Fitbit Versa 4 review: Again to fundamentals

At a look, the Fitbit Versa 4 looks like a lovely replace to the Versa 3. A ravishing, bodily button replaces the awkward capacitive groove on a case that is each thinner and lighter. Sadly, beneath the floor is one other story. As a substitute of upgrading the person expertise, Fitbit dropped essential smartwatch options which makes the Versa 4 extra of a downgrade than an thrilling follow-up.

Ever because it first launched, we constantly promoted the Fitbit Versa 3 as the very best Fitbit gadget for many customers, and, for higher or worse, that also could be the case. The Fitbit Versa 4 brings some updates to the road, but it surely additionally drops necessary options that made the earlier mannequin such a lovely purchase. With different smartwatch firms persevering with to lift the bar every year, can Google-owned Fitbit sustain? Discover out on this Fitbit Versa 4 review.

About this Fitbit Versa 4 review: I examined the Fitbit Versa 4 over a interval of 5 days. It was on firmware 61.20001.169.418 and related to my Samsung Galaxy A51 all through the testing interval. The unit was supplied to Android Authority by Fitbit for this review.

What it’s essential know concerning the Fitbit Versa 4

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

  • Fitbit Versa 4: $229 / £199 / €229

The Fitbit Versa 4 launched on August 23, 2022 alongside the Fitbit Sense 2. Each of Fitbit’s 2022 smartwatches pack notable design tweaks in addition to some vital adjustments to their inside options. As earlier than, the Sense 2 stays the highest-end Fitbit out there whereas the Versa 4 delivers a pared-down expertise for much less. Nevertheless, in case you are keen to forgo the pricier line’s superior well being sensors (for electrocardiogram, electrodermal exercise, and pores and skin temperature readings), the budget-friendly Versa 4 has a lot to supply. It’s additionally a far inexpensive possibility than the Google Pixel Watch, which tranposes some, however not all, of Fitbit’s options right into a Put on OS smartwatch.

With a lighter, thinner case and the addition of a crowd-pleasing bodily button (lastly!), the Versa 4 is extra comfy and user-friendly than ever. It additionally boasts an upgraded processor and a refreshed Fitbit OS. The up to date software program incorporates a pseudo-Put on OS aesthetic, plus 20 extra workouts for larger health monitoring variety.

At its core, the Versa line nonetheless provides the identical fundamental exercise monitoring, together with entry to Fitbit’s dependable companion app. The Fitbit Versa 4 tracks customers’ steps, SpO2, coronary heart price, VO2 Max, Energetic Zone Minutes, and menstrual cycles, plus provides built-in GPS for recording outside routes. The Versa 4 additionally auto-tracks sure workouts so that you by no means miss a stat (together with strolling, working, elliptical, outside biking, and swimming). In a single day, the Versa 4 will rely your Zs and analyze your relaxation through Fitbit’s sturdy sleep monitoring suite.

A Fitbit Versa 4 hangs in front of a gray surface, displaying the device's sensors.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

On the smartwatch entrance, the Versa 4 helps Fitbit Pay in addition to Amazon Alexa voice interactions, plus name and textual content notifications. Customers may even obtain cellphone calls proper on their wrists utilizing the Versa 4’s built-in microphone and speaker. Moreover, each Google Maps and Google Pockets are slated to be added to the wearable sooner or later, although Google Assistant help is conspicuously absent.

The Fitbit Versa 4 is a pared-down model of the Sense 2, with fewer well being sensors however loads of health monitoring instruments.

As all the time, customers will get essentially the most out of their Fitbit gadget with Fitbit Premium. The highest perks of the subscription service embody deeper sleep insights and a Every day Readiness Rating. To that finish, the Versa 4 comes with six free months of Fitbit Premium for brand spanking new and current members.

You should buy a Versa 4 from Fitbit.com, the Google Retailer, and plenty of different third-party retailers. Out of the field, customers can select a graphite case with a black band, a platinum case with a Waterfall blue band, or a Copper Rose case with a band in Pink Sand or Beet Juice.

What’s good?

A Fitbit Versa 4 displays a user's daily activity stats.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

To its credit score, the Fitbit Versa 4 will get loads proper. The overhauled design incorporates a 15% lighter watch case that’s a lot comfy for all-day put on. The brand new construct can also be significantly thinner, and, in accordance with Fitbit, lowers the gadget’s heart of gravity for a extra pure match. That’s all with out sacrificing a single millimeter of the intense, colourful AMOLED show customers are used to on this lineup. Nonetheless a dependable touchscreen with an optionally available always-on mode, the Versa 4’s show carried out nicely on sunny runs, in my dingy attic, and in each lighting state of affairs in between.

