Smartwatches tracking health and fitness are must-have gadgets but do pared-down versions work equally well? Versa Lite is the most affordable iteration of the US-based company's 2018 best-seller Fitbit Versa but skips a few features although the omissions may not matter much. Externally, the design remains the same - a 1.34-inch LCD touch display with round edges and attractive bands.
Unlike other watches which have buttons on the right, this one has just one button on the left and you need to get used to it. The Lite is available in five colours and comes with two bands, a small and a large one, for a perfect fit. My review unit was mulberry, which looked too bright, but just like Apple Watch, the bands are super easy to change.The Lite runs on Fitbit OS and setting it up with the Fitbit app (supports iOS and Android) took only a couple of minutes. But the following firmware update proved to be sluggish as the device does not support Wi-Fi and everything had to be done over the Bluetooth. The default watch face displays time and a dashboard for the day's activity. Swiping right gives quick access to various apps, including exercise (running, walking, biking, treadmill and weights) relaxation, timer, weather and more. I was able to start and end a workout session from the watch itself, which was followed by a quick summary of the session. However, there is no altimeter to detect whether you have climbed stairs and no gyroscope to track swim laps. All activity details are neatly displayed in the Fitbit app along with data on calories burnt, heart rate and sleeping pattern. Selecting one of these topics will feature more information and weekly records. What I liked was its ability to track each stage of sleep. I could also log my liquid and food intake. Using the Community tab within the app, I was able to join groups to stay motivated. But the on-screen workout guides available on other Fitbit devices are missing here.
There is no on-device music storage and fetching notifications is not exactly smooth. Swiping down from the top showed text notifications (Lite can also send five preset responses to Android devices) and incoming calls. Plus, there is a small list of compatible apps which includes Amazon's Alexa. I also changed the watch face, but options were limited. I am not complaining, though, as this is primarily a fitness tracker and does an excellent job. It comes with a proprietary charger and a single charge lasted more than three days of constant use.