After plenty of leaks and rumor, Fitbit has officially announced the follow-up to its most successful smartwatch, the Versa 2.
The new model brings with it a slew of upgrades from the original, with the headline acts now being support for Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, a dedicated Spotify app for music control and new sleep tracking smarts.
Early verdict: Fitbit Versa 2 reviewThe design is refined slightly from the first Versa, with the edges now rounded off and the face featuring a larger, crisper AMOLED display, and also takes inspiration from the Versa Lite by only featuring one side-button. The built-in microphone will now sit where the two buttons originally sat on the Versa.
However, the biggest changes that come with Versa 2 are in the software department – and sleep tracking, as we mentioned, is at the heart of it.
The smartwatch will be used to debut four new features: Sleep Score, Smart Wake, Sleep Mode and the Estimated Oxygen Variation Graph.
Sleep Score (which has been in beta since last year) will let users receive a figure in the Fitbit app based on heart rate, restlessness, time awake and the current Sleep Stages graph, with Fitbit’s new Premium service allowing for more insights into this score.
Meanwhile, Smart Wake will use a new machine learning algorithm to wake users during an optimal time of their sleep cycle, based on a pre-selected 30-minute interval. This should, Fitbit say, mean you wake up feeling more refreshed.And to ensure you don’t have to turn off raise-to-wake every night, like with old Versa models, Sleep Mode ensures that your display is automatically disabled and notifications are silenced.
The Estimated Oxygen Graph won’t be on the Versa 2 at launch, we’re told, but will provide wearers with a graph estimating the variability of oxygen levels in their bloodstream. This is calculated through the red and infrared sensors on the underside of the watch, and can be used to detect breathing variations during nighttime hours.
It should be noted that Sleep Score, Smart Wake and Sleep Mode are coming to Fitbits across the board – and Estimated Oxygen Graph to those with the SpO2 sensor, aka Charge 3 and Versa.
Once you’re up and out of bed, the basic functions of the Versa 2 will work in line with other Fitbit smartwatches we’ve seen. That means it’ll mirror your phone for notifications, track all your activity basics and still include support for Fitbit Pay.
However, Alexa support does now mean users are able to speak to the voice assistant on the go to receive on-screen responses. However, unlike Echo speakers it’s a push-to-wake system, which is a little annoying – although good for privacy fears.
Alexa can help set timers, check the weather and even control connected smart home devices. The Spotify app, too, means that you playlists can now be controlled on-the-go, but there isn’t support for offline playlists.
And despite adding these new features, as well as the option for an always-on display, Fitbit also indicates that battery life has been improved to around five days – that’s up from four days on the original Versa.
As for pricing, the Versa 2 will be available for $199.95 for the standard edition, with seven different types of band accessories all available for $24.95 each. The Versa 2 Special Edition is priced at $229.95 Stay tuned for our full verdict, as we put the Versa 2 and all its new features through our full testing.