The Versa 4 continues to make the most of the identical sturdy band supplies because the Versa 3. The strap I examined was comfortable to the contact however stood up nicely to sweat and salt water. Like most rubber sport bands, it was additionally straightforward to wash after a very dusty enterprise into my cupboard space. As for the colorways, I wore the Copper Rose and Beet Juice combo for this review. Whereas it isn’t a mode I might have personally chosen, I truly discovered the tones and saturation well-balanced (plus, I really like beet juice and took the identify as an indication to fill up).

A profile angle of the Fitbit Versa 4 highlights the device's new physical button.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The primary stand-out enchancment to the Versa 4’s construct is the restitution of a bodily button. Anybody who upgraded from a Versa 2 to a Versa 3 will bear in mind the divisive removing of the road’s single button. Customers as an alternative had been left to take care of a finicky capacitive groove that was, at greatest, difficult, and, at worst, ineffective. The Versa 4 brings again the tangible with a single button for improved interplay.

The Versa 4’s controls are easy and intuitive due to easy gestures and the return of a bodily button.

Functionally, the button serves the identical basic objective it all the time has of supplementing the gadget’s touchscreen for person interplay. Out of your watch display, a brief press will open your app library, with essentially the most not too long ago used apps listed first. From every other display, a brief press will return your gadget to the watch face. You’ll be able to customise a protracted press to open a selected app, begin an exercise, or launch your voice assistant. A fast double press opens a shortcut display to entry Alexa, fast settings, notifications, or Fitbit Pay. Past the button, you’ll be able to swipe down to achieve fast settings or swipe as much as examine your notifications. Lastly, swiping left or proper will scroll by means of your tiles.

A Fitbit Versa 4 displays a user's sleep score and step count.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

All-in-all, navigation may be very easy. You’ll be able to rearrange your tiles to handle the order they seem or so as to add or delete any you’re not utilizing. Likewise, inside the Fitbit In the present day app, you’ll be able to reorder your stats to maintain priorities on the high. You may also cover a stat when you merely don’t have to see it in your wrist. For instance, I like having my Sleep Rating, Steps, and Energetic Zone Minutes in the direction of the highest, whereas I don’t care as a lot about flooring climbed.

In fact, all of this tapping, swiping, and scrolling is significantly improved by the Versa 4’s upgraded processor. All through my testing, the Versa 4 felt snappier and extra responsive than the Versa 3. Apps opened rapidly and scrolling was clean throughout the board. There aren’t, sadly, as many apps or tiles to navigate, however I’ll speak extra about that after we get to the not so great things.

You’ll nonetheless discover loads of variety within the Fitbit app, the place the Clocks tab homes tons of of watch faces up for grabs. These vary from analog to inventive, holiday-themed to fitness-focused, and the whole lot in between. I discovered one with a Pikachu Tamagotchi vibe that may ship you right into a 90s tailspin.

A Galaxy A51 displays the Fitbit App including a user's sleep and stress data.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Sleep monitoring additionally stays a spotlight of the Versa 4. Fitbit’s suite for monitoring and analyzing in a single day information is without doubt one of the greatest out there. Like different Fitbit gadgets, the Versa 4 tracks customers’ sleep levels in addition to whole sleep time. All through the review, it precisely recorded my bedtimes and wake-up instances and supplied Sleep Scores that jived with how I felt every morning.

The Versa 4 additionally provides Stress Administration scores, although the gadget doesn’t analyze electrodermal exercise for indicators of stress just like the Sense lineup. As a substitute, the Versa 4 gives a rating based mostly on customers’ coronary heart price information, coronary heart price variability, sleep information, and bodily exercise. I sometimes obtained scores within the 60s with reductions reflecting poor exertion stability (train vs relaxation), which appeared correct.

With a Fitbit Premium membership, the Versa 4 provides additional evaluation for each sleep and stress information. Rating breakdowns and Fitbit’s Sleep Profile program are all value testing whereas the gadget’s free premium trial lasts.

A Fitbit Versa 4 rests on a desk along side its proprietary charger.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Final however completely not least, the Fitbit Versa 4 provides implausible battery life. One in every of our greatest disappointments with the Fitbit-enhanced Google Pixel Watch was that it was extremely depending on its charger to get by means of greater than a single day (at greatest). The Fitbit Versa 4 appears to be like to reaffirm our religion within the firm’s wearables with claims of six-plus days of standard use between costs. I wasn’t capable of attain fairly that in my assessments, however I used to be additionally pushing the Versa 4 to its endurance restrict. Even with all of the settings enabled (together with always-on show), I simply went about 4 days earlier than the primary cost.

