Fitbit has released a new model of their popular Fitbit Versa smartwatch, which they are calling the Versa Lite Edition. At first glance, the Lite Edition model appears quite similar to the standard and Special Edition Versa models, however there are some key differences that become apparent upon closer inspection. For those curious about what’s different with the Lite Edition, or for anyone who is unfamiliar with the Fitbit Versa family of smartwatches in general, you have come to the right place!
The Lite Edition is the most affordable option of the three models, coming in at just around $200, compared to the $250 and $300 price tag for the standard and Special Edition models respectively. As you might expect, this means that certain features have been removed, though this may or may not be a deal-breaker for you.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at everything that is new and different about the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition.
From a design perspective, the Versa Lite Edition is strikingly similar to the original and Special Edition models. The size, shape, and even the screen (1.34-inch, 300×300 resolution) are identical, and all three models are made from a 6000-series aerospace-grade aluminum alloy.
The biggest standout is how the design of the Lite Edition has been streamlined; The two physical buttons present on the right-hand side of the original Versa are absent from the Lite Edition. Without these physical buttons, you will need to navigate the smartwatch through taps and swipes. The single button on the left-hand side of the device (the sleep/wake button) is still there though, and its functionality remains unchanged.
The Versa Lite Edition also comes in a handful of colors, including Silver, Marina Blue, and Mulberry (purple), with the latter two colors being brand new. The standard model is available in Silver, Black, and Rose Gold, and the Special Edition is available in Graphite as well as Rose Gold. Each color option also includes a matching (or contrasting) rubber wristband, or a woven polyester band for the Special Edition. We’re happy to report that all three models are compatible with the same straps.
As we mentioned earlier, certain features that are present in the original Versa have been removed from the Lite Edition to justify the lower cost. But before we get into the differences between each model, let’s briefly go over what has stayed the same; all three models include a 3-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor, optical heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor, which estimates the amount of oxygen in your blood. All models are also water resistant up to 50 meters.
Arguably the most significant exclusion from the Lite Edition is the WiFi antenna, which means that you will have to rely on the device’s Bluetooth connection with your phone in order to get the most out of its connectivity features. With the original Versa, the built-in WiFi was used largely for syncing music to the device, however the Lite Edition also excludes the ability to use the device’s on-board storage for music. The original Versa has a total of 4GB of on-board storage, with 2.5GB available for storing music.
Other noteworthy exclusions of the Versa Lite Edition are the 3-axis gyroscope (used for counting swim laps by detecting the movements of your body), the altimeter (used for counting the number of floors climbed by detecting changes in your altitude), and the guided workout sessions which are provided via on-screen instructions.
The Special Edition Versa also includes an NFC chip used for making credit and debit card payments via the Fitbit Pay app, which is also not included with the Lite Edition.
On paper, it may seem like the Versa Lite Edition has a long list of missing features when compared to the original and Special Edition models, but we think that many of these features will only be missed by a relatively small portion of Fitbit users. Unless you’re an avid swimmer, or somebody who really wants to know how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, you may be happy to save a few bucks knowing that you weren’t going to use those features anyway.
The lack of WiFi and on-board music storage is a bit of a bummer, but most people will have their smartphone in their pocket anyway, so these exclusions can possibly be overlooked as well. And if you really can’t live without having music and WiFi right on your Fitbit, the original Versa and Special Edition models are always available. Having another option to choose from means that everyone should be able to find one that matches their needs.
Do you think the Lite Edition is worth it? Which Fitbit Versa model would you get, and why? And if you already have one, let us know which one you’ve got!