First, there's the Fitbit Versa, a $199 smartwatch that can do nearly everything that the Ionic, Fitbit's $299 smartwatch that was released this past October, can do. Versa and Ionic will be able to view where they are in their cycle on-device; owners of other Fitbit trackers will still be able to track their periods via the app. It comes with a 1.34-inch LCD display and a 145 mAh battery under the hood too, but don't let that capacity fool you - Fitbit claims the Versa can last four days on a single charge. The Versa will also include numerous health features Fitbit introduced in previous products, like its PurePulse heart rate monitor, a virtual coach that guides wearers through exercises, various exercise modes and more.
Melanie Chase, Fitbit's vice president of marketing, said the Versa is a "great opportunity to bring more women into the smartwatch category", which is about 60 percent male.
Most importantly, perhaps, is Versa's $200 price. The watch itself comes in black, silver, and rose gold color options. Fitbit's sleep-tracking dashboard is the most accurate and insightful of any fitness tracker I've tested, and putting that tech in a stylish device that only needs to be charged twice a week could make Versa more competitive with Apple Watch than the Ionic was. The watch's face has a softer look with rounded edges, while Fitbit will be selling new watch bands in various styles and colors similar to Apple's accessories. Android users will get a new text message feature that allows them to send quick replies from their watches. It also made a decision to go with what it calls a "squircle" design - yes, really- softening the hard edges of a square with rounded corners to make it feel more inviting. All Versa watches in Europe and Asia will come with Fitbit Pay onboard, but in the USA you'll need to get the £229.99 Special Edition Versa to get the feature. Fitbit plans to add more features this year that can remind wearers to take their medication at specific times during day, congratulate wearers for completing fitness-related challenges, and allow them to log their meals. This health tracking feature will also be available for women who use the Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit app this spring.
This is all part of Fitbit's push to expand into new demographics. In the future, Fitbit hopes to use all this menstrual data to offer insights about how sleep and exercise impact your period and vice versa. Parents will be required to make an account for children aged 12 and under to get them started on the Fitbit Ace. It automatically tracks steps, active minutes, and sleep, has an estimated five-day battery life, and is safe to wear in the shower. The Ace is available to preorder now in blue or purple and will ship in the second quarter of this year. The smartwatch has a new female health tracking feature that's created to help women track "their period, estimated fertile window and overall health and wellness".
When I saw Fitbit CEO James Park wearing the Versa, I did a double take - I thought he was wearing an Apple Watch at first glance.
As mentioned, the Versa marks the debut of Fitbit OS 2.0, a significant new update to Fitbit's smartwatch software. After trying the Versa on, I noticed stark differences between Fitbit's new watch and Apple's offering. The navigation is completely different, with three buttons to Apple Watch's button-crown combo. However, there are a few Ionic features that the Versa skips, the big one being Global Positioning System.
According to Fitbit, the cycle predictions should work dynamically with other health information you log into the app. This is a huge deal, because all of those metrics are so deeply intertwined.
The Versa is available for pre-order now on Fitbit's website right for £199.99 and will start shipping in April. Stay tuned for a full review of the device before it launches.