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Fitbit Versa 2 review

The 2 hardware cloth near-perfect fitness tracker 2 hardware cloth with some smartwatch 2 hardware cloth perks

(Image: © TechRadar)

Interface and performance

  • Faster processor
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Fitbit Pay works well
  • 5+ days battery life

Visual satisfaction 2 hardware cloth aside, the Versa 2 is 2 hardware cloth a faster watch than its 2 hardware cloth predecessor, thanks 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth a new 2 hardware cloth processor under the hood. That’s 2 hardware cloth not to say the original Versa 2 hardware cloth suffered from any lag 2 hardware cloth or performance issues, 2 hardware cloth but if you’ve used it before and 2 hardware cloth upgraded to the Versa 2 hardware cloth 2, you 2 hardware cloth will notice a marked 2 hardware cloth difference in 2 hardware cloth operational smoothness. Navigating between pages, 2 hardware cloth launching and closing 2 hardware cloth apps, and bringing up new health data in 2 hardware cloth the Today pane (accessed by swiping upward 2 hardware cloth on the screen) is quicker 2 hardware cloth than before.

Like 2 hardware cloth all other Fitbit devices, the Versa 2 hardware cloth 2 has 2 hardware cloth a pretty decent battery life. Fitbit 2 hardware cloth claims you can 2 hardware cloth get 2 hardware cloth five 2 hardware cloth days with standard use. We managed to 2 hardware cloth push it 2 hardware cloth to just over six 2 hardware cloth days but that was perhaps 2 hardware cloth because we 2 hardware cloth had the screen brightness 2 hardware cloth dimmed to 2 hardware cloth the lowest setting.

Considering the first 2 hardware cloth thing you see when you 2 hardware cloth raise your wrist 2 hardware cloth is the watch face, it’s 2 hardware cloth nice to know there are 2 hardware cloth hundreds of 2 hardware cloth designs to choose 2 hardware cloth from, which you can 2 hardware cloth find via the 2 hardware cloth Fitbit app. However, when the 2 hardware cloth Versa 2 launched in September 2019, 2 hardware cloth you could – rather 2 hardware cloth annoyingly – only 2 hardware cloth save a 2 hardware cloth single watch face at a 2 hardware cloth time. That meant 2 hardware cloth that 2 hardware cloth every time 2 hardware cloth you wanted 2 hardware cloth a change, you'd have to 2 hardware cloth return to 2 hardware cloth the store, scroll through 2 hardware cloth the options and select 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth one you want. 2 hardware cloth Saving 2 hardware cloth the new 2 hardware cloth one 2 hardware cloth meant 2 hardware cloth the previous option would get 2 hardware cloth deleted.

Thankfully that has 2 hardware cloth changed, with a December 2019 2 hardware cloth firmware 2 hardware cloth updated to 2 hardware cloth the smartwatch ensuring you can 2 hardware cloth now save 2 hardware cloth up 2 hardware cloth to five different 2 hardware cloth watch 2 hardware cloth faces – even paid-for ones 2 hardware cloth – at any 2 hardware cloth given time and cycle between them. 2 hardware cloth If, 2 hardware cloth however, 2 hardware cloth you like a 2 hardware cloth sixth one, you'll be sacrificing one 2 hardware cloth of 2 hardware cloth the saved options on the Fitbit app.

Swipe to launch apps

Swipe to launch apps (Image credit: Future)

To 2 hardware cloth access the app launcher, 2 hardware cloth you swipe from right 2 hardware cloth to left, with four 2 hardware cloth app 2 hardware cloth shortcuts listed on 2 hardware cloth each 2 hardware cloth page. These 2 hardware cloth can be rearranged to 2 hardware cloth your 2 hardware cloth liking by lightly 2 hardware cloth pressing and 2 hardware cloth hold till 2 hardware cloth there’s haptic 2 hardware cloth feedback. For a quick look at how you’ve 2 hardware cloth fared today, 2 hardware cloth just swipe 2 hardware cloth up 2 hardware cloth to launch 2 hardware cloth Fitbit Today data 2 hardware cloth – 2 hardware cloth this 2 hardware cloth pane 2 hardware cloth displays 2 hardware cloth up 2 hardware cloth to seven items 2 hardware cloth of your choosing and can include 2 hardware cloth total steps, steps 2 hardware cloth per hour, heart rate, sleep 2 hardware cloth stats, and 2 hardware cloth food and water 2 hardware cloth intake. This customization can be 2 hardware cloth done via 2 hardware cloth the Versa 2’s settings 2 hardware cloth app.

