Fitbit debuts Versa 2 lifestyle smartwatch to fight Apple Watch

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Fitbit announced the launch of the Fitbit Versa 2, the second generation of their popular Fitbit Versa, set to release on September 15.




The Fitbit Versa line is designed to be an affordable alternative to other smart watches, such as the Apple Watch. The newest iteration of the Versa, the Versa 2, has received several upgrades, such as water resistance up to 50 meters and a larger screen, to make it an attractive alternative to higher end smartwatches.

"At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," said James Park, Fitbit's CEO. "That's why we've designed Versa 2 to be a premium, full-featured and easy-to-use smartwatch at an accessible price point."

The most prominent change is the upgraded sleep tracker. The Versa 2 features Sleep Score, Smart Wake, Sleep Mode and will soon roll out the ability to estimate a wearers oxygen levels in their bloodstream while sleeping.

The Versa 2 includes Fitbit's first on-device microphone, giving users access to the built in version of Alexa. The Versa 2 Alexa features a discreet text-only response, and allows users to look up locations and information via voice commands.

Taking a page out of Apple's Watch-based Apple Pay, the Versa 2 has Fitbit Pay. Fitbit Pay allows users to pay by tapping their Versa 2 on any card reader that accepts wireless tap-to-pay methods, as well as access seven worldwide transit systems like New York's MTA OMNY and Vancouver's TransLink.

Fitbit has also brought Spotify to the Versa 2, giving users the ability to control their Spotify App from their wrist. Additionally, the Versa can store and play 300+ songs from a wearers library, download Pandora stations, and add Deezer playlists.

According to the press release, the Versa 2 is powered by a faster processor and has a larger AMOLED display. An optional always-on display mode features a two-day battery life.

The Versa 2 retails for $199.95 for the base model while the Special Edition retails for $299.95. The Versa 2 comes with three free months of Fitbit Premium, and is currently available to pre-order here, with the official release slated for September 15.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 332member
    "At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," -- that's why we charge $30 more than an AW S3 and charge you $10 a month for our full suite of features! Can't wait to through my money at Fitbit!
    jahbladeAppleExposedGG1anantksundarammacpluspluschiajbdragonanton zuykovfrantisekwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I see how hard  they worked to make their watch design to distinguish from Apple Watch. lol.

    jahbladeAppleExposedanantksundaramchialolliverjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,157member
    If they, or Apple, can actually get the oxygen level feature to work reliably and accurately it would be a breakthrough in the early detection of Sleep Apnea. My money and trust is still on Apple when it comes to putting health sensors and software out there that can withstand the scrutiny of professional health and regulatory agencies. This isn’t a game meant to be played by amateurs. They’d better have their act together. 
    edited August 28 lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    netroxnetrox Posts: 787member
    The fact that Versa 2 can last for five days on single charge shows that Apple Watch can offer that. I like to sleep with watch on as it monitors my sleep. And I have to rechrage it during shower which sometimes I forget.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,517unconfirmed, member
    Expect these to look closer and closer to the real thing (Apple Watch).

    gutengel said:
    "At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," -- that's why we charge $30 more than an AW S3 and charge you $10 a month for our full suite of features! Can't wait to through my money at Fitbit!

    Really?! Anyone who spends that much on an Apple Watch ripoff deserves to be ripped off. I say the same for the idiots that buy iPhone-priced knockoffs from Sammy and others who think they're comparable.

    netrox said:
    The fact that Versa 2 can last for five days on single charge shows that Apple Watch can offer that. I like to sleep with watch on as it monitors my sleep. And I have to rechrage it during shower which sometimes I forget.

