Fitbit Versa 2 in the test: Battery wonders for smartwatch newbies
New smartwatch in the fitness test: How is the Fitbit Versa 2 different from its predecessor, which features are new? And the most important question: is the change worthwhile? Since I tested the Fitbit Versa some time ago, I wanted to know that very well and did the test.
A note in advance: In some aspects, the Fitbit Versa 2 is similar to the previous model, I will only address the striking differences. So take a look in my test of the Fitbit Versa , to get an idea of the basic features. A comparison of the two models can also be found in our comparison .
The devil is in the detail: The optics
Fitbit Versa (left) and Fitbit Versa 2: The visual differences are marginal.
A classic pin buckle keeps the Fitbit Versa 2 safe and reliable together.
On the right side is the microphone that controls Alexa.
The sensor for heart rate measurement is located as usual on the back of the case.
The first thing that stands out after unpacking the Fitbit Versa 2 is, of course, the look. The has changed only slightly compared to the previous model. The case around the display looks more elegant than the Fitbit Versa, the hard edges have disappeared. Also, the Fitbit logo is missing what the display benefits: It now measures 40 x 40 millimeters and has a screen diagonal of 1.4 inches, the Fitbit Versa is 1.34 inches. Does not sound like much, but makes a positive impact.
Instead of three buttons Fitbit Versa 2 has only one on the left side. This is not a disadvantage for the operation: Fitbit has replaced the heads with symbols on the display, which can be operated via touch function.
The Fitbit Ionic (left) in direct display comparison with the Fitbit Versa 2.
The differences between a LC display (left) and an AMOLED display (right) may be marginal at first glance …
… but still recognizable.
LCD vs. AMOLED
- LCD: display with built-in backlight; the colors are created by an additional layer in front of the lamps; less contrast; there is no danger that the picture burns like OLEDs.
- AMOLED: Samsung's OLED technology; OLEDs are based on self-luminous pixels; high contrast and intense colors
The Fitbit Versa's LCD screen replaces an AMOLED display on the new model. However, the direct comparison of the two screens (here compared to the LCD display of the Fitbit Ionic) makes it clear: on closer inspection, the icons of the Fitbit Ionic appear sharper than those of the Fitbit Versa 2. That the manufacturer has decided on an AMOLED display, I am surprised. With this screen technology, there is a high risk that the image will burn into the display. Especially with regard to the always-on option with the new smartwatch for me incomprehensible.
With the Fitbit Versa I had to lift my wrist and turn something to read the time. It is always visible in Alway On mode. However, in a slimmed-down version, the colored display of the Fitbit Versa 2 then gives way to a black and white representation of the time. If desired, two additional pieces of information such as steps taken or energy consumed can be displayed. This is of course handy on the one hand, but on the other hand, a small battery-eaters. More on that later.
A look at the inner values
On the display you will find current values clearly arranged.
As usual with Fitbit, the Fitbit Versa 2 can easily be linked to the existing account via an app. Just add the watch, follow the instructions of the app, start the synchronization – and you're ready to go. If data has already been tracked with another Fitbit device, these are easily transferred and continued.
One shortcoming is the missing GPS sensor as in the previous model. For the location of the location, for example, to display current weather data on the smartwatch, a smartphone is still needed. The same applies to listening to music. Here, the Apple Watch has a clear advantage.
Especially in sports, it is annoying to constantly drag my smartphone around with me. Especially in the gym, the danger is great that you (okay, especially me) forget the phone on one of the devices – unless it is attached, for example, with a cuff on the upper arm. Actually, I only want to listen to music via my watch, to stop time and track burnt calories – but without having to constantly have my smartphone with me.
Listen! The new Spotify integration
Yes, what have we here?
Spotify has finally arrived on the Fitbit Versa 2.
If you're listening to music on the go, you can use the smartwatch to change the tracks.
But the Fitbit Versa 2 has the Spotify integration, which I already wanted for the predecessor. I especially like the curated workout playlists. With "Fit with Beat", "Yoga Electronica", "Beast Mode", "Running to Rock 170-190 BPM" and the other lists I can adapt the music to my current sport.
In theory, that sounds great, in practice, the Spotify app on the Fitbit Versa 2 reacted tough. Before I could start my music, I had to open the Spotify app on my smartphone. Only then did the smartwatch connect and display my own and the curated playlists. If I wanted to switch to another list, the change took a relatively long time. From time to time, I even had the feeling that the smartwatch was hanging up. In reflex, I ended the application and rebooted it – only to find that it just loaded extremely slow.
