Fitbit Versa 4 review: fitness before smarts

Fitbit now lives in model proprietor Google’s world. As the massive G takes its first steps into the smartwatch world with the Pixel Watch, the FitBit Versa 4 serves as a square-shaped reminder that the agency continues to be vying for place in your wrist.

For Versa quantity 4, Fitbit has introduced over some large apps from Google, and it carries the identical aim of getting you to hit your fitness and well being targets in a extremely motivated trend.

It’s kinder in your financial institution stability in comparison with the Pixel Watch, or Fitbit’s personal Sense 2 smartwatch, and makes one notably welcome design change. But does paying much less cash truly get you an inferior smartwatch?

Design and construct

Put the Fitbit Versa 4 facet by facet with the Versa 3 and it truly is a case of spot the distinction. It’s barely slimmer, the graphite, platinum, and copper rose case color choices supply one thing for each women and men and you may nonetheless swap these straps out and in whenever you swap from health club mode to essential assembly mode.
The large distinction is the addition of a {hardware} button on the facet. That’s proper: bodily buttons are making a comeback. Well, one is, following Fitbit’s determination to not trouble with them for the earlier technology. When you’re primarily prodding and swiping at a touchscreen that may not sound like a giant deal, however buttons are particularly useful when you’re figuring out. Now you may get up the show, have a chat with a digital assistant or leap straight into the train menu.
Outside of the button’s return, there’s not so much new to report on the appears to be like entrance. It’s not a design traditional but additionally doesn’t mix into the smartwatch crowd. You’re nonetheless attending to look down at a 40.5mm aluminium case with its gently curved corners that’s not too heavy and never too gentle. Want to take it for a dip? You’re coated there too. It’s secure to dunk it in water as much as 50 metres depth making it match for the pool and the open water.
If you appreciated the Versa 3 however wanted that button again in your life, then that’s the most alluring facet of the Versa 4.
Fitbit Versa 4 display

Square and spherical display debate apart, the show you’re getting on the Versa 4 is an efficient one. It’s surrounded by a bit an excessive amount of bezel for our liking, however the 1.58in, 336×336 decision AMOLED dishes out good colors, goes good and brilliant, and may be left on 24/7.
Switching to that always-on mode means you’re waving bye bye to shut to per week of battery life, however when you can deal with a couple of days before having to succeed in for the charging cable, then it’s a state of affairs you may stay with.
AMOLED screens do generally tend to battle for visibility in brilliant out of doors gentle. (*4*), this display goes brilliant and isn’t a troubling challenge for the Versa 4 when you have to verify in on stats on sunnier days.
Now you may have a button to wake that display up, however a delicate double faucet on the display or elevating the wrist can even convey it to life. It simply doesn’t do it in a really speedy trend.
Fitbit Versa 4 interface

Fitbit may be a part of the Google household now, however is sticking to its personal software program smarts for now. FitbitOS carries with it influences from Pebble, the unique smartwatch nice Fitbit snapped up over 5 years in the past.
The OS performs good with Android smartphones and iPhones, and nonetheless makes use of Fitbit’s personal user-friendly companion app to set issues up. When it’s time to swipe and faucet your approach round watch screens, although, it’s clear this software program has a way more Google WearOS really feel to it.
Fitbit has moved the place you’ll discover your telephone notification feed, and there’s now a much bigger emphasis on screen-sized widgets versus a number of completely different menu screens. Still, it’s good and slick to get round.
What’s not so nice is that quite a few options discovered on the Versa 3 have disappeared. The Fitbit Gallery app retailer has been stripped of third social gathering apps, and there’s no Wi-Fi or music participant. Hardly a coincidence, given the Pixel Watch’s latest arrival?
Contactless funds are nonetheless on board, though Fitbit Pay doesn’t have the widest help from UK banks. Google Assistant can also be out, however you may chat to Amazon’s Alexa utilizing the onboard microphone. Google Maps is a very helpful inclusion, too.
Fitness and well being monitoring

Helping you retain a more in-depth eye on whether or not you’re placing in sufficient train time or getting good high quality sleep may be very a lot Fitbit’s factor. While there’s been a small bump in options, it’s probably not sufficient to drastically change what the Versa 4 does in comparison with the Versa 3.
The variety of train modes has virtually doubled. New additions like crossfit, paddle boarding and snowboarding push the entire to over 40, with Fitbit’s personal metrics like Cardio Fitness and Active Zone Minutes letting whether or not you’re placing in sufficient effort.
Most sports activities modes solely dish out fundamental coronary heart price and exercise length stats, although. While it has the instruments to be a stable sports activities watch, points with locking onto a great GPS sign, unreliable coronary heart price information from Fitbit’s PurePulse optical sensor makes it extra for informal fitness people. It definitely doesn’t rival what a Garmin or Polar sports activities watch can dish out by way of accuracy and degree of stats.
Fitbit’s energy lies in its potential to nudge you to get extra steps in and monitor that sleep time. You can rapidly gauge whether or not you’re closing in on every day objectives from the watch face and the extent and accuracy of sleep metrics is up there with one of the best you’ll find on a smartwatch. Sleep scores will rapidly inform you how good or dangerous you’re sleeping and you may as well monitor coronary heart price and temperature to supply a window into your common wellness.
Something you’re going to get to grips with is that some insights the Versa 4 can supply require you to spend a bit extra money to see them. That’s as a result of they’re locked behind a Fitbit Premium subscription. Want to know when you’ve been loud night breathing through the built-in microphone? Need some exercise inspiration or want to use Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Scores to know when to work out? You’ll want Premium for that.
The large belongings you’re lacking out from Fitbit’s pricier Sense 2 smartwatch are the center health-focused ECG sensor and the EDA sensor, which elevates the extent of stress monitoring information you may delve into that can assist you take a while out and calm down. If you may stay with out these insights and care extra about these Fitbit monitoring staples, then the Versa 4 has received your again.
Battery life

Hate the thought of charging a smartwatch as often as your telephone? That’s not an issue with the Versa 4. It often manages over 6 days of use between top-ups. As lengthy as you’re not maintaining the display on on a regular basis, it’s greater than able to stretching to per week before needing to magnetically clip the charger onto its rear.
If you want that display awake 24/7, then issues do take successful and it’s extra like 2-3 days. Fortunately, you do have some fast charging help at your disposal. A 12-minute cost will get you a day of battery, which may be simply achieved before you head out that door within the morning.
The charging cradle setup hasn’t modified both. It sits securely on the again of the watch case and isn’t one that may be simply nudged misplaced when you take a extra heavy handed strategy to charging and chucking again onto your bedside desk.
Fitbit Versa 4 verdict

It’s not an enormous step up from final 12 months, however the Versa 4 continues to be a good selection for anybody after a watch that’ll monitor steps and sleep, then regurgitate that data in a user-friendly approach. If you continue to have plenty of love for Fitbit and need its greatest new watch proper now, that is the one to get.
That mentioned, tripping away options that had been turning the Versa right into a succesful smartwatch is a giant step backwards, and leaves query marks over the way forward for Fitbit’s extra reasonably priced wearable choice.
Versa 3 homeowners questioning whether or not to make the improve additionally solely have to resolve if a {hardware} button is that essential to them. If not, it’s greatest to stay with what you’ve received.

Fitbit Versa 4 technical specs
Screen1.58in, 336×336 AMOLEDOperating systemFitbitOSBattery6+ daysConnectivityBluetoothDurability5ATM water resistantDimensions40.5×40.5×12.3mm, 38g

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