Through the years, I have dabbled with the idea of a fitness wearable. In the past, I have used apps to track weightlifting sessions, journals to track jiu-jitsu and apps to track nutrition. Speaking frankly, I usually burn out and at some point stop tracking. So, I wondered if the novelty of a wearable fitness tracker would quickly fade as well. So, here is the honest review after a few weeks with the mid-level Fitbit Versa 3.
- It is aesthetically appealing. Let’s get this out of the way first. I am used to wearing either a G-Shock or a “nice” aviation-styled watch. So, the idea of moving to something like this was a bit new and it needed to be able to mesh with both my casual and work life. It is not flashy and it has a big enough face and classic enough look that it can work for male or female and, business or casual.
- The non-fitness aspects of the watch are functional. I was gifted a smart watch several years back and I quickly gave it up. I thought the notifications were redundant and unnecessary. Fast forward to present day and I can truthfully state I dig the ability to see who may be calling, emails and texts directly from my wrist. It is more discrete than picking up my phone and, I often find myself not next to my phone. So, the access is nice. There are a myriad of other functions like music storage, payments and apps that I do not use but, I could see the benefit as well.
- The watch holds a charge and charges quickly. Without the included GPS turned on, I am getting at least 4-5 days between charges. And when it comes time for a charge, it typically can charge up in less than an hour. This makes it easy to continue to wear as if it required frequent charges, I’d likely not keep up with it.
- The steps tracking seems pretty damn accurate. My cardio is often spent on a treadmill, at a high incline and with a weighted vest. So, it makes it very easy to compare actual distance and pace to the watch’s. So far, it has been almost dead on.
- The exercise logging is helpful and the associated heart rates are as well. I am doing something physical 7 days a week. However, what has become very clear to me is that some of my weight sessions are extremely slow and I am rarely putting myself into a “working” heart zone. I can go back and look at my heart rate, look at my exercise durations and frequencies of the week and try and decipher things I can be doing better. For example, maybe it’s time to decrease the frequency and increase the intensity.
- For me, the sleep tracking is what makes this product. I have put a focus on trying to get more sleep over the past several months yet, I still find myself often waking a bit groggy. After using the Versa 3 for a few weeks, it has become apparent that although I am logging hours in the bed, my sleep quality still needs to be improved. Along with the device tracking time away, in REM, in light sleep and in deep sleep, it also gives you an overview of your skin surface temperature at night versus normal temperature, your SpO2 level, heart rate variation, resting heart rate and breaths per minute. Now accuracy of these are not approved by the proper governing bodies but, I think they are a decent indicator of where you are at.
- I enjoy seeing my daily health metrics and observing differences depending on the type of day I’ve had. So far, the novelty has not worn off in regards to checking my metrics every morning. I’ve noticed that if I have a particularly stressful day, my heart rate throughout the day may be impacted and my sleep pattern is also messed up. I have also clearly seen some relation between staying up too late and poor sleep. So, while I am likely to live a fairly healthy lifestyle with or without the Fitbit, I think that any extra time focused on your health is a good thing. So, I give this one a thumbs up.