The Versa 4 simply outmatches the Fitbit-powered Pixel Watch on battery life.

If you do have to plug in, in accordance with Fitbit, charging the Versa 4 ought to take one to 2 hours. It is a ridiculously nonspecific vary, however my expertise was about 90 minutes. It additionally solely takes 1 / 4 of an hour to cost sufficient for a full day of use, which is nice for topping off in a rush. The Versa 4 ships with a proprietary charging cable, although it’s additionally appropriate with the Versa 3’s charging cable if in case you have that one readily available.

What’s not so good?

A Fitbit Versa 4 on a user's wrist displays a blank screen.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Fitbit Versa 4 is a basic case of not figuring out what you have got till it’s gone. The most important shortcoming of the Versa 4 is the questionable absence of options we took as a right on the Versa 3.

One of many oddest examples of that is the removing of Wi-Fi help. In response to Fitbit, the Versa 4 comprises the {hardware} essential to entry Wi-Fi, it’s simply that the corporate has chosen to not make it accessible. Whilst you can nonetheless sync your Versa 4 to your cellphone through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi sometimes makes updating a lot sooner. Up to now, it additionally allowed customers so as to add music to their Fitbit smartwatch, which brings us to a different abandonment.

The Versa 4 drops key options from the earlier technology together with Wi-Fi and third-party app help.

The Fitbit Versa 4 now not provides any help for listening to music or controlling playback, offline or in any other case. Although I wasn’t one to retailer a ton of native music recordsdata on my Versa 3, I did all the time have not less than one future’s value of jams on deck. Extra typically, I used my watch to manage music playback whereas streaming playlists from Spotify. The whole removing of any music expertise or controls from a smartwatch line is a weird and disappointing step backward.

A user reviews the Versa 4 App list on their paired phone.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Sadly, it’s simply the primary of many. Opening the Fitbit app is the quickest solution to see what else is lacking. The Fitbit Versa 4 solely provides 9 pre-installed apps and, on the time of this writing, zero alternative so as to add any extra ones from third-party builders. Gone are the times of paying to your Starbucks together with your rewards account or calling an Uber out of your watch.

The apps out there on the Versa 4 are restricted to the next: Alarms, Train, Discover my Cellphone, Notifications, Loosen up, Settings, SpO2, Timers, and Climate. With so few instruments on board, it additionally follows that the Versa 4 doesn’t provide a lot in the way in which of tiles. These are restricted to Core Stats, Train, Coronary heart Price, Principal Purpose, Sleep, Timers, and Climate.

Whereas Fitbit’s app retailer was by no means a lot to jot down house about, it did characteristic sufficient key instruments to spherical out your smartwatch expertise. It additionally left the door open to additional improvement down the highway. On the Versa 4, you’re left with a significantly simplified toolbox and the imprecise promise of Google Maps and Google Pockets “coming quickly.” These Google apps will assist fill out the Versa 4, but it surely’s a letdown to not see them onboard from the beginning.

A Fitbit Versa 4 Alexa displays Amazon Alexa on screen.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Likewise, it’s puzzling to see Google Assistant faraway from the Versa 3, contemplating Google owns Fitbit. Google Assistant was a significant promoting level of the Versa 3 and is an especially odd characteristic to take away from the corporate’s personal product line. Whereas each Google Maps and Google Pockets are listed as upcoming options on the Fitbit web site, Google Assistant isn’t marked for future integration. Contemplating Fitbit beforehand instructed us it has no plans to convey Assistant to the similarly-anemic Sense 2, it appears unlikely the cheaper watch might be graced with Google’s digital companion both.

Greater than something, this looks like an arbitrary transfer to separate the Versa 4 from the Google Pixel Watch by way of characteristic set. I thought of asking Amazon Alexa the place her fellow robotic went however determined to not muddy the waters.

One other weird software program change is that you simply now have to make use of your paired cellphone to alter your watch face. Whereas the Versa 3 allowed customers to alter watch faces on the gadget itself, it appears Fitbit disabled this characteristic on the most recent mannequin.

A user begins an outdoor workout on their Fitbit Versa 4.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

If, at this level, you’re pondering, “wow, the Versa 4 has been stripped right down to a health tracker,” I’ve extra dangerous information. Two elementary features of monitoring health, GPS information and coronary heart price monitoring, additionally proved unreliable on the Versa 4.

