people are going to run into.
Fitbit doesn’t divulge the processor that’s powering the Versa 2, but it’s definitely a capable one. Apps are still extremely rudimentary compared to watchOS or Wear OS, but they launch quickly and do just enough. Navigation is extremely fast as well, with taps and swipes registering instantly. I also had great results with the heart-rate sensor. On previous Fitbits, I had to reposition my tracker higher on my wrist while working out to ensure a proper reading, but the Versa 2 registered my heart rate without fiddling with it.
Should you buy a Fitbit Versa 2?
When it launched last year for $200, the Fitbit Versa 2 was an excellent value. The Fitbit 2 ups that ante considerable without raising the price, bringing a better screen, better features, and better battery. And the Alexa integration isn’t too shabby either. Basically, unless you really want Google Assistant or LTE. There’s no reason why the Versa 2 shouldn’t be on your shortlist when shopping for your next wearable.
The Versa 2 is a fantastic upgrade from the original Versa or even an older Apple Watch, with smart enhancements that dramatically improve all aspects of the device and make it feel far more feature-rich than its $200 price tag. Speaking of which, you can still buy a special edition version of the Versa 2, but unless you want an extra woven band, there’s no reason to. Last year’s special edition model Brough NFC in addition to the extra band, but this year’s SE model doesn’t have any additional features.
That’s not really a criticism (although the SE model does seems a bit unnecessary now). Rather, Fitbit loaded the Versa 2 with so much, you might not need to consider another watch. Even one made by Apple.
Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience. If you’re not running A/V protection right now and you want more than what Windows Defender offers, this is a great buy.