Historians by no means categorically decided whether or not Goldilocks wore a smartwatch, and we’re definitely not able to weigh in with a verdict ourselves. If the porridge-sampling intruder had been to slide on some wrist-based tech nonetheless, then it in all probability wouldn’t be too far off from the unique Fitbit Versa.

Not too massive, not too small, not too intelligent, and never too dumb, the primary Versa was a stable center floor for these in search of a health tracker with a little bit of all the things – specifically, a sprinkling of smartwatch smarts and health performance, whereas holding issues easy within the course of.

We’ve had the pleasure of placing the Versa’s successor (the aptly named Versa 2) by way of its paces, and whereas we are able to’t converse for Goldilocks, we are able to positively say that the Versa 2 will get – nearly all the things – excellent.

Design and luxury: simple on the eyes (and wrists)

Like its predecessor, the Versa 2 is a little bit of a gray man, mixing into the background like the home band on Strictly. That’s not a nasty factor, thoughts. We’ve fondled loads of hideous wrist-huggers in our time, and the Versa 2’s design is nice, albeit in a relatively unassuming means.

Foregoing the round face of conventional watches and squishing away from the oblong façade of the Apple Watch, the Versa 2 is a clean, rounded, nearly pebble-like sq., with cleverly tapered edges which minimise the influence of its 12mm-thick aluminium case. It’s waterproof for as much as 50 metres too, and shrugged off each day showers and torrential British rain with none hassle.

If you discover the usual strap design a bit lacklustre, Fitbit presents a mess of various straps in two totally different sizes, starting from the perforated rubber sports activities band (whose holes could or could not make you run quicker), all the best way to the £50 Horween suede wrap bracelet – helpful for counting your waltz steps on the ambassador’s ball.

Fitbit has determined to ditch all however one of many three bodily buttons of the Versa, with the Versa 2 sporting a single button on the left hand aspect, which might be configured to launch Alexa or funds with a protracted press (extra on that later), or press as soon as to wake the gadget or return to earlier screens.

This single button setup works nicely for probably the most half, though we often discovered it annoying having to press it a number of instances simply to return to the principle display after a visit by way of the varied menus and apps.

Design and stable construct apart, we’re blissful to report that the Versa 2 is without doubt one of the most snug items of wristwear we’ve ever taken for a spin. Our take a look at mannequin had two sizes of the no-frills basic silicon band included within the field, and we are able to actually say that we forgot we had been carrying it inside minutes.

Those of you who could recoil on the considered sleeping with a watch in your wrist needn’t fret both – the Versa 2 is so insanely snug and light-weight, that we by no means gave it a second thought whereas it tracked our sleep within the land of nod.

Display: Back in black

We’re suckers for OLED screens. Once you’ve used a show the place black pixels are fully turned off, you’ll by no means wish to return.

It’s no shock then, that the Versa 2’s 1.4in 300 x 300 decision OLED show is a substantial enchancment over the unique mannequin’s LCD affair. It’s sharp, and the colors are punchy and vibrant, whereas the actually black pixels imply that the relatively massive and unpleasant bezels surrounding the display are nigh-on invisible – assuming you employ a watch face with a black background, that’s.

The display additionally does an awesome job exterior, even at medium brightness, which was greater than vivid sufficient for us. It maxes out at 1,000 nits, which, for the non-nit-pickers on the market, is slightly underneath the max brightness of the swanky new iPhone 11 Pro’s show.

You’re not going to have hassle seeing something on this display. Beyond the blacks, brightness and punchy colors, the OLED display additionally introduces a brand new function within the type of an always-on show choice, which completely shows the time in quite a lot of battery-sipping black and white clock faces, negating the necessity so that you can transfer your wrist to auto-wake the show.

Fitbit reckons that choosing the always-on show will cut back battery life by round a day, and past testing it out for a short time, we selected to not use it, as we like to squeeze out each drop of energy we are able to (to not point out that the Versa 2 does a stable job of routinely firing up the display if you flick your wrist as much as verify the time).

