The Fitbit Versa 2 is a voice controlled health tracker that gives you some of the best smartwatch (opens in new tab) features too. With Alexa onboard you might not be able to ask for a six-pack body and get it, but you can control the watch and the smart gadget around you.
Fitbit has also invested in the display with an AMOLED screen that offers a brighter and more colorfully punchy screen than the predecessor. The addition of an always-on option is a really useful feature while training.
Despite the brighter screen and smarter voice controls, the battery life has also improved now offering what Fitbit say is five days or more, up from four on the last model. We managed to get six out of it, but more on that below.
Fitbit has gone all in on sleep tracking with really clever metrics and even an alarm that gently wakes you when in light sleep. This is very much a health tracker, with ample wellness features, as it will need a connected smartphone (opens in new tab) to use GPS since that is not onboard.
So is the Fitbit Versa 2 worth the extra money over the original and is it the smartwatch for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Fitbit Versa 2 review : Always-on display design and build
The design of the Fitbit Versa 2 has seen a change going from three side buttons to just one in favor of more touchscreen controls. And that screen has seen big changes too.
The Fitbit Versa 2 features an always-on AMOLED display at 1.4-inches. The always-on feature, which shows things like time, date and battery life, or heart rate while working out, can be turned off if you want to save battery.
The AMOLED is a big factor here though as that has been tuned to pump out more brightness and color than the previous model. As such you get a really vibrant screen which looks great, even in daylight. How useful that is, when training, can't be overstated.
Since launch, Fitbit has added new always-on display watch faces allowing you to find the look that suits you that day. Since it's always-on it appears more like a real watch than just a slab on your wrist. We say slab, this is a small watch really. But with strap options and color variation it allows you to express the look you want.
Fitbit Versa 2 review: Alexa smart skills and features
The Fitbit Versa 2 listens to you using the brain of Alexa. Technically, it's the Alexa app on your phone that does the listening, via the connected watch. And don't expect a wake word to get started, you need to hold in the button or swipe up for the watch to listen. But if that means better battery life than always listening, we're happy with that option.
Also, don't expect to hear Alexa's voice back at you. Instead responses are either simply carried out or written on the screen. This feature is useful as it not only lets you control smart devices, check the weather, set alarms and the usual but also lets you control the watch. Telling Fitbit to start a run, for instance, is a nice way to quickly get going without going through menus.
In real world use the ability to listen was a little hit and miss, so if you will actually rely on it for regular use is another matter. We often got "thinking" as a response and a very slow end result. All in all we doubt this will get much use unless it improves drastically.
Beyond Alexa this is a smartwatch this is able to show you messages from your connected phone, act as a Spotify remote control, offers Fitbit Pay, stores up to 300 songs on the device itself and, of course, tracks steps.
Apple Watch Series 5 review: Battery life
The Fitbit Versa 2 has an excellent battery life. This is one area that the watch beats the Apple Watch Series 5 hands-down. While Apple tops out at a day, the Versa 2 will give you a good five days of use before you need a charge.
Keep in mind that is a five days plus rating from Fitbit. With the screen brightness down we actually managed to get six days out of this. So that really is a positive feature for the watch.
Fitbit Versa 2 review: Fitness, health and sleep tracking
Battery: Five days
Water resistance: Yes, 50m
The Fitbit Versa 2 is primarily a health tracker, meaning it's great at sleep tracking and step counting. But when combined with a phone it'll also work well as a workout buddy using the phone's GPS to track distance, pace, etc. and the watch's onboard heart rate tracker for fitness data as you workout.
When training we found that always-on display was really helpful, allowing you to quickly see things like heart rate, without worrying about getting the flick of the wrist right to activate the screen as you run.
While on a run, with a connected phone, you can rely on an auto start and also an auto pause feature, when you stop at a crossing, say. This worked well, as did the smart recalculation of distance taking into account both phone GPS and watch based stride measurements.
Sleep tracking is where this really excels. We enjoyed the sleep score, which is a single number that helps to show, at a glance, how your night went based on light, deep, REM and restless sleep. But it's the Smart Wake feature that's really useful. This will detect when you're in light and deep sleep and will only wake you when in light sleep. This makes you feel like you've woken naturally.
The Versa 2 also helps women to track monthly cycles but is very basic although does feature alerts. The newer Fitbit Charge 4 also offers menstruation tracking, which can be found on some of the best fitness trackers (opens in new tab) with wellness features.
Should I buy the Fitbit Versa 2?
If you want a health tracker for sleep and movement tracking with the support of onboard music storage and a very impressive display and battery life combination – this is a great option for you.
However, if you want something with GPS onboard and offline Spotify, for training use without a phone, then you'll need to look elsewhere. For the price this offers a lot but there are more dedicated watches that offer specific features you may want where this delivers a broader cover for all the basics.