18 August 2020: This article has been updated to include info on leaked images of Versa 3 published by Winfuture.
The Fitbit Versa 3 release date is still unknown. But the smartwatch is likely come at some point in the near future. Here is what we think will be new, what we would like to see different and when the timepiece could land.
Essential reading: Choosing from Fitbit’s range or wearables
The San Francisco wearables manufacturer has been fairly quiet so far this year in terms of new fitness trackers and smartwatches. We saw the launch of Charge 4 a few months ago, but that’s pretty much it. Very unlike the previous years when the company would release a new device every few months or so.
Fitbit Versa 3: Design expectations
As far as design, Versa 2 is very similar to the first edition. It comes with same square shape and curved edges and there is one physical button on the left.
The important improvement here is the display. The company has opted for an AMOLED instead of an LCD screen so it’s more high-res than previously. Another improvement is that they’ve managed to increase the display size slightly by shrinking the bezels. It’s a pretty good screen with 1,000 nits of brightness and Cornilla Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
We are expecting Versa 3 to largely retain this look. Fitbit usually sticks to a tried and tested formula as shown with the recent launch of Charge 4.
What would be nice, perhaps, would be size options. A regular Versa 3 and a large one for those with bigger wrists. Possible but unlikely. Don’t hold your breath for that one.
Improvements could be had, however, with battery life. The current edition keeps going for up to 5 days. A week would be nice for the next iteration, although that will largely depend on the additional hardware inside. More sensors and a better quality display equal shorter battery life. It’s always a trade-off.
So far there has only been one leak. It comes from WinFuture. If it turns out to be accurate it largely confirms our expectations. A device that adopts the same shape as before with a slight change in the physical button which seems to be more discreet now.
Here are the leaked images below. Some more changes are evident on the underside of the device.
Fitbit Versa 3: Features we’d like to see
Under the hood, Versa 2 has a 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor, fibration motor, Wi-Fi antenna (802.11 b/g/n) and relative SpO2 sensor. These will keep tabs on your activity and health 24/7 and the watch has some smart functionality including Alexa support.
That’s all pretty good. But as always there could be more. We have not seen any official leaks on Versa 3 so here’s our wish-list, instead. Let us know in the comments below if we have missed out on something.
- Built-in GPS: The first one is fairly obvious. Now that the Charge line has built in GPS, it makes sense for the Versa to go that way too. Hopefully it will be the same as the Charge 4, where you can choose between on board GPS and Connected GPS. Zoom in on the Winfuture images above and you can make out the sign for GPS on the underside of the timepiece.
- Speaker installed: Spotify, Pandora and Deezer all play nice with the smartwatch. This gives access to millions of songs. In addition to the ability to play music offline on Spotify with Versa 3, it would also be nice to have the option to play this back via a speaker. Plus it would allow Alexa to speak.
- New sensors: It was a long wait but a few months ago Fitbit finally enabled its blood oxygen sensor. This has been built into some of its wearables for a while now. So that’s good.But we’ve been saying this for a while. Stress is the one obvious omission from its health tracking abilities. Garmin and some other brands have this so Fitbit is behind the curve.ECG sensors have been making all the headlines this year. Samsung is making headway with its blood-pressure feature, but this is still work in progress. Other possibilities include temperature sensors, sweat analysis sensors, glucose and hydration monitoring. Some of these are probably a few years off.
- More training metrics: Lots of sports watches have Firstbeat metrics which take your training well beyond simply looking at raw statistics. Recovery Time, Training Load and much much more. It allows you to make more sense of your training and workout smarter. We don’t expect Fitbit to go down the Firstbeat way, particularly now that its been acquired by Garmin, but more analysis features would be nice.
- More Google integration: If the Google acquisition goes through there should be more compatibility with Google-branded products. Support for Google Assistant, Google Pay and Google Fit therefore seem likely at some stage.
- More apps: this is a smartwatch with its own App Store. But it’s way behind some of the other leading brands such as Apple in terms of choice. More apps would be nice including a YouTube music/playback app.
Fitbit Versa 3: Expected release date
The Fitbit Versa 3 release date is still unknown. But before we speculate on when we could see the new smartwatch, the obvious question is – will there be a Versa 3? The Google acquisition is expected to go through in the months ahead despite increased regulatory scrutiny. And after that, its anyone’s guess on what happens.
We are, however, of the opinion that Fitbit will continue churning out wearables, now with the support of a high tech giant. That could be good news as it means more funds for development and research, and hopefully more exciting hardware coming our way. The leak seems to confirm this.
IFA 2020 (in a revised format) is just around the corner and we were wondering if Fitbit will launch any new devices. They’ve been a regular at Europe’s tech gathering in recent years and always had something new to show off. Versa 2 was launched at the event in September last year, some 18 months after the original.
Considering we now have the first leaked images, a release next month could happen. Its only a year since the previous edition so its very possible the changes might pretty much be limited to the addition of built-in GPS.
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