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Sleeker, faster, and has Alexa



The Apple Watch may be the top-selling smartwatch, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for Fitbit to challenge it.

Fitbit’s Versa 2 smartwatch launches on Sept. 15, starting at $199.95. Compared to the original Versa, the new smartwatch is sleeker, comfier, and more watch-like with its always-on display that shows the time. It’s also smarter, with built-in Amazon Alexa voice controls.

The most important additions, though, are the Versa 2’s new sleep-tracking features, which are designed to help you live a healthier life.

Like many second-generation products, the Versa 2 is more evolutionary than revolutionary, both inside and out.

The standard $199.95 version will be available in black, pink, and silver. Two special edition models: silver bundled with a gray woven band and an olive silicone strap and pink with blue woven band and navy silicone strap will also be available for $229.95 each.

Fitbit’s also selling several new bands made as part of collaborations with brands like rescue company Recco (a velcro strap that reflects at night) and designers like Kim Shui (friendship bracelet-style bands made from Horween suede). These bands cost between $54.95 and $59.95.

New finishes and bands aside, the Versa 2 has more rounded corners, a less raised metal backside so the heart rate monitor doesn’t dig into your wrist as much, and a single polished button on the left instead of the original’s three. It’s very Apple Watch-like.

The Fitbit Versa 2 looks even more like an Apple Watch.

The Fitbit Versa 2 looks even more like an Apple Watch.

Image: Zlata ivleva / mashable

The screen’s also been upgraded from LCD to AMOLED, which means blacks are deeper, colors are richer (and easier to see outdoors), and the time and simple health stats like steps, heart rate, and calories burned can be displayed with the always-on mode.

Inside, the Versa 2 has a faster chip for smoother performance swiping between screens and launching apps. 

The tapered design makes the Versa 2 look slimmer than the Apple Watch Series 4.

The tapered design makes the Versa 2 look slimmer than the Apple Watch Series 4.


Built-in Amazon Alexa voice controls also make the Versa 2 just a teensy bit more intelligent, although the digital assistant doesn’t speak — it’s just text on a screen. As with other digital assistants, you can ask Alexa to tell you the weather, set reminders, and more.

Another thing users might appreciate is Fitbit Pay. Previously only a feature on the special edition Versa, all Versa 2 models have NFC with the feature built-in.

In addition to all the fitness-tracking stuff Fitbits are known for, the Versa 2’s also got a few new sleep-tracking features, which Fitbit is emphasizing more than before.

First, with the connected Fitbit app, you can get a “sleep score” to grade how well your sleep is. This score is based on factors such as how long you’ve slept and how much deep and REM sleep you got.

Second, a new “smart wake” feature uses machine learning to analyze the Versa 2’s sleep data and then find the optimal time to wake you up either during your light or REM sleep. Fitbit says this is better for naturally waking up your body than setting an alarm clock for the same time every day.

And third, the Versa 2 will be able to generate a graph that shows variations in oxygen levels within your bloodstream to help detect potential breathing issues such as sleep apnea during sleep. This feature won’t be available at launch, but is “coming soon.”

The Versa 2's got tons of different band options.

The Versa 2’s got tons of different band options.


Beyond these new features, the rest of the Versa 2’s features are the same. Built-in GPS? Check. Spotify music controls? Check. Call, text, and calendar notifications? Check. Swim-proof design? Check. Automatic goal-based exercise modes? Check. 24/7 heart rate tracking? Check.

And like all Fitbit smartwatches, you can only reply to text messages if you’re on Android since Apple doesn’t allow that functionality on non-Apple Watch smartwatches.

The Versa 2 is great if you're upgrading from a regular fitness tracker.

The Versa 2 is great if you’re upgrading from a regular fitness tracker.


The Versa 2 is a modest update. It’s nicer-looking, works faster, and personally, I like that the logo name is no longer slapped onto the bezel below the display. 

At $200, the Veras 2 is still considerably cheaper than an Apple Watch Series 3 or Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which both start at $279, and also the Apple Watch Series 4, which starts at $399. The Versa 2’s only real smartwatch competitor is Samsung’s $200 Galaxy Watch Active

Based on first impressions alone, the Versa 2 appears to be a solid smartwatch if you’re already a Fitbit user or want arguably the most accurate fitness tracking stats on any wearable. The Versa 2 is perfect if you’re upgrading to it from a regular Fitbit tracker or plan on subscribing to Fitbit Premium, the company’s upcoming paid service that provides personalized health and fitness guidance and coaching based on your own Fitbit data. 

But if you want more advanced smartwatch features like the ability to reply to texts (if you’re on iPhone), make calls, or get navigation, you should look elsewhere.

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