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REVIEW: Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, Great Tracking For Less

In their effort to get everyone a little bit fit, Fitbit has unveiled a slew of new wearables including the pared-down version of its Versa series, and most affordable smartwatch to date, the Versa Lite Edition ($249.95).

To keep the price down, it has sacrificed some of the higher-end specs of the Versa series, however, it retains the majority of features that most people look for in a smartwatch-fitness tracker.

Geared towards first-time fitness tracker owners – like yours truly – is it worth it for the “Lite Edition” or should you bring out the big bucks for its bigger brethren?

DESIGN

It is a streamlined version of the Versa, retaining the same Apple-Watch-esque look with chamfered edge square watch face with a 1.34-inch display.

The smartwatch ships with two silicone straps, larger and smaller sizes to provide a good fit.

Fitbit is offering the Lite Edition in a range of bright colourful silicone bands, and if you don’t like the colour or material, these bands can be switched out easily (other bands sold separately).

The Lite Edition rests comfortably on the wrist and despite my initial concerns, it has a slim profile and isn’t bulky.

Unlike the other Versa watches, the Lite Edition only features one button on its side, relying on touch controls for all other commands.

Product render of Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, 3QTR view, in Marina Blue

PERFORMANCE

Even though the price for the Lite Edition has been cut, the smartwatch retains most tracking abilities.

It does omit the ability to track the number of stairs climbed. I don’t see this as a particularly valuable stat to track. But for those that do, then that is something to consider.

The Lite Edition also doesn’t include a dedicated GPS chip, instead relies upon your smartphone’s GPS to track your route.

Which means you would need to bring your phone with you if you want to track the route of your jog. As I am more of a hiker than a jogger who brings her phone with her everywhere, this wasn’t an issue for me.

The Versa allows users to sync music tracks via Wi-Fi and connect to headphones via Bluetooth, whereas the Lite Edition only allows wearers to stop/pause/skip music playing from their smartphone.

Again, although I am sure this was a handy feature in the Versa range, I don’t see this as a deal breaker.

The Lite Edition retains the ability to automatically detect when you are doing a specific workout so you don’t need to manually input either in the app or the watch itself.

I found this very helpful if I was running late to the gym and didn’t have time to add in the workout I was about to do.

It was accurate most of the time, however, it mistakenly logged my household chores as swimming. Nice to know I burn calories while doing the laundry.

The Lite Edition works in tandem with the Fitbit smartphone app, which is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

It compiles all fitness stats – steps, heart rate, exercise, sleep etc. – and provides easy to digest graphs and charts to see where you are in your fitness journey.

There are other options to track your menstrual cycle – which was just as accurate as the Clue app I usually use – and water intake, meals, and weight.

The dashboard is easy to read and can be organised to your preference. A version of the dashboard is available on the Lite Edition by swiping up on the clock face.

You can update water intake and more that way or through the app. I did both and both ways synced perfectly. More details are available on each stat – like exercise, steps, etc. – by swiping left or right on each metric.

Via the app, you can also join community groups to motivate each other to meet fitness goals.

If you want to update the watch’s clock face, this can be changed in the app as well.

You can choose from a large library of Fitbit made clockfaces or third parties, and you can even get a Bitmoji clockface so a little avatar of yourself keeps you motivated to work out.

Many of the clock faces are very data heavy, and then many just show the time. I preferred the default so after the novelty of the Bitmoji clock face wore off I put that one back on.

The Versa Lite Edition does provide push notifications to your phone.

If you get a call or a text message you can engage with them, the same with Facebook messenger, emails, Google Chat and more.

You can customise which notifications you receive on the Fitbit app and can block alerts for periods of time if you like.

For Android-owners – like myself — there are limited response options, but you could have a complete emoji conversation with someone if you tried, which I did.

Helpfully, like many of Fitbit’s smartwatches, the Lite Edition is water-resistant. I was hesitant at first to give it a proper test, but it survived sweat, swims, and showers easily.

The Lite Edition’s battery lasted up to five days on constant use and charged quickly.

VALUE

The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is the perfect smartwatch for the casual athlete or first-time fitness fanatic.

The Lite Edition is by no means a “basic” smartwatch, although that might be what its name implies.

It offers most of the fitness stats that more spec-heavy models provide, and only omit features that are superfluous for someone just starting out in the smartwatch world.

However, the regular Versa line offers Fitbit Coach, music storage, and stair tracking. If that’s what you are looking for, you might want to shell out for the more spec-heavy sisters in the Versa line.

If you are looking for your first smartwatch, or you are looking for a quality smartwatch on a budget and don’t mind missing out on those features, the Versa Lite Edition is definitely the way to go.

The Fitbit Versa Lite is available now from Fitbit website and various authorised retailers for RRP $249.95.

DESIGN 9/10
PERFORMANCE 9/10
VALUE 9/10

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