Swipe 2 hardware cloth down 2 hardware cloth and you 2 hardware cloth get 2 hardware cloth access to notifications and, 2 hardware cloth by default, 2 hardware cloth you can access 2 hardware cloth Quick Settings, music controls 2 hardware cloth and Fitbit Pay. Quick Settings 2 hardware cloth allows you to toggle the Do Not Disturb, 2 hardware cloth Sleep Mode, 2 hardware cloth always-on display, screen brightness (only 2 hardware cloth three options to choose from: 2 hardware cloth dim, normal 2 hardware cloth and max), and screen wake 2 hardware cloth (auto or manual) options.

Fitbit is 2 hardware cloth quick to point 2 hardware cloth out that the Spotify app 2 hardware cloth ships with the 2 hardware cloth Versa 2, but it is important 2 hardware cloth to note that the app can 2 hardware cloth only act 2 hardware cloth as a remote, 2 hardware cloth controlling the music playing 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth Spotify app running on 2 hardware cloth your phone. 2 hardware cloth As such, 2 hardware cloth you won’t be 2 hardware cloth able to 2 hardware cloth just use 2 hardware cloth the Versa 2 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth listen to offline Spotify playlists, 2 hardware cloth although Deezer 2 hardware cloth and Pandora are capable of doing so. 2 hardware cloth You can, 2 hardware cloth however, add 2 hardware cloth music files 2 hardware cloth of your 2 hardware cloth own 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth device, with 2.5GB reserved for 2 hardware cloth local 2 hardware cloth music storage.

The lack of a GPS 2 hardware cloth chip 2 hardware cloth can 2 hardware cloth be a deal breaker 2 hardware cloth for many. Every 2 hardware cloth time you go for a run, 2 hardware cloth walk or bike 2 hardware cloth ride, you will have 2 hardware cloth to take your phone with you 2 hardware cloth for location information. And 2 hardware cloth if 2 hardware cloth you are planning on getting 2 hardware cloth yourself a Versa 2 and 2 hardware cloth toting your phone along wherever you go, 2 hardware cloth then 2 hardware cloth perhaps 2 hardware cloth you won’t have a 2 hardware cloth chance to complain 2 hardware cloth about the 2 hardware cloth lack 2 hardware cloth of 2 hardware cloth offline Spotify support on 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth Versa 2.

You can select the exercise routine you want for the Versa 2 to start logging data

You can select the exercise routine you want for the Versa 2 to start logging data (Image credit: Future)

To keep 2 hardware cloth tabs on your fitness, you only 2 hardware cloth need 2 hardware cloth to select the exercise app 2 hardware cloth on the watch and choose the 2 hardware cloth type of activity 2 hardware cloth you’re about 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth indulge in. If 2 hardware cloth you don’t, 2 hardware cloth the wearable is 2 hardware cloth smart 2 hardware cloth enough to log any 2 hardware cloth activity 2 hardware cloth as exercise that’s 20 2 hardware cloth minutes or longer thanks 2 hardware cloth to Fitbit’s SmartTrack technology. 2 hardware cloth Sleep tracking, though, 2 hardware cloth is done automatically.

If 2 hardware cloth you happen to be an 2 hardware cloth iPhone user, you 2 hardware cloth will not be able to respond 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth messages directly from 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth Versa 2 hardware cloth 2. Android 2 hardware cloth users can, although 2 hardware cloth there is a 2 hardware cloth massive caveat: there 2 hardware cloth are currently only 2 hardware cloth five default 2 hardware cloth quick 2 hardware cloth replies to choose from, although these can be 2 hardware cloth customized in the Fitbit app.

The 2 hardware cloth all-in-one button on the Versa 2 hardware cloth 2 can be long-pressed to bring up either 2 hardware cloth Alexa (more on 2 hardware cloth voice command integration later) or Fitbit Pay. If 2 hardware cloth your bank supports Fitbit Pay, then 2 hardware cloth we’d recommend you use 2 hardware cloth the button 2 hardware cloth for contactless payments as, in our experience, 2 hardware cloth interacting with Alexa can be 2 hardware cloth quite inconvenient.

