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Fitbit Versa Lite review: not ideal for fitness lovers

The Fitbit Versa Lite is ideal if you are not obsessed with fitness but practice some exercise

review fitbit versa lite watchesMarta Villalba / Digital Trends in Spanish

The good

    Detailed statistics with clear graphics Easy to handle The battery fulfills what it promises Monitor female health Breathing exercise to relax Quality materials Many customization possibilities

The bad

    Incompatibility with some cell phone models You need to charge the phone to listen to music Do not monitor swimming

When you monitor your activity with a wearable, it is appreciated to see the information on a larger screen than that of a bracelet. These may fall short in this regard and to cover that need you have watches like Fitbit Versa Lite. This newly launched device by the company, along with three other models, is a simpler and cheaper version than its predecessor Fitbit Versa. We have tried it for a week and these are the impressions it has caused us.

Design

As for its design, it does not differ at all from its predecessor, since both incorporate a 1.3-inch screen, a comfortable size for the grimace and not to force the view. The silicone on the strap is extremely soft, does not bother at any time and does not interfere when you put on or take off a sweater or coat. The difference in this new version is that it only incorporates a physical button (on the left), while the Fitbit Versa comes with three (one on the left and two on the right).

The Lite version releases new colors more striking and cheerful than those of Versa: white, lilac, violet and blue. These last two differ from the others in a small detail: the screen frame (aluminum) is the same color as the strap and buckle. That gives a more beautiful aesthetic than silver. Although if you are going to change the belt it can be an inconvenience, since it also combines worse with other straps.

review fitbit versa lite sphereMarta Villalba / Digital Trends in Spanish

The design achieves the balance between the sporty and the elegant. You can take it both while doing sports (it is resistant up to 50 meters underwater) and also to go to work or party. Fits any outfit casual or informal. And if it doesn't fit you, then you have many straps to choose from (silicone, leather, stainless steel and textile).

If you want to keep a real track of the distance and the rhythm when you walk, run or go by bike you will have to connect to the GPS of the cell phone.

Functions and applications

As it is a simplified version, it loses some of the functions of the previous model. Specifically, it does not store music, it does not register ascents, that is, it does not count if you climb stairs, it does not count the lengths in a pool and does not allow you to see training on the screen through Fitbit Coach.

In everything else they coincide: recognize up to 15 exercises (including yoga, pilates, golf, kickboxing, martial arts, elliptical, bootcamp and tennis), monitor the dream, you can keep track of your menstrual cycle, relax with breaths following an exercise, receive notifications, record the heart rate 24 hours a day and it is possible to use third-party applications (Strava is already installed).

Among the apps to install on the watch are Spotify HR, Nest, Yelp, Flipboard, Clue, Uber and Philips Hue. It offers many to give more utility (calendars, agendas, currency converter, news, control the diet …) to the clock. The one that serves to monitor female health is very complete, since it offers the possibility of recording forecasts of the period, fertile phases, day of ovulation (shows this information very clearly on a calendar) and menstrual symptoms, among other data.

From the application on the cell phone, which is simple to handle, it is possible to add the amount of water and food you eat to control the consumption of liquids, calories and nutrients. The possibility of setting goals, both training and sleep or to lose weight, gives you extra motivation. It also accomplishes the same with badges.

Usability

Incorporating a single physical button makes this device very easy to handle, which is always welcome, especially if you are not familiar with the technology. Pressing it activates and deactivates the screen. To access the functions you simply slide your finger over it. If you move it from right to left, you access the main menu. And from the bottom up to the records (steps, heart rate, set goals, sleep hours) that you have chosen to see (shows up to seven).

From the application on the cell phone it is possible to add the amount of water and food you eat to control the consumption of liquids, calories and nutrients.

If you press and hold the physical button for a few seconds, you quickly access two important functions. One is the one that allows you to activate / deactivate the screen: having it activated in “auto” mode makes it easy for you to see the time by simply raising your face, something that is much appreciated in the day to day. At night, in bed, this function should be deactivated (which is done by selecting the "manual mode"). Because, when you move your arm, the screen turns on in the dark and can disturb that sudden light. The brightness can be adjusted (dim, normal, maximum and auto) – through the configuration icon – and it has not given me problems to view the contents even in full sun.

The other function that is accessed from the physical button directly makes it possible to disconnect notifications, in case you want to deactivate them at any time. In the "settings" section, you can choose if you want to receive notifications while you exercise or sleep or have them always blocked.

I have configured it to notify calls, WhatsApp messages and emails but these last two I have never received them. I tried the watch with a Huawei Mate 20 Pro and this problem with notifications is most likely due to the fact that this cell phone is not compatible with the device. You can check if yours is on the Fitbit website. Something that Fitbit and s Versa bracelets do not offer is the possibility of replying to messages with predetermined responses and even emojis.

To synchronize all the data, it gives you the option to do it automatically continuously, which is very comfortable, or only when you want to open the app on the cell phone.

The battery holds a little more than four days with normal use, the same as the previous Versa. Although the autonomous will always depend on what you use it for. If you connect it to GPS and apps frequently, keep in mind that it will decrease faster. It recharges completely in approximately 70 minutes.

Conclusion

The Fitbit Versa Lite is a good option for those who do not mind charging with the cell phone while exercising and listening to music. The price difference with Fitbit Versa is only 40 euros or $ 40 dollars, so it may be worth spending a little more to at least free yourself from the cell phone while you practice running or at the gym machines without giving up listening to your own music. Of course, at least you avoid having to take the cell phone from your pocket or purse to adjust the volume and control the playback of songs.

If you want to keep a real track of the distance and the rhythm when you walk, run or go by bike you will have to connect to the GPS of the cell phone, so sometimes you will not get rid of carrying it. Configuring and controlling the functions is quite easy in general both on the watch and on the cell phone.

With a price of 159.95 euros (or $ 159.95 dollars) it will be worth it if you do not want to give up the comfort of viewing and controlling the functions comfortably from a screen and the use of third-party applications. If this does not matter, a bracelet like Fitbit Inspire HR (99.95 euros / $ 99.95 dollars) offers you practically the same functions (and even one more, as is swimming monitoring) for much less money.

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