Fitbit Announces New Apple Watch Rival 'Versa' and Kid-Friendly 'Ace'

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
I agree that when the square LCD screen is fully viewable with a light colored image (like in that Yoga picture on the watch) that it looks like you say (it was also the first thing I noticed). I don't own an Apple Watch so I went to their website to see if their watch also looked the same. I couldn't actually find any image on Apple's website that showed this - they carefully make sure to only show black backgrounds so you don't notice it. I'm guessing you might not have made your comment if FitBit didn't show the watch face with that Yoga picture.
I'm not an Apple Watch owner either, so no dog in the fight, but one of my kids has one and it definitely has more active screen than the Fitbit appears to have.
 

fuchsdh

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Jun 19, 2014
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Depends on cost. Folks might go for this if it is more affordable and has enough functionality. Plus, the app works across mobile operating systems unlike Apple Watch.
Yep. I think it's accurate to say "you probably can't go against Apple in the spots it directly competes and expect to win", but given that Apple doesn't try to be everything to everyone (especially at all price points), there's plenty of room in their shadow to make money. You won't be making Apple money, but what's wrong with just making less?
 

truthertech

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Jun 24, 2016
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I know Apple has one of the best selling smart watches on the market, but I am not sure the smart watch brand makes a difference. There is no feature in the Apple Watch that makes it sticky to the Apple environment I live in. My phone, tablet and computer all have those integrations that make them convenient. I received notifications from my Garmin. The Garmin had better battery, sleep tracking, fitness data and integration to my sporting life. I am seriously thinking about selling my Apple watch and getting a VivoActive 3 or Fenix 5. I actually recommend Fitbits and Garmins over the Apple watch anytime someone asks.

Garmin, maybe, but you lost us when you said you recommend Fitbits over the Apple Watch. BTW, it's not just "one of the best selling smart watches" on the market. When it comes to smart watches, Apple Watch is so dominant, there is no other market. Fitness trackers is probably what you meant to say.
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Yep. I think it's accurate to say "you probably can't go against Apple in the spots it directly competes and expect to win", but given that Apple doesn't try to be everything to everyone (especially at all price points), there's plenty of room in their shadow to make money. You won't be making Apple money, but what's wrong with just making less?

Nothing wrong with it, but Fitbit is barely hanging on and this is their desperate attempt to remain in business. They can't make any money competing with the endless number of cheap fitness trackers and Apple owns the smart watch market. I hope they can come up with a viable smart watch so Apple has some competition, but it doesn't look good. Fitbit stock is at about $5 a share today, down from the high of $51 as investors have fled. They lost about $300 million last year. If they haven't solved their quality control problems that have plagued their fitness trackers, they will be out of business pretty quick as a lot of folks have treated their Fitbits as disposables because of how often they break. Our family has gone through them like a hot knife through butter.
 

Bob190

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May 21, 2015
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The Versa does have GPS.

View attachment 754301

Well damn. I missed the “connect to your phone’s GPS. My bad.
The watch itself doesn't have GPS though like the Apple Watch Series 2/3 does currently. You need to carry your phone with you and the Versa just uses the phones GPS.

For me, having to carry a phone on runs is a non-starter ... too bulky/heavy. That's what makes the AW Series 3 the perfect running watch for me. Just wish you could stream Pandora directly to the watch like you can Apple Music/Radio.
 
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csurfr

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The watch itself doesn't have GPS though like the Apple Watch Series 2/3 does currently. You need to carry your phone with you and the Versa just uses the phones GPS.

For me, having to carry a phone on runs is a non-starter ... too bulky/heavy. That's what makes the AW Series 3 the perfect running watch for me. Just wish you could stream Pandora directly to the watch like you can Apple Music/Radio.
Yeah, I noticed that after I posted the pic, and edited my post. Womp Womp.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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Wow, that is one dorky looking watch. It looks out of proportion to the band, too square with far too much of a frame around the active screen. It kind of has a 1950's tv set look to it - big square with a small screen - and that's not a compliment.
The look seems fine to me — question is: just how large is it? Here's the clearest shot I've found of it being worn by a woman:

upload_2018-3-13_19-49-45.png


IOW, the answer appears to be: bordering on too large.
 

manu chao

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Jul 30, 2003
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RIP.

Fitbit is actually doomed. You can't try to rival Apple. You have to do something different and even then, you're probably screwed.
Are Suunto, Garmin and Polar also doomed? In the 'technological' wrist-worn device arena several categories have been converging to some degree as entrants from each category gain features from others. The main categories probably are:
  1. Exercise tracking starting with heart rate monitors, adding things like bike-connected sensors (Polar comes from that direction).
  2. Outdoor activities, from simple robust and waterproof watches to adding altimeters and compasses (Suunto), and GPS-based watches, miniaturising technology from handheld GPS devices (Garmin started here). Diving watches are a special subcategory of this.
  3. Activity or fitness trackers (Fitbit is clearly the biggest entrant now, others already failed).
  4. Smartwatches, showing some of the information that smartphones provide, most notably notifications (Pebble was the first, with Android Gear and Apple Watch following later).
Exercise tracking and fitness tracking had some overlap from the start and are adding many features from each other, as well as adding sensors and features from the outdoor activity category, which has done the same vice versa. They are also adding some smartphone features (eg, notifications). And smartwatches 'have found' that besides notifications, activity and exercise tracking are their main uses with outdoor features and sensors also being added (GPS, compass, barometer).

