Fitbit Versa review

An affordable alternative to the Ionic

Fitbit Versa
Image Credit: TechRadar

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While its feature set isn’t quite on par with that of the Fitbit Ionic, the Versa feels very much the same watch in a different, lighter and friendlier design.

It also brings a clear, bright and beautiful screen, a new and improved heart rate sensor that will apparently be updated with even smarter functionality via a firmware update later in the year, smart notifications, contactless payment capabilities and all the features Fitbit users will have come to know and love.

But what makes it really special is that you can pick up some really great, intuitive fitness tracking features for just under £200/$200/AU$300. Something we cannot fault, and also something many of Fitbit’s competitors can’t compete with.

Who's this for?

The Fitbit Versa could be for anyone interested in fitness but looking for a smarter piece of wristwear

The Fitbit Versa could be for anyone interested in fitness but looking for a smarter piece of wristwear

With the Versa, Fitbit has basically looked to bring the rich feature set as seen in its Ionic smartwatch but bundled in a more everyday 'lifestyle' kind of way, making it a watch for those that are into fitness but not necessarily fanatical about it.

The more friendly, nondescript design, Fitbit Pay support and lower price point further reinforce this.

So, the Versa is not exactly just an exercise pal, but an everyday smartwatch with added fitness functionality for those looking for smartphone connectivity features such as notification support as well as being conscious about their health.

Should you buy it?

What made the Fitbit Ionic tricky to recommend was that for such as high price point, there were so many great options out there for smart wristwear that offered better value.

However, as the Versa is almost identical to the Ionic in terms of features (apart from in-built GPS and a five-day battery life), it’s completely changed the game, as you can now get your hands on some great, in-depth smartwatch and fitness tracking features that all sync with the really well-designed Fitbit app for significantly less than before. 

It’s basically a great option for those that really wanted the Ionic but thought it was just that bit too pricey (and close to the RRP of many other slightly more premium devices such as the Apple Watch 3) to justify it.

First reviewed: April 2018

The competition

Here we're going to run you through some of the alternative watches you may want to buy instead of the Fitbit Versa.

Fitbit Versa Lite

It's like the Fitbit Versa, but it's missing a couple of the features and has a lower price. It won't be able to track swimming, doesn't have Fitbit Pay and it also lacks on-screen workouts as well.

Sometimes you can find the Fitbit Versa and Versa Lite for similar prices, but if you find there's a significant price difference when you come to buy it's well worth checking out the Lite version to see if it's for you.

Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite review

Fitbit Ionic

If you’re a little bit more into your fitness, especially running, the more expensive Fitbit Versa might be a good alternative to consider as it offers more dedicated fitness features such as in-built GPS tracking – meaning you don’t need to take your phone out with you when you go for a jog.

However, it’s not quite as pretty as the Versa, so its design might not be one for you if you plan to use it outside working out.

Read our full Fitbit Ionic review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

Samsung has a lot of experience making smartwatches now and the Gear Fit 2 Pro is arguably a decent alternative wearable device for dedicated fitness tracking, especially if you’re not looking to break the bank.

Because it’s a fitness band and not a smartwatch, it now retails at a much cheaper price than the Versa. We love its intuitive interface, great AMOLED display and good activity tracking features as the key highlights.

There are some issues such as a lack of apps - something the Versa suffers from too - but that's something that's improving all of the time. Plus it's waterproof so you can take it into the pool too.

Read our full Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review

Apple Watch 4

Apple Watch 4

Of course the Apple Watch 4 could be a valid contender for the best smartwatch crown these days, with its large display,  built-in GPS and LTE, lightweight design and great speaker it's near-perfect. 

It's also similar design-wise to the Fitbit Versa, so if you were attracted to its display Apple's latest wearable might suit you better. However, there's a big price difference with the Apple Watch 4 starting at $399 / £399 / AU$599 for the GPS-only version and $499 / £499 / AU$749 for the cellular version.

Read our full Apple Watch 4 review

Fitbit Charge 3 

Image Credit: Fitbit

Image Credit: Fitbit

The Versa is appealing because it's focused on fitness, but makes a fantastic lifestyle smartwatch for 24/7 wear too. But for some the huge range of apps, customization options and extras might just be overkill, which is why Fitbit's latest device, the Charge 3, might be more up your street. 

It isn't as colorful, pretty or as feature-packed, instead it's all about fitness and tracks everything really well. It may not be as fully capable as Garmin's high-end fitness devices, but it's one of the best options for fuss-free fitness tracking.

Read our full Fitbit Charge 3 review

Image Credit: TechRadar