    Um, no. Apple Watch offers more so naturally the battery will drain faster.
    StrangeDayschialolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,576member
    gutengel said:
    "At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," -- that's why we charge $30 more than an AW S3 and charge you $10 a month for our full suite of features! Can't wait to through my money at Fitbit!
    And why they won't integrate your data with HealthKit, the repository of your health data. Nope, they insist on keeping it siloed within their system. No sale. Even if it wasn't butt ugly.
    razorpitlolliverjbdragonRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    I think the problem they have is they price there product too high. For $199 you can regularly get an Apple Watch on sale if you get a model back. And Apple watch is the gold standard of wearables. If they sold these at $99 I think they'd have a real market for it. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like if I'm going to spend $199 I'll get an Apple Watch, for $99 I'd be interested in their watch.
    razorpitlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,006member
    gutengel said:
    "At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," -- that's why we charge $30 more than an AW S3 and charge you $10 a month for our full suite of features! Can't wait to through my money at Fitbit!
    And why they won't integrate your data with HealthKit, the repository of your health data. Nope, they insist on keeping it siloed within their system. No sale. Even if it wasn't butt ugly.
    But if you don't have one then you're going to miss out on FitbitPay©. Your loss....     /s
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,517unconfirmed, member
    I think the problem they have is they price there product too high. For $199 you can regularly get an Apple Watch on sale if you get a model back. And Apple watch is the gold standard of wearables. If they sold these at $99 I think they'd have a real market for it. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like if I'm going to spend $199 I'll get an Apple Watch, for $99 I'd be interested in their watch.
    iKnockoff users love these! It's the closest they'll get to wearing an Apple Watch paired with their knockoff AirPods from Soundmates and they're set!
    Really, this is the last market for these and they'll still sell a bit more until people upgrade to Apple Watch.

    But I also read somewhere that Fitbits sales were tanking so they announced they'd be giving away fitness trackers for free to fuel their future services. (Free to whom I don't remember.) They're really trying to be the Apple knockoff in this space.
    anantksundaramlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    GG1GG1 Posts: 276member
    Expect these to look closer and closer to the real thing (Apple Watch).
    Ask and you shall receive...from Huami (a Xiaomi-owned brand).

    The article's title:

    Huami puts Apple Watch Series 4 through the photocopier in China

    From the article: "The intent is clearly to confuse customers and pass off the Apple Watch design at a cheaper price."


    I'm guessing that this device won't be sold outside of China, so Apple probably don't stand a chance on copyright issues against Huami.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    netroxnetrox Posts: 787member
     

    netrox said:
    The fact that Versa 2 can last for five days on single charge shows that Apple Watch can offer that. I like to sleep with watch on as it monitors my sleep. And I have to rechrage it during shower which sometimes I forget.

    Um, no. Apple Watch offers more so naturally the battery will drain faster.

    Apple Watch doesn't have to drain faster if the features are not active hence my point. The biggest power consumption is the display and if FitBit can have display on for two days straight or last for five days with "normal use", then there's no reason why Apple Watch cannot be more efficient as well. 


  • Reply 12 of 16
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,391member
    gutengel said:
    "At Fitbit, we believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health," -- that's why we charge $30 more than an AW S3 and charge you $10 a month for our full suite of features! Can't wait to through my money at Fitbit!
    Does the AW S3 come with a free iPhone now?  Oh, you mean I need to purchase that as well before I can use my AW S3?
    bigtds
  • Reply 13 of 16
    fred1fred1 Posts: 342member
    netrox said:
    The fact that Versa 2 can last for five days on single charge shows that Apple Watch can offer that. I like to sleep with watch on as it monitors my sleep. And I have to rechrage it during shower which sometimes I forget.
    Strange.  I use an app to monitor my sleep and I still have around 50% battery the next morning.  This gives me plenty of time to charge my watch at some point during the day.

    Speaking of which, I laugh at the articles that praise the Fitbit watch for having a sleep monitoring feature.  Well, if you still have $4.99 left over after you buy your Apple Watch (!), you can get the premium version of Pillow, and I'm sure there are other similar apps out there. (No, I have no financial interest in this app).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,138member
    Except for access to the app store, this appears to offer many of the core features of Apple Watch at a fraction of the cost.   For many, it will be an attractive option.

    True, it can't really compare to the full blown Apple Watch -- but for many people the 80/20 rules applies and they'll be happy getting that core 80%
    bigtds
  • Reply 15 of 16
    llamallama Posts: 55member
    Couple of corrections: Versa 2 Special Edition is $229.95 USD vs $199.95 for the standard Versa 2.  The only real differences between the two is the inclusion of a "special" extra band and 3 month free trial of the FitBit Premium.  The standard only comes with a 7 day free trial.  FitBit Premium costs $9.99 USD/mo or $79.99/year.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    netrox said:
    The fact that Versa 2 can last for five days on single charge shows that Apple Watch can offer that. I like to sleep with watch on as it monitors my sleep. And I have to rechrage it during shower which sometimes I forget.
    Forget to charge or forget to shower?

    GeorgeBMac
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