Smart Watch

Review The Fitbit Versa 2 Is A Near-Perfect Fitness Tracker With Some Smartwatch Perks

Fitbit illustrates that less is more with the Versa 2. The fitness company has improved on everything that made the original an appealing affordable smartwatch, added a somewhat fussy voice assistant, and spit out a near-perfect fitness tracker with some smartwatch perks. It’s one of Fitbit’s greatest fitness watches, but the lack of a GPS chip means you’ll need to have your phone with you wherever you go.
The Fitbit Versa 2 was the company’s first genuine smartwatch, and it has held up nicely over time. Although though it has been supplanted by the Fitbit Versa 3 (which has the extra bonus of on-board GPS), it remains one of the best Fitbits available, and is especially worth considering if you’re looking for a low-cost smartwatch.

Fitbit struggled to compete with the Apple Watch and specialist running watches from Garmin after the release of its first smartwatch, the Ionic. Then came the Fitbit Versa, which completely transformed the company’s fortunes. It’s no surprise that Fitbit immediately followed up with the Versa 2 and, eventually, the Versa 3.

1. Design

When it comes to the design, Fibit’s attitude seems to be one of ‘if it ain’t busted, don’t repair it’. Users appear to have embraced the’squircle’ appearance of the Apple Watch and the first Versa, which Fitbit has carried over to the Versa 2. At first sight, the new fitness watch appears to be very identical to its predecessor, but closer investigation shows a few minor changes that give the Versa 2 a really elegant appearance.

It’s just slightly thicker than the Apple Watch 3 at 0.47 inches (12mm), but because the chassis tapers inward toward the heart monitor underneath, it appears thinner. With a 40mm screen size, it should fit most wrists.
Luckily, Fitbit has removed its logo from the Versa’s bottom bezel, which means the Versa 2’s bezels are somewhat thinner, allowing you slightly more screen real estate than before. While the display’s black background usually does a good job of hiding the bezels, they are visible from some angles, but easily overlooked.

Whereas the original Versa featured three buttons on the chassis, two on the left and one on the right, the Versa 2 only has one on the left, which functions as both the’select’ and the ‘return’ button. This means you’re never more than a button push away from the feature you need to use, and all other navigation is handled via the touchscreen.
When it comes to the screen, it’s the one major hardware advancement worth noting. Unlike the Versa’s LCD display, the second-generation Fitbit wristwatch features a vibrant AMOLED touchscreen protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

It can reach up to 1,000 nits of brightness, but we found this to be too bright for general use, so we set our Versa 2 at the lowest brightness setting permanently. Even on a ‘dark’ setting, the 300 x 300 resolution screen is sharp and, thanks to its ambient light sensor, can alter brightness according on the environment.

Another significant addition to the Versa 2 is an always-on mode. This option is turned off by default, and you must go into the watch’s settings window to change it. There were no customization choices for the always-on watch face at launch, and it was confined to a single default analog or digital option until now. A fresh firmware update, however, has brought a slew of third-party always-on faces, some of which may be tweaked. They’re available via the companion app, although the most of them are expensive, with only a few free watch faces.

2. Fitbit Charge

Finally, Fitbit Premium is an optional service that unlocks a slew of extra goods within the superb Fitbit app for £7.99 per month or £79.99 for a year if paid in full. This may seem like a lot, but it significantly improves the app’s appeal by providing: guided video and voice exercises; tailored insights into your lifestyle gleaned from the watch; and improved insights into how each night’s sleep is broken down.

The guided workouts are unquestionably the star of the show, with a personal trainer showing you how to do various exercises and leading you through them. There are a plethora of these, each indicating how long it will take and how many calories you can anticipate to burn. The gym and home-based ones include video (which may be projected onto a large screen), whilst running and walking ones include music and lyrics to keep you encouraged and lead you through the experience. It’s really quite stunning.
But it’s not simply exercise. Fitbit Premium also provides guided programs to help you sleep better, as well as advise on what to eat at home and out of the house to reach your goals.

That’s all well and good, but is it worth £79.99? It’s difficult to say because much of the experience appears separated from the watch itself. You may decide that other applications can provide the parts you want at a lower cost, but there’s nothing to lose by signing up for the seven-day free trial. Just remember to cancel before you are charged if it is not for you.


The Fitbit Versa is frustratingly close to becoming amazing for me, but without a GPS chip, I couldn’t make it my primary watch. It’s a shame the Versa 2 Pro doesn’t come with GPS, because it’s significantly more appealing to look at and use than the Fitbit Ionic.

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