Science

Fitbit Doubles Down on Smartwatches With Versa

Fitbit Doubles Down on Smartwatches With Versa

Fitbit is also rolling out a new device just for children, the $100 Fitbit Ace, which is created to encourage kids 8 and older to stay active. This thing is essentially a squircle with a square watch display and a super thin body. The Versa will be available in April.

Fitbit will also be introducing a Family Faceoff feature that lets kids compete in a five-day step challenge against the other members of their family account.

The Ace launch is part of Fitbit's broader goal of branching out to new audiences. You can order it in black with a black aluminum case, in gray with a silver aluminum case or in peach with a rose gold aluminum case. Apple has always been lauded for their design and aesthetics, so it's no wonder that Fitbit is taking a note out of their playbook with the release of the Fitbit Versa.

It has numerous same features as the Ionic, and some new ones, too. It has an estimated four-plus days of battery life, on-screen workouts, text notifications (with a quick reply option for Android users), continuous heart rate monitoring, and the ability to store music. It has NFC for making payments with Fitbit Pay, but only in the special edition models.

The Fitbit Ace, meanwhile, is the first Fitbit device for kids aged eight and up.

In terms of design, the Ace borrows heavily from the Fitbit Alta and Alta HR, with a few tweaks.




Fitbit wants to widen its smartwatch customer base, and on first glance the Versa looks like a step in the right direction. Namely, it comes in two colors: Electric Blue and Power Purple. Parents can use the Fitbit app to track their kids' activity levels and hours slept, and approve the contacts kids can add to share their activities and reward badges with. This will include parental view settings, so you can control who friends your children.

The Fibit cycle tracker will monitor the days of a user's cycle, estimate her fertile window, and monitor other aspects of a woman's reproductive health.

It's not a new concept, but having this easily available in the Fitbit app may help you understand fluctuations in your health and exercise regime better. First, there's the Fitbit Versa, a $199 smartwatch that can do nearly everything that the Ionic, Fitbit's $299 smartwatch that was released this past October, can do. That's because they're created to help women track menstrual cycles, record symptoms from those, and compare them across cycles.

The goal for Fitbit Ace, the company says, is to encourage kids to build habits around being physically active from an early age. Jonah Becker, VP of design, told Wareable that the company sees the Ionic's angular design as the basis for a "performance" set of products while the Versa's softer, more human design is the basis for more mass-appeal products that can appeal to both women and men.

The Versa is powered by Fitbit OS 2.0, which provides a new and personalized dashboard for daily and weekly health and fitness stats, historical activity, heart rate, and exercise summaries, action-oriented motivational messages, tips and tricks, and daily guidance.


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