A Smartwatch for the Masses

Everything You Need to Know About Fitbit’s Newest Smartwatch


March 13, 2018 Tech By Photo by Fitbit

Fitbit just announced two new devices. First, there’s the Fitbit Versa, a $199 smartwatch that can do almost everything that the Ionic, Fitbit’s $299 smartwatch that was released this past October, can do. The other new device is the Fitbit Ace, a fitness tracker that’s designed to inspire kids to stay active.

Fitbit Versa

At $199, the Fitbit Versa is probably a better value proposition for most people than the Ionic (which is only $30 less expensive than the hugely popular Apple Watch Series 3). The Versa is extremely slim and, according to Fitbit, it’s the company’s lightest metal smartwatch in the U.S. market. It promises to track workouts, sleep and overall health; its smartwatch features include displaying notifications, accessing a range of unique apps and, if you have an Android device, allowing you to quickly reply to text messages. Maybe its best feature is its four-day battery life, which is huge. It also looks like a slimmed-down Apple Watch, which most people will like.

As far as music goes, Fitbit partnered with Deezer and Pandora; if you’re a premium subscriber to either of those music services, you can download playlists (up to 300 songs) directly to the watch and listen to them without your phone nearby. The Versa doesn’t allow you to download songs from Apple Music or Spotify, but it does have enough internal storage to store mp3 files (so you can upload songs directly from an iTunes library, for example, and save them to the smartwatch).

The big tradeoff with the Versa is that, unlike the more expensive Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch Series 3, among other more serious fitness trackers, it doesn’t have built-in GPS. This means it’s not going to be as accurate at tracking distances and speed for runs, cycling, hiking, swimming or whatever activity you’re doing. This is probably going to be turn off for serious athletes, but it’s worth noting that will use your smartphone’s GPS to track your location when it’s nearby.

Fitbit is also targeting women with the Versa. The smartwatch has a new female health tracking feature that’s designed to help women track “their period, estimated fertile window and overall health and wellness.” This health tracking feature will also be available for women who use the Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit app this spring.

The Fitbit Versa is available for preorder today for $199 on Fitbit’s website. You can order it in black with a black aluminum case, in gray with a silver aluminum case or in peach with a rose gold aluminum case. It will ship this April.

Fitbit Ace

The Fibit Ace is an activity tracker that’s designed to make fitness fun for kids eight-years-old and up. If the design looks familiar, that’s because it’s a redesign of the company’s old fitness tracker, the Fitbit Alta. The Ace has a five-day battery life and it tracks steps, active minutes and sleep. The Ace gives kids push notifications that encourages them to get up and be active. And it notifies them when they achieve their goals. It should be noted that these “get up and be active” notifications can be turned off so that kids don’t go nuts in the middle of the school day. If the child has a smartphone, the Ace will display call and text notifications, too.

This kid-friendly fitness tracker is designed as a great way for parents to monitor their kid’s activity. Through the Fitbit app, parents can set up a Fitbit family account, and this will give them parental controls. They can check their child’s activity and progress on activity goals. If other family members have a Fitbit device, they can all become “friends” in the app and see each other’s stats — that way the whole family can stay in healthy competition. With the growing rates of obesity in children, Fitbit believes that Ace is a great way to teach children healthy habits.

For Fitbit Ace, parents have to set up a Fitbit family account, which gives them parental controls.

The Fitbit Ace is available for preorder today for $99 on Fitbit’s website. It will be available in two different colors, electric blue and power purple.

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