back to article Look! Fitbit's made a watch that doesn't suck!

Fitbit has taken the wraps off its second (or fifth, depending on how you're counting) smartwatch, Versa, claiming the new model has inherited Pebble DNA. It's less weird and clunky than the much-vaunted Ionic, which was inspired by sci-fi movies. And cheaper than comparable devices - the Apple Watch or most Android Wear …

It sucks quite a lot really, just a bit less that other Fitbits.

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Pebble successor

The Fitbit Gravel.. Same idea just not as polished ??

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MrT
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Hmmm...

.. hopefully the new Fitbit OS will not throw a hissy when trying to sync with Android 6 like the Ionic I borrowed. Tried it with several handsets that just happened to be stuck on 6.0.1, with no v7 or higher on the horizon. Both also had Bluetooth v4.0, which Fitbit is supposed to be fine with, but trips up sync to TomTom Runner 3...

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Still struggling to see past the Vivoactive 3.

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MrT
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Yeah, it looks good - the transflective screen helps keep the battery life strong. It's just that the price has bumped up by about £50 since Christmas, and for some the touchscreen doesn't work as reliably (e.g. in the wet) as the buttons on a Fenix or 735. Still, a good choice.

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WTF?

Four days!

Seriously?

How can anyone think of that as anything other than a joke?

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Re: Four days!

Four days is pretty pointless. Manufacturers need to think of practicalities. A watch/phone/whatever with a battery life of 1-2 days gets put on to charge every night. Making something that last 3-4 days means people will probably still charge it every night, just to be safe.

They should look at the history of real watches and clocks. Once people wound their watches and clocks every day, as part of their daily ritual. Then some bright spark invented the 8-day clock - which only needed winding once a week, and it became part of a weekly ritual, perhaps before church on Sunday.

Same thing applies with gadgets - the next step after 1-2 days isn't 4 days, it's 8 days, so that people only need to recharge on Sunday night.

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Re: Four days!

Unless you're going to wear it while sleeping, taking it off at night to charge isn't a big deal. Since the purpose of Fitbit is basically to count steps, only sleepwalkers need to be wearing it while sleeping.

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tfb
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Re: Four days!

The purpose of a fitbit is also to keep records of how well you sleep. To do that you need to wear it while you are asleep.

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Re: Four days!

Yeah, but these are marketing 4-days, which hopefully means you confidently get a full day even with heavy use, whatever that is for a watch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four days!

I agree, my <insert watch brand> last years between batteries

OK it doesn't have GPS, Bluetooth, heart rate monitors, multiple split times, smart phone and pc compatibility...but look, it lasts years!

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Re: Four days!

Yeah, I was annoyed that my Pebble Time could do a-whole-week-but-not-quite !

Thankfully, it only takes a quarter of an hour to charge (and if it annoyed me too much, I could always get the more expensive Pebble Time Steel with its ~10 days battery...)

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Re: Four days!

Four days battery life means you can leave the charger at home if you go away for the weekend (handy if the charger is weird, a la Apple Watch; I don't know what this Fitbit uses. Even if it's microUSB there's now a fair chance your phone is USB C, so one more cable to pack, lose, leave in hotel...).

A longer battery life means that daily charging will shallow-cycle the battery, prolonging its useful lifetime.

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Re: Four days!

I bought the other half a Nokia Steel HR last night - looks beautiful compared to that ugly square thing in the article and a month charge iirc.

I bought myself a Garmin 735XT - thats got a 4 day battery life but then thats got GPS and loads of other bumpf - I charged it Friday and its still got over 50% charge mind - I use it for swim training more than anything. Imagine I will hammer the battery fairly quickly when I start cycling and running with it.

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Re: Four days!

only sleepwalkers need to be wearing it while sleeping

"LOL"

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Re: Four Days?

Hmm, we have a fair number of old-school spring or weight driven clocks in this house, and I can wind all of them in less time than it takes the missus's Apple Watch to charge.

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Re: Four Days?

old-school spring or weight driven clocks

Really looking forward to seeing you on the trail with a grandfather clock strapped to your back.