Alexa integration

The 2 hardware cloth addition of Amazon’s 2 hardware cloth voice assistant to 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth Versa 2 means the wearable should be 2 hardware cloth able 2 hardware cloth to do 2 hardware cloth a 2 hardware cloth lot more 2 hardware cloth than its predecessor. 2 hardware cloth To use voice assistant on your new 2 hardware cloth watch, though, you 2 hardware cloth will first have 2 hardware cloth to download the dedicated 2 hardware cloth Alexa app 2 hardware cloth to your 2 hardware cloth phone and link your Amazon account 2 hardware cloth within 2 hardware cloth the Fitbit app. 2 hardware cloth Despite all that, there are still limits 2 hardware cloth to what 2 hardware cloth Alexa can do for you.

By either long-pressing 2 hardware cloth the side button or swiping 2 hardware cloth down on the screen to bring 2 hardware cloth up Alexa 2 hardware cloth (you can't 2 hardware cloth use a wake word to 2 hardware cloth call on the digital 2 hardware cloth assistant), 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth can 2 hardware cloth find out 2 hardware cloth what the weather's like 2 hardware cloth in your area, set reminders and timers, start 2 hardware cloth an exercise routine, and even control your 2 hardware cloth smart home 2 hardware cloth setup. You cannot, however, make 2 hardware cloth a call or 2 hardware cloth respond to 2 hardware cloth messages. 

Alexa is handy but functionality is limited

Alexa is handy but functionality is limited (Image credit: Future)

Alexa’s responses to queries are only 2 hardware cloth in text 2 hardware cloth form 2 hardware cloth – 2 hardware cloth not audible – which, when combined 2 hardware cloth with the 2 hardware cloth fact that 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth need 2 hardware cloth your fingers to bring up 2 hardware cloth the voice assistant, 2 hardware cloth proves 2 hardware cloth to be inconvenient when you 2 hardware cloth have your hands 2 hardware cloth full.

The other major 2 hardware cloth caveat 2 hardware cloth with Alexa on 2 hardware cloth your Versa 2 is that 2 hardware cloth you will have to leave the 2 hardware cloth Fitbit app running in the background 2 hardware cloth on your phone to use voice 2 hardware cloth commands.

Alexa responses on the Versa 2 can be a tad slow

Alexa responses on the Versa 2 can be a tad slow (Image credit: Future)

During our testing, 2 hardware cloth we 2 hardware cloth found that using Alexa 2 hardware cloth was an inconsistent experience – 2 hardware cloth more 2 hardware cloth often 2 hardware cloth than not it would take a few 2 hardware cloth tries to get Alexa to 2 hardware cloth respond, with 2 hardware cloth the screen telling 2 hardware cloth us Alexa was 2 hardware cloth “thinking”. When 2 hardware cloth Alexa does work, it’s agonizingly 2 hardware cloth slow, although that’s because voice 2 hardware cloth commands 2 hardware cloth are being 2 hardware cloth sent to Amazon’s 2 hardware cloth servers and responses then 2 hardware cloth travel 2 hardware cloth all the way back.

In short, while 2 hardware cloth the addition of Alexa 2 hardware cloth is 2 hardware cloth a nice touch, functionality 2 hardware cloth is limited and 2 hardware cloth unreliable at 2 hardware cloth best.

Fitness and sleep tracking

  • Your sleep gets scored
  • Covers most exercise types
  • More premium features hidden behind paywall
Fitbit 2 hardware cloth is known for packing its 2 hardware cloth trackers full of fitness features and 2 hardware cloth the Versa 2 is 2 hardware cloth no different. While 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth can start 2 hardware cloth an 2 hardware cloth exercise routine 2 hardware cloth by selecting an option 2 hardware cloth from 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth exercise app on the watch, 2 hardware cloth the Versa 2 can record 2 hardware cloth activities automatically. 

However, 2 hardware cloth there 2 hardware cloth are 2 hardware cloth caveats 2 hardware cloth when using 2 hardware cloth this SmartTrack 2 hardware cloth technology: firstly, you need to 2 hardware cloth have your 2 hardware cloth phone with 2 hardware cloth you so 2 hardware cloth the GPS can record location information and, 2 hardware cloth secondly, you won’t 2 hardware cloth be able to see real-time 2 hardware cloth statistics (duration of 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth exercise, 2 hardware cloth distance covered, 2 hardware cloth and so on will only appear 2 hardware cloth when the device recognizes you have 2 hardware cloth finished).

