Fitbit announced the Versa 2 smartwatch on Aug. 28 for $200. It begins shipping on Sept. 15.
It will be a lower-priced alternative to the Apple Watch, selling for about $270 to $400 for the series 3 or series 4 models.
Apple Watch commands the smartwatch space. Apple shipped 5.7 million smartwatches in the second quarter, compared to 2 million for Samsung and 1.2 million for Fitbit, according to Strategy Analytics.
The Versa 2 debuts an on-device microphone, which enables Amazon Alexa, along with a Spotify app to control music and podcasts and FitBit Pay, a competitor to Apple Pay.
In an early hands-on review, Cherlynn Low of Engadget, said Fitbit reps were able to demonstrate using Alexa on the Versa 2 to turn on the lights, tell the weather forecast, find the nearest yoga class and play music on a smart speaker. “Everything worked well and surprisingly quickly,” she said.
She also pointed out the Versa 2 mic will enable Android users to dictate replies to text messages.
It is also a larger device than its predecessor at 1.4 inches, and the screen has been upgraded to AMOLED from LCD, making for deeper blacks and brighter colors.
The Alexa integration makes the Versa 2 “much more useful” than the original, Low concluded.
The new Versa has a faster processor, Fitbit said, but didn’t describe it. The always-on display mode allows two-plus days of battery life, Fitbit said.
Apple is expected to launch new versions of the Apple Watch before the end of 2019.