This month marks a year since I started working in a full time job again. I can’t quite believe it. The year has flown by! While there have been some amazing benefits to this new way of life – there have also been some negatives such as less time for friends and less time for exercise.
A few months back I realised that I had become completely sedentary… not good for someone who had been managing to run 5km two or three times a week.
I realised I needed to make some changes and to find a way to incorporate some more movement into my daily life so I signed up to twice weekly bootcamp/ kick classes at a local home-based gym.
Around the same time I realised that my Discovery points needed a boost if we were going to stay on Diamond status for 2020 and so I kicked into high gear, wearing my Fitbit Alta HR every day and aiming for 10 000 steps every day – some better than others!
Fortunately a few weeks later I was invited to the launch of the brand new Fitbit Versa 2 and as an active Fitbit user I was really keen to find out more about what features this new model offered…
The Fitbit Versa 2™ is the next generation of the best-selling smartwatch, Fitbit Versa™.
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals.
The latest edition to the Fitbit smartwatch family delivers a new precision-crafted swimproof design, includes innovative sleep features like Sleep Score and smart wake, and is packed with even more advanced health, fitness and smart features to elevate every moment.
With this edition of the Versa there is a bit focus on sleep and ways to help improve your sleep as it is such an important component of overall health
For next-level convenience, Versa 2 also debuts an on-device microphone, which enables voice to text (Android phones only), along with a Spotify app that allows users to control their music and podcasts.
Coupled with even faster performance, a 5 day battery life, thousands of apps and clock faces and a brighter, crisper display with an optional always-on mode, Versa 2 is a 24/7 health and wellness companion!
Fitbit Versa 2 features
Better sleep for better, more active days
- Sleep Score: Receive a nightly score within the Fitbit® app for better insight into your sleep quality. Your score is based on heart rate (sleeping and resting), restlessness, time awake and Sleep Stages.
- Smart wake: Smart wake uses machine learning to wake you during an optimal time of your sleep cycle, while in light or REM sleep, based on a pre-selected 30-minute interval, so you wake up feeling more refreshed.
- Sleep Mode: Simultaneously disable your screen display and silence notifications for a night free of disturbances. Sleep Mode can also be used anytime you don’t want to be interrupted, like during a workout or in a meeting.
Added convenience and smart features to amplify your day
- Fitbit is brings the Spotify app experience to Versa 2, allowing Spotify Premium subscribers to control music and podcasts so you can find all-day motivation directly from your wrist.
- To help simplify your life, Versa 2 offers all the essential smart features like smartphone notifications so you can view app, call, calendar and text notifications right from your wrist. If you have an Android phone, you can also use the new on-device microphone to reply to texts and notifications from the wrist.
Faster performance, elevated design
- Easily check the time and see your stats during a workout without lifting your wrist or pressing a button.
Accessories designed for every occasion
- To complement its enhanced design, Versa 2 offers a wide variety of new accessories for work, play and working out, all of which are compatible across the entire Versa family. Featuring new colours, materials, and styles, the lineup offers an array of options for any lifestyle or activity:
- Classic bands: Stain-resistant, comfortable, soft and waterproof, classic silicone bands are available in new colours, including black, petal, stone, midnight blue and olive.
- Sport-inspired: Designed for all types of workouts or a sportier look, the Versa family’s first sport bands are perforated for added breathability, available in navy, black, glacier, frost white and coral, in the same stain-resistant, comfortable silicone as the classic bands.
- Athleisure-centric: Woven bands made from recycled materials flaunt a reflective stripe and come in on-trend colour combinations, like charcoal with an orange stripe, pink on pink stripe, and navy on navy stripe.
- Fashionable leather and suede: Premium Horween® leather perforated bands in charcoal and moss suede, add an elegance to any look, whether at the office or a night out.
Fitbit Versa 2 specs
Display: 300 x 300 pixel touchscreen AMOLED
Materials: Aluminum watch case
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Water resistance: Up to 50m
Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor, vibration motor, NFC, microphone, and relative SpO2 sensor
Battery life: 5 days of standard usage
So what are my thoughts?
Fitbit Versa 2 review
Well, in comparison to the Alta HR, which I have used for about 2 years, this is a vast improvement. I love the larger watch face that is easy to personalise. I have found the silicone watch strap really comfortable to wear all day (and night). The flatter watch face certainly makes this watch much more comfortable to wear at night while I’m sleeping and that allows for far better sleep tracking which I have appreciated (it’s been fascinating to read my sleep stats and the truth is we all sleep far less than we think we do!)
I like the heart rate monitor on this watch and have found it really interesting to see how my resting heart rate has dropped from 68BPM when I first started exercising again, to 60BPM at the time of writing! It really is a massive motivator to see some measurable “results” and benefits to my exercise.
I have also found the Fitbit period tracker to be really helpful. As someone with a very intermittent cycle it is super helpful to track my cycle on the phone app and then get notifications about when to expect it’s arrival.
These have been my initial findings. I’m yet to set up my Spotify account but I am looking forward to discovering more of it’s features as I use the watch more and more. So far it’s been a welcome addition to my daily life and has certainly motivated to get more steps in, raise my heart rate during exercise and get to bed earlier! All really positive in my opinion!
The Versa 2 is aimed at users keen on fitness rather than those seeking productivity from a wearable watch. While health and activity tracking takes center stage, the Versa 2 bridges the gap between phone and wrist by offering sms and calendar notifications as well as ways to play music from your phone while on a run or during a workout session.
Fitbit have also recently announced Fitbit Premium, a paid subscription service in the Fitbit® app that takes your unique data to deliver Fitbit’s most personalised experience yet, with actionable guidance and coaching to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Premium leverages insights from 10+ years of Fitbit data as well as academic and medical expertise to help you move more, sleep better and eat well with customised programs, advanced sleep features, personal insights, hundreds of workouts, new challenges, health reports and more – all in one place and made just for you. A 90 day free trial of Fitbit Premium will be available on the Versa 2 Special Edition.
The Versa 2 works on iOS or Android however it lacks built-in GPS which may be a deal-breaker for runners.
Versa 2 is now available in select local retailers such as Cape Union Mart, Dion Wired, Dischem, eBucks, FNB, Incredible Connection, Takealot, Sportsmans Warehouse, Makro, Totalsports and Superbalist for a RRP of R3,999.00 for the standard edition and the special edition at RRP of R4,999.00.
The Standard Edition is available in black with a carbon case, petal with a copper rose aluminium case, emerald with a copper rose aluminium case, Bordeaux with a copper rose aluminium case and stone with a mist grey case.
Versa 2 Special Edition will be available in navy and pink with a copper rose aluminium case and smoke with a mist grey case.
Versa 2 accessories will be available from select local retailers for a RRP of R599 – R799.