The Fitbit Versa health tracker offers ladies a bit more, but guys won’t easily shrug it off

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Or you can keep fit ‘Versa’

By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

Fitbit Versa is a fitness smartwatch that looks sleek and lets you stay healthy and connected to your social networks with alerts from your connected phone.

Versa has similar functions to Fitbit’s flagship Ionic smart fitness watch, except it has no builtin GPS chip. Regardless, it still can be connected to your phone and utilise its GPS for exercise apps while running and cycling.

Versa appears the sweeter of the two and women will like the beautifully rounded edges, whereas the sharp-edged Ionic looks like a man’s watch. But, hey guys, the Versa does come in black too.

Versa

In fact Fitbit on May 1 added a Female Health-tracking function to its Fitbit app that helps women monitor their menstrual period along with the usual sleep, activity and weight statistics.

 Versa might even be a fashion item with its wristbands available in peach, grey, white and periwinkle. The optional leather bands are sold separately in cognac, lavender, midnight blue and saddle stitch.

Men’s metal links come in black, silver, tapered silver, black mesh and silver mesh.

As a smartwatch, Versa can display notifications of your selected apps on your phone, such as from Line, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Calendar, apart from incoming calls and SMS messages.

versa 2

You can select which apps to send notifications to Versa. Versa can store up to 30 notifications, after which the oldest are replaced with newer ones.

And when Versa receives calendar events from your phone, it will show the title, location and time of the event in addition to any details you have entered.

When paired to an iPhone, Versa can be used to accept or reject an incoming phone call, but you must converse via the phone.

Android mobile-device users can respond to messages on the go using Versa to create and send up to five custom prepopulated quick replies of 60 characters or less to text messages and messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Versa is lightweight (50 grams) and comfortable for tracking your activities all day and your sleep at night. The wristband can be 140-180mm or 180-220mm.

It uses a touchscreen colour LCD display that’s easy to read even outdoors thanks to 1,000 nits of brightness.

The Versa is water-resistant to 50 metres underwater, so it can be used to track your swimming activities with a provided app.

It uses a rechargeable lithiumpolymer battery that can last four days. It comes with a recharge cable that magnetically snaps to the back for charging.

The Versa has a builtin Wi-Fi adapter that can be linked to your home Wi-Fi router for syncing, using the desktop Fitbit app, or for uploading music files to the watch’s internal storage.

Yes, Versa is like Ionic in that it has enough internal memory to store 300 songs without the use of a phone. It can connect to Bluetooth headphones like the Fitbit Flyer, for motivating your exercise with music.

I tested playing music from Versa to Flyer and the music quality was good in the details and bass level.

To upload music to Versa, you need to create a playlist on iTunes and upload from a desktop or notebook computer that’s linked via the same router that Versa is using. You can also download your favourite Pandora stations or Deezer playlists to listen to during your exercise.

To use Versa, you need an ID registered for free with Fitbit.com. Then you must download and install the Fitbit app on your phone and log in with the ID. You can then use the app to add the Versa to your account, and from now on, it will keep track of your activities and sleep.

You can then use the app to customise your Versa with several more choices of clock faces that can be downloaded from Fitbit. You can also download more apps FitbitOS apps to be used on the watch. For now, the watch runs on FitbitOS 2.0.

The Versa has an optical heartrate monitor that uses PurePulse tracking technology to provide your cardio fitness level.

The information will give you a better understanding of your fitness level and show how you can improve over time with a personalised Cardio Fitness Score. You can see the score via the dashboard of the Fitbit app and the watch displays your current heart rate and your resting heart rate.

The Versa is easy to use with its touch screen and the intuitive user-interface of FitbitOS. It also has three buttons – back button, top button and bottom button.

The back button is used to go back one level in the menus while the two others are app shortcuts.

For example, the top button opens the app located in the top left of the first app screen, while the bottom button opens the app at the bottom left of the first app.

Or you can swipe the touch screen around to browse through screens of apps and tap on the app you want to use.

From the home screen, which displays the clock, you can swipe down to see notifications, swipe up to see your daily tips and stats, and swipe left to scroll through the apps installed on your watch. To open and an app, you simply tap on it.

You can use the Fitbit app to find and install more apps on the watch. Apps are organised in groups of four per screen. Some apps on Versa require your paired phone, such as the running or biking app, because they need the GPS function of your phone.

The apps installed on Versa are Exercise, Music, Alarm, Coach and Relax.

Exercise provides Run, Bike, Swim, Treadmill, Weights, Interval Timer and Workout exercises. To use Run and Bike, you must connect to your phone to use its GPS. All in all, there are over 15 exercises for you to select.

The Versa also has a SmartTrack function that automatically records selected exercises like running, biking, and elliptical and aerobic workouts automatically. By default, Versa will record any exercise you do for at least 15 minutes. You can use the app to adjust the time period.

Fitbit Coach provides guided bodyweight workouts on your wrist to help you stay fit. Three workouts are immediately available on Versa – 10-Minute Abs, 7-Minute Workout and Treasure Chest. You can create a Fitbit Coach account for more workouts, including one that’s personalised.

The Relax app is very useful and it can help you ease tension. It provides guided breathing sessions. It will guide you to sense your breathing and use a circle that expands and shrinks in intervals. You breathe in when the circle expands and out when it shrinks. You do this for about two minutes and Versa will report whether your breathing alignment to the guide is low, medium or good, as well as your heart rate.

During the test, I used the Run function on a short 4.7km walk. The watch has no “walk” exercise and I have a spine injury and cannot run. Versa had no problem connecting to my phone and using its GPS to correctly display the map of my neighbourhood. The app reported my distance, pace and elapsed time of my walk.

Fitbit Versa is available at B2S, Life, King Power, Powerbuy, VMart and Lazada. The device is also available for sale on Fitbit.com and at major online retailers for Bt8,490 in black with a black aluminium case, grey with a silver aluminium case, or peach with a rose-gold aluminium case.

Accessories range from Bt1,090 to Bt3,290.

The Fitbit Versa Special Edition costs Bt9,490 in a lavender woven band with rose-gold aluminium case or charcoal woven band with graphite aluminium case, both with an extra black classic band.

Fitbit Versa KEY SPECS

– Display: touch screen LCD

– Case dimensions: 36×29.23x21mm

– Sensors: 3axis accelerometer, 3axis gyroscope, Optical heart rate monitor, Altimeter, Ambient light sensor, Vibration motor, SpO2 sensor

– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi antenna (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0

– Memory: Saves 7 days of detailed motion data – minute by minute, saves daily totals for past 30 days, stores heartrate data at 1-second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5-second intervals all other times

– Water resistance: 50 metres underwater

– Battery: Lithiumpolymer, two-hour charging

 

 

The Nation
Republished with permission from The Nation
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