Fitbit Announces Surprisingly Cheap Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

Fitbit Announces Surprisingly Cheap Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

Fitbit is always looking to make some changes to its fitness tracking and smartwatch lineup, and the company has just announced a surprisingly cheap smartwatch called the Versa Lite Edition, which will sell for only $ 160.

Along with the Versa Lite, the company announced new versions of the Inspire and Inspire HR, which will sell for $ 70 and $ 100 respectively. The company also revealed the kid-friendly Ace 2 that’ll go for only $ 70.

Fitbit Versa Lite Edition

The most exciting device announced by Fitbit today is definitely the Versa Lite, as there aren’t many smartwatches from major companies available for only $ 130.

While it’s called the Versa Lite, it’s actually the exact same size as the original Versa. The Lite name comes from some of the features that are missing compared to the original. However, the features it is missing are Wi-Fi, NFC, music playback, or swim laps/floor counts, which shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most users.

The only real hardware change is the missing volume buttons on the right side of the watch because of the lack of music playback.

Here are some of the key features the Versa Lite Edition retains from its more expensive sibling:

  • 24/7 heart rate and sleep tracking
  • 15+ exercise modes
  • GPS
  • Smartphone notification and apps
  • 4+ day battery life

Fitbit Inspire, Inspire HR, and Ace 2

Outside of the exciting smartwatch, Fitbit announced updates to its line of budget fitness trackers. Replacing the Alta is the Inspire and Inspire HR. Fitbit also announced that it is getting rid of the Zip and Flex 2 devices from its product lineup.

Starting with the Inspire fitness trackers, they’re on the cheaper side for the company, but they have all the standard features including a touchscreen and heart rate monitoring on the Inspire HR model. As mentioned, the Inspire will sell for $ 70 and the Inspire HR will sell for $ 100, which is quite a solid price point for a fitness tracker with a screen. Both are scheduled to release at some point in March.

As for the Ace 2, it’ll ship in the summer, and it’ll be on the same platform as the Inspire, so kids can actually upgrade the software to turn it into an “adult” fitness tracker when they’re ready. Like the Inspire, it’ll be available for $ 70.

While these new devices are exciting, we still believe that the Apple Watch is the king of smartwatches. Here’s why.

Read the full article: Fitbit Announces Surprisingly Cheap Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

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Fitbit Won’t Charge or Sync? How to Fix Fitbit Issues

fitbit-tracker-issues

When you get a Fitbit, you quickly learn that every step is precious. The American Heart Association advises you reach 10,000 steps each day, which is the marker used by default by Fitbits.

But if your Fitbit won’t charge or sync with your phone, you can’t log your activities. This gives an inaccurate account of your fitness. What can you do?

Here are a few fixes for simple Fitbit issues that get in the way of your fitness goals.

How Do You Check a Fitbit’s Battery Level?

There’s a wide range of Fitbit models available, and each displays battery level differently. However, once you’ve downloaded the Fitbit app, the charge will show in the top-left of your dashboard. If you tap the icon displaying your model, you’ll see whether it’s full, medium, or low.

Most Fitbits will show how much power they have when you navigate to the Settings menu. If you have a Flex, this option isn’t open to you—there’s no way to tell battery level without looking at your app.

The Fitbit Flyer headphones instead use audio cues and colors to demonstrate power. A white light means fully charged, yellow is medium, and red means you need to charge the unit.

How Do You Charge a Fitbit?

Every tracker comes with a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery and a USB cable. On most devices, you simply need to align the gold dots on the back of your tracker with the charger, then plug the other end into your PC or wall charger. The port is located underneath the cover on a Flyer.

The Blaze, and both versions of the Flex, require you to remove the tracker or pebble from the wristband before connecting the USB.

A full charge takes 1-2 hours.

