Top critical review
Buggy software, quality control issues, but a beautiful smart watch that appeals to both sexes.
30 July 2018
I purchased a Charcoal SE for myself and a Lavender SE for my partner. Problems began immediately when the Fitbit App asked to update the firmware. The download was very slow and the app crashed three times during the update using a Samsung Galaxy S8. The firmware update was able to resume each time but it took over an hour.
Setting up music control was also over complicated (page 58 in online manual), it's not very intuitive and the watch needs to be paired a second time on first time setup. And it wouldn't work for the Spotify App on my phone until I had gone into the app permissions on my phone and allowed all permissions (probably only need to allow the phone permission).
My first Lavender SE (gift for my partner) didn't have a working HR monitor. The green light on the back didn't flash, and the Watch face just showed two dashes --. I tried everything, resetting to factory settings, re-pairing with phone etc. On a working watch if you lift the watch slightly off your wrist you will see the light flashing or it will flash momentarily when you take it off your wrist, until it detects the watch is off. I returned the watch and the replacement (bought directly from Amazon themselves) worked fine.
My Charcoal SE purchased from the same marketplace trader as the faulty SE, initially seemed to work fine except it took over an hour to set up as the app crashed a number of times as it was updating the watch firmware. The watch has had some nights where it hasn't fully tracked my sleep but I put this down to the watch resting awkwardly on my wrist on these occasions and it hasn't happened for a while.
On the 10th August I noticed that the watch was no longer showing Live Tracking in the Fitbit App on my Samsung S7. This is where after syncing you get a beating heart in the app and it shows your live heart rate. The app was working fine for my partners Samsung S8. This really bugged me, I tried everything, restoring the watch back to factory settings, re-pairing, clearing the cache in my phones bluetooth system apps but nothing worked. I had arranged to return the watch when I found a thread in the FitBit Community Forum acknowledging that the Fitbit App that had gone live in the Google Play store, had a bug which broke live tracking on many phones. I uninstalled the 10th August Fitbit App and downloaded Fitbit App 2.75 apk from the internet (at my own risk) and this brought back live fitness monitoring. The heart rate WAS and DOES show a live feed on the Watch face but for some reason this wasn't being communicated to my Samsung S7 and showing up in the Fitbit App. I found the episode tremendously frustrating and indicates that Fitbit do not test there software sufficiently before releasing it to the public.
So I've had problems with 2 Versa's one of which has been returned (my partners) and the replacement is working fine and so is my Versa but using I'm an older version of the Fitbit App that works on the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Features 7 (no GPS)
Clearly there is room for improvement with quality control both for hardware and software but for the price you can't really beat this watch on Android. But I would recommend iPhone users to purchase the Apple Watch for better reliability (but for a higher price), if your looking for an all round Smart Watch. Unless a four day battery life appeals to you. And the Fitbit App is really easy to use and has a lot of fitness features so maybe it's a better fitness tracker as long (unless you require GPS tracking and don't carry your phone with you). The Fitbit Versa has connected GPS (to your phone) and not built in GPS. That's probably it's greatest weakness along with reliability issues.