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

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