Why the Versa
The first smart watch I owned was a Pebble.
I owned three over three years. I damaged and cracked the screen on the first one. The second glitched out, which got me a free replacement. The replacment one lasted me for about nine months, but was unable to make it through a summer of home renovations. Right when I was planning to purchase a new one. Fitbit purchased and ceased operations on everything Pebble. So naturally I was sort of disappointed.
The Fitbit Versa
For anyone who has owned a Pebble smart watch, will immediately look at the Versa and say that is a Pebble with a Fitbit logo. I have to agree, even the people at Best Buy where I bought it, said the Versa looked like a Pebble.
But most people will say, it is just an Apple Watch knockoff. So with that being said, here are a few things I would like to talk about.
Fitness Tracking – one week later
The activity tracker part has pretty much forced me to become more active in just 7 days. With hourly and daily challenges.
- Hourly: The Versa alerts me close to the end of each hour that I need to move around. By default, the versa suggests walking 250 steps an hour. With ten minutes to go on the hour, the Versa will state I have to walk 250 steps or less to reach my hourly goal. With 250 steps an hour, equivalent to roughly two minutes of walking, reaching this goal should be pretty easy for most!
- Daily: 10,000 steps is the default goal set up by Fitbit. Which is apparently a standard set back in the 1960s. 10,000 steps a day can actually help improve your cardio and reduce heart disease, which is sort of the goal right? You can read more about that here “Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?” I was able to reach that goal at least three times in one week. I felt proud to reach this goal, and tried to walk more when I noticed I was getting close to that 10,000.
- Workouts: if the Versa can sense you are working out, it will try and categorize the work out, and then add it to your exercise data.
The Versa is great at reminding you to be more active. With hourly and daily goals, you will find your self trying to push to reach them. Even if you just hit your hourly goal, you should be sitting around 3,500 steps a day. That is not including the walking you will be doing throughout the rest of the hour.
Side-note – Like most activity trackers, the Versa can and will register steps if you are driving on a bumpy road, making hand gestures that resemble walking. But I have noticed that the Versa is NOT as bad as the pebble or flex that I have previously owned.
Heart Rate monitoring – one week later
So my wife is a nursing student, and highly believes that my Versa is messing with my head when it comes to the Heart rate monitoring. The first evening I had it on, my resting heart rate was 80 beats per minute (BPM). My wife said that was insane, stating I shouldn’t have a resting BPM that high at 32 years of age. So she decided to check my heart rate with her stethoscope, while timing the beats.
Surprise on her, my heart rate was with in line with what the Versa was telling me. So I booked a doctors appointment which I am going to tomorrow. Because a high heart rate is never a good thing. Either way, the Versa seems to be on some degree accurate?
Either way according to the Versa, the first day was 80 BPM resting, and then eventually dropped to the 70’s through out the week, with lowest day registering a resting heat rate of 67 BPM.
Side-note – Ive tried it on my inner and outer wrist, even loose and tight without many differences in the heart rate monitoring.
Sleeping Tracking – one week later
I am a horrible sleepier, I really can’t fall into a decent sleep pattern. I toss and turn all night, but the Versa tracks all of it. The device is actually pretty good at tracking sleep, I believe this is because of the heart rate feature. It tracks light, deep and REM sleep. But like the fitness and Heart Monitoring it is hard to say how accurate it is.
But seeing how I only get 5-6 hours of a sleep a night, and only 3 of those hours are deep sleep. I will personally try and increase those amounts for the future. The Versa will also help determine the best time for you to go to sleep, and the best time for you to wake up. By setting this up, you can receive an alert on when you should be heading to bed.
Fitbit says the Versa will have 4 days of battery life!
I say yes it does!
Charged fully to 100 per cent on Monday when I got it. The Versa lasted till Thursday night before I had to charge it again. My old Pebble time Steel would last around 6-7 days, but did not have the HR monitoring or the amount of features the Versa offers. Im guessing 4 days it better then most!
Definitely beats having to charge every 18-20 hours.
Versa also offers
- Notifications:Most push notifications that came through on my iPhone, came through on the Versa. You can change the notification list in the Fitbit app, disable entirely or mute them for a time being on the watch it self.
- Waterproof: I went swimming with it, took a shower, washed dishes with hot water, no problems. I even went in a hot tub, but tried to keep the Versa out of the water as much as possible, mainly because I wrecked a Pebble by having it in a hot tub, then jumped into a cold pool to swim laps.
- Touch Display: Coming from a pebble, I never had a touch display, and I wasn’t going to buy the apple watch series 3, so I settled on this Versa that I saw the day before online and decided to buy. I really didn’t do much research on it, because I figured it was Pebble 2.0 and had the water proof, heart rate, and activity features and worked with iOS notifications. I figured I was golden. But I was completely shocked when I opened it up and turned it on to find out it had a touch screen. Its pretty cool. Works pretty good, a bit sensitive and accidental touch input can happen if the screen is one and you touch it with your other hand.
- FITBIT Coach: I haven’t really tried this, but apparently it will guide me through a 10 minute ab work out or a 7 minute body work out. There is even a Treasure Chest Game which is which is a way to be active to get further in the game. Fitbit will also be adding more to Coach in the future.
- Bluetooth Music: So the Versa can control music on your phone or connected device. But one thing II did not know till I had the package in my hand at the store… You can add music to the Versa and connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones to the Versa. This means you can hit the gym or activity without having to have your phone on you! This is pretty cool, which means less things to carry while you work out!
- No GPS: Yeah, the Versa does not have built in GPS. From what I read it will store your workout/actives, for a limited time. I haven’t really looked into this, since my phone is always connected to the Versa.
I would suggest picking up the Versa if you used to own a pebble. The user created apps and custom watch faces will eventually grow like Pebbles did. I even heard that Fitbit will be using this new OS on all future watches. So I’m highly optimistic that the community around it will grow. Even some of the Pebble apps and watch faces have been ported over to the Fitbit OS.
Even if you are searching for your first activity tracker, or smart watch. The Versa is a great start, especially with the price.