Fitbit Versa 2 Review

Fitbit Versa 2

The Fitbit Versa 2 is the latest offering in the highly successful Versa range. Offering long battery life, Alexa integration and sleep tracking it is a good all round health and fitness smartwatch.


Pros

  • Fitbit Pay as standard
  • Long battery life
  • Alexa integration
  • AMOLED screen

Cons

  • Connectivity can be hit and miss
  • No on-board GPS
  • Spotify app is limited

What’s in the box?

The Versa 2 box arrives containing the following

  • the watch unit
  • 2 wristbands
    • small size measuring 5.5 – 7.1 inches (140 mm – 18 mm) in circumference
    • large size measuring between 7.1 – 8.7 inches in circumference
  • the charging cradle
  • instruction manuals and other documentation

Fitbit Versa 2 Design

Continuing with the familiar and simple design that makes it look like an Apple watch the Versa 2 has some subtle and incremental design differences when compared to its predecessor.


Whilst, it won’t win any awards for innovation the design is practical, fits comfortably on your wrist and gets the job done.

The main watch unit is square in shape with curves in each of the 4 corners with the display centred within.

On the left hand side one single physical button can be assigned to a short cut with the majority of functionality accessed via the device’s touch screen.

The straps are made from the typical silicone material. They look like they would suit both large and small wrists. Indeed, the large band has 11 holes and the small one 12 holes which should give most people options. If you don’t like the ones that come out of the box there are lots of alternative designs available on Amazon.

As well as the standard black the Versa 2 also comes in a number of other color schemes included Copper Rose, Mist Grey and colors that are exclusively available via Fitbit.com.

Alarms

Versa 2 has the capability to set up to 8 silent vibrating alarms directly within the tracker. You can customize both the level of vibration between normal or strong and the alarms themselves which can either be every day or for specifically selected days.

I’ve found that the normal settings wake me up easily and I usually set alarms at different times for the working week and non working days.

A notable new feature is also Smart Wake. The purpose of Smart Wake is to wake you up at the best point in your sleep cycle in the 30 minutes before your alarm is due to go off.

So for example, if you set your alarm for 6am and you enable the Smart Wake feature the vibrating alarm will start at any point between 530am and 6am.

To get the best out of this feature you need to ensure that your Fitbit has been regularly tracking your sleep. On a personal level, I tend to rise early naturally so when it start waking me another 30 minutes before I’ve found it strange. However, I think for other people it will be a really useful feature

Battery life & charging

The Versa 2 has a number of features that can significantly impact battery life such as always on display and music integration. If you don’t bother with these too much for typical usage the battery life is around 5 days,

Long battery life is definitely one of the Versa 2’s most appealing features.

Charging is simple too. Using the USB charger provided in the box simply pinch the sides of the cradle and line the pins on the back of the tracking device within the pins in the charger.

I’ve charged it from the mains, my computer and a portable battery pack and it typically takes around 2 hours to get to 100% charge.

Design wise the cable goes into the bottom of the charging cradle which means that counter intuitively you will need to rest the cradle on its side.

Display

The display is a touch screen Color AMOLED which presents deeper colours to the eye.

If you don’t like the factory provided watch faces you can change to custom watch faces within the Fitbit app. So for example, if you are a healthcare professional you might want to download a face that displays a seconds hand.

With the latest update to Fitbit OS this functionality has been slightly enhanced. You can download 5 custom faces to the tracker which can then be switched using the Clocks app.

A quick settings page is accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen gives easy access to screen based configuration options

  1. Always on Display (On or Off)
    • if On you will not need to press a button of flick your wrist to see the time. Does have an affect on the battery life
  2. Brightness (Normal, Max, Dim)
  3. Screen Wake (Auto(Motion), Manual(Button) –
    • in Auto mode the screen stays lit for around 10 seconds

GPS

There is no on-board GPS on the Versa 2 as Fitbit offer that on the Fitbit Ionic

If you want to track your run or bike ride you will need to take your phone along and use the connected GPS functionality.

Workout options like Bike and Run have a setting where you can turn On or Off Connected GPS. If it is on, the Versa 2 will try to connect to the GPS on your phone.

As soon as the connection is established the display will give you information such as pace and distance. After your run or ride is complete you can then view a map of your route by viewing that particular activity in the Fitbit app.

Heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking

Sleep

Fitbit’s sleep tracking has a very good reputation, Whilst the majority of the insight is available within the app you are able to view the key indicators through the Today screen on the device itself.

As well as your previous night’s sleep, time in each stage and average sleep for the week you can view your Sleep Score. Fitbit say sleep score uses the data from your device and gives an indicator of your overall sleep quality.

