The Fitbit Versa 2 is one of the best-priced smartwatches in the Android space right now. It's a great choice for fitness enthusiasts thanks to its access to Fitbit's top-notch health platform, and compared to the Versa Lite, it does a lot more. It has a better display, longer battery life, Fitbit Pay, and a microphone for Alexa commands and replying to texts. If none of that matters to you, however, and you want to spend as little as possible, the Versa Lite strips away those (and a few more features) to create a trusty budget-smartwatch experience.
Two great watches for two groups of people
When Fitbit launched the Versa 2 in September 2019, it struck a winning combination. The Versa 2 has the look, feel, and feature-set of a great smartwatch, while at the same time providing all of the features you'd expect from a flagship Fitbit fitness tracker. For someone that's in the market for a fitness-oriented smartwatch, it's a great choice.
Fitbit was smart about the corners it cut with the Versa Lite. It doesn't feel like a lesser version of the Versa 2.
In regards to those fitness features, the Versa 2 does it all. It tracks your steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, and a variety of exercise types. There's a heart-rate sensor for 24/7 tracking of your ticker, a female health tracking platform, and you can even follow on-screen workouts right on the Versa's display.
As for the watch itself, the design is lightweight, comfy, and slim. Despite that, Fitbit somehow still manages to cram over five days of battery life out of just a single charge. Compared to most Wear OS watches, which last around a day or a day and a half, being able to go nearly a full work week without charging up is pretty magical.
As for the "smart" features, the Versa 2 brings a lot to the table. The touchscreen AMOLED display (which looks fantastic) showcases FitbitOS — a clean, simple UI that's really easy to navigate. Notifications from your phone are synced to the Versa 2, and when paired with an Android device. You can reply to these using emojis or pre-made messages or with your voice thanks to the Versa 2's microphone. You can also download apps, including big names such as Uber, Starbucks, Pandora, and Walgreens. The app selection still has plenty of room to grow, but considering how young it is, it's making decent progress.
Speaking of the microphone, this also allows you to talk to Amazon Alexa. Just like you can on Amazon's Echo smart speakers, you can use Alexa on the Versa 2 to see what the weather is going to be like, check your calendar, find out how tall the Empire State Building is, etc. You also get access to Fitbit Pay, Fitbit's mobile payment service that allows you to use the Versa 2 to pay at stores that accept other contactless payments (such as Google Pay and Apple Pay).
There isn't a built-in GPS, meaning you have to bring your phone with you to map outdoor runs/bike rides, but thanks to local music storage for up to 300 songs, you can use the Versa 2 with a pair of Bluetooth headphones and listen to your tunes at the gym while leaving your phone at home.
|Fitbit Versa 2||Fitbit Versa Lite|
|Step and calorie tracking||✔️||✔️|
|24/7 heart rate monitoring||✔️||✔️|
|Female health tracking||✔️||✔️|
|Swim lap tacking||✔️||❌|
|Local music storage||✔️||❌|
|GPS||When connected to phone||When connected to phone|
|Battery life||5+ days||4+ days|
With the Fitbit Versa Lite, it does just about everything that the regular Versa 2 does — save for a few omissions. These include:
- Local music storage
- On-screen workouts
- Floors climbed
- Swim lap tracking
- Fitbit Pay
- Amazon Alexa
Depending on your wants/needs, these missing features will either be deal-breakers or have no impact on your buying decision. If it's the former, the Versa 2 is the better fit and still provides a lot of value for its price. However, if you fall into the latter camp, you can save yourself quite a few bucks, pick up the Versa Lite, and get a great experience while keeping some extra cash in your wallet.
Fitbit was smart about the corners it cut with the Versa Lite. It doesn't feel like a lesser version of the Versa 2, just one that's more accessible for people with tighter budgets. Both of these watches are great, and no matter which one you end up choosing, you're in for a real treat.
A quick note on the Google acquisition
On November 1, 2019, Google announced that it was buying Fitbit for a total of $2.1 billion.
Commenting on the acquisition, Google's Senior Vice President of Devices & Services, Rick Osterloh, noted that:
By working closely with Fitbit's team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world.
It's currently unclear what the future holds for Fitbit, whether it sees the company continuing to create and release its own smartwatches, Google building Fitbit integration into Wear OS on the platform level, or Google working with Fitbit to create a "Pixel Watch" of sorts.
Whatever happens, existing Fitbit products should continue to be updated and supported for years to come. Fitbit recently announced a new software update for its FitbitOS operating system for gadgets like the Versa and Versa Lite, indicating that nothing will be changing in the immediate future. In other words, you can still pick up either watch with confidence that it'll continue to work just fine for years to come.
Fitbit's best smartwatch yet.
For people that want a powerful smartwatch with one of the best fitness/health tracking platforms on the market, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a phenomenal gadget. It does all of the great Fitbit stuff we've come to expect, in addition to offering things like local music storage, Alexa, Fitbit Pay, and more.
Best for less
Lots of features, smaller price tag.
A lot of what we love about the Fitbit Versa 2 has been carried over to the Versa Lite. It is lacking some fitness features, doesn't have as nice of a display, and misses out on Alexa. If those things don't matter to you, however, the Versa Lite is a great choice (not to mention it's easier on the wallet).
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