Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is the company's cheapest smartwatch yet

Fitbit cuts features to bring the price down - and bring the fight to Apple

The Fitbit Versa is proving to be a decent seller, so the company is doubling down on its success by launching an even cheaper version of its smartwatch - the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition.

The Lite Edition costs $159.95 - $40 cheaper than the standard Versa - but that comes at the cost of a few features. The new watch, which looks almost identical to last year’s model, won’t be able to store music on-device, nor can it display Fitbit Coach workouts, track swimming laps or floors climbed.

Wareable verdict: Fitbit Versa Lite Edition review

But that's it. You’re otherwise getting the same suite of health and fitness features, same battery, same apps, and same (still mostly dormant) relative SpO2 sensor.

There are a couple of design updates here too. The Lite Edition only has one button, which sits on the left hand side of the watch; the “full” Versa has an additional two buttons on the right side. This just means you’ll need to rely on the touchscreen for certain actions such as starting exercises, but it doesn’t change the experience too dramatically. At least, not in our experience with the watch so far.

Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is the company's cheapest smartwatch yet

The Versa Lite Edition also comes in a range of new colors that you won’t get last year’s model in: white, lilac, mulberry and a lovely new “marina” blue that we’re especially fond of. Fitbit’s launching a bunch of new silicone and hybrid woven bands, which will all be compatible with last year’s Versa too.

The Versa Lite is a shrewd play from Fitbit, which saw revenues start to rise again at the end of 2018. The Versa has been much more successful for the company than the higher-end Ionic, helping the company make its mark in the smartwatch space - but it's still second to Apple. Of all the new devices launched, it's the Versa Lite that could be key to pushing the company closer to that number one spot.

"We saw that based on all the feedback we've gotten that there are still barriers to purchasing by people who are starting to become interested in smartwatches as it becomes a bigger category, and part of that is simplicity, as one barrier, and the second is affordability," Fitbit CEO James Park told Wareable. "The Versa Lite tackles both of those, and it's part of our strategy of increasing our unit shipments this year."

The Versa Lite will be available mid-March priced at $159.95. The first Versa costs $199.95 so it's a fair bit cheaper than the more feature-packed smartwatch. The new Versa Lite is also joined by the Fitbit Inspire HR and Inspire fitness trackers that replace Fitbit's Alta range. The company also announced the Ace 2, its second generation kids tracker.




What do you think?

Reply to
Your comment