Performance and usefulness: Blazing quick, however be careful for velocity bumps

We haven’t acquired a single grievance concerning the efficiency of the Versa 2 itself. It’s zippy, nimble, and smoother than a greasy marble, which is a noticeable enchancment over the unique Versa, which was let down at instances by laggy efficiency when navigating menus and opening apps.

What lets the Versa 2 down, nonetheless, are these events the place you wish to configure it or make adjustments. Take altering the watch face for instance. We usually change smartwatch faces on a weekly, if not each day foundation, due to our fickle want to maintain issues feeling recent.

Most smartwatches allow you to do that instantly from the gadget itself instantly, however the Versa presents no such function. To perform one thing so simple as altering the watch face entails firing up the Fitbit app, choosing the watch face, then ready for what seems like aeons for it to sync over to the Versa itself. One minute and 16 seconds may not appear that lengthy on paper, however when you possibly can’t even go away the Fitbit app to scroll by way of the r/catswhoyell subreddit (it’s essential to keep on the sync display for it to work), then the method turns into maddening.

Maybe there’s one thing to be stated concerning the consideration span and endurance of recent society, however that dissertation is past the scope of this review.

On a extra constructive notice, we discovered that the Versa 2 synched constantly with our telephone with hardly any snags. Those few events the place we misplaced the sync had been possible attributable to our telephone being on battery saver mode, which tends to make it slightly hostile in the direction of apps working within the background.

Fitness and well being smarts

You’d anticipate a product with ‘match’ in its title to satisfy your #bodygoal #nopainnogain wants, and the Versa 2 handles all the things that most individuals would require from a health tracker.

It has seven train monitoring modes; working, biking, swimming, treadmill, weights, interval timer and a generic exercise monitoring mode. We put it by way of a mix of working, strolling, weights, body weight workouts and even a pilates session, and had been met with no issues.

All the stats you’d wish to see are current and accounted for, from distance travelled and your tempo, to energy burned and your common beats per minute. The Versa 2 additionally lets you know the way lengthy your coronary heart was working onerous sufficient to be within the fats burning zone, and you can too monitor your route on the app’s built-in Google Maps display, simply in case it’s essential to re-tread your route to seek out your dropped home keys (which has, by the way, truly occurred to us). It’s all very spectacular, however the Versa 2 is unfortunately let down by its lack of built-in GPS, which suggests you’ll want to pull your tethered smartphone out with you if you’re pounding the pavements, if you wish to monitor your route and exercise precisely.

There’s no denying the advantage of leaving your unwieldy glass-slathered smartphone at residence with out worrying about smashed screens and renegade seagulls, however if you wish to keep in Fitbit land, you’ll must spring round £100 extra for the GPS-sporting Fitbit Ionic.

Beyond burning energy and making mad positive aspects on the squat rack, the Versa 2 additionally tracks the standard of your sleep. Apart the general period, it serves up stats on how lengthy you had been in REM sleep, and what your coronary heart price was all through the evening, to provide you an total rating on the standard of your restfulness. At first, we thought the Versa 2’s sleep tracker was on the fritz, as we had been being given poorer sleep scores for six hours of sleep versus nights the place we had eight hours.

Diving into the stats nonetheless, confirmed that in the course of the eight-hour evening, our resting coronary heart price was nicely above common total, resulting in a really stressed evening’s sleep. Funnily sufficient, that specific evening was full of relatively unusual and vivid desires, which in all probability result in an elevated coronary heart price and a horrible evening’s sleep.

It’s fascinating having the ability to monitor your sleep on this a lot element, however you do should fork out a month-to-month membership for Fitbit Premium (£7.99 a month) to entry these additional stats, which we really feel must be included as a part of the bottom app.

Extra Skills: Alexa right here

In addition to beaming primary smartphone notifications to your wrist, the Versa 2 comes geared up with smarter expertise than the unique, due to the built-in Amazon Alexa sensible assistant.

