Sci-tech

Hands-on: Fitbit Versa is a smarter, more affordable smartwatch for the masses

Hands-on: Fitbit Versa is a smarter, more affordable smartwatch for the masses

Fitbit's vice president of product marketing Melanie Chase says the idea is to easily transition kids between their fitness tracker and the adult version, while also helping children feel more mature by using a product that looks and feels grown up. Fitbit claims it's made the lightest metal smartwatch sold on the United States market, and it's hard not to see some Pebble DNA in here. Becker explained that numerous parts of the design that interact with your skin are curved and made to appear and feel softer. 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. The Special Edition model costs $229.95, but that also gets you a really nice woven band in either charcoal (pictured above) or lavender colors. After missing out on the most popular music services, including Apple Music and Spotify, by only offering a Pandora (p) app on its watch previous year, Fitbit is adding only one new music app from Deezer, a service mainly popular in Europe, for now. Fitbit's Deezer partnership is going global, while users in the U.S. also get Pandora (sorry, Europe). But just like the Ionic, you'll get space for 300 songs on the device, as well as the option of music apps that vary depending on your location.

When it comes to Fitbit Pay, the company's wearable payment service, the situation is a little. odd.

Fitbit is also targeting women with the Versa.

The only questionable decision here is the fact that contactless payments are only available on one model in the USA, and you'll have to pay extra for it. Fitbit Pay is only available on the Special Edition Versa, which costs $30 more than the standard model without Fitbit Pay. 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.

Versa shares numerous Ionic's features, including an app store, swim-tracking workouts, on-board music storage and 4-day battery life, so you can log sleep as well as steps.

Updates like menstrual cycle tracking and the redesigned dashboard will also be coming to the Fitbit Ionic in a software upgrade, the company says. The dashboard will then forecast future cycles, including ovulation windows, and eventually offer insight into trends, such as how your cycle affects your weight. But Fitbit is obviously hoping that you will. You can log your cycle data and record your symptoms, and even see dynamic cycle predictions based on your history.

Spring statement 2018: the chancellor's key points at a glance
Ignoring this, the chancellor said he was looking forward to another step forward at next week's European Union summit. Forecasts for growth are expected to be revised up , while borrowing forecasts are expected to be revised down.

For instance, it could recommend more sleep in the coming week because a bad period is on the way, or suggest easier ways to exercise if you're feeling too exhausted. Menstrual tracking will also make its way to the Ionic in Spring 2018 - and is only available to Fitbit users who identify as female.

Fitbit knows the Ionic isn't the most accessible smartwatch on the market. The two companies collaborated to bring the Clue app to the Fitbit Ionic watch for the first time, allowing women to track their cycles and overall reproductive health.

The hardware is essentially a revamped Fitbit Alta. Fitbit says all submitted apps are reviewed within 48 hours and are tested to ensure everything works the way it's supposed to.

Fitbit OS 2.0 will also add the ability to reply to messages directly from your wrist, but only on Android. If the design looks familiar, that's because it's a redesign of the company's old fitness tracker, the Fitbit Ultra.

The Fitbit Versa is available for preorder now and launches in April for $199.95, making it much less expensive than both the $329 Apple Watch Series 3 and $299.95 Fitbit Ionic. It'll also be available from big retail stores like Amazon, Best Buy and Target.


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