From The Verge: Fitbit has announced the Versa 2, and it’s a big step forward in the company’s quest to make a smartwatch that you might, for at least a few seconds, confuse for an Apple Watch. The glass covering Versa 2’s watchface spills elegantly over its sides, the number of side buttons has been reduced from three to one, and fewer complications on watchfaces give it a more premium look. Fitbit also (finally) got rid of its logo on the bottom bezel.
Inevitable comparisons aside, the Versa 2 seems to bring more than enough improvements and features to set it apart from Fitbit’s past efforts, as well as other recent smartwatches. It’s $199.99, the same price as its predecessor, and it features a new OLED screen as its most noticeable improvement. It’s bright, vivid, and the large bezels that wrap around it are tougher to notice than on the original Versa’s LCD display, but only if you’re using a clock face with a black background that hides them (most Fitbit-created watchfaces do).
Fitbit says that the Versa 2 should last at least five days per charge, which is a small but welcome improvement over the prior model’s four-day lifespan. Something that will shrink the battery life is the new Always-On Display mode, which allows you to see a crisp, monochromatic view of the time, remaining battery life, and progress on a few vital metrics, like steps taken, without having to raise your arm up first. The Apple Watch, and most other smartwatches, require you to raise your arm or tap a button to turn on the display. Impressively, it can supposedly last multiple days if you don’t want to give this screen a break.
By lopping off two side buttons from the previous Versa, Fitbit wants you to use the Versa 2’s touchscreen more to interact with the watch. But it’s also hoping that you might use your voice since you’ll find Amazon Alexa support and a microphone added to this model. You can trigger Alexa by saying “Hey, Alexa” or by assigning the function to boot up when you click and hold the Versa 2’s sole button. If you’re confused about not hearing Alexa’s voice chiming back, it’s not because it hasn’t responded; the Versa 2 lacks a speaker, so you’ll need to look at the display to see a response to your queries. Android users will be able to respond to texts with voice commands shortly following the launch of the Versa 2.
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