Fitbit unveils a cheaper smartwatch and a tracker for children

Marlene Weaver
March 14, 2018

Previous year we saw the arrival of the Fitbit Ionic, the first somewhat compelling smartwatch from the company.

As for price, the Versa is set to cost £199.99 ($199, about AU$350) in the United Kingdom, which is much cheaper than the Fitbit Ionic, as that started off at £299.95 / $299.95 / AU$449.95.

The Fitbit Versa resembles an Apple Watch, but that's not a bad thing.

This is all part of Fitbit's push to expand into new demographics. Now, the firm has returned with something a bit more refined, with a smartwatch called the Versa.

The Fitbit Versa will be coming to India sometime in Q2 and will retail at a price of Rs 19,999 for the black (+black aluminium case) and gray (+silver aluminium case) color options. For Android users, this UI can utilize smart replies for quickly responding to messages, and it also has a personalized dashboard and automatic workout features.

The special editions of the Versa have NFC capabilities for Fitbit Pay in the U.S., but all Versa models sold in Asia will be able to use Fitbit Pay. I don't make payments from my wrist all that often, but for some buyers, the $30 premium for the special edition may be worth it.

Plus, if Fitbit's survey is right and 80 percent of respondents really didn't know how many phases are in menstrual cycle, an app like this might be beneficial in simply helping to educate more women about the ins and outs of their cycle.

But it will take more than a rose gold redesign to convince women to splurge on a smartwatch.

Also today, Fitbit introduced its new Ace fitness tracker for kids. Fitbit is calling it the lightest metal smartwatch in the US.

"Most technology products aren't designed with women in mind first", Chase said. The Versa runs on Fitbit OS and comes preloaded with Fitbit Coach, which offers a handful of guided exercise routines and automatically time them as you train. Fitbit promises it won't send you an obvious, embarrassing notification about it. From later this year the Fitbit app and Versa interface will allow you to log your menstrual cycle so you can better understand fluctuations in your health alongside your fitness and sleep. But Fitbit is obviously hoping that you will.

The Fitbit Ace, the new fitness-tracking device, is specially designed for children ages eight and up. For example, if a child wants to participate in a fitness challenge with a friend or family member, that person must be approved by their parent on the accompanying app. Kids will also not be able to access certain data such as calories burned or body fat percentage information on the app. With the release of the Fitbit Versa on the horizon, can the company compete with the dominance of the Apple Watch Series 3? But at $300, it was almost the price of an Apple Watch with fewer capabilities. I don't like that Fitbit sacrificed Global Positioning System to trim down the watch, though Global Positioning System isn't a must-have for most people. "We do strongly feel that there's significant opportunity for us to gain more share through the launch of more mass appeal devices in the category...most importantly all at the right price point".

The Apple Watch, meantime, continues to move deeper into the health field. The lower-end Cupertino smartwatch packs a heart-rate monitor and comes loaded with other fitness-tracking features. This is a huge deal, because all of those metrics are so deeply intertwined. The Versa is available to preorder at Fitbit's store and select online retailers from today.

We'll put the battery through its paces when we get the Versa on our wrists for the full review.

Other reports by Insurance News

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