Battery life has always been one of Fitbit's strong points; it was one of the better features of the Fitbit Ionic. If you're a runner, for example, you'll be better served by the Ionic or a different sports platform.
On the feature side, the Versa has 24/7 heart-rate tracking, quick replies to text messages (though only on Android), offline music storage and Fitbit's own version of Apple Pay, creatively dubbed Fitbit Pay. It's also safe for swimming. Many women already use period-tracking apps, but Fitbit is building period-tracking into the Versa, so women can see how their periods affect their sleep and activity. They'll also be able to see other gender-specific health and fitness stats alongside tools aimed at helping them optimize their health and life planning. On the other hand, it lacks the Ionic's built-in Global Positioning System with GLONASS, wallet-free payments, and has a smaller screen. The previous Ionic watch offered a copper/burnt orange colour and moving to offer rose gold instead, might make you think that Fitbit has its female users in mind, giving an escape from silver or black which dominate smartwatch colours. Accessories, including leather and stainless steel straps, will range in price from $29.95 to $99.95.
According to a new blog post from the company, the Versa is the company's third attempt at a full-on smartwatch, and the company may have finally nailed a good design at a really good price. The woven bands are exclusive to the Special Edition. It'll also feature a custom adidas clock face and is expected to arrive March 19 for $329.95.
Along with the Versa, Fitbit also introduced a fitness band called "Ace" which is targetted at kids of age 8 and older. The Fitbit Ace is basically an adapted version of the Fitbit Alta, with a smaller, adjustable band to fit tinier wrists and a revised software to remove data that may not be as relevant to younger users, such as calories burned. Namely, it comes in two colors: Electric Blue and Power Purple. It also features automatic sleep stages tracking to ensure you're getting a proper night's rest. For instance, kids will receive a recommended 60 minutes of daily active minutes, compared with 30 for adults.
Of course, in marketing the Ace, Fitbit is looking to sell more trackers, but it appears to be handling the move in a responsible way: Kid accounts must be tied to an adult-created family account, and the child has limited access to the data, if any.
Through the Fitbit app, parents can keep a close eye on their children's progress, activity, and friend requests. Adult Fitbit users who identify as female will be able to log their menstrual cycles and record symptoms directly in the Fitbit app. "This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women's health with real world data". But just like the Ionic, you'll get space for 300 songs on the device, as well as the option of music apps that vary depending on your location.
For Fitbit, the feature has the dual appeal of embracing a huge demographic often overlooked by wearables and helping the company as it works to broaden its appeal to healthcare providers.
Fitbit sees potential for its devices to become a bigger part of the heathcare industry.