Beginning with the built-in GPS, the watch constantly struggled to discover a sign initially of out of doors exercises throughout my testing. On one event, I waited greater than ten minutes earlier than the Versa 4 locked on, after which it promptly dropped again off lower than two minutes into the run. That is past irritating each as a tester and as an everyday person. On route, the Versa 4 continued to wrestle. It did not file routes much like that of my Apple Watch SE, typically putting me a number of meters into yards relatively than on the road the place I ran. Even whole distances got here up quick.

Heart Rate data shows the Fitbit Versa 4 record inaccurate values during a spin workout.Coronary heart price information throughout exercises wasn’t a lot better. The graph above exhibits one instance of the Versa 4 struggling to maintain up with my chest strap in addition to my Apple Watch Sequence 8. Positive it follows the very basic curve of correct information, however there are tons of inaccuracies, drop-offs, and missed peaks in comparison with the 2 management gadgets.

The Versa 4 ceaselessly struggled with GPS and coronary heart price monitoring.

In brief, the Versa 4 is a smartwatch that’s been stripped right down to a health tracker that struggled to trace a number of necessary health metrics. Fitbit has all the time been the choose for these fascinated about informal health monitoring. I don’t count on the corporate to file as superior information as a Garmin watch, for instance. Nevertheless, these inconsistencies are vital and definitely warrant hesitation for anybody pondering of shopping for a Versa 4 solely for pinpoint-accurate distance and coronary heart price monitoring.

With the Sense 2 additionally showcasing inaccurate readings for coronary heart price and GPS monitoring, our hope is that Fitbit will course-correct each gadgets with future software program updates.

Fitbit Versa 4 Fitbit Premium

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Lastly, Fitbit Premium stays a thorn within the Fitbit ecosystem. As a way to entry a number of the Versa 4’s headlining options, customers might want to depend on the free six-month membership supplied with every buy. As soon as that point is up, Every day Readiness Rating, Sleep Profile, and different superior options will run $10 additional a month.

Subscription charges on wearables are controversial, particularly as these merchandise aren’t getting any cheaper. That stated, Fitbit Premium is a hardy platform with additional health and wellness content material, deeper sleep insights, gamified challenges, recipe ideas, and extra. There’s worth available, then, however you’ll nonetheless have to make peace with buying a $200+ gadget that has a few of its extra superior instruments locked behind a paywall.

Fitbit Versa 4 specs

Fitbit Versa 4

Show

Touchscreen AMOLED

Dimensions

38.1 x 38.1 x 11.43mm

Small strap: 140-180mm
Giant strap: 180-221mm

Water resistance

Water-proof to 50m

Compatibility

Android OS 10 or increased
iOS 13.3 or increased

Sensible options

Google Maps (coming quickly)
Google Pockets (coming quickly)
On-wrist Bluetooth calls
Alexa in-built
Fitbit Pay
Discover My Cellphone
Name, textual content, calendar, electronic mail, music management, and app notifications

Sensors and elements

Purple and infrared sensors for oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring
Optical coronary heart price sensor
Constructed-in GPS + GLONASS
Gyroscope
Altimeter
3-axis accelerometer
Ambient mild sensor
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
NFC
Vibration motor
Speaker
Microphone

Reminiscence

7 days of movement information, each day totals for previous 30 days

HR information at 1-second intervals throughout train, 5-second intervals all different instances

Supplies

Case: Aluminum

Strap: Versatile materials much like that utilized in many sports activities watches

Colours

Black/graphite case
Waterfall Blue/platinum case
Beet Juice/Copper Rose case
Pink Sand/Copper Rose case

Battery

Smartwatch mode: 6+ days
Lithium-polymer battery
Cost time: (0-100%): two hours

Fitbit Versa 4 review: The decision

A user accesses shortcuts by double tapping the button on their device.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Fitbit’s smartwatch lineup exhibits indicators of confusion. With the arrival of the Google Pixel Watch, the Sense and Versa lineups have been seemingly thrust into disarray, dropping options that made them so enticing prior to now with a view to elevate the standing of their new sibling.

At a look, the beauty updates to the Versa line are noteworthy however not monetarily priceless. Most individuals will forgo a lighter gadget if it’s additionally lighter in helpful options. Likewise, a button is thrilling, however not if there are fewer instruments to navigate utilizing it. An absence of Google Assistant, Wi-Fi, and third-party apps reverts certainly one of our favourite smartwatches to little greater than an outsized health tracker. Nevertheless, whenever you throw within the unreliable GPS and coronary heart price sensor, the Versa 4 doesn’t really feel like an excellent health tracker both — only a very common one.