Well-known features further developed
Sleep index and smart wake-up
According to sleep index, I should probably stop working better!
The Fitbit Versa 2 has the same features as its predecessor, but some have been further developed. These optimizations, which by the way apply to all new Fitbit devices, include the sleep index. It shows how restful the night was.
The sleep index
- Excellent: 90-100
- Good: 80-89
- Alright: 60-79
- Bad: less than 60
A look at my sleep index showed me that I – surprise – sleep worse during the week than at the weekend. The value is calculated from the duration of sleep (the longer I sleep, the better), the quality of sleep (the more deep sleep and REM phases I have, the better) and the relaxation during sleep.
In the app I also find tips to improve my sleep in the long term. In addition, there is talk of a premium offer, which should help me to a better index. However, the premium feature does not exist yet and I could not find any further information about it.
More detailed information on sleep and comparative values of the past weeks, you can find in the Fitbit app.
On the other hand, you can also access last night's data via the smartwatch.
This also applies to the breakdown of sleep.
In addition to the sleep index, there should be a new smart wake-up feature, but I could only find the gentle alarm function by a slight vibration on the wrist. But there are pretty much every Fitbit tracker, which is why I would not call this feature a smart wake-up. Actually, the function should wake me up to 30 minutes before my actual getting up – at a time when my sleep is particularly easy. But fine, I'll continue using my sleep cycle app.
Fitbit Pay, a tragedy
Not bad in theory. Now there should only be more banks with which Fitbit cooperates.
What is NFC?
I would gladly have tested Fitbit Pay with the Fitbit Versa 2 – especially since Apple Pay runs so well in Germany. But there are still hardly any banks that support this actually practical feature. Until now, only customers of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and Mercedes-Benz Bank as well as users of the pay-as-you-go app can pay via Fitbit Pay. An alternative is the Fitbit Visa Card. However, I have no desire to buy another credit card just to use Fitbit Pay. That should work more customer-friendly in my opinion. Who knows when and if I will even enjoy contactless payment? Privately, I wear the Special Edition Fitbit Charge 3, which is also equipped with an NFC chip. Disappointing, if this feature can not be used …
Press the left button longer …
… and Alexa is activated.
"How is the weather in Hamburg today?", "Set a timer for ten minutes" or "Frag Fitbit, how far I went yesterday": In the future, the Fitbit Versa 2 can be talked about – even though the conversation is very one-sided. You can give commands via the Alexa integration, but you will not get an answer like the Echo Dot.
The start of the timer and the setting of the alarm clock worked perfectly well by voice input. On the other hand, I was not able to test how well Alexa interacts with a smart home via Versa 2: my apartment is not yet equipped so advanced.
A real surprise: the battery
The design of the always-on display is reduced, but the time is always visible.
On the packaging, the battery life is specified with at least four days, with me the Fitbit Versa 2 in normal mode, even a full six days through – and I could have probably used them for a few hours longer.
The result was different with the always-on display activated. After just a few hours, the Fitbit Versa 2 was only 90 percent battery power, in the end, the battery still held good for four days. If you want to read the time at any time without first activating the display, the always-on feature is certainly handy. Me however, it does not bother to live with a second delay. I prefer a longer battery life.
Is it worthwhile to upgrade to the Fitbit Versa 2?
Not a smartwatch for sports professionals, but for those who may want to be.
The Fitbit Vesa 2 is more of a beginner model for me. If you want to get your first smartwatch and do not want to spend too much money, you will not go wrong with the Fitbit Versa 2. The price-performance ratio is right, the clock costs 199.95 euros or 229.95 euros as a special edition.
Although most of the features can be found on Fitbit's fitness trackers such as the Charge 3. But with the Spotify integration, the Versa 2 offers real added value; with the existing Smart Home technology, the Alexa connection is also exciting.
For me, however, a major shortcoming is that Fitbit Pay still does not work properly. Something that I have already noted in Fitbit Charge 3. The missing GPS sensor as well as the fact that I am relying on my smartphone nearby to stream music via Spotify are also two negative points. All features that make the Apple Watch just better.
|I enjoyed that||I did not like it that much|
|+ chic design||– Fitbit Pay can not really be used|
|+ long battery life||– missing GPS sensor|
|+ Spotify integration|
|+ Alexa integration|