We’re solely simply starting to find how sleep could make us happier and more healthy. So it is smart that, in its latest wearable, Fitbit locations a lot emphasis on its sleep monitoring know-how. It is an particularly shrewd transfer, because the latest Apple Watch nonetheless has no sleep tech baked in.
This standout sleep-tracking characteristic was one thing I used to be keen to check. The Versa 2 comes with a trial of Fitbit Premium, the corporate’s paid subscription service with a number of totally different guided well being packages. I picked the sleep-focused program (“Get Extra Zzz’s”) and ready to right away pump up my immune system and short-term reminiscence. It was straightforward to observe the strategies and up my hours asleep instantly. Screens off at 9:30 pm? Examine. However my Sleep Rating—a quantity Fitbit makes use of to price my slumber—didn’t instantly enhance.
I clicked additional into the app and found that I’m a stressed sleeper; I don’t really spend that a lot time in deep REM. My stress ranges appeared excessive, Fitbit tactfully recommended. Did I do know that the corporate additionally has a meditation app? Ugh. How do you know, Fitbit!?
Shiny Completely happy Individuals
I’ve really helpful the previous few iterations of the vastly in style Versa as the very best health tracker to your cash. This fall, the corporate added the subscription service and an entire slew of options to the watch-like wearable, whereas preserving the worth at a (comparatively) reasonably priced $200. You too can get a reduction in case your medical health insurance supplier is one in every of Fitbit’s most popular companions.
The Versa 2 has a extra premium feel and appear than the earlier Versas. There’s no “fitbit” inscribed on the bezel, and the glass watch face and physique have extra rounded edges. You management the watch by swiping the silky glass face, or pushing one button on the left aspect.
The brand new AMOLED display screen has noticeably darker darks and brighter brights than earlier Versa screens. On these older variations of the watch, I saved the clock face easy. Right here, although, I felt the brighter display screen warranted switching to a ravishing, detailed floral clock face.
The display screen now additionally has an non-compulsory always-on mode. I used to be trying ahead to extra trackers together with this characteristic (the Apple Watch 5 additionally has an always-on display screen now) however I used to be shocked to seek out it slightly annoying. Relatively than preserving your identical clock face at all times on, the Fitbit switches to a easy display screen when it could usually fall asleep. I didn’t must faucet or jiggle my wrist to examine the time, however I did nonetheless must wake it up as a way to entry the dashboard.
The Versa 2 additionally now has an onboard microphone and incorporates Alexa, which is nice. I like my privateness. I don’t maintain sensible cameras inside my home, and I don’t like sensible audio system eavesdropping on my pissed-off whisper-fights with my husband within the kitchen.
However a small, button-activated Alexa that doesn’t speak again—you examine the responses on the display screen—is simply the correct amount of Alexa for me. My youngsters couldn’t work together with it, and I may examine the forecast whereas dressing my toddler, or shortly set a number of timers whereas cooking dinner.
Fitbit Premium, which begins as a $10 month-to-month subscription or an $80 annual subscription, contains personalised suggestions relying in your health targets. 4 of the 9 guided packages required me to trace my meals consumption, which I discover to be tedious and doubtless inaccurate. I did discover it useful to get reminders about preparing for mattress on time, and about doing mindfulness workout routines.
Who’s On First?
The Versa 2 has three massive strike marks in opposition to it. First, the watch can solely connect with Wi-Fi on the two.four GHz band. In equity to Fitbit, most smartwatches can solely connect with the two.four GHz band, and I wasn’t anticipating this to be an issue. I’ve a dual-band community at dwelling, and former iterations of the Versa have been in a position to simply discover the two.four GHz band.
However for some motive, the Versa 2 couldn’t connect with my community. Additionally, if your house router solely broadcasts a 5 GHz band, you is likely to be caught. I didn’t really discover it to be an issue, since I simply synced the watch to my telephone through Bluetooth. However it could be annoying if I wished to go phone-free, obtain music, and join my headphones.
And whereas the app on my iPhone is, as at all times, clear, enticing, and straightforward to make use of, the Versa 2’s software program was just a bit … patchy. For instance, I lastly caved and received a Spotify Premium subscription to check the app.
However to make use of the app, the Versa 2 must be related to my telephone, and I additionally must open the app on my telephone. The app solely lets me management whether or not or to not skip songs, and I can’t management Spotify whereas the Versa 2 is monitoring an train. Additionally, the Versa 2 doesn’t have onboard GPS, solely related GPS. After three days, I gave up attempting to manage music with the watch and simply introduced my telephone on runs with me.
And at last, the Versa solely permits voice-to-text message responses for Android telephones. It’s not that massive a deal, nevertheless it does function a reminder that Fitbit’s merchandise are extra supposed for an Android-using viewers. That brings us to the ultimate massive strike in opposition to the Versa 2: It’s not an Apple Watch.
Apple’s current announcement that it’s going to begin promoting the Watch Collection three for a similar value because the Versa 2 (simply $199) appears loads like a direct—and hilariously petty—strike in opposition to this lookalike competitor. However the Versa 2 does put up a great battle. First off, Apple cannot greatest its battery. Even with the always-on characteristic turned on, I nonetheless received a full 5 days of battery life. It has very detailed sleep-tracking options that Apple has but to bake into Apple Well being.
Fitbit additionally has an enormous consumer neighborhood, which issues if connecting to your family and friends is a crucial a part of preserving you motivated in your health targets. And I additionally like Fitbit Premium’s strategies and the Fitbit Coach. The latter allows you to sneak in fast and handy seven- to 15-minute guided exercises with out losing time scrolling via movies on YouTube.
Are these adequate causes to purchase it? When you’re an iOS devotee with a watch on the brand new Watch, most likely not. In any other case, the Versa 2 nonetheless has loads of options to advocate it, particularly when you like sleeping and do not like charging your battery! That is a not-insignificant client demographic that additionally contains me.
Extra Nice WIRED Tales