Fitbit is expanding its smartwatch portfolio. After the Ionic, the US-based company has now announced a more polished and compact smartwatch called Versa. It will be available in India from April 2018 at all major retail outlets and e-commerce stores at a starting price of Rs19,999. The Special Edition Fitbit Versa which supports NFC will cost Rs22,999.

Fitbit’s foray into the smartwatch space is an attempt to cement its position in the wearable market. According to the IDC (International Data Corporation) report published on 1 March 2018, more and more users are shifting from basic wearables such as fitness bands to smartwatches. It helped Apple consolidate its position and capture 21% of the market in the quarter ending December 2017. Fitbit’s market share during the same quarter was 14%. The ongoing lull in the Android Wear space also makes Fitbit the only major challenger to Apple in the smartwatch space right now.

What makes Versa a cut above the Ionic smartwatch and puts it at par with the Apple Watch is the more polished looks and compact form factor. It has a square dial with an aluminium casing but looks thinner. The edges around the dial also look softer and slightly curved compared to Ionic. Like Apple Watch, Versa is also water-proof up to 50 metres, which means one can keep it on while swimming.

Versa has a slightly smaller 1.34-inch touchscreen compared to Ionic which comes with a 1.42-inch touchscreen. Apple Watch 3 offers a 1.3-inch screen on the 38mm variant and 1.6-inch screen on the 42mm variant. Versa also supports Bluetooth and WiFi, and is compatible with both Android and iOS, unlike Apple Watch which works only with Apple’s devices.

The only limitation of Versa is that it doesn’t have built-in GPS, like Ionic and Apple Watch 3. However, it supports Connected GPS which means it can use the GPS on smartphone to track users’ location and movement more accurately.

Versa has a built-in heart rate sensor and can provide information on the sleep quality too. Apple Watch 3 supports heart rate tracking, but doesn’t support sleep tracking.

Fitbit runs Fitbit OS 2.0. It offers a personalised dashboard for fitness activities, multiple clock faces, can play music without involving the phone and comes with an app store called App gallery which includes apps from Starbucks, Strava and Accuweather. When connected to a smartphone, users can get call alerts and reply to messages. Versa also supports Fitbit’s new contactless payment system Fitbit Pay. Fitbit has added a new fitness-oriented feature for women users. It will help women keep track of their menstrual cycle from the watch itself. The feature will be available in the Ionic and Fitbit smartphone app as well.

Apple’s Watch OS 4 comes with personalised activity assistance, can play Music directly on the watch from Apple Music store, supports Apple Pay and offers the option to play games on the watch as well.

Versa’s strength is its battery back-up. Fitbit claims it can last up to four days on one charge, which is rare for a smartwatch. Apple Watch 3 assures 18 hours of backup in one go.

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