March 21, 2018

Fitbit announces Versa smartwatch and Ace activity tracker for kids

13 March 2018, 08:41 | Lucia Cruz

Fitbit Versa smartwatch brings women's health tracking and a curvier design

Fitbit Versa brings female health tracking and a much-improved design

The Fitbit Versa actually marks the company's third attempt to make a fully-featured smartwatch, with the previous two releases failing to catch on to the extent that they had hoped. Along with the Versa, Fitbit also introduced a fitness band called "Ace" which is targetted at kids of age 8 and older.

Breaking into the luxury wearable arena when it's now dominated by the likes of the Apple Watch Series 3 is no easy feat, but the Fitbit Versa may be the device that can knock Apple off its throne when it comes to fitness trackers. According to the company, the Versa is the "lightest metal smartwatch" in the US market right now. The smartwatch has a touchscreen that offers 1,000 nits of brightness, and Fitbit says the Versa has a battery that can last more than 4 days on a single charge. But at $300, it was almost the price of an Apple Watch with fewer capabilities.

If you hadn't noticed by now that the Versa and Ionic are pretty much neck-in-neck in all categories so far, let this be your reminder.

When the Ionic first arrived, we described FitbitOS as offering "smartwatch scaffolding" - but with version 2.0 on the Versa, it's definitely starting to look more like the finished article. This is probably going to be turn off for serious athletes, but Fitbit is branding this for the masses. The most appealing factor in terms of the look of the device is the watch bands. This is created to become more personalised over time, sending reminders and providing insights based on your previous data (coming later in 2018).

Fitbit, currently one of the most well-known names in the fitness tracking world, has seven different trackers on sale right now. The Versa is available to preorder at Fitbit's store and select online retailers from today. It comes in three standard colors: Black, Rose Gold, and Silver, which are priced at $199.95 and the limited edition colors: Graphite and Rose Gold with a Lavender Woven band for $229.95. Shipping will start in April.

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It's a bit of a step-up in price, so if you want most of the same features and arguably a better design, you can rest easy spending less on the Versa.

If you need a slim fitness tracker and Fitbit device that doesn't skimp on the features, the Alta HR is for you. However, Fitbit is another major player in the wearable arena and has been helping people track their steps long before Apple gave their take on the technology.

The Versa connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth LE and displays notifications.

Children will also be encouraged to compete with other family members wearing Fitbits in a Family Face-off five-day step challenge.

Rates of obesity among children and teenagers have soared 10-fold around the world in the past four decades, a global study found a year ago. Which of them is the best Fitbit device for you? It will be available in blue or purple and cost $99.95.

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