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Fitbit Versa 3 Review: It’s Not Ambitious and That’s OK

Illustration for article titled Youll Be Perfectly Happy With the Fitbit Versa 3

Photograph: Victoria Track/Gizmodo

Fitbit’s Versa line of smartwatches has at all times been a winner: They’re less hideous than the Ionic and the Blaze (which we’re nonetheless making an attempt to neglect), cheaper than many of the competitors, and decently full-featured. The Fitbit Versa Three continues that regular, reliable, and reasonably priced custom, although the simultaneous launch of the extra premium Fitbit Sense has muddied the waters a bit as to which Fitbit is one of the best for most individuals.

The Versa Three is form of just like the Apple Watch SE in that it’s a pared-down model of a flagship smartwatch, however shares the vast majority of the identical options you’d use each day. You get NFC funds through Fitbit Pay and the power to take calls from the wrist. You additionally get a voice assistant within the type of Amazon Alexa, and with the latest Fitbit OS 5.1 update, Google Assistant. With the Versa 3, Fitbit has additionally added built-in GPS—one of many foremost omissions from earlier Versas. Lastly, the Versa 3 has an estimated battery lifetime of up to 6 days. You can too rapidly juice as much as a entire day’s price of battery by charging the look ahead to simply 12 minutes.

To coincide with its new watch launches, Fitbit additionally redesigned its interface to make it far more intuitive, and also you get the identical new UI in each the Sense and Versa 3. Each watches additionally acquired the identical Pure Pulse 2.Zero algorithm replace. Within the app, you additionally get the identical SpO2 clock face that the Sense did, in addition to the brand new well being metrics dashboard. The primary options that set the Sense aside from the Versa Three are its electrodermal exercise (EDA) sensor for monitoring stress, a devoted physique temperature sensor (with Fitbit Premium, the Versa watches estimate your floor physique temperature with existing sensors), and FDA-cleared ECGs. However should you don’t want all that, the Versa Three is a stable smartwatch in its personal proper.

I’ll be blunt: Nearly all of folks in all probability gained’t be lacking out on having on-demand ECGs. In the event you’ve acquired a clear invoice of well being, and your physician says you’re unlikely to be at excessive threat for atrial fibrillation, a smartwatch ECG isn’t designed with you in thoughts. It’s a supplementary monitoring software for individuals who have coronary heart situations or could be in danger for them. The common individual is extra more likely to miss the Sense’s EDA sensor. Whereas Fitbit isn’t the one wearables firm to dabble in stress-tracking, in my testing, I discovered the Sense’s function to be probably the most thoughtfully carried out. If you wish to enhance mindfulness in these terribly annoying occasions, lacking out on this function is a bummer. In the event you suppose mindfulness is hippy-dippy nonsense, then you’re good.

Even when it comes to design, you’d be hard-pressed to inform the distinction between the Sense and Versa Three at a look. The primary giveaway is the Sense has a metallic border up high and across the sensor array, which allows the ECG operate. In any other case, they’re almost an identical. They each even use the identical charger, which good contemplating Fitbit is infamous designing a separate proprietary charger for every gadget in its lineup. So should you and somebody you reside with bought a Versa Three and a Sense, you’d be capable of use each chargers interchangeably. Or if sooner or later down the road you wished to improve to the Sense, you’re nonetheless good. The dangerous information is should you’re upgrading from the Versa, Versa 2, or Versa Lite Version, your charger is ineffective.

Illustration for article titled Youll Be Perfectly Happy With the Fitbit Versa 3

Photograph: Victoria Track/Gizmodo

In comparison with the Versa 2, nevertheless, the Versa Three has a barely bigger show at 1.58 inches in contrast to the Versa 2’s 1.39-inch show. The Versa Three can also be larger throughout, measuring 40.38mm x 40.38mm to the Versa 2’s 39.8mm x 39.8mm. It’s additionally about 0.35mm thicker. I’ve used each units and I didn’t discover the change that a lot. Most significantly, the Versa Three remains to be completely comfy for all-day put on.