You can setup the Versa 2’s {hardware} button to deliver up Alexa after holding it down for just a few seconds, and ask her to set alarms, timers, reminders, The Rock’s age, or anything that takes your fancy.

We principally used Alexa to verify the climate and set timers in between units on the fitness center, but it surely’s value noting the few seconds it takes Alexa to reply your query. It could be faster to only use the assistant in your telephone – although it’s positively helpful if it’s not inside arm’s attain.

You also can arrange the button shortcut to provoke Fitbit Pay, which we discovered to be very helpful when shopping for our lunches, paying for drinks or travelling round London with out having to tug out our pockets or telephone. You’ll should manually add your playing cards within the Fitbit app itself, because it doesn’t pull in current playing cards from, in our case, Google Pay, however as soon as it’s arrange as soon as, you’re good to go.

The Versa 2 now helps Spotify Premium too, permitting you to manage your tunes by way of your wrist with just a few swipes and faucets, although it’s basically a glorified controller for the Spotify app in your linked telephone.

You must manually switch over songs to the Versa 2’s onboard reminiscence if you wish to have tetherless music, which is a helpful function if you wish to go away your telephone at residence.

If you’re a Google Play Music subscriber like this reviewer, you then’re sadly out of luck, however that annoyance might be directed at Google, for nonetheless not releasing their API for third-party apps to reap the benefits of their service.

Thankfully you possibly can nonetheless use generic playback controls on the Versa 2 to skip by way of tracks and alter the quantity, though this wasn’t very intuitive to arrange.

Battery life: on and on and on and on…

The Versa 2 blew us away with its battery life and, to be sincere, it was nearly annoyingly cussed. We did our easiest to empty it till it embraced the candy blackness of the gadget abyss, however after placing it by way of its paces from full cost on a Wednesday morning, it nonetheless had eight % left within the tank come 11:30 pm on the next Monday.

That’s a outstanding six full days of fixed coronary heart, step and sleep monitoring, to not point out holding tabs on numerous health actions all through the week, whereas additionally getting used as an NFC fee gadget.

We by no means opted for the always-on show, which might have knocked round an entire break day, however we’d a lot relatively have extra time spent between prices, and didn’t really feel like we had been lacking out.

Six days gained’t sound like a lot to these of you rocking precise watches in fact, however belief us – for those who’re used to the likes of an Apple Watch or different top-end smartwatch which requires each day charging, the Versa 2’s longevity is an absolute godsend.

Sure it’s accompanying vice-like clip charger is a cumbersome, ugly beast, however you’re solely going to see the factor round 5 days a month, which is a outstanding achievement. This is the place the dearth of battery-sucking GPS makes lots of sense.

Fitbit Versa 2 verdict

Are there sexier issues you may put in your wrist than the Versa 2? Sure. One look at an Apple Watch with a glittering Milanese loop strap may confirm that.

Are there smarter gadgets you may strap on to your self which allow you to dictate message replies to your mates? Absolutely.

Are there extra full health packages with built-in GPS to avoid wasting your self the trouble of lugging out your large, costly telephone? Yep.

Despite all that nonetheless, the Versa 2 retains issues easy and uncluttered, bar just a few niggly points like altering the watch faces, establishing music controls and having some app options locked behind month-to-month funds.

The lack of GPS will in fact be a deal breaker for some, and we gained’t argue with you, particularly when you possibly can nab the GPS-toting Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music or Polar Ignite – each of that are cheaper than the Versa 2. They arguably don’t look as good nonetheless, with the previous having a relatively lacklustre display and no on-board music playback, and the latter additionally lacking music in addition to NFC funds.

If GPS is a should although, then the Ignite is the higher alternative, given its cheaper price ticket and matching six days of battery life (if no GPS is used in any respect). If you’re not fussed about taking your telephone out whilst you chase that runner’s excessive nonetheless, then the Versa 2 supplies sufficient smartwatch and health monitoring smarts for most individuals, in a nicely constructed, sturdy, and comfy package deal, that merely refuses to die.