Fitbit Versa Lite review: A smartwatch newbie’s perspective

If you’re considering getting an affordable smartwatch (or are looking at getting your first one), this Fitbit Versa Lite review might just be the exact thing you need

I am a self-motivated fitness enthusiast, who prides myself at not needing to be pushed (by a human or a device) to get a workout regularly. I never felt the need to use a fitness tracker – until I got the Fitbit Versa Lite smartwatch for review.

Fitbit Versa Lite: Design

My review unit of the Fitbit Versa Lite has a Marina Blue silicone strap with a metallic blue case, which I think is quite attractive (the only downside is that the colour doesn’t go on everything you wear). But the band is interchangeable, so you can always customise your look.

It is so light and comfortable that I can’t even feel I’m wearing it; I only realise when it buzzes to remind me to move.

To start with…

It took me a bit of time (around 45 minutes) to install the app and sync the Versa Lite to my phone, but I didn’t take long to get a hang of it. 

It takes a click on the button on the left and swipes to get around. The LCD  touchscreen is customisable; you can use the app on your phone to switch the clock faces and add apps. The display makes it easy for you to keep a check on your day – it details your daily distance, active minutes, calories, heart rate and steps taken. It’ll also remind you when you’ve fallen short of steps.

Fitbit Versa Lite: Daily Use

As I got ready to use it for the first time, I set my goal: Five days of at least one-hour of workout a week. 

Gym and health

At the gym, the Fitbit Versa Lite holds up very well. It’s capable of keeping tabs on my pulse and calorie burn. It tells me what zone I’m in – peak, cardio or fat burn, which can be helpful if you have targets to hit. I can switch between seven modes – run, bike, walk, treadmill, weights, interval timer and just workout. This will help you choose the type of exercise you wish to do so that the device tracks accordingly.

The good thing about this device is it has made me conscious about slacking (as if someone was sitting there judging me) so much so that I’m making an effort to put in at least five days of workout at any cost. At the gym, I’m usually more focused on strength training with weights for toning, and while it works my heart it doesn’t always help me reach a peak. With Fitbit, I also find myself obsessing over maintaining a peak at all times, even if it meant pushing myself to run, cycle or use the Stairmaster. 

Although using it to track my workout regularly felt like an effort in the beginning, I must admit that it was quite motivating to see the results and strive for even better numbers. For instance, if I saw that I burned 200 calories with strength training, I pushed myself to run on the treadmill and burn 300 more. I felt that it was actually controlling my mind and challenging me to do better. In the bargain it made me understand my potential.

I was also able to use Fitbit’s new female health app to track my menstrual cycles – and it’s pretty accurate!

Sleep Tracking

The Versa Lite doesn’t just track your activity, it also offers advanced sleep monitoring. It uses the watch’s heart rate sensor to figure out what stage of slumber you’re in, so it can detect, say, how long you were in REM sleep versus in light sleep.

Problems

Everything was perfect, until one day Fitbit Versa Lite went out of its way to alert me about my swim for 27 minutes, just that I wasn’t swimming but washing the bathtub (does that mean it detects water?). It also did automatically log 45 minutes of brisk walk (and counted it as a workout day) when I was just strolling around the mall. I can aimlessly walk around the mall window shopping for hours and if that translates into some form of activity, it’s definitely worth it.

Fitbit Versa Lite: Battery

I could easily squeeze around five days’ worth of usage without having to worry about charging the device. It also charges quickly, and you will be reminded in advance when the battery is low.

Verdict

Now I as I’ve developed an inseparable relationship with Fitbit Versa Lite, I feel it is a great option for those looking for a complete fitness tracking package. If you take it seriously, it will push you to challenge yourself, without even realising it. It looks stylish, is swim proof, has heart rate and sleep tracking, and supports a couple of activities. It’s also best for those who have just started their fitness routine and want a smart tracker that does it all. And it’s only Dh699!