Fitbit Versa Lite vs Fitbit Versa: What's Different?

Fitbit’s new Versa Lite smartwatch, out March 15, looks almost identical to last year’s original Versa, but with a lower price tag. The $159.95 Versa Lite is $40 cheaper than the original Versa, and comes in a couple of new shades (a vibrant Marina Blue and a Mulberry plum).

Fitbit Versa (left); Fitbit Versa Lite (right)Fitbit Versa (left); Fitbit Versa Lite (right)But beyond cosmetic changes, the biggest differences are under the hood.


Fitbit Versa Lite
Fitbit Versa
Price
$159.95$199.99
Battery Life
4+ days
4+ days
GPS
When connected to smartphone
When connected to smartphone
Wi-Fi
No
Yes
Colors
Marina Blue, Mulberry, Silver (with lilac band or white band)Black (with black band), Rose Gold (with peach band), Silver (with grey band)
On-board music storage
No
Yes
Fitness Features
Female health tracking, sleep analysis, heart rate monitorFemale health tracking, sleep analysis, heart rate monitor, guided workouts, floor- and lap-tracking
Design
One button on right sideTwo buttons on right side, one on left
Apps
500+ apps and clock faces in Fitbit’s App Gallery500+ apps and clock faces in Fitbit’s App Gallery

What’s Changed

Fitbit streamlined the design of Versa Lite, removing two buttons from the original Versa to simplify the newer model’s navigation.

The company also stripped away the ability to track floors climbed and lap-tracking during swim workouts. The biggest sacrifice, on-board music storage and guided workouts on-display, stings a little more.

WIth these changes, Fitbit made the Versa Lite a lot more basic than its predecessor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — just something to note if those features are important to you.

MORE: Best Fitness Trackers and Watches

Versa Lite: Who’s it for?

Fitbit says the Versa Lite is designed for “people who have been left out of the smartwatch market,” said Melanie Chase, Fitbit’s vice president of product marketing, during a press event announcing the new device. The Versa Lite, Inspire and Inspire HR are part of Fitbit’s goal to make the company’s lineup “accessible to everyone.”

If you don’t swim and don’t care about listening to music without your phone nearby, then the missing features won’t be a big deal.

Outlook

Fitbit’s Versa Lite is one of the cheapest smartwatches you can buy, but there are trade-offs. Samsung’s $200 Galaxy Watch Active, out now, offers built-in GPS, on-board music storage with Spotify integration, a beautiful, colorful touchscreen and a traditional round display for just $50 more. The watch works with both iOS and Android, just like Fitbits do, though it works best with Samsung’s Galaxy devices. (Samsung also says its watch can help track blood pressure with an app due later in March, though it’s unclear how accurate that feature will be.)

Fitbit is making its smartwatch more compelling with a lower price, but the pricier original is a better smartwatch. If you don't care about features like on-board music storage or swim-tracking, the Versa Lite is worth a look.

Credit: Tom's Guide; Fitbit