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Still don't see something that makes me think of ditching my pebble steel.

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Still don't see something that makes me think of ditching my pebble steel.

Me neither, although a Pebble Time in my case. I don't actually need or want most of the fitness stuff a Fitbit offers and I can live quite happily without a touch screen. I do want something that's going to give me notifications of messages and the upcoming weather. The ability to control the music on my phone has also proved useful. Oh and tell the time most importantly.

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Once burnt...

Switched over to a Fenix 5 after my Pebble Steel, averaging 12 days between charges. I'm not rushing back.

Can't really see the market for a 4 day watch, it's not smart enough to compete with Android or Apple devices, and it doesn't have the fitness smarts of a Garmin, Suunto, TomTom etc.

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loses its predecessor's GPS chip but retains Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC)...

Because even if you're lost, it's important to be able to pay.

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Re: loses its predecessor's GPS chip but retains Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC)...

How else are you going to buy that map and compass?

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Re: loses its predecessor's GPS chip but retains Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC)...

I assume they dropped the GPS chip to improve the battery life?

Time will tell if GPS is a key feature of a fitness watch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: loses its predecessor's GPS chip but retains Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC)...

If you do running / cycling etc outdoors then yes.

If your working out in a gym, then no.

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Go

But it can't beat the world's greatest watch: Casio F-91W

For me, nothing can beat the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casio_F-91W

well, perhaps the A168W because the metal strap lasts 5 years not 18 months as with the F-91

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Re: But it can't beat the world's greatest watch: Casio F-91W

My last F-91W developed a faulty button, and then the strap broke. Even when it worked I found that I missed a feature found on slightly pricier Casios: a higher pitched beep that indicates that the mode button has returned the watch to telling the time. Still, they cost 7 quid, a bargain. I also like the 10 quid analogue Casios - they look like Dieter Ram's Braun watches, or the Seiko in a famous 80s photo of Steve Jobs.

Currently I'm wearing a Casio AW-81 - analogue hands with digital display for world time, stop watch etc. Really quite useful. And expendable, unlike my 1968 inherited Omega.

What the Braun, Seiko and Omega have in common is a compact (38mm ish) size and a very clear, easy to read face. I'm astounded by how many watches these days fail to meet these two basic criteria.

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Re: But it can't beat the world's greatest watch: Casio F-91W

>perhaps the A168W because the metal strap lasts 5 years not 18 months as with the F-91

Hopefully your metal strap will break in the right circumstances - a safety breakaway pin (well, two) is a feature not a bug. I've had a G-Shock break off my wrist for the same reason, and I'm glad it did. Some workplaces make break-away watchstraps mandatory.

But yeah, sometimes the F-91 strap fails in other areas, and it's hard to find a new strap that costs less than a new watch!

It's hard to find info about which Apple Watch straps break away safely - especially since Google now arbitrarily decides to ignore some words in one's search term.

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If it still sends my data home to its servers...

...then I'm still not buying it.

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Re: If it still sends my data home to its servers...

I use no root firewall to stop apps from sending data where I don't want it to or even at all. Always interesting to look at the access log and see where an app is trying to connect to.

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Anonymous Coward

My IWC is much better.

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All 12,000 people who work for the same University Hospital as I do are still banned from accessing the FitBit site.

This is what happens when moderators take a hissy fit and ban a single IP address when a single user queries why it was taking so long to rectify a fault with the downloads.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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Meh

Fitbit couldn't pay me to have another of their devices...

I had a Blaze and as a device for measuring activity it worked really well but the required bluetooth connection was flakey as hell.. the required fitbit app was useless if it couldn't connect to the servers and forgot all your settings after every single update, updates that could only be applied via flakey bluetooth. If you wanted to map your exercise routes it needs the phone but most of the time would complain it couldn't find the phone to connect to it's GPS, I discovered that it's step counter was variable to say the least and in the 20 months I owned one it was replaced 3 times because of battery related issues.

for a bit of kit that cost 150 quid it was remarkably poor.

I've replaced it with a Huawei watch 2 which is more smart watch than activity tracker and while it has it's issues is considerably better than the Blaze.

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