When 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth do 2 hardware cloth select an exercise routine, 2 hardware cloth only some of them produce 2 hardware cloth accurate 2 hardware cloth statistics and swim 2 hardware cloth tracking is one 2 hardware cloth of them. For something 2 hardware cloth like a bike 2 hardware cloth ride or a run, 2 hardware cloth we 2 hardware cloth found that 2 hardware cloth without its own 2 hardware cloth built-in 2 hardware cloth GPS, the Versa 2 doesn’t clock the 2 hardware cloth correct distance traveled. As 2 hardware cloth long as you 2 hardware cloth have your phone 2 hardware cloth with you, the Fitbit app calculates stride 2 hardware cloth length to give you 2 hardware cloth more accurate information.

You'll get a sleep score on the free version of the FItbit app, but a complete breakdown on Fitbit Premium

You'll get a sleep score on the free version of the FItbit app, but a complete breakdown on Fitbit Premium (Image credit: Future)

It’s sleep 2 hardware cloth tracking that we thought the Versa 2 2 hardware cloth excels at. Firstly, the device is light 2 hardware cloth and comfortable 2 hardware cloth enough to wear 2 hardware cloth through the 2 hardware cloth night. Secondly, Fitbit’s previously 2 hardware cloth confusing sleep stats 2 hardware cloth have been 2 hardware cloth given a makeover 2 hardware cloth and now 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth get a 2 hardware cloth score for each night’s 2 hardware cloth sleep. 

Sleep Score 2 hardware cloth takes into consideration 2 hardware cloth how 2 hardware cloth long you’re 2 hardware cloth awake for, your light 2 hardware cloth and deep sleep durations, 2 hardware cloth restlessness and REM sleep, then spits 2 hardware cloth out a number. On 2 hardware cloth the free 2 hardware cloth version 2 hardware cloth of 2 hardware cloth the Fitbit app, you only see a 2 hardware cloth score, but 2 hardware cloth if you 2 hardware cloth choose to subscribe to 2 hardware cloth Fitbit Premium, you get a 2 hardware cloth complete breakdown 2 hardware cloth of 2 hardware cloth the score, 2 hardware cloth telling you how low your heart rate 2 hardware cloth was below resting 2 hardware cloth while sleeping, how 2 hardware cloth restless you were, percentage 2 hardware cloth of REM, 2 hardware cloth deep and 2 hardware cloth light sleep. It even gives you 2 hardware cloth a comparison of 30 days’ worth of 2 hardware cloth data if you wanted to see 2 hardware cloth if 2 hardware cloth your sleep pattern has improved 2 hardware cloth or not.

The December 2019 firmware update 2 hardware cloth added 2 hardware cloth another feature 2 hardware cloth to 2 hardware cloth the Versa 2 2 hardware cloth that we highly recommend. Called Smart 2 hardware cloth Wake, it's available in the Alarm app 2 hardware cloth that 2 hardware cloth comes 2 hardware cloth installed by default. It's 2 hardware cloth an optional feature you can select when setting 2 hardware cloth up a 2 hardware cloth wake-up call. No matter 2 hardware cloth what time 2 hardware cloth your alarm is set 2 hardware cloth for, Smart 2 hardware cloth Wake sets off 2 hardware cloth the silent vibrations at the 2 hardware cloth most optimal 2 hardware cloth time in your sleep 2 hardware cloth cycle within 2 hardware cloth a 2 hardware cloth 30-minute duration prior 2 hardware cloth to the 2 hardware cloth chosen alarm. For example, 2 hardware cloth if you've set an alarm for 7am 2 hardware cloth and selected 2 hardware cloth to use 2 hardware cloth Smart 2 hardware cloth Alarm, your Versa 2 will 2 hardware cloth wake you up somewhere between 6:30am and 7am 2 hardware cloth so you don't jolt 2 hardware cloth awake and feel 2 hardware cloth groggy. We've been using this 2 hardware cloth feature regularly and can 2 hardware cloth vouch for how well it 2 hardware cloth does.

The Versa 2, 2 hardware cloth like its predecessor and the Ionic, came with 2 hardware cloth the hardware 2 hardware cloth that 2 hardware cloth could 2 hardware cloth monitor blood oxygen levels 2 hardware cloth that could enable users 2 hardware cloth to keep tabs on variations in 2 hardware cloth breathing patterns while sleeping. At 2 hardware cloth the time the Versa 2 launched, the 2 hardware cloth software enabling this feature to work 2 hardware cloth hadn't been 2 hardware cloth rolled 2 hardware cloth out, 2 hardware cloth even to the older, existing Fitbit smartwatch 2 hardware cloth line.

