Gears & Gadgets

First Look at the Fitbit Versa Lite, Inspire HR, and Ace 2

Ready to get in shape this spring? Fitbit’s more affordable new trackers are built with beginners in mind.
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First Look at the Fitbit Versa Lite, Inspire HR, and Ace 2

It’s almost spring, which means a new collection of wearables from Fitbit. The company’s latest lineup includes the Versa Lite smartwatch, the Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers, and a sequel to its kids’ tracker, the Ace 2.

While each new model differs in features and capabilities, all four share a common theme: accessibility. Not only are these new devices more affordable than previous offerings, but according to Fitbit, they’re also easier to use for anyone who is just starting their fitness journey.

In addition, the company has also revamped its mobile app with a cleaner, more modern interface. We got a chance to check it all out an event in New York City.

  • Fitbit Versa Lite

    The original Fitbit Versa ($ 199.95) is packed with tons of features, from Fitbit Coach to onboard music storage. The new Versa Lite, available this month for $ 159.95, targets first-time smartwatch buyers who would rather trade some of the Versa’s more advanced functionality for a lower price.

    Running Fitbit OS 3.0, the Versa Lite still comes with a heart rate monitor, connected GPS, sleep tracking, support for smartphone notifications, automatic exercise recognition, and female health tracking. It also supports third-party app downloads and can last for up to four days on a single charge.

    So what are you missing out on? Unlike the Versa, the Versa Lite doesn’t have the ability to track floors climbed, count laps swam, or display on-screen workouts. It also doesn’t have a Wi-Fi radio and you can’t load music on it.

  • Simplified Design

    At a glance, the Versa Lite looks virtually identical to the standard Versa. But to make navigation easier, it only has one button on the left side and does away with the additional two buttons on the right side of the original model.

    This shouldn’t be an issue, as the majority of the experience is controlled using quick swipes on the touch screen to access your notifications, dashboard, and apps. All you need to use the button for is to return to the previous screen and for quick access to turning the display and notifications on or off.

  • Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR

    When Fitbit first unveiled the Inspire and Inspire HR, they were exclusive to Fitbit Health Solutions (corporate team and health systems partners). But the devices will be available to the general public this month.

    The Inspire and Inspire HR (pictured) build off of the look of the Fitbit Alta. While they’re both pretty small and sleek, the Inspire HR’s case is a bit thicker, with a concave design similar to the Charge 3. It’s still light enough that I forgot I was even wearing it during a quick workout at Fitbit’s demo event, and it’s slim enough that you can pair it with a traditional watch and jewelry.

    With the Inspire, you also have the option to wear it elsewhere on your body with a clip that’s sold separately. (You can’t do this with the Inspire HR, since it needs to be against your wrist in order to read your heart rate.)

  • Differences

    The standard Inspire is the cheaper of the two trackers at $ 69.95, and includes a touch display, automatic activity and sleep tracking, support for smartphone notifications, and up to five days of battery life.

    At $ 99.95, the Inspire HR includes the same features as the Inspire, with the addition of a heart rate monitor, connected GPS, Sleep Stages tracking (like light, deep, REM, and awake), and the goal-based exercise modes Fitbit introduced with the Charge 3.

    As for color options, the Inspire comes in black or sangria, while the Inspire HR comes in black, lilac, two-toned black, or white. Fitbit is also offering additional accessories for both devices like silicone bands, Horween Leather Co. bracelets, and stainless steel mesh bands.

  • Fitbit Ace 2

    The Ace 2 is the follow-up to Fitbit’s first kids’ fitness tracker, the Ace. It’s now geared toward ages six and up (as opposed to eight and up) for a much more approachable $ 69.95 (compared with $ 99.95).

    Unlike the first-generation model, which was essentially a replica of the Fitbit Alta, the Ace 2 actually looks like a wearable for kids, and is better built for their lifestyles. For starters, it’s stain resistant and more durable. Each band is equipped with a protective bumper around the tracker to protect the display. It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters, so kids can wear it in the pool and in the shower.

    As for fitness tracking, it still offers the basic stats like number of steps, active minutes, and sleep tracking. Parents have control over the stats their kids have access to.

  • Playful New Design

    As you can see, the Ace 2 has a much more fun design aesthetic than the original. It comes in a watermelon model with a teal clasp, or a night sky model with a yellow clasp. You can also swap the bands out for new ones with different colors (like the grape band pictured here) or playful prints and motivational messages that will be available separately for $ 24.95 to $ 29.95. Once kids outgrow the design, they can use their Ace 2 with any Inspire bands and accessories for a more sophisticated feel.

    To match the updated look, Fitbit also has a lineup of fun clock faces for the Ace 2’s display, with new animated options that change over time as kids get closer to completing their step goal. They can choose between a monster that grows from a blob-like figure to a fully formed creature, a rocket ship that blasts off to Earth, and a seed that blooms into a flower.

    According to Fitbit, the Ace 2 will be available starting this summer.

  • A Redesigned App

    Fitbit isn’t only making its new devices easier to use, but its app as well. The bottom panel will be condensed from five tabs to three: Discover, Today, and Community.

    Under Discover, you’ll be able to read up on health and wellness stats, workouts, and challenges. The Today tab is essentially what the dashboard used to be, so you’ll see all of your progress and health metrics. At the top of the dashboard is a new feature called Fitbit Focus, which provides personal insights, messages, tips, guidance, and more. The Community tab is where you can connect with friends and family, as well as other user groups.

    While the app update doesn’t bring any revolutionary changes, everything looks and feels a lot cleaner and more organized. According to Fitbit, the update will be available for select users to beta test starting in April. It will then open for others to opt in starting this summer.

    Even though Fitbit’s spring lineup doesn’t differ much from its existing models, it definitely addresses those who might feel forgotten in the wearable space—beginners. Fitbit has stripped down its popular models (and their prices) to include only the most important features, without making it seem that way on your wrist.

    We’re looking forward to testing the new devices and app, so check back soon for full reviews.

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