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Fitbit Versa and Ace: We go hands-on with the new 2018 fitness trackers

Fitbit has just launched two new fitness trackers for 2018: the Fitbit Versa, which is a more affordable and female-friendly version of last year’s Ionic, as well as the Fitbit Ace which is aimed at kids. We had the chance to go hands-on, or rather wrists-on, with these new devices at a pre-brief session.

Fitbit Versa

First up, the Versa is a fully-fledged smartwatch just like the Ionic. While the Ionic featured quite a sharp design, the Versa offers a more compact, rounded finish that Fitbit hopes will appeal to both men and women. It’s aimed at everyone from casual users to dedicated enthusiasts and as usual has been designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.

This new watch comes in all kinds of different flavours. You can grab a wide selection of different bands, including some snazzy fabric straps, a bit of stylish leather for those nights out on the town, and even a couple of metal versions. Meanwhile the watch itself can also be snaffled in a couple of different hues, including silver, black and a bit of sexy rose gold.

That dinky screen boasts a maximum brightness of 1000nits, to properly sear your retinas, while also offering crisp and colourful visuals. And as before, the Versa is water resistant to 50m, to track your swim sessions.

Fitbit Versa vs Ionic: What’s different?

The Versa boasts pretty much all of the great features found on the Ionic. You can make contactless payments, receive notifications and store offline music, with support now for the Deezer streaming service.

And of course, as this is a Fitbit, you can track your activities throughout the day and get your sweat on with the Fitbit Coach. That interface has been improved so now you can see more stats right there on your wrist. This includes historical data for the previous week. And the new Female Health Tracking feature, which helps women to monitor their cycle, is a great addition. Ionic owners, don’t fret. These features will be coming to your smartwatch very shortly.

And with the App Gallery offering over 500 apps and clock faces, you can quickly expand that functionality. Expect loads more new stuff to hit in 2018, as the Gallery only just launched at the end of 2017.

The only omission compared with the Ionic is the lack of built-in GPS. Instead you’ll need to connect the watch to your phone if you want to chart your location.

Fitbit reckons you’ll get over four days of battery life on a single charge. Whether that’s really the case remains to be seen, of course. Stay tuned for our full Versa review and we’ll let you know.

Fitbit Versa price and release date

The Fitbit Versa goes on sale in April, although you can pre-order yours right now on the Fitbit website. It’ll cost you £199 for the standard model. Alternatively, it’s £229 for the special edition which comes with a bonus fabric strap.

Fitbit Ace

The second new Fitbit is a reimagined version of the Alta tracker, designed especially for kids aged eight and upwards. With child obesity on the rise, now is a great time to launch something aimed at our lazy wee tykes, complete with family-friendly features.

The new Fitbit Ace sports a smaller adjustable band than any of the company’s other trackers. You can grab it in one of two finishes – Electric Blue and the rather lovely Power Purple. Like the Alta it’s fully water resistant and offers ten unique clock faces, along with real time stats reporting and call notifications when paired with a smartphone.

Kids are rewarded for their efforts with special badges and parents have full control, with the ability to add challenges and check their sprogs’ stats. Family members can also message each other, to leave encouraging comments – or tell little Johnny to get off his arse and stop playing the bloody Xbox.

Fitbit reckons you’ll get around five days of use per charge, and once again we’ll let you know for sure in our full review.

Fitbit Ace price and release date

You can pre-order your Ace right now for 80 quid and it’ll be on sale in Q2 2018.


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