Vela Smartwatch: A Fitbit Versa lookalike that sells for a fraction of its price

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Vela Smartwatch is a Versa lookalike that sells for about a half its price. The, specs, however go further than Fitbit’s wearable in many aspects.

Indiegogo is a lottery but you do occasionally stumble across the odd gem. We’re not sure if Vela Smartwatch is one of them, but on paper it certainly looks interesting.

There’s no getting around it. In terms of design, the wearable comes across like an identical twin to the Versa. Everything, from the default watch face, to the case and straps, even to the name is similar. The main difference seems to be that at 5 ATM Versa has better water-resistance, versus Vela’s IP68 rating.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

But under the hood, Vela packs more. In addition to basic fitness stats, multiple exercise modes, Connected-GPS, female health tracking, notifications and alarms, you also get advanced heart rate variability (HRV) analytics. This includes a heart health index to determine your body’s readiness for fitness and optimize your training intensity. The timepiece is even able to use this data to quantify your risk of having sinus heart rate, arrhythmias or risk of other heart diseases.

You also get stress management, something we’ve seen on Garmin wearables but not on Fitbit’s. Presumably Vela is using your HRV data to arrive at this metric. Furthermore, the watch spits out measurements of your SpO2 level together with cardiac load, respiratory rate and hypoxia time. This could benefit in the early prevention of OSAHS, suffocation, pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, heart failure, or a history of general anesthesia sleep apnea.

In a sense, all this sounds too good to be true. But the startup is confident it can deliver, and expects to ship to device to backers in December. In our view building a smartwatch with the necessary hardware is the easier part of the equation. They will need to accompany this with equally good algorithms and software.

Nevertheless, this is certainly a campaign we’ll keep a close watch on. Usual warnings about crowdfunded projects apply.

Price: $79 and up

Funding open:

$25,246 raised out of $10,000 goal
24 days to go

Estimated delivery: December 2018

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

3 thoughts on “Vela Smartwatch: A Fitbit Versa lookalike that sells for a fraction of its price

  • Just wanted to comment on this article that compares the Vela Smartwatch to the Fitbit Versa. While I agree that it looks super cool…I feel like this may be fraud. Why? Well they have a section for “Team” at the bottom of the indiegogo funding page–they have used my image and my colleague’s images from LinkedIn and repurposed them as members of the Vela team (complete with fake names.) We are in no way affiliated with Vela and did not consent to having our images used. It seems pretty odd they are creating fake people to represent the company. Our company is filing copyright infringement on behalf of the images, in addition to many of us filing a complaint against the campaign.

    Anyway, I came across this article and, having no idea how else to get the word out, I decided to comment here. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your comment!! Something to be aware of if you are considering a contribution to the campaign.

    • Could you provide a link to your LinkedIn profile so that others can confirm the usage of your photo as fraudulent use? Meaning that if your account has your photo and probably existed for some time, that we know your profile is real compare to theirs


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