What to Do If You’ve Forgotten Your Fitbit

Let’s say that you’ve left your Fitbit at home. You’ve had a long walk, yet your device is lying patiently on your desk, missing out on all that exercise. Don’t worry—you haven’t wasted time.

You can manually add details of your activities by clicking on the Plus icon in the Fitbit app. This lets you log numerous items, including weight, food and water intake, and how much sleep you’ve had. Select Track Exercise and toggle the bar at the top to Log. Select the type of exercise you’ve undertaken and fill in all the information you know.

Alternatively, you can use the MobileTrack feature in the Fitbit app. This logs basic stats for people who don’t own a Fitbit device. It’s compatible with most Android and iPhone devices. In the Fitbit app, go to Account > Set Up a Device > MobileTrack.

Whenever you leave your Fitbit elsewhere, the app will use this service to track steps. Note that your smartphone isn’t as sensitive as your proper tracker, so it won’t be 100 percent accurate. But it’s certainly better than not logging anything at all.

If you don’t want to bother with this, iPhone users can instead rely on the built-in Health app. Android users can try Google Fit or download another fitness tracking app.

When Is the Best Time to Charge Your Fitbit?

Of course, when it’s charging, your Fitbit won’t recognize any steps you take.

A good time to charge your device is while you’re in the shower. Others people inevitably charge their Fitbits during the night, though this will prevent it from tracking your sleep.

So when should you charge your Fitbit? Any time you like—as long as you have MobileTrack! You’ll still prefer to plug it in only when you’re being unproductive; however, MobileTrack proves useful when your wearable is unexpectedly low on power.

Why Won’t My Fitbit Sync?

Your Fitbit is only of use if you can sync it to the app on your smartphone or tablet. If your device won’t synchronize, here’s a troubleshooting guide.

Is Bluetooth Connected?

Your Fitbit communicates with your device via Bluetooth.

iPhone users can easily check this is turned on using the Control Center by swiping upwards. Go to Settings > Bluetooth to see connections, and make sure your Fitbit is listed. Android device owners can carry out these steps for Fast Pairing using Bluetooth.

Are Other Devices Connected?

Ideally, Bluetooth-connected devices shouldn’t interfere with each other. But this doesn’t always happen.

Return to Settings > Bluetooth and disconnect from anything that constantly streams data. This includes headphones and earphones, keyboards, and hands-free kits. Check whether Fitbit now syncs. If so, you’ll need to restrict when you sync the app to times you’re not using other Bluetooth-intensive devices.

Turn Off All-Day Sync

This feature lets the app log your activity throughout the day, but it’s far from essential. It can also drain your phone’s and Fitbit’s batteries.

Data is stored locally on your Fitbit anyway. Open the Fitbit app, tap the icon displaying your model in the top-left corner, then deactivate All-Day Sync. You can select Sync Now to manually prompt your devices to interact.

Is Your Software Up-to-Date?

Occasionally, outdated software can cause glitches, so make sure your Fitbit app is updated by visiting the App Store. You should also tap the icon showing your device in the Fitbit app to check for software updates for your Fitbit model.

Your phone’s OS is something you should always keep up-to-date too. Android users should go to Settings > About device > System updates > Check for update. iPhone owners can check this by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

Restart Your Devices

Often, restarting your Fitbit and your smartphone can fix any minor software issues. For your tracker, initiating a restart should also help if your Fitbit isn’t responding.

The method used to restart your Fitbit depends on which model you own. Typically, restarting requires you to plug your device in to charge and/or holding the left (Home) and bottom-right (Select) buttons in for 10-15 seconds. Do this until either the Fitbit logo appears or your screen goes blank. In the latter instance, turn it back on again by pressing the Home button.

You can try a soft restart on your smartphone too.

On iPhone 7 and older, hold down the Home and Power buttons for 10 seconds. For newer Apple devices, quickly press Volume Up then Volume Down. Next, press and hold down Power until the familiar Apple logo appears. Android users should hold Power to open the reboot menu. Tap Restart and wait for the system to reload.

Why Won’t My Fitbit Charge?

First, make sure your charging cable is securely connected to your Fitbit and the USB port. A lightning symbol should appear by the battery icon, and your device will vibrate.

You can normally trace sync problems to your smartphone. But if your tracker won’t keep its charge, that’s more likely an issue with your hardware.

Why Won’t My Fitbit Turn On?

Check battery charge via the app. If it’s full but your Fitbit won’t switch on, sometimes restarting the unit can solve the problem. Follow the above instructions to do this.

Restarting your Fitbit can also solve software issues within your tracker that stop it from charging, so this is a good place to start. Otherwise, there could be further problems with your cable or connector.

Is Your Cable Damaged?

Have you charged your Fitbit before? If not, your cable could be faulty. In this case, you should contact the company directly.

Try plugging your dongle into a PC, not just a wall charger. If it still won’t charge, there may be something wrong with the cable. They can fray, damaging the internal wiring.

Thankfully, replacements aren’t too expensive. Just be certain you pick up the correct charger for your Fitbit.

Is Your Connector Damaged?

The contacts on either your Fitbit or dongle could be damaged.

You’ll need a magnifying glass and light to properly assess the contact spots—those are the gold circles in the charge slot. These are particularly sensitive, so rubbing anything metal across them can do irreversible harm.

Goal reached on Fitbit Surge

Fortunately, you’re more likely to have damaged the connectors on your cable than on your Fitbit. However, if your Fitbit’s contacts are damaged, there’s very little you can do. Again, contact the company for further help.

How to Clean Your Fitbit

Dirt can stop your device from charging, so give your Fitbit a good clean!

Use cotton swabs or a soft toothbrush to wipe across the whole tracker, taking special care around the contacts. Any liquids can damage your Fitbit, so don’t use anything other than rubbing alcohol. Don’t even use antiseptic wipes—instead, gently apply a lint-free cloth to the touchscreen.

Let the rubbing alcohol dry before using the Fitbit again. You can also use canned air or an air compressor to force debris or droplets of water out of your tracker.

What to Do If Your Fitbit Gets Wet

You’ve probably heard that Fitbits are water-resistant. However, that’s not entirely the case. Most units are splash-resistant, meaning you shouldn’t stress if a few droplets get on the screen while you’re washing your hands. But don’t wear it while swimming or in the shower. This is due to the pressure on the touchscreen, rather than the actual substance.

Do not plug your Fitbit in to charge if it’s wet!

What should you do if you your Fitbit gets wet? Seal your tracker it in a bag of uncooked rice and leave it untouched for between 24 and 48 hours. Alternatively, try silica gel, which you can find packets of in new pairs of shoes and similar items because silica absorbs moisture.

Keep them away from children and animals, as they’re dangerous if consumed.

Replacing Your Fitbit With Something Better

If something’s wrong with your tracker, your first port of call should be Fitbit. The company can advise you on your options. In most regions, devices come with a one-year warranty. Anyone in the EU can take advantage of a two-year warranty, and receive a replacement for any faulty units.

Beyond that, your Fitbit has probably exceeded its life expectancy. You’ll miss it, so might want to consider another—or maybe cast your net wider and look for alternative fitness trackers.

Read the full article: Fitbit Won’t Charge or Sync? How to Fix Fitbit Issues

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Fitbit Versa Review: Fitbit’s Best Wearable Yet?

Our verdict of the Fitbit Versa:
Fitbit’s Versa is not a smartwatch in the traditional sense, but it is a brilliant iteration of the company’s fitness tracker–and may even be their best device to date.
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Arriving just six months after Fitbit’s last smartwatch offering, there is a lot of expectation riding on the Versa. The Ionic was a device full of unrealized potential. Ultimately its high price, industrial design, and under-baked features left a lot to be desired.

With the Versa coming so quickly after the Ionic, could it be that Fitbit has addressed these problems and produced a genuinely desirable smartwatch?

Fitbit Versa Specifications

  • Display: Touchscreen, color LCD
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
    • NFC
    • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Sensors
    • Optical heart rate
    • Altimeter
    • Accelerometer
    • Gyroscope
    • SpO2
    • Ambient Light
  • Battery:
    • Lithium-polymer
    • 4+ days battery life
    • 0 – 100% in two hours
  • Water Resistance: up to 50m

Design

Thankfully, this is not the Ionic version two. The Versa bears almost no relation to its earlier sibling. Instead, it more closely resembles Pebble and Apple’s smartwatches. This is a vast improvement over the Ionic, which looked far more industrial. For the most part, the Versa looks like quite an attractive regular wristwatch.

There are just three hardware buttons; one on the left, two on the right. The square watch face is made up of a touchscreen color LCD screen, surrounded by a black bezel. The aluminum body seems quite small until you put it on your wrist and it turns out to be a perfect size. It is large enough for you to quickly interact with it but small enough not to be intrusive.

Like many of Fitbit’s other devices, the watch band has a proprietary connector. While this means that you can’t attach a watch strap from anywhere, Fitbit does offer replacement bands which range from $ 30 for a standard band, to $ 90 for the metal link variety.

Flip the Versa over, and you’ll find the optical heart rate sensor, charging connectors, and the currently inactive SpO2 sensor. Unlike nearly every other smartwatch, the Versa comes with a charging dock, which is a welcome surprise.

Placing the watch into the dock is relatively simple, requiring just a squeeze on the side of the dock to lock the Versa into place. The official specifications give the Versa a battery life of four days, but in practice, it seems to be closer to two.

Fitbit OS

With the Ionic, Fitbit debuted their smartwatch operating system, Fitbit OS. This proved to be one of the upsides of their acquisition of Pebble, importing a lot of stylistic and user interface elements from the company. With only six months separating the Ionic and the Versa, there haven’t been any significant changes to Fitbit OS.

The Versa easy and straightforward to use; the touch controls are intuitive, and the interface is attractive and uncluttered. The default clock face unsurprisingly puts your fitness stats front and center. As soon as the screen is turned on, you get a quick overview of your steps, heart rate, and activity. If you choose to change the clock face through the Fitbit app, then these stats can still be found by swiping up to open the Today panel.

Swiping left from the clock face brings up a list of all apps installed on your Versa. There are those that you expect like Exercise, Alarms, Coach, and Relax. Then there are the more novel entries like Strava, Deezer, and Fitbit Pay. There is also a slightly barebones app store for Fitbit smartwatches which can be found in the Fitbit app on your smartphone. Most of these apps are low quality, so its unlikely you’ll spend a lot of time playing with third-party apps.

Features

Just like any good smartwatch manufacturer, Fitbit has bundled together a lot of features to make their devices stand out. Fitbit’s fitness trackers mostly share features like step counting, activity tracking, and heart rate measurement, and these can all be found on the Versa too. There is no in-built GPS, so any location tracking is reliant on an active connection to your phone.

The Apple Watch and Google’s Wear OS have deep integrations with their respective smartphone platforms, allowing you to respond to notifications and interact with their smart assistants. The Versa lacks in this respect as the most you can do is view your smartphone’s notifications.

Fitbit Pay

Sometime in 2017, Fitbit apparently decided that what the world needed was yet another contactless payment platform. Thus, Fitbit Pay was born. While this is a nice idea, the reality of getting banks and financial institutions onside is another thing.

Tech heavyweights like Google and Samsung have struggled with this in the past, and it seems Fitbit is intent on repeating their mistakes. Currently, only a handful of banks worldwide offer support for Fitbit Pay, limiting its usefulness. In the UK there were only two specific types of credit card supported, so I wasn’t able to test it.

According to the user manual, you need to add card information in the Fitbit app, set up a lock screen PIN on the Versa, and then you are ready to go. Where contactless payments are available, tap the Versa against the machine, and the in-built NFC will take care of the rest.

Water Resistance

The Versa is listed as “water resistant to 50 meters”. On the surface, this sounds great, but there is some crucial information missing from their specifications. For instance, the Versa is not IP or ATM rated. These ratings are based on independent and standardized tests to determine water resistance performance. This isn’t necessarily an issue, as Fitbit may have just chosen to forgo the cost of rating the device.

However, digging a little deeper into Fitbit’s user support forums uncovers a post about the Versa’s water resistance. A response from a Fitbit employee states “to avoid any damage, I don’t recommend swimming with it.” This seems to contradict the official Fitbit support page on water resistance.

Ultimately the Versa should be suitable for water-based activities like swimming, given that swimming is in fact a trackable activity. However, their slippery use of language, inability to accurately define water resistance, and lack of IP rating suggest that Fitbit is being intentionally evasive.

Future Developments

The Versa’s most exciting features are ones that aren’t available just yet. Just like with the Ionic, the Versa has an in-built SpO2 sensor, which is currently inactive.

Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) is a measure of blood oxygen levels, and Fitbit’s website says they may activate the sensor in the future to help users track conditions like sleep apnea. However, they also made the same statement about the Ionic, so if this feature does materialize, expect it to be in the more distant future.

The Versa also marks the first time Fitbit has hoped to include period tracking — or as they call it “female health.” Their website promises that female users will be able to “log [their] period, record symptoms & compare [their] cycle against other health stats like sleep, activity and weight.” Female Health tracking is reportedly coming at some point in May 2018.

Fitbit’s First True Smartwatch

The Versa is not a smartwatch in the traditional sense. Yes, it is a fitness tracker that can do smart things. But without deep integration to your smartphone, the reality is that the Versa is merely another iteration of Fitbit’s fitness trackers, albeit a brilliant one.

Whether you find this a problem or not will depend on what you want out of a smartwatch. It is a feature-packed device that builds on, and solidifies, Fitbit’s expertise and dominance in the wearable market. What is certain though is that the Versa is the best Fitbit device to date.

Enter the Competition!

Fitbit Versa Giveaway
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Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

apple-watch-fitbit-charge

When you’re trying to solve a problem, it helps to have all possible information. It’s the same with losing weight and being healthy. Just putting on a wearable doesn’t mean you’ll start losing weight. But tracking your steps and getting data on things like your sleep cycle can certainly be enlightening. My weight loss journey started with the simple obsession of filling up the activity rings on the Apple Watch. Every single day. If you’re the kind of person who gets excited by new technology, strapping a computer on your wrist can be a great way to motivate yourself. And…

Read the full article: Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

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Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

apple-watch-fitbit-charge

When you’re trying to solve a problem, it helps to have all possible information. It’s the same with losing weight and being healthy. Just putting on a wearable doesn’t mean you’ll start losing weight. But tracking your steps and getting data on things like your sleep cycle can certainly be enlightening. My weight loss journey started with the simple obsession of filling up the activity rings on the Apple Watch. Every single day. If you’re the kind of person who gets excited by new technology, strapping a computer on your wrist can be a great way to motivate yourself. And…

Read the full article: Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

MakeUseOf


Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

apple-watch-fitbit-charge

When you’re trying to solve a problem, it helps to have all possible information. It’s the same with losing weight and being healthy. Just putting on a wearable doesn’t mean you’ll start losing weight. But tracking your steps and getting data on things like your sleep cycle can certainly be enlightening. My weight loss journey started with the simple obsession of filling up the activity rings on the Apple Watch. Every single day. If you’re the kind of person who gets excited by new technology, strapping a computer on your wrist can be a great way to motivate yourself. And…

Read the full article: Everything the Apple Watch Does Better Than the Fitbit Charge

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