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Testers Keepers: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

Posted on 04 January 2019

Packaging

The packaging was very sturdy and protected the product well. Inside an aesthetic protective cardboard sleeve, which displayed an image of the smartwatch and useful information of its functions, as well as indication of the exact contents of the box, a very robust inner box protected the products. 

This box is extremely difficult to compress, even with quite strong force applied, and therefore I felt reassured that no damage had been inflicted upon the product during postage.

Further, within this, the smartwatch itself was contained in a separate compartment to the charger and supplementary strap, to prevent any damage occurring from contact between the separate products.

The smartwatch was held firmly in place around a mould to further prevent any damage occurring within the box and I felt confident that I was receiving my FitBit Versa in an impeccable condition.

An environmentally-friendly packaging with clear indication of such would further increase my satisfaction as a consumer.

Appearance

I chose the product with the peach band and rose gold aluminium case, and I am extremely satisfied with the product’s appearance.

I enjoy the combination of colours, as well as the size of the product, width of the straps and size of the square face of the smartwatch.

I am very satisfied with the quality of the screen resolution - especially as I have uploaded a personal photograph as my clock-face as a result of the many different clock styles available for the product, which enable the user to personalise its appearance - a feature that I appreciate greatly.

 

Quality

The product seems sturdy and I feel confident in its durability, yet I am pleased that it is also fairly lightweight. The material of the straps, however, has slightly irritated the skin on my wrist, but not to the extent that I will stop wearing the product.

The touchscreen is sensitive and responds fairly quickly, and I am satisfied with this aspect of the product. The functions of the buttons on the side of the watch also respond promptly and are easy to use. I am impressed by the number of different functions available from the watch itself.

I would enjoy the smartwatch further if battery-life was increased as I feel as though removing the watch to recharge it disrupts fitness data such as heart-rate and sleep-tracking.

I need to recharge the watch every 5 - 6 days. Alternatively, a wireless charger that could perhaps be attached to the watch whilst in use could be beneficial.

The bluetooth connection between the watch and my phone is in general good - for example, I get my notifications through to my watch almost at the same time as they come through on my phone.

Initially, however, it took me several hours to set-up the watch as it seemed to struggle to establish a connection to my phone. Further, on occasion the watch struggles to synchronise with my phone; of course, it is undetermined as to whether this is a fault on behalf of the FitBit Versa or my phone (Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus).

 

Features

I enjoy the FitBit Versa’s continuous heart-rate tracker, with which I can see my current heart-rate from the smartwatch screen at any moment, as well as my daily average resting heart-rate.

This is especially useful when exercising or using the smartwatch to track workouts, and useful for the very insightful sleep-tracking function, as heart-rate detection informs the sleep-tracker as to which stage of sleep the user is in.

I find the sleep-tracker to be the most interesting function of the smartwatch, as insight into exactly how long I slept and how long I spent in each sleep stage allows me to understand my energy levels throughout the day and easily monitor my sleep to ensure I am getting enough.

The notification centre is a highly useful function of the FitBit Versa, as I can quickly check my notifications from my wrist without picking up my phone providing my phone is near enough to maintain bluetooth connection.

Additionally, the ability to reply directly from the watch with a set number of default responses or emojis, which I have very usefully customised in accordance with my personal communication habits, has proved very advantageous, especially when busy or on the move.

As a keen swimmer, I really value the device being water-resistant. This also really aids ease-of-use as I don’t have to think about removing it before showering or bathing.

The summary of daily statistics, instantly-accessible directly from the smartwatch screen, is a very helpful feature.

These can be adapted to suit the user - for example, my personal goals are related to calories burnt, rather than steps, therefore the first statistic I see is my number of calories burnt so far each day.

Other statistics include flights of stairs climbed, distance covered, steps per hour, current heart-rate and daily average heart-rate, daily active hours, recent workouts, and female health information which informs the user of their current place in their menstrual cycle, likely fertility that day, and days until next period.

 I find being able to access all this information immediately from my wrist, in particular the data relating to my calories, steps, heart-rate and menstrual cycle, to be very handy and this feature makes my life a little bit easier.

I regularly make use of the silent alarms and definitely prefer the experience of waking up to the vibrations on my wrist as opposed to a traditional aural alarm.

The ability to set multiple alarms, as well as alarms specific to each day of the week which are stored on the device and will go off automatically on the correct days unless altered, is very practical.

My only criticism would be that it is arguably too easy to disable the alarm upon waking; in my opinion, if a more complex operation was required to disable the alarm, the user would be less likely to do this while still half-asleep or less likely to fall back asleep immediately after disabling the alarm.

I have found the FitBit Versa’s music feature to be less useful. I am a user of Spotify Premium, and therefore would prefer to use Spotify on my phone, as this allows me to listen to pretty much whatever I’d like to in a given moment.

The fact that I use Spotify Premium means that I am reluctant to subscribe to ‘Deezer’, the music application which is compatible with the device. Similarly, the ability to choose any song I like with Spotify Premium means I am uninterested in the ability to store a finite number of songs on the FitBit Versa’s music feature.

I would find the capacity to use Spotify with the watch exceedingly useful or even a function by which the user could tune into radio stations would be appreciable.

I find it a little inconvenient that music must be loaded onto the device through a PC; an ability to directly synchronise the smartwatch with the music stored on the user’s phone could be beneficial.

The on-screen workouts are useful and convenient. I enjoy the ability to play and watch the videos directly on the smartwatch screen, and appreciate the options for shorter workouts to suit busy lifestyles. The instructions are clear and the videos are easy-to-follow.

I really value the ‘relax’ function; the guided breathing exercises are extremely easy-to-follow and accessible for busy people with the option for shorter or longer exercises.

The heart-rate tracker is again useful and interesting here in its ability to offer a form of objective feedback on the user’s performance during the relaxation exercises. I appreciate the on-screen visual accompaniment and  the optional accompanying vibrations, as these improve my focus upon the relaxation exercise.

The timer feature is convenient and very easy-to-use, with both stopwatch and countdown functions, and I appreciate that this function is clear and simple, with large visual display for quick-readings.

I was personally disappointed with the wallet feature as it is incompatible with my bank and I am unable to use it.

I am impressed with the quantity and variety of compatible applications that can be downloaded onto the smartwatch.

 

Value

I personally would not purchase this product for its RRP of £199.99. I am enjoying using the product, but as a former user of the FitBit Alta HR (£129.99), I don’t consider the FitBit Versa to be worth £70.00 more than this.

The features of the FitBit Versa which are absent on the FitBit HR which I appreciate the most include the water-resistance, the notification centre and the relax function.

I also enjoy the wider screen and on-screen displays. However, I would pay up to £170.00 for the FitBit Versa HR, so I do not consider it exceedingly overpriced.

I would recommend the product to a friend, especially to a swimmer or someone who would regularly use the on-screen workouts, however I would advise them that for regular exercise and heart-rate tracking I would consider the more affordable Alta HR to be sufficient.

Nonetheless, I definitely very much prefer the appearance of the FitBit Versa to the FitBit Alta HR.