Fitbit launches new, cheaper wearables to attract more customers: 4 notes


Retailing for less than the already popular standard Versa, at first glance it is practically the same design. The news comes at the same time as Fitbit is also planning to roll out a "major redesign" of the companion mobile app that works with its wearable devices, with the new design meant to make it easier for users to understand their health and fitness stats.

The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition ($249.95), the Inspire HR ($179.95) and Inspire ($129.95) are available for pre-order now. Could it be one of the best smartwatches?

After a couple of months of speculation, the new Fitbit Versa has landed and it is indeed a Lite version of the original. It will be much more suited to you than the Fitbit Ionic was.

But what's the difference, you ask? The Fitbit Inspire is a similar device selling for $69.95 that has no heart rate tracking capability but keeps the activity tracking most people want.

They are water resistant up to 50m and you can take them out for a swim. What it lacks compared to the non-lite model is the ability to store and play music and compatibility with Fitbit Coach, and can not track elevation or swimming workouts.

There's no onboard Wi-Fi either, which is usually used for app and software updates. To download apps or updates, it syncs a small portion of the app when the watch syncs to the smartphone. Different method, same outcome. The device tracks heart rate and sleep, as well as female health, automatically detects activity, and is swimproof.

It will do a couple of smartwatch things like push notifications for calls and messages from your phone. It offers more than 15 exercise modes, along with real-time pace and distance data via a connected phone's Global Positioning System. You can also buy existing Fitbit Versa accessories to pair with the Versa Lite. It's very lightweight and barely noticeable when worn with a slim, slight profile.

Fitbit introduces new Inspire ($70) and Inspire HR ($100), Versa Lite ($160), and Ace 2 for kids ($70)
Fitbit announces four new wearables including Versa Lite Edition

Fitbit's strategy in the wearable market is to launch a range of products that will satisfy the needs of wide variety of customers.

There's a touchscreen on the front, and while we don't now have the specs we know it's a full color display and we expect it to have a resolution of 300 x 300 (that's what the Fitbit Versa has). Get it in one of the latter two and the watch body will be the same color (rather than silver), providing an interesting effect we haven't seen on previous Fitbit products.

Fitbit is updating the app later in the year but even in its current state it's an inviting way into health tracking that is easy and often fun to use.

What's notable about the Versa Lite Edition is what it lacks - Lite Edition, remember?

The device trims its retail price by sacrificing features such as music, payments and swim-tracking mode, all found on its Versa, released nearly a year ago.

The fitness-focused brand is also revamping its Fitbit app's interface and adding a new Fitbit Focus section and launching a new Rewards program later in the year.

For the price, the Versa Lite Edition should be a good looking, solid performing entry-level fitness smartwatch.

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