Looking up at the enormous skyscraper, I felt overwhelmed. The raindrops melodically pitter-pattered on my face. I looked back down to the map on my phone that was now covered in the raindrops that sprinkled my screen every few seconds. I wiped them away like windshields with my sleeve. *sigh* my breath fogged up in the cold air of this Spring morning. My watch read 7:43 followed by a notification telling me that I had taken 1000 steps today, and to keep it up. This is not the start of a detective thriller, this is me clearly lost and trying to find the location of the event that was due to start in 15 minutes.
I did eventually find it, and was certainly not disappointed to find upon my arrival, a coffee stand, a large table of food, and warmth.
“Welcome to the Fitbit event, it’s good to see you!”. I let out a sigh of relief this time.
The plan for the event was very simple. Before starting, we’d network a bit with other people, have our coffees, pick at the food, complain about the weather, amongst other things. After that, we were all called to the centre of the room, where there was a short presentation about Fitbit Versa 2’s new features.
Here are some of the features.
This is something that Fitbit have introduced that allows users to monitor the quality of their sleep. Normally, it is recommended that we get at least 7 hours of sleep, so really we should be aiming for between 7 and 8 hours per night.
What sleep score does is track the amount of hours you’ve slept, the amount of cycles you go through during the night (light, REM, and Deep sleep) and then quantifies the quality of your sleep with a score. Generally, anything in the 80s is considered good, so my score of 82 was more than acceptable.
24/7 Heart Rate Tracking
The Fitbit Versa 2, above all else, is made for sport; to track your activity. So, it’s quite neat to be able to see your heart rate increase as you start your daily run, and lower as your effort levels decrease. The watch will constantly track your heart rate and so therefore provides users with a resting heart rate, and a working heart rate.
This time around, Fitbit have integrated an AI voice-command system in the form of Amazon Alexa, that let’s you ask if it’s raining today, to find you a yoga class, add milk to your shopping list, or remind you to about a dinner reservation at 8pm. It’s quite handy, and very easy to use.
Look No Further, It’s All On Your Wrist
Whether you want to pick a different song on your Spotify playlist, check the upcoming forecasts, or simply pay for something; you can do it all from your wrist. With Fitbit Versa 2 now compatible with hundreds of essential apps, you can download what you need, instantly.
Fitbit pay, I think, is really cool and useful. Now accepting up to six credit or debit cards, you won’t have to take out your physical card, you can just pay with your wrist, for general purchases and transport.
You also now receive notifications from your phone straight to your watch, everything from messages, calendar, calls, and apps. If you’re on Android, you can actually reply to these messages with your voice. If you’re an iPhone user, you’re out of luck.
The Fitbit Versa 2 comes with a compatible Fitbit app that lets you track your activity, sleep, and general progress. Fitbit have released a premium version for the people who want to take it up a notch.
As mentioned before, this smartwatch is primarily for fitness and health. With the premium version, users are given even more features to help guid them through their fitness journeys.
Building on the sleep score, premium users will be given even more detailed information about their sleep, including the added feature of Smart Sleep. What Smart Sleep does is wake you up at the optimal time to leave you feeling refreshed. It will wait until you’ve passed a deep sleep stage, and wake you up during a light sleep stage, making waking up easier and less upsetting. It all makes sense now, it seems that I’ve been waking up everyday during a deep sleep stage, that must be it!
Fitbit Premium will also provide users with guided programs that are tailored to their schedules, fitness levels, and goals. There are plenty of video and audio workouts to suit your level, in fact, if a workout is too hard, you can say so, and it will change it for next time. It keeps you motivated and hard-working.
All while you’re completing workouts and tracking your sleep, the app will give you regular insights like notifying you that you’ve taken more steps this week than last week, or that you should aim to go to bed earlier tonight to get better sleep.
Other Cool Features
I feel it also necessary to mention that the Fitbit Versa 2 has 5-day battery life, meaning that you won’t have to keep charging it every half day to keep it functioning. This is quite impressive given the fact that the watch has an always-on display that only lights up when the watch is facing you.
And, yes, it is water proof, up to 50 metres as well. The reason I liked this so much, was not necessarily so I could go swimming with it, but so that I could change songs in the shower to keep jamming and dancing to the songs I wanted. Oh come on, we all do it.
After the presentation, we were brought to a layout of yoga mats where a Fitbit trainer conducted a short workout. The workout, straight from the premium app, had a nice variety of exercises, leaving you with a nice pump, and a bit out of breath; the perfect workout to start the day.
Afterwards, more food was brought out, to everyone’s delight, followed by the tasting of antioxidant-rich free juice.
The morning before the event, I wanted to try the watch for myself, so I went on a run to see how it felt, what data it provided, and just generally to see how well it functioned.
I found that the watch’s presence on my wrist was very natural, and not at all disturbing. As I was running, I could see my heart rate go up during the tougher periods, and down during the lighter ones. Choosing a song was super easy, I would just scroll through on my wrist and pick the one I wanted, or simply skip to the next one.
The long battery life is really convenient, and I suppose it has to be quite long if it’s to track a whole day’s and night’s worth of activity and sleep.
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that the Fitbit is not an Apple Watch. Although it has the some of same the features, it remains predominantly a sports watch. It will track your steps, your calories, your heart rate, and give you insight on this data in the app. You can log food and water intake to see how much you’re burning against how much your consuming to help you understand your patterns and how to efficiently lose weight.
If you’re someone who needs or wants guidance on their fitness journey, or simply someone who wants to keep track of their activity, then this is the watch for you. It has a wide range of different bands, which allows for a sportier side, as well a more casual side, and compared to other smartwatches on the market, it’s relatively cheap. But don’t expect it to give you directions or make and receive calls. It’s a fitness tracker first and smartwatch second, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t compete with the Apple Watch Series 5, in fact I would say that it’s very tough opposition. It has very similar features and design, so I say, for the price, that’s it worth a shot.
“Thank you for attending the Fitbit Versa 2 Launch event, we hope you had a good time!”.
I nodded “Yes, thank you so much”.
In the elevator I asked Alexa, “What’s the weather looking like?”
“Showers are expected for the rest of the day”.
I sighed and put the hoodie of my rain jacket on, and made my way through the pitter-pattering of the rain.
For more information, visit https://www.fitbit.com/versa