Hello there my fellow fitness enthusiasts! Today I am sharing with you guys my review of the Fitbit Versa. I have been an avid Fitbit user for the past 4 years or so. I’ve used several different models. The Flex, the Charge, the Charge HR, The Alta HR and most recently the Blaze, which I have loved faithfully for the past 2 years. But after a couple years, my Blaze starting acting up. The heart rate function would stop mid workout and it no longer tracked my sleep consistently. After doing some troubleshooting with Fitbit support (who was super friendly and helpful btw) it turned out my device was just done. Kaput. Since it was no longer under warranty, I decided it was time to explore the new device that was coming out: The Versa.
Why I Chose The Versa
When I was looking to move on from my Blaze, one of the devices I first considered was an Apple Watch. The Series 3 came out over the holidays and I had ordered one for my husband. It looks fun, it's super fancy and has lots of features that seemed kinda cool and techie. I wondered if I should abandon my loyalty to Fitbit and go full Apple instead. For me personally, my main priority are the fitness features. The text, call and app notifications are a nice bonus (that the Fitbit Versa also has) but really for me, it’s all about the heart rate, exercise tracking and sleep tracking. When I looked through my husband’s Apple Watch interface and phone app to check out the fitness features, I knew the Apple Watch wasn’t really what I was looking for. The Fitbit app is one of my favorite fitness apps I have used over the years in my weight loss journey! It gives me more information about the things I want and in a way that’s easy for me to access and understand. So for the time being, I am sticking with my Fitbit. Guess I am just a creature of habit! I could have just ordered another Blaze since I knew I loved it but the Versa seemed new and exciting with all the features the Blaze has and then some, so I went for it.
My First Impression
If I had to base this review on my first week with the Versa, I would tell you to save your money and buy any other device. Luckily, that isn’t the case. My first week with the device was super rocky. I had a faulty device so the advertised 4+ days of battery seemed like a cruel joke. My Fitbit was dying after about 12 hours of use each day. I spoke to support and long story short, after about a week, I got a new device from Macy's and returned the old one. Now I can officially say the device has been problem-free and I am loving my Versa!
Features & Comparisons
This is the main feature I loved in my Blaze and it was a huge reason I wanted the Versa as well. I swipe to the left and tap “exercise” and then I choose which category of exercise I am participating in and start the timer. At the end of my workout, I stop the timer and get a rundown of what my average heart rate was as well as my calorie burn during my workout.
Both the Blaze and the Versa have the auto-track feature where if you start an activity for more than 10-15 minutes, it will automatically track it as a workout. This is a feature I don't use often. I only really use it when going on walking breaks at work. Other than that, I always start the workout timer when beginning my exercise because I just find it's the most accurate.
In general, the workout tracking feature functions pretty much the same as it did with the Blaze. There are a couple differences. For one, the way information is displayed on the Versa screen is a little different. There is more of the information I want right on the screen during my workouts. This eliminates the need to swipe like I used to with the Blaze to view different metrics. I also like the way the Versa tells you your heart rate during workouts and shows where you are in relation to reaching your heart rate max. It also shows your calories burned right on top during your workouts. With the Blaze, I had to swipe to view calories burned, time and heart rate since they were on different screens. The other little difference is mainly aesthetic. The Versa screen has fancier backgrounds for the exercise categories. Not a major factor or deal breaker for the Blaze but just a nice touch.
*If you're curious about the Alta HR, it does not have this same kind of feature. You have to use your phone to manually go in to the app and log an exercise. When I did so, I found that sometimes it would change my overall step count or calorie burn so it left me a little confused as to what my actual workout stats were. In my opinion, the Alta HR is good for general walking and tracking running with my phone but since I do a lot of strength training or exercise classes, having the feature where I can start and stop a workout from the device itself is far more helpful for me.
Ability to receive notifications is another feature the Versa shares with the Blaze. I am able to get text, cal, Instagram and calendar notifications on my tracker. You can turn it off and on depending on when you want to access your notifications. You cannot respond the way you could on an Apple Watch, but then again, that isn’t a huge concern of mine. I like being able to glance down at my watch easily to see if it’s something I need to immediately grab my phone for or if it's something that can wait. With the Versa I am also able to see emoji's as they appear on my phone versus the more digitized way they appear on the Blaze. Again, nothing major but just an observation.
*The Alta HR also gives you notifications but it displays texts in a scrolling manner across the long narrow screen so sometimes you’re staring at the screen for a good 10-15 seconds while you're waiting for the whole text to scroll. Not a huge deal to some but not super functional for me.
The Versa has applications similar to the Apple Watch. There are not as many apps available as there are with the Apple Watch but for my purposes, they are just a fun addition to the fitness features I bought the Versa for in the first place. There are games, ability to use a Starbucks card, Yelp and access to see the leaderboard rankings (which is normally only available in the phone app) directly on your watch. There are several other app options for the Versa but I haven't explored them thoroughly enough to provide more information on them as of yet.
With both the Versa and Blaze, you are able to control the music playing on your phone. So I can run Spotify on my phone and use my Bluetooth headphones and change the volume or switch to the next song using my Fitbit device. The Versa also allows you to store up to 300 songs on the device itself so that you do not need your phone physically on you to play music. You would only need a pair of bluetooth headphones. (You can find my favorite blue tooth headphones in this post). The catch with this is that you can only store songs that you have paid for through iTunes, Pandora or a service called Deezer (that I have never heard of). So songs you have purchased from iTunes can be transferred over to your device but services with a music subscription, like Spotify, cannot be accessed this way. If it worked with Spotify, I would be jumping for joy. I am a huge Spotify fan!
*You can check out my favorite workout songs on Spotify! Warning: this playlist is NOT censored.
The Versa is sleeker in design than the Blaze. The tracker itself is thinner than the Blaze as well so it doesn't appear as bulky or boxy. You can switch the bands in and out (similar to the Blaze) and so the watch can be dressed up or kept sporty based on which band you decide to pair it with. I ordered the peach and rose gold Versa but I wanted some variety in my bands. I found a brown leather band and a plain black band for cheap on Amazon. I will say the bands for the Blaze were easier to change in and out of. With the Blaze, you just pop the tracker out of the frame and pop it right into another band. With the Versa there is a sliding mechanism to remove each side of the band but it can be a little trickier to navigate. Not the end of the world by any means but worth noting.
All in all, I'm loving the Fitbit Versa! I have always been a huge fan of Fitbit devices and I do feel the fitness capabilities and phone app interface are user-friendly and exactly what I am looking for in a fitness tracker. I think the Blaze is also an amazing device but if you want to go one step up for a few more features and some nice aesthetics, I would highly recommend checking out the Versa! And there you have it folks- my review of the Fitbit Versa! If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below!
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