As of February 2020, though, the 2 hardware cloth company has rolled out the oxygen 2 hardware cloth level estimation 2 hardware cloth feature 2 hardware cloth and this could come 2 hardware cloth in handy 2 hardware cloth for many who suffer from disorders like sleep 2 hardware cloth apnea. Knowing whether 2 hardware cloth your breathing varies a 2 hardware cloth lot while you're 2 hardware cloth asleep can 2 hardware cloth help doctors 2 hardware cloth diagnose underlying conditions quicker. 2 hardware cloth This is a feature that 2 hardware cloth even the latest Apple Watch doesn't 2 hardware cloth have.

You'll need to 2 hardware cloth dig a bit to 2 hardware cloth find this information, though, which is buried 2 hardware cloth within 2 hardware cloth the sleep score panel of the 2 hardware cloth Fitbit app. 2 hardware cloth Tap on the sleep score, then 2 hardware cloth select a 2 hardware cloth specific night from when the 2 hardware cloth feature was enabled you want 2 hardware cloth the 2 hardware cloth information for. 2 hardware cloth You'll 2 hardware cloth need to scroll down below the 2 hardware cloth sleep stages breakdown to 2 hardware cloth see the graph 2 hardware cloth that 2 hardware cloth shows you the estimated oxygen 2 hardware cloth variation during that particular sleep 2 hardware cloth cycle.

Fitbit Premium is not a separate app but can be used via the Discover tab on the main Fitbit app

Fitbit Premium is not a separate app but can be used via the Discover tab on the main Fitbit app (Image credit: Future)

Fitbit 2 hardware cloth Premium is a convenient way 2 hardware cloth to keep tabs 2 hardware cloth on your overall 2 hardware cloth fitness level 2 hardware cloth and 2 hardware cloth find 2 hardware cloth ways to improve your health 2 hardware cloth and activity. 2 hardware cloth For $9.99/month 2 hardware cloth – 2 hardware cloth or 2 hardware cloth $79.99/year 2 hardware cloth (that’s £7.99/month or £79.99 in 2 hardware cloth the UK 2 hardware cloth and AU$14.99/month or AU$129 2 hardware cloth a 2 hardware cloth year) – you 2 hardware cloth get 2 hardware cloth access 2 hardware cloth to guided 2 hardware cloth programs and workouts, personalized insights 2 hardware cloth and the 2 hardware cloth ability to 2 hardware cloth download 2 hardware cloth the data to later show 2 hardware cloth your doctor if 2 hardware cloth necessary. It also 2 hardware cloth includes all the step-by-step workouts you’ll 2 hardware cloth find in Fitbit Coach.

It should 2 hardware cloth be mentioned at this point that Fitbit Premium 2 hardware cloth is not an additional 2 hardware cloth app. 2 hardware cloth The 'Discover' tab 2 hardware cloth on the main Fitbit app 2 hardware cloth shows 2 hardware cloth you what's on offer 2 hardware cloth on Fitbit 2 hardware cloth Premium and from there, if you select 2 hardware cloth a particular 2 hardware cloth option, it asks 2 hardware cloth you if you want to sign up or 2 hardware cloth not.

While Fitbit Premium 2 hardware cloth is definitely worth it for anyone 2 hardware cloth determined to get their health back on 2 hardware cloth track, the free version 2 hardware cloth of the app does 2 hardware cloth enough to keep 2 hardware cloth you 2 hardware cloth on 2 hardware cloth the right 2 hardware cloth path. Outside of sleep 2 hardware cloth tracking, the Fitbit app hasn’t 2 hardware cloth really changed much since the days of 2 hardware cloth the Ionic, with 2 hardware cloth each day’s data neatly displayed in the 2 hardware cloth dashboard. Progress for each 2 hardware cloth metric 2 hardware cloth is shown 2 hardware cloth by a 2 hardware cloth circle closing in clockwise as 2 hardware cloth you move towards your goal.

The Fitbit app hasn't changed very much over the years

The Fitbit app hasn't changed very much over the years (Image credit: Future)

To 2 hardware cloth set your goals, you can head to the 2 hardware cloth Account 2 hardware cloth tab, accessed by tapping 2 hardware cloth on the little icon on the top 2 hardware cloth left corner 2 hardware cloth of 2 hardware cloth the dashboard. It’s the same 2 hardware cloth in both iOS and Android. 2 hardware cloth From here 2 hardware cloth you can even set 2 hardware cloth up another Fitbit 2 hardware cloth device and 2 hardware cloth customize your Versa 2.