What we’re expecting from Fitbit’s next-generation smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 4 will be the next iteration of Fitbit’s sleek, square smartwatch. It’s not been officially announced yet, but we can make some educated assumptions about when it’s likely to arrive, and what new features it’ll be bringing to your wrist.
With Google’s recent acquisition of Fitbit, there’s a chance that the Versa 4 could be a big departure from its predecessors, so with that in mind, here are our predictions for what you might be able to expect from the new watch. We’ll keep this guide updated as news and rumors emerge, so make sure you come back often to make sure you stay in the know.
Fitbit Versa 4 likely release date and price
Fitbit devices typically follow a two-year release cycle. The Fitbit Versa 3 was released in August 2020, so we’re therefore hoping to get our first glimpse of the Versa 4 in August 2022.
The company usually keeps its cards close to its chest, and we rarely get an early peek at watches before they’re released, but it’s still possible. Images of the Fitbit Luxe leaked a few days early, and the company responded by pulling the official launch forward, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we might get an early peek.
It’s also possible that we may get an early insight into the Versa 4’s specifications. A 3D render recently leaked, reported to be a new Fitbit device codenamed ‘Morgan’. This is very unlikely to be a new Versa (its form factor is completely different to previous models in the range), but it may be our first look at the Fitbit Charge 5.
It’s possible that the same source may leak a similar image of the Versa 4 nearer its launch date. We’ll be keeping our ears open and eyes peeled.
Fitbit Versa 4 news and leaks
News about the Fitbit Versa 4 has yet to start filtering through, but the company has made some interesting announcements recently that have us excited about what the next-generation smartwatch could be.
In January 2021, Google finalized its acquisition of Fitbit, despite concerns from industry watchdogs about the two companies’ potential to stifle competition. Things then went quiet for a few months, but at the 2021 Google IO event in May, we learned that Fitbit is working on a premium fitness tracker running Google’s smartwatch operating system, Wear OS.
That’s big news, and could mean that the Fitbit Versa 4 is drastically different to previous watches in the series. Until now, all Fitbit wearables have used the company’s own proprietary operating system, Fitbit OS. As you’d expect, this operating system is focused almost entirely on fitness tracking, and only supports a small handful of third-party apps (most of which are relatively simple workout trackers and timers).
A Fitbit running Wear OS would be capable of so much more. Not only would it be able to track steps, activities, heart rate, and all the other metrics you’d expect from a typical fitness tracker, it would also integrate with all of Google’s other tools (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Pay etc), and give you access to a huge array of music streaming, social media, news, health and organization apps from Google Play.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that this ‘premium’ Fitbit will be the Versa 4 – it might be a different device entirely. However, Versa devices have always been marketed as smartwatches rather than mere fitness trackers, and this would be an opportunity to supercharge the Versa 4 and turn it into a true rival to the Apple Watch 7 (expected to launch later in 2021).
Fitbit Versa 4 design
Fitbit’s latest watches (including the Sense, Versa 3, Inspire 2, and Luxe) all share a similar style, with rounded edges and smooth lines. This is a result of what Fitbit calls its Biologic Industrial Design Language, which is designed to work with the shape of the human body, making devices that are comfortable and ergonomic.
Colors are muted (shades of black, cream, soft pink and midnight blue dominate the palette) and metal cases have a brushed finish. It’s a style the company seems committed to, so we’re expecting the Versa 4 to stick with the same look.
We