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Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Which smartwatch is best?

Pete Clark
12 Mar 2019
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Will the hugely popular mid-range Fitbit Versa be knocked off its perch by the new, cheaper Fitbit Versa Lite?

The Fitbit Versa is an almost brilliant fitness wearable. Despite offering a long battery life and excellent swim tracking and sleep analysis features, it’s sadly let down by silly niggles and lacks built-in GPS support, which makes the £200 price tag seem a tad steep.

The world’s second largest smartwatch manufacturer has attempted to rectify this by releasing an all-new, pared down version of the Versa: the Versa Lite. The new product is Fitbit’s cheapest ever smartwatch – a big move for the company, and potentially a significant moment for the wider smartwatch market in general.

But, is it any better than the original Versa? And, if so, is it worth buying? Read on to find our in-depth comparison of the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa Lite, including info on price, design, features and more.

READ NEXT: Hands on with the all-new Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Price

The Versa is currently available for £200 from Fitbit’s official website, but it can also be found for around £170 if you prefer to do your shopping through Amazon.

As previously stated, the Versa Lite is a cheaper alternative to the original Versa. It’s currently available for preorder from Fitbit’s website, Currys PC World and Argos for just £150. You can expect it to be available via other channels, including Amazon, when it officially releases on 22 March.

Preorder now from Fitbit

Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Design

Despite the cheaper price, the Versa Lite is, on first viewing, almost identical in appearance to the standard model. Look a little bit closer and you’ll see that Fitbit has got rid of the two buttons on the right-hand side of the display, retaining only the large single button on the left.

The Versa Lite has been designed with to cater to a younger audience and, as such, is available in a number of bold new colours. Whereas the Versa is available in Black, Grey and Peach, the new model comes in White, Lilac, Marina Blue and Mulberry.

(Above: Fitbit Versa Lite)

Apart from that, there’s not really much else to report. You’d need a keen eye to tell the Versa and Versa Lite apart at first glance.

Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Features

By and large, the Versa Lite matches the standard model in terms of features, and has many of the same strengths and weaknesses.

The new product is a comfortable, lightweight device that tracks all the core activities you’d expect of a modern fitness-focussed wearable. It’ll count your steps and calories burned, as well as monitoring your heart rate and sleep patterns. It can also deal with smartphone notifications, meaning you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket to view messages and emails, among other things.

(Above: Fitbit Versa)

Furthermore, both the Versa and Versa Lite are equipped with advanced fitness features such as the ability to track blood oxygen (SPo2) levels, which helps you to regulate your breathing and heart rate during exercise.

As expected, though, the cut-price Versa Lite lacks a few of the features found on the original model. It no longer supports the popular music-streaming service Deezer, and you can’t download MP3 files straight onto the watch for offline listening. You can, however, still use the Versa Lite’s touchscreen to control music playback on your smartphone.

(Above: Fitbit Versa Lite)

The Versa Lite also doesn’t have an altimeter, so it can’t count the number of staircases you’ve climbed, and despite retaining the 50m waterproofing of the original, it won’t count the number of pool lengths you’ve completed.

As with the Versa, one of the Versa Lite’s biggest initial weaknesses appears to be the lack of built-in GPS support. This means that if you want to track your pace and splits when out for a run, you’ll have to take your smartphone with you.

Having said that, the lack of GPS should have a positive side-effect in the form of longer battery life. The original Versa’s four-day lifespan impressed us, and the Versa Lite should perform similarly well.

Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Specs

Here’s the full lowdown of the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa Lite’s key specifications:

Fitbit Versa

  • Material: Aluminium
  • Display: 1.34in, 300 x 300 LCD touchscreen
  • Platform: Proprietary OS
  • Internal storage: 2.5GB (around 300 MP3 files)
  • WiFi: WiFi 802.11bgn
  • NFC: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth version 4
  • Battery life (stated): Four days
  • 0-100 charge time (stated): Two hours
  • Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, vibration sensor, SpO2 sensor
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows
  • Colours: Black, Grey, Peach
  • Weight: 38g
  • Price: £200

Fitbit Versa Lite

  • Material: Aluminium
  • Display: 1.34in, 300 x 300 LCD touchscreen
  • Platform: Proprietary OS
  • Internal storage: N/S
  • WiFi: WiFi 802.11bgn
  • NFC: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth version 4
  • Battery life (stated): Four days
  • 0-100 charge time (stated): Two hours
  • Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, vibration sensor, SpO2 sensor
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows
  • Colours: White, Lilac, Marina Blue, Mulberry
  • Weight: N/S
  • Price: £150

As you can see, the Versa and Versa Lite are broadly similar in terms of core specifications. The key differences between the two models lie in the features and pricing.

Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Versa Lite: Verdict

Fitbit’s Versa Lite was never going to be a marked improvement on the original Versa. Rather, its aim was to be not that much worse than the original, and £50 cheaper. The goal of the new product is to open up the hugely popular Versa to an entirely new market.

As previously stated, however, the Versa is currently available for around £170 if you look in the right places. Therefore, it might be worth forking out the extra money for the Versa’s internal music storage and altimeter capabilities, at least until the Versa Lite falls in price.

Hopefully, Fitbit will make a genuine stride forward by including in-built GPS on its next mid-range offering.

Preorder the Fitbit Versa Lite now

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