If the design is usually the identical, then what about battery life? Effectively, that’s just about the identical, too. Within the two weeks I wore the Versa 3, I acquired on common about 5 days on a cost. That’s rather less than the estimated 6+ days, however due to election stress, I additionally went tremendous arduous on GPS workouts. On common, I discovered {that a} 30-minute GPS run drained the battery by about 4-5% every session. You’ll probably get extra mileage should you’re extra into non-GPS workouts like weight-lifting or yoga.

I in contrast the Versa Three to the Oura Ring with regards to sleep-monitoring. They had been totally on par when it got here to period and disturbances, like my pets smacking me awake for midnight snacks. The sleep levels graphs had been additionally related, although not at all times 1:1. They weren’t, nevertheless, wildly completely different. Physique temperature readings throughout sleep additionally corresponded when each trackers had been worn on the identical hand.

Illustration for article titled Youll Be Perfectly Happy With the Fitbit Versa 3

Photograph: Victoria Track/Gizmodo

As for GPS distance, I discovered the Versa Three was decently correct. I examined it on a number of outside runs in opposition to my telephone and the Apple Watch SE, and customarily discovered the Fitbit underreported by one to two-tenths of a mile, per mile. For instance, on a latest 2.99-mile run recorded by my telephone, the Fitbit Versa Three logged 2.eight miles and the SE logged 2.86 miles. On one other 2.78-mile run, the Versa Three recorded 2.65 miles and the SE recorded 2.73. Nearly all of my take a look at runs usually adopted this sample. At longer distances, nevertheless, the discrepancy did get a bit larger. On a 3.65-mile run, the Versa Three solely registered 3.36 miles to the SE’s 3.45 miles.

There’s a whole lot of explanation why that could be. I observed infrequently throughout my runs I’d get a notification that the GPS dropped out on the Versa Three and would reconnect. These dropoffs weren’t that frequent or lengthy however may’ve been sufficient to throw issues off a bit of. I additionally stay and work out in an space that’s not one of the best for GPS alerts—which could additionally clarify why it took the Versa Three a couple of minute to seek out GPS each time I went exterior. Typically talking, every GPS monitoring gadget you utilize goes to be a little off of the opposite one so these discrepancies had been completely regular. Plus, the Versa Three was constantly “off” by the identical quantity, which means should you wished to progressively improve your distance, you’d be high-quality total. You simply may wish to mentally issue that in when prepping for race day.

Whereas the Versa Three shares many of the identical professionals because the Fitbit Sense, it additionally shares one mildly regarding con. With the improve to the Pure Pulse 2.Zero coronary heart fee algorithm, I observed each the Sense and Versa Three tended to “underreport” coronary heart fee throughout exercises by about 5-10bpm. Typically that felt like a lag within the exercise app. As an illustration, I’d flick my wrist up and my coronary heart fee on the Versa Three can be 140bpm whereas the Polar H10 chest strap and the Watch SE would say my coronary heart fee was 170bpm. A second or two later, I’d flick my wrist up and the Versa Three would then report 165bpm. A discrepancy of 5bpm is regular; 30bpm is just not. This actually solely occurred throughout outside runs and occurred most ceaselessly throughout interval runs. My total train reviews usually confirmed the identical coronary heart fee charts between the Versa 3, Watch SE, and Polar H10. It’s not one thing I skilled throughout energy coaching, yoga, or strolling exercises. I’ve reached out to Fitbit about it with regard to each the Sense and Versa 3, however haven’t gotten a response but. It’s attainable that is one thing that can work itself out in future OS updates, however it’s one thing that anybody who does interval coaching, HIIT exercises, or coronary heart fee zone coaching ought to be mindful.

Illustration for article titled Youll Be Perfectly Happy With the Fitbit Versa 3

Photograph: Victoria Track/Gizmodo

The Versa 3’s different notable addition, Google Assistant, is fairly candy. Whereas I do sometimes use Alexa at residence, I desire Google Assistant, and having the ability to management my good lights utilizing the Versa Three was neat. The power to select between the 2 is positively a perk. However the Versa Three additionally has a built-in speaker, which suggests you will get audio responses from Alexa on the watch—that function isn’t but accessible with Google Assistant, although you’ll be able to faucet on preset follow-up responses. Bluetooth calls had been additionally a welcome addition, particularly once I didn’t wish to get cooking gunk throughout my telephone. You do, nevertheless, want your telephone close by for each these options, as a result of the Versa Three doesn’t have its personal mobile connection.

At $230, the Versa Three is just barely costlier than the Versa 2—and that’s probably as a result of NFC funds are actually a default function, slightly than a particular version add-on. Nevertheless, until you need built-in GPS, NFC, and Google Assistant, you don’t want to improve, because it’s solely been a yr. It is best to in all probability maintain out. (That mentioned, it’s positively a bummer that Google Assistant isn’t suitable with the Versa 2.) As for whether or not it’s price the additional $100 to splurge on the Sense, that basically is dependent upon whether or not you worth the power to take ECGs and whether or not mindfulness is a precedence. To make clear, the stress-monitoring doesn’t ship you an alert each single time you’re stressed. It’s extra of an, “Oh, my metrics point out this sample and I’m additionally logging how I really feel emotionally in order that I can higher perceive that sample.” I personally fairly appreciated that strategy, and suppose it’s price the additional moolah. However I’m conscious mindfulness isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and after utilizing the Versa Three for a number of weeks, I didn’t really feel like I’d been cheated.

Illustration for article titled Youll Be Perfectly Happy With the Fitbit Versa 3

Photograph: Victoria Track/Gizmodo

The one calculation I’d think about is Fitbit Premium. Shopping for the Sense will get you six months free, although you will get a 90-day trial with the Versa Three should you’re new to Fitbit Premium. It prices $10 for a month-to-month subscription or $80 for an annual subscription, so while you issue that in, the Sense begins to look cheaper as compared. Upgrading to Fitbit Premium offers you entry to the Well being Metrics dashboard (which incorporates information factors like respiratory fee, physique temperature, and coronary heart fee variation), guided applications, meditations, superior sleep insights, and Premium challenges. Nevertheless, the free app remains to be good—and should you don’t care about issues like HRV and respiratory fee, you’re not lacking an excessive amount of.

To be frank, the app and group are main explanation why you may want a Fitbit over a mud low cost smartwatch that does most of the identical issues. The Versa 3 needs to be increased in your quick listing if competitors with associates is one thing that motivates you. The Amazfit Bip S, for instance, is simply $70 and is a really stable, fundamental health smartwatch. In my view, it’s a greater worth than some cheaper Fitbit trackers. Nevertheless, the Bip S’s companion app leaves so much to be desired and I don’t know too many of us on Amazfit’s platform.

Mainly, the Versa Three is a superb however not terribly thrilling replace. It’s what the Versa 2 ought to have been, truthfully, and I can see why some Versa 2 house owners could be greater than a bit of peeved (particularly since they haven’t gotten the advantages of the last two Fitbit OS updates). The Versa Three is possibly a half-step up from really price range smartwatch territory, however not as costly as a premium flagship. Regardless that it lacks the Sense’s ambition, it considerably sarcastically is the Fitbit that makes probably the most sense for most individuals.

README

  • Because the Apple Watch SE is to the Sequence 6, so the Fitbit Versa Three is to the Fitbit Sense.
  • Provides built-in GPS, NFC funds by default, built-in speaker, Bluetooth calls, and Google Assistant.
  • Design-wise, it seems to be like the opposite Versas and the Fitbit Sense.
  • Until you’re actually into mindfulness and ECGs, you will get away with the Versa Three and not likely discover.

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Author

Victoria Song