The current market is a continuum between those four poles and while some might say the smartwatch category will subsume everything, I think there are still niches at the extremes, like small and cheap activity trackers, 'professional' exercise tracking, and, eg, diving watches. But these niches are getting smaller. The question is really how many players/systems can the centre of this continuum support and will the smartphone integration of actors that are not Apple or Android-based be good enough to occupy a place that is not at the extremes.
 
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chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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I know Apple has one of the best selling smart watches on the market, but I am not sure the smart watch brand makes a difference. There is no feature in the Apple Watch that makes it sticky to the Apple environment I live in. My phone, tablet and computer all have those integrations that make them convenient. I received notifications from my Garmin. The Garmin had better battery, sleep tracking, fitness data and integration to my sporting life. I am seriously thinking about selling my Apple watch and getting a VivoActive 3 or Fenix 5. I actually recommend Fitbits and Garmins over the Apple watch anytime someone asks.
I wish Apple Watch integration were deeper, and I think we'll see some more of that this year (less than three months until the watchOS 5 preview, presumably). For instance, notifications also sync from the phone to the watch, and Handoff means I can open a notification on the watch, then continue with it on the phone. Why not the Mac as well?
 

bliggs

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Aug 15, 2012
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Very nice looking smartwatch and price. Not so sure about the tracker for kids though. I wouldn't think there would be much demand in that arena.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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Am I the only one who thinks it's sad that an 8-year-old needs a fitness tracker?
I don't even know what an 8-yo does for fitness (go to gym class?), but this could become useful a few generations down the line. For example, Apple or whoever eventually figures out non-invasive glucose testing on a wearable computer, this could be a huge boon to kids with T1D.
 

Kaibelf

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I see some of these around in the wild and for some reason they strike me as RC to Apple's Coke/Pepsi. They just seem cheaper looking, and the edges aren't my cup of tea either. It's naturally a matter of taste: which Batmobile do you prefer? The Christian Bale boxy Dark Knight one or the curvy Michael Keaton one?
 

eschoud2

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Jun 18, 2007
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I don't even know what an 8-yo does for fitness (go to gym class?), but this could become useful a few generations down the line. For example, Apple or whoever eventually figures out non-invasive glucose testing on a wearable computer, this could be a huge boon to kids with T1D.
If they're anything like my 8 year old, they get plenty of fitness through school and just being a kid. The fact that Fitbit has mass produced these things speaks volumes to the current fitness level of kids today. Sure less invasive blood glucose testing is always welcome, but the real problem is the fact that there's such a great need for it now due to rising DM rates in children.
 
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chucker23n1

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If they're anything like my 8 year old, they get plenty of fitness through school and just being a kid.
Yeah, exactly. I don't think a fitness tracker for a kid is that useful — they already move around plenty through school, hobbies, friends. (Adults, OTOH, may end up in a more sedentary lifestyle, especially if they have office jobs.)

The fact that Fitbit has mass produced these things speaks volumes to the current fitness level of kids today.
Well, in part, sure. It's also in part that Fitbit is desperate to increase revenues, which they sorely need to do.

Sure less invasive blood glucose testing is always welcome, but the real problem is the fact that there's such a great need for it now due to rising DM rates in children.
True, although I was speaking of type 1, which has no link to one's diet.
 

MFERD

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Mar 13, 2018
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Nice looking although I prefer the rugged outdoor look better. The price is right that's for sure. Did not see anything about water resistance. I know from experience, Fitbit's of the past were not waterproof, that's why I went with the Garmin Fenix 3.

according to the site, it's 50 meters, same as apple watch
 

manu chao

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Jul 30, 2003
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That's great, but a round face makes for a poor screen.
Some things can be displayed effectively within a circle (just take any analogue watch/clock face, but also things that show percentages, eg, 'closing the rings') but generally you are right. I was just explaining why people find round watches (generally) more appealing visually. But visual appeal is naturally only one aspect.
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It might be. It's Apple Watch, but slightly cheaper, slightly worse. It integrates with Android, which is a sizeable market Apple doesn't have.
And how does it compare (on paper) with all the various Android Wear smartwatches?
 

gbc204

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May 9, 2011
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All i really want is for someone to make an Apple Watch band that I can slide my Fitbit Flex into so I don't have to wear a fitbit and an apple watch. I mean, I don't HAVE to now, but i like having both. I don't seem to be the only one, so this seems like something that might sell OK.
 
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