The Versa 4 is a complicated step again as a smartwatch and solely a median health tracker.

In case your coronary heart is ready on a model new Fitbit smartwatch, your greatest wager is the Google Pixel Watch ($349.99 at Amazon). It doesn’t pack the entire firm’s high options, but it surely does provide most of them, plus integration with Fitbit’s companion app. It additionally options a way more complete smartwatch expertise through Put on OS, together with entry to the Google Play Retailer. Simply be ready to return to phrases with horrible battery life.

Likewise, the Versa 3 ($154.99 at Amazon) stays a strong choose, particularly now it will probably typically be discovered on sale. The previous-gen watch provides a number of voice assistants, an app retailer, Wi-Fi, plus offline listening music help. In the meantime, the pricier Fitbit Sense 2 ($299.95 at Amazon) provides ECG monitoring and a temperature sensor, but it surely’s in any other case near-identical to the Versa 4 and suffers from lots of the similar cutbacks. The most recent Sense mannequin dropped key smartwatch options in comparison with its predecessor and carried out poorly by way of GPS and coronary heart price information.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 apps listSamsung Galaxy Watch 5Google Pixel Watch Fitbit Active Zone MinutesGoogle Pixel Watch

For the outright greatest Put on OS smartwatch near this worth level, the Galaxy Watch 5 ($279) is the clear favourite. Samsung’s smartwatches provide sturdy third-party app help plus sufficient health and health-tracking options to get you began on a wellness journey. The Galaxy Watch 5’s greatest shortcoming in comparison with a Fitbit gadget is its nominal battery life on the smaller 40mm mannequin, however general, there’s a lot to like about Samsung’s watch, particularly if in case you have a Galaxy cellphone to entry some unique additional options.

There are additionally loads of choices from Garmin value contemplating for the extra fitness-minded. We had been very impressed by this 12 months’s Garmin Venu Sq 2 ($249), although we’d push consumers to splurge for the Music version. The Venu Sq 2 lineup provides an exquisite show, spectacular battery life, and one of the vital in depth health monitoring suites in the marketplace. Garmin’s ecosystem is an particularly sturdy contender for athletes who need an correct GPS and don’t thoughts going mild on good options.

Regardless of its iOS compatibility, we wouldn’t suggest the Versa 4 for iPhone customers in any respect. The Apple Watch SE ($249 at Greatest Purchase) will solely run you $20 extra and provides probably the greatest finances smartwatch experiences out there. Just like the Versa 4, it skips out on a number of superior well being sensors in favor of a price ticket that’s a complete discount in comparison with the top-tier mannequin, on this case, the Apple Watch Sequence 8 ($399).

General, whereas we thought of the Versa 3 among the many greatest smartwatches out there (and nonetheless do), the barebones Versa 4 is extra of a downgrade than an thrilling follow-up.

Fitbit Versa 4

Fitbit Versa 4

Redesigned case • 20 new train modes • Nice battery life

The entire Fitbit fundamentals in a smartwatch.

The Versa 4 provides the most recent technological developments from Fitbit whereas refining the options of her predecessors, resembling with health monitoring, sleep monitoring, and extra. It additionally recommends when is the very best time to your physique to train and challenges your information with a each day readiness rating.

High Fitbit Versa 4 questions and solutions

Is the Fitbit Versa 4 waterproof?Is the Fitbit Versa 4 appropriate with iPhones?

Sure, the Versa 4 is appropriate with iPhones working iOS 13.3 or increased and Android OS 10 or increased.

Can the Fitbit Versa 4 use Fitbit Versa 3 bands?

Sure! The Versa 4 equips 24mm proprietary straps making it appropriate with Versa 3 bands in addition to Fitbit Sense and Sense 2 bands.

When will the Fitbit Versa 4 obtain Google Maps and Google Pockets?

Fitbit has not supplied any particulars about when its high smartwatches will obtain these promised apps. For now, the options are merely labeled as “coming quickly.”

Does the Fitbit Versa 4 help contactless funds?

Sure. The Fitbit Versa 4 options an NFC chip in addition to Fitbit Pay pre-installed on the gadget.

Which well being sensors are on the Fitbit Sense 2 however not the Versa 4?

The Fitbit Sense 2 options sensors appropriate with the ECG and EDA app in addition to a pores and skin temperature sensor. These usually are not included with the Versa 4.

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