Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Versa reviews: A real step up from Ionic but unlikely to lure Apple Watch users

Versa may not be out just yet, but the first reviews are in. And they are positive. A number of mainstream media outlets have received devices to test out and the consensus is that Versa is a real step up from the Ionic, but a device that still has some catching up to do with Apple on the smartwatch front.

fitbit versa or ionic what s the difference 1 - Fitbit Versa reviews: A real step up from Ionic but unlikely to lure Apple Watch users
Image source: Fitbit

When it comes to specs, Versa does not have the built-in GPS of its big brother. But it more than makes up for that with its much lower price tag and more subtle design. Sporting rounded edges, a polished look and more compact form factor, Versa simply looks much better than the Ionic. A device that both men and women would be equally happy to wear.

TechCrunch calls it “the device Ionic should have been”.

“It’s still far from perfect, and the company clearly has some important mountains to climb before the company has any real shot of challenging the Apple Watch’s throne,” says TechCrunch in its review.

“but the Versa feels like a welcome do-over, and is exactly the kind of watch the company ought to have released in the first place.”

The Business Insider reviewer is even more upbeat. She says the “Versa is the best smartwatch I’ve ever used – yes, its even better than the Apple Watch”.

“After several days of wearing Fitbit Versa nearly non-stop, I can safely say it’s Fitbit’s best wearable yet — and one of my favorite smartwatches I’ve ever tried,” she says.

“What immediately struck me about the Fitbit Versa was that I actually enjoyed wearing it. The watch is incredibly lightweight, so running with it or even wearing it to bed wasn’t uncomfortable.”

The Verge reviewer agrees.

“It’s a simplified, GPS-free, less expensive version of the Ionic watch, one that’s supposed to have mass-market appeal. It also looks nicer than the Ionic, and as I sit here wearing a rose gold Versa with a watermelon pink band, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that this is the Fitbit smartwatch for women”, says Verge.

But she also points out poor notification support and the fact that there is no way to respond to messages from the watch. Android users will benefit from a “quick replies” feature coming in May but this along with “no data sharing with Apple Health or Google Fit” works against it.

top fitness trackers and health gadgets - Fitbit Versa reviews: A real step up from Ionic but unlikely to lure Apple Watch users
Image source: Fitbit

Other negatives that some of today’s reviews point out include that swapping bands on the Versa is not as easy as it could be. Some have also questioned the use of the screen-real estate, and the fact that the company has opted to squeeze the word “fitbit” onto the watchface.


Nevertheless, it seems Fitbit is sitting on a winner here. Earlier this year James Park, the company’s CEO, promised a “mass-appeal” smartwatch in 2018, and they have delivered. Fitbit has obviously got the hardware right as it provides an optimal medium between smartwatch and fitness watch.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

A few other headlines read as follows: “The first non-Apple smartwatch that’s worth your time” (Macworld); “The Fitbit Versa smartwatch is small, cheap and sweet” (Yahoo Finance); “Slowly but surely pushing Fitbit past the ‘fit’ bit” (Are Technica); and “A Fitness Smartwatch For Everyone” (Android Headlines).

The Versa is available for preorder now on Amazon and fitbit.com. It starts shipping in April.

Sources: TechCrunch, Business Insider, The Verge.


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