The Fitbit Versa 4 is a great, affordable fitness tracker packed into a smartwatch body, but it doesn’t truly build on the Versa 3’s fine work. In fact, it has less capabilities and is still limited by its Premium subscription service, which makes the previous Versa a better investment.
With the Fitbit Sense 2 and now the Google Pixel Watch sitting above it, the Fitbit Versa 4 is the cheapest new Fitbit wristwatch you can buy right now.
The Versa 4 has many of the same features as the Versa 3, and it will benefit from becoming a member of the Google family with the addition of some Google apps.
This is in addition to the standard exercise, sleep, health, and stress tracking functions that may be the primary reasons you’re considering a Versa 4 over other similarly priced smartwatches.
The Fitbit Versa 4 resembles the Versa 3. It has a 40.5mm square aluminium case body with gently curved corners, and the silicone classic band that comes with it is available in small and large sizes. As a package, it is waterproof up to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming. It’s a smartwatch that feels best suited to individuals with slimmer wrists.
Apart from the physical button, which was featured on the original Versa and the Versa 2, it appears to be the same gadget as its predecessor. It has since been reinstalled after being removed from the Versa 3. This means relying less on the touchscreen and having another option to access the main menu screen or shortcut settings. It’s simply a far superior option than Fitbit’s squeezable case approach for the Versa 3.
The case body is the same 11.2mm thickness as the Fitbit Sense 2, making it smaller than the Versa 3. It has a 1.58-inch, 336 x 336 resolution screen, which matches the screen used on the previous Versa. It means you’ll receive a screen with plenty of brightness, vibrant colors, and the ability to run continuously. When this option is enabled, expect the battery to last a few days rather than a week. But, there is a lot of bezel on that screen, and it would have been wonderful if Fitbit had made a little more room for that watch software to stretch across.
There are three case colors to choose from: graphite, platinum, and copper rose, and there are numerous strap options, including a perforated sport band, woven leather, and woven nylon bands. If there’s one thing Fitbit gets right, it’s that it offers a wide range of watch strap alternatives.
Apart from the button, the Versa 4 feels like a Versa 3 clone. If you enjoyed the style and the idea of a somewhat slimmer design, you’ll be pleased with this option. If you were hoping for big improvements from Fitbit, you’ll be disappointed, but at least the button is back.
The Versa 4 runs the most recent version of Fitbit’s FitbitOS, which is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, and I tested it with the latter.
Fitbit has never talked about the computational power contained within its smartwatches, and the Versa 4 is no exception. What I can say is that the performance is a little smoother than it was on the Sensation 2.
It also benefits from a redesigned software UI that is more in line with what is available on Google’s WearOS. It still looks and feels like FitbitOS, but there are some similarities here.
There are screen-sized widgets for things like heart rate and weather forecasts, and the Today dashboard can be expanded to view progress on components like steps and distance. The button also takes you to the main program screen, and while the software and user experience aren’t particularly memorable, they are simple to grasp.
When it comes to setting up the Fitbit Versa 4, you’ll need the same Fitbit companion phone app as previously. Getting things set up quickly reveals some significant missing features. For starters, the Fitbit Gallery app store now only supports native apps. There are still watch faces, both free and paid for, as well as those geared to make the most of the always-on screen, but third-party apps have vanished.
You still have access to and support for Amazon Alexa, and there’s Fitbit Pay, with Google Wallet coming to the watch at a later date. You can no longer use Google’s Assistant instead of Amazon’s, which seems weird given that Fitbit is now part of Google and will be introducing other Google apps to the wearable, such as Maps.
Again, it’s difficult to identify what’s notably different from what the Versa 4 provides that the Versa 3 does not. Built-in GPS, SpO2, heart rate and temperature tracking (at night), Cardio Fitness and Daily Readiness Scores, and the option to view stress management scores are among the top features. There doesn’t appear to be anything new here.
The Versa 4’s core fitness and sleep monitoring experiences remain the primary reasons to continue wearing it. It’s quite basic fitness tracking, recording steps, prodding you when you don’t move, and displaying that data on the watch and within the app in a way that doesn’t feel intimidating.
However, step counts were in sync with Garmin’s own fitness tracking and tracking from the Oura Ring 3. For sleep, you get a breakdown of sleep stages and sleep scores, which felt like credible insights about your overall sleep time. You can also monitor your heart rate, temperature, and SpO2, which can help you understand how your body is feeling but does not provide serious health alerts.
Fitbit’s first smartwatch, the Versa, was a game changer. The previous Versa watches seemed to be gaining traction, but the Versa 4 falls flat. Do Google and Fitbit intend to keep this wristwatch alive now that the Google Pixel Watch is available? So far, the signals aren’t promising.