The only visual difference between your two watches may be the buttons: The Versa has three and the Versa Lite has one. It’s a straightforward change that actually increases on the Versa’s navigation, and speaks to Fitbit’s philosophy because of its new low-cost model: Less doesn’t need to be worse.

Actually, none of the missing features in the Versa Lite are central to the knowledge, and for some buyers the decision between your two models will be a fairly easy one. Unlike the decision between a 3rd- and 4th-gen Apple Watch and even Fitbit’s own Inspire and Inspire HR, the dissimilarities between your Versa and Versa Lite supply the two watches their own identity without crippling the knowledge for buyers on a budget.

Same design, new colors
There isn’t much to state about the Versa Lite’s design that I didn’t write in my own original Versa review. It includes a nice fit that isn’t too bulky on my wrist, though I wish the bezel around the screen was smaller and more uniform. Since it stands, underneath edge is large enough to match the Fitbit logo, which cheapens the appearance somewhat in comparison with the Apple Watch and other slim-bezel circular watches.

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The Fitbit Versa and Versa Lite have the same heart-rate monitor.

Both new colors supply the Versa Lite a less-premium feel aswell, even though they utilize the same aluminum frame as the more-subdued silver model. It’s not they don’t look good, but something about wearing a bright blue or pink watch with a matching band doesn’t accurately scream luxury. Swapping out the band with the one which doesn’t match the colour accurately helps some, but my guess is that the silver model would be the most popular by a broad margin.

Even with the brand new Crayola-inspired palette, the Fitbit Versa Lite still appears like a good wristwatch that costs a lot more than its price. I’ve used a lot of watches and trackers in this cost range that look feel plastic toys when compared to Apple Watch, however the Versa Lite can endure any other smartwatch I’ve used, even those costing a lot more than twice as much.

A slimmed-down experience
The Versa Lite’s single button has just three functions: turning the screen on, turning it off when on the clock, and heading back on any other screen. That’s undoubtedly a dumbing-down of the initial Versa’s three-button design, nonetheless it makes navigation and usability that far better. It had been never all that clear what both buttons did, rather than having them eliminates a layer of unnecessary complexity.

Christopher Hebert/IDG
You won’t skip the insufficient side buttons on the Fitbit Versa Lite (top).

That’s true of the others of Versa Lite’s “missing” features aswell. To shave $40 off the purchase price, Fitbit was obviously forced to eliminate few things from the Versa Lite, but a lot of people aren’t likely to notice what’s gone:

Altimeter
Wi-Fi
On-screen workouts
On-board music
Lap and calorie tracking while swimming
Of these five, the altimeter, on-screen workouts, and increased swim tracking are just likely to matter to hard-core athletes, and they’ll likely want to spring for the Ionic anyway. I thought Wi-Fi will be an issue, but since it works out, the Versa doesn’t count on everything that much. Fitbit explained that Wi-Fi is principally used for music transfers on the higher-priced watch, and because the Versa Lite does not have any storage, the Wi-Fi chip isn’t necessary. I was skeptical, but day-to-day functionality, notifications, and Android quick replies all worked equally well because they do on the standard Versa, even though my phone was beyond a few feet away.

Having less music storage wasn’t really a concern for me either, because the Versa Lite can still control the music playing on your own phone. I’m not just one to care much about storing music on my watch, and Fitbit’s uploading interface isn’t the friendliest to use. Since my phone is probably to be around when I’m on trips, controlling my Spotify or Apple Music streams is correctly fine.

Fitness aptitude
Elsewhere, the Fitbit Versa Lite is merely as capable as the Versa. You get the same four-day battery life, linked GPS, customizable exercise modes, and heart-rate monitoring, aswell sleep, female health, and computerized activity tracking. The only slight inconsistency I came across when compared to the initial Versa has been the heart-rate monitor. To obtain the most accurate reading, I had to use it about an inch higher on my wrist than with other smartwatches, lest I get yourself a steady reading in the mid-80s, even though exercising.

Christopher Hebert/IDG
The Versa Lite is missing a few fitness-related features, but most everyday athletes won’t notice.

Each of the clock faces and almost all of the applications can be found aswell, including a couple new kinds to complement the Lite’s specific body colors. Now on version 3, Fitbit OS has come quite a distance very quickly, however the advancements aren’t regarding apps. While they load just as quickly because they do on other platforms, software on the Versa Lite remain overly simplistic and mainly a matter of occasional convenience on the Versa Lite instead of essential. None of the software I’ve used beyond the fitness stuff and timers are necessarily essentially to the Versa experience, and to be honest, they probably never will be. Greater than a year in, it’s clear that Fitbit isn’t trying to contend with watchOS or Wear OS with regards to functionality.

Just like the rest of Fitbit’s devices, its smartwatches excel are in terms of fitness tracking, and the Versa Lite doesn’t skimp where it matters most. The wonderful Today screen continues to be available by swiping up from underneath of the screen, and you’ll see your entire stats (minus floors climbed) without having to jump right into a separate app. Just like the rest of Fitbit’s smartwatches, the Today screen is the best feature of the Versa Lite and the key reason to select it over any other band.

Bottom line
If you’re searching for a fresh smartwatch, Fitbit will be a consideration. As the programs and functionality pale compared to the Apple Watch and even Wear OS watches, they nail the fundamentals, offer