Whilst we are on the subject of sleep the Fitbit Versa 2 now has a Sleep Mode. This can either be turned on manually or via a schedule which is configured on the watch

When it’s on the following will happen:-

  • notifications won’t cause watch to vibrate or screen to come on
  • screen’s brightness is set to dim
  • always on display clock face is turned off
  • turning your wrist won’t cause the watch to turn on
  • a sleep mode icon will appear at the top of the screen when viewing your stats

Heart rate

The Versa 2 has a 24/7 heart rate tracking functionality which samples at either 1 second or 5 second intervals dependent on what activity you’re doing.

Two interesting stats the Versa 2 offers from a heart rate perspective are:

  1. During an activity where your heart rate is relative to hear rate zones recommended by the American Heart Association.
  2. A cardio score that compares you to your peer group

Music functionality

The Fitbit Versa 2 like a lot of fitness trackers that play music has the ability to either store music on the device, stream it from a subscription service or control music apps playing on your mobile phone.

If you’re looking to go out for a run without your phone you will need to download the music to your Versa 2 using the Fitbit app on your computer and connect a set of bluetooth headphones so that you can hear your music. It’s a fiddly process but it does work.

Alternatively, you can pair your Versa via Bluetooth and control the playback by using the Music icon which appears if you swipe down from the top of the screen. You can play, pause, rewind and fast forward this way. So a great way to control apps like Google Music and Podcast Addict.

Finally, the Versa 2 comes with a Spotify app which allows you to remote control Spotify on your phone or computer.

Spotify app only works if you have a Spotify premium subscription

Smartphone capability

Smartphone notifications is a feature that allows your Fitbit Versa 2 to alert you on screen and by vibrating when there is any activity in the apps you have configured in the Fitbit App.

If you receive a call the number or name will display on the screen and you will be able to either accept or reject it. It is important to note that you won’t be able to take to call on the Versa 2 itself and you will still need to speak on the phone itself.

Within the Fitibt app, you can also choose which apps send you notifications and these will appear as snippets on the screen. So you might to receive e-mails, WhatsApp messages and notifications from your banking app

For Android phones it is also possible to reply to messages using the quick reply functionality. The type of quick reply can also be customised for each app from which you receive notifications.

Unfortunately, sometimes on my Android phone the connectivity can disappear which is one of the most frustrating aspects of the Versa 2

Alexa integration

Alexa integration is a new feature offered by the Versa 2. To make it work you won’t need to have any existing Alexa devices or subscriptions but you will need to have an Amazon account and your phone nearby as it uses your phone to connect to the cloud.

Also, bear in mind that you will not have access to the same level of functionality as the Echo devices and the afore mentioned connectivity issues can cause problems.

As opposed to the Echo devices the Versa 2’s Alexa isn’t listening all the time. It needs to be activated by pressing the app in the watch or if you have set up the short by pressing left button on the device. The screen will then indicate that Alexa is ready for your query.

You can ask it questions like

  • whats the weather like in New York?
  • Set a reminder to go for a walk at 1145

Because the Versa 2 does not have a speaker the answers to your questions you will not hear a voice all responses are displayed on the screen

Who should buy the Fitbit Versa 2?

The Fitbit Versa 2 is ideal if you are looking for:-

  • long battery life
  • user friendly fitness app
  • good fitness tracking features
  • sleep tracking
  • minimal set of smart watch features like smartphone notifications

You shouldn’t buy it if you are looking for more advanced features such as ECG, fall detection, the ability to make calls from your device. Those features belong to smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy watch


Fitbit Versa 2 Specifications

Alexa IntegrationYes
Blood pressure monitoringNo
Connected GPSYes
Custom Watch FacesYes
ECGNo
Fall detectionNo
Fitbit PayYes
Move RemindersYes
Onboard GPSNo
NotificationsYes
ScreenColor AMOLED Touch Screen
StopwatchYes
Silent alarmsYes (up to 8)
Water resistanceWater resistant up to 50 metres
Weight1.5 ounces (43 grams)
Warranty1 year
PriceCheck latest price

Willful Fitness Tracker With Heart Rate Monitor Review

Willful Fitness Tracker

Willful Fitness Tracker SW352

The Willful SW352 fitness tracker is a good option for the price. With an IP68 waterproof rating, long battery life and smartphone notifications it competes functionality wise with more expensive trackers. Given its price point it would be ideal as a first fitness tracker or as a gift for children.

Pros

  • Charges with standard USB cable
  • Long battery life
  • Inexpensive
  • IP68 Waterproof rating so can swim with it
  • Easy to use and lightweight

Cons

  • Not a recognized brand name
  • No stop watch
  • Hard to see screen in sunlight
  • Display only stays on for 10 seconds
  • Only 1 day of history on watch itself

Willful Fitness Tracker SW352 Design

Design wise the Willful Fitness Tracker SW352 goes for a slimline, narrow rectangular look. This means that it wouldn’t look out of place on your wrist at work.

Available in 6 colors and there is a single button to control the functionality. that wouldn’t look out of a place on your wrist at work.

The straps are interchangeable and extend from 5.5 to 8.3 inches by 0.59 inches wide so should suit most shapes and sizes of wrist.

App

To get the most out of the Willful tracker you will need to downloafd the VeryFitPro app which is available within the respective app stores.

Because the device itself is relatively simple, the app is where you control settings, phone notiications, alarms, historic data and time settings.

Like a lot of fitness tracker apps you need to sync to it daily before midnight then you will be able to see your workouts especially as the device itself resets at midnight

You can set up to 10 alarms in the app which then cause vibrating alerts on the tracker itself.

Can you use it without a smartphone?

In theory, you can use the SW352 without a smartphone but you would be limiting yourself to the very basic functionality that is on the device such as counting steps.

You would also lose the ability to track trends in the app as the device resets at midnight every day.

Accuracy

When it works it measure steps taken and the program coverts it to miles. It does not ask you stride length so it is all approximate distance.

this watch counts steps are implemented through a 3D gravity sensor, it will record some steps when you move your hands, so it may have some tolerance errors when you are using, but you can walk 100 steps to test if it is accurate or no

Battery life

The battery life weights in at around 4 to 7 days for normal usage.

The Willful SW352 makes use of a standard USB charger which is extremely convenient. No more hunting around for the charging unit that you can never find.

To charge the watch you will need to :

  • separate the main body by pulling on the strap to expose the metal pins that plug into your USB port
  • clean the pins to ensure good contact and plug into your USB port
  • give it 2 to 3 hours and your device should be fully charged

Display

The display is a 0.96″ OLED Color Screen which generally gets the job done.

However, some users report a couple of issues they have with the screen:-

  • hard to see in bright sunlight
  • tapping the screen to display the time can be a bit hit and miss
  • screen only lights up for about 5-10 seconds which can be too quick to see

Heart rate monitoring & sleep tracking

The Willful SW352 has sleep tracking and built in heart rate monitoring. It is fair to say that the implementations are slightly more limited than those on more expensive trackers.

The heart rate sensor is not continuous and takes intermittent samples throughout the day. There is no onboard display of heart rate so any details require you to go into the VeryFitPro app which is where you can also set details like maximum heart rate.

As with most trackers the Willful measures your sleep by interpreting the lack of movement of your body or wrist. It is quite limited by the fact that it only records the data between 9pm and 8am and only for periods of 4 hours or more. Again, to get the most from it you have to connect to the VeryFitPro app and ensure that all your personal information is complete.

Smartphone compatibility

Although not really a fitness tracking must have one of the best features of the Willful SW352 is the ability to integrate with your phone for notifications and remotely controlling your phone’s camera.

The VeryFitPro app allows you to choose which apps send you notifications and sends it to your wrist. It’s a really useful feature and does have its uses. However, the size of the display does mean that the text can be quite small

Water resistance

The good news is that the SW355 is IP68 rated so you can take it with you into the pool or the shower.

The bad news is that there is no swimming specific functionality so you can only real track your heart rate and activity when doing your lenghts.

The other issue that is common with a lot of touch screen trackers is that sometimes the water from the shower can inadvertently kick off an activity. Not the end of the world but a little bugbear.

Willful Fitness Tracker Specifications

Alarmsup to 10 set in the app
Move RemindersYes
Step CounterYes
Calorie CounterYes
Heart Rate MonitorYes
Sleep TrackingYes
Water ResistanceIP68
Smartphone NotificationsYes
Display0.96″ OLED
Battery life4-7 days
Charging Time2 – 3 hours
Interchangeable StrapsYes
Weight2.4 Ounces
PriceCheck Price

Who is the Willful SW352 fitness tracker for?

The Willful SW352 is a great choice if:-

  • You’ve never owned a fitness tracker before and want to get insight into your daily activity and whether a fitness tracker is for you
  • Want a cheaper alternative to Fitbit if you’re kids are pestering you for a tracker this is a great inexpensive choice which offers a lot of similar functionality to a Fitbit at a fraction of the price
  • You’re fed up of trying to find your charging cable – the ability to plug this directly into the USB port is a great advantage

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Review

With each new fitness tracker that comes from Samsung, you watch them make wonderful leaps in quality and functionality. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is, obviously, the step up from the original Gear Fit. While it features a similar design, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is built to impress with even more features to give you optimal fitness tracking without drifting into the overly complicated realms of other sports watches.

Design

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Fitness TrackerAt the initial unboxing, well, let’s just say if your wrist needed sunglasses, they would probably look like the Gear Fit 2. You can get the lovely silicone bands in several different colors, but you will always be met with that shiny curved super AMOLED screen that, when turned off, reflects light just like sunglasses. However, that and much of the design hasn’t changed much since the original Gear Fit was released.

What makes the design of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 stand out is the screen after you turn it on. With a 216 x 432 resolution and a superior brightness, you get nice crisp whites and beautiful bright colors. If even has an outdoor mode that lights the screen up even brighter (it is super bright to begin with) so that you can’t miss a thing. However, that mode only lasts for a maximum of five minutes.

As for the bands, while you have a choice in finishes, you also have to choose between and a small and a large size band. Unfortunately, both bands aren’t included to you have to make your best guess at it, and even then, every wrist is different. Thankfully, the clasp on both bands has the ability to make some small adjustments in order to get a more precise fit. While the curved screen can feel a little heavy on the wrist, the fact that it is curved and nestled into the silicone makes the Samsung Gear Fit 2 one of the more comfortable band options around since it can be secured snugly and doesn’t feel bulky if you want to sleep with it on.

It is also worth noting that while the large beautiful screen doesn’t look like it, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is also water resistant with a rating of IP68. This means you can wear it in water of depths up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. So if you do laps in the pool or want to shower with it on, it is safe to do so.

Features

If you tried the Samsung Gear Fit original, you can expect much of the same features like step tracking, calories burned, sleep monitoring, and distance traveled. However, the Gear Fit 2 amps things up a bit which actually makes the readings much more accurate than the original. One of the biggest changes is the addition of GPS that allows for more accurate distance tracking and allows you to track your route.

Other additions include an optical heart rate sensor on the rear of the band and a barometer inside that can allow you to keep track of the stairs you climb. The GPS, heart rate sensor, and barometer all function well and they actually function almost as well as dedicated fitness accessories for professional athletes. However, like most fitness trackers that sit on the wrist, the heart rate monitoring can occasionally be a little spotty. While your beats per minute may jump up occasionally during exercise, its average heart rate and resting heart rate monitoring are almost spot on.

A nice feature of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is that it has automatic exercise tracking for running, cycling, and certain gym machines. It also auto-pauses when the activity is stopped for whatever reason. After each work out, the display will also give you a post-workout break down. Unfortunately, it disappears rather quickly, but you can always see it in the app later.

As for the app, all the data of the Gear Fit 2 is sent to the eye-pleasing S Health app where you have access to a nice amount of information, but your simple stats don’t get lost among a hundred different metrics either. Like many other fitness trackers, the app and wristband will let you know if you have been inactive too long, but unlike other fitness trackers, the Gear Fit 2 actually does a nice job of keeping you motivated. It lets you know the small, but motivating details like when you have surpassed your goal or if you climbed more steps than the previous day. Inside the app it also provides nice looking graphs to show marked improvements in your daily activity.

Unfortunately, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 has limited compatibility with 3rd party apps. There are some apps you can get from the Galaxy store, but they probably aren’t what you want. One perk is that it does have a dedicated Spotify app if you don’t want to use the internal storage to put on playlists, but sadly is only works in a few regions. However, as well as being able to listen to music through wireless headphones, it does also have a pretty intuitive interface when it comes to answering calls or sending texts.

Unfortunately the battery of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 comes up a little short, as is often the case with such feature-packed models. On average, the battery will last around three days since you can’t disable the GPS or heart rate monitoring. However, you can increase the charge a little by limiting the amount of apps that ping you throughout the day. While turning off GPS and heart rate monitoring would have been nice, since it has such a large and detailed screen, the charge life probably would not have been much longer anyway.

Conclusion

As fitness trackers get more advanced, sometimes a lot of the basic functionality tends to get lost. However, with the Gear Fit 2, Samsung found a nice balance of beauty, features, and relative simplicity. At no point will casual users feel overwhelmed and even more dedicated fitness enthusiasts can get extremely accurate tracking out of this model.

While the battery life is a little less than desirable, the features that drain the battery give it some of the most accurate readings on the market, making it forgivable. If you want to bridge the gap between your leisurely lifestyle and a more active lifestyle while still getting something that look sleek and lovely on the wrist, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is one of the better ways to go.

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