I had high hopes for the Fitbit Versa. I’m already a fan a Fitbit and have been using the Altra HR for almost a year. I was quick to jump on board with other Fitbit fanatics when it came to tracking my steps, heart rate and sleep patterns. Who knew I would care so much about my sleep? Apparently, me! Checking how many hours I slept the night before is one of the first things I do each morning. It's very insightful and I highly recommend tracking yours!
The Fitbit Altra is the first everyday tracker I’ve used before. For years, I’ve been wearing a Garmin to track my runs. In the running community, Garmin has always been one of the most popular wearable devices for tracking mileage, pace and of course, what it’s know for-GPS. The Garmin has proven to be an incredibly dependable device to wear while running. I only purchased a Fitbit because I wanted something I could wear to track everything else.
Of course, I wanted my runs to be included in my daily/weekly Fitbit evaluations, so I continued wearing my Fitbit with my Garmin. Naturally, this became a nuisance, so when Fitbit released it’s new GPS tracker, the Ionic, I thought, “problem solved”. Then, I saw the price and decided I would wait.
Fast-forward to the release of the Versa. Now, I could make a case for buying a more affordable device, that could do, essentially everything I needed it to do. Of course, I’d be giving up the built-in GPS, but who needs a map of your run, when you know where you’re going anyway!
After comparing runs with my Versa and my Garmin, I realized very quickly, that the Versa, just doesn’t have the same awesome pacing capability of Garmin. I’m very certain, after doing a little research, that this is because of the missing GPS component in my Versa watch. I did have my phone with me both times that I ran, which gives a GPS connection, if you choose. Even so, this did not work well and could make things very dicey during a race scenario, when a runner like me, is depending on the accuracy of your pace.
I’m disappointed in Fitbit’s Versa. I really wanted to like it, and there are some features that were very nice. For instance, I loved the meditation app that prompts you to breath for 2 minutes. I also liked being able to check the weather on my watch. The screen is really beautiful, but it is not very user friendly either. Sometimes, I felt like I might tap it to death, before the time appeared. I liked that I could flip my wrist to make the time appear on my Altra. Aside from the pacing issue, the other major disappointment was the battery life of my Versa. When I ran, and used the continuous backlight feature, it drained the battery quite a bit. I had to charge the Versa within 24 hours of using it. Fitbit promotes the Versa as having a 4+ day battery life. I'm sure it does if you're not doing anything but tracking steps and looking at the time. But come on, Fitbit! This is a fitness tracker, so expect your users to really use the device! There are some other cool features like a Starbucks app. But meh...when have you been to Starbucks lately without your phone? If you're like me, it already has a Starbucks app on it anyway. The Pandora or Deezer app will allow you to listen to music IF you purchase the blue-tooth headphones for an extra $129. I listen to Spotify and podcasts, and I don't have an extra $129.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided to return my Versa. Look’s like I’ll be running double- wristed once again, until I fight that magical combination of a tracker that does it all and doesn’t cost me a fortune!