The idea of the smartwatch isn’t a new one – the Apple Watch has been on the market now for 3 years and Android smart watches are plenty capable. However, the offerings leave a lot to be desired. Apple Watch is expensive and requires charges too often – and Android smartwatches are bulky and not very practical. Thankfully, we have Fitbit, playing the role of challenger brand.

Fitbit Versa

Fitbit, a company which has sold fitness trackers that keep step counts, stairs climbed and more. Enter the Fitbit Versa, the company’s first smartwatch that is designed well, runs apps and of course, takes care of that fitness tracking as well.

Best features for travelers

The design of the Fitbit Versa is striking – it’s thinner than the Apple Watch and will easily be confused for one.

But unlike the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Versa is $199 and the battery lasts for 4 or 5 days, in my usage.

Fitbit versa

If you like to listen to music, the Versa has you covered enough storage for 300 songs on the device itself and access to Deezer and Pandora as long as you have your phone nearby.

Stay connected, but not too connected. On my family vacations, I like to be present with the fam. Of course, text messages come in and work email happens – so I like to be aware, but distracted by technology. Luckily, the Versa facilitates this as you can choose how notifications come through and which apps will buzz your wrist. Also,If you’re on Android, you can easily reply to text messages from your phone using the Versa’s touchscreen. It’s very slick.

Like any Fitbit, the Versa tracks steps, sleep and workouts. However, one trade-off with the Versa is that unlike the Fitbit Ionic and Apple Watch Series 3, the Versa has no on-board GPS chip and will need to rely upon your phone’s GPS for tracking activities.

Personalize Fitbit Versa and make it your own

The Versa comes in three colors including black, silver and a rose gold. As far as bands go, you can choose among the beautiful bands Fitbit makes or customize the watch with third party bands from – I found one that’s Milinese dark grey for a mere $10 that looks amazing.

This Fitbit is the best one yet

I’ve owned 4 Fitbits to date and a Pebble smartwatch. Since Fitbit bought Pebble a few years ago, the Versa is the first Fitbit device where Pebble’s influence can be seen. Being able to run apps, the meaningful buttons and long battery life are welcome features.

I like the Versa, so much. In fact, it’s the best smartwatch I’ve tried. It has the fitness tracking and utility of a regular Fitbit, but with the design and ability to keep up on notifications and apps. However, it’s not all consuming like an Apple Watch – I can tailor notifications to my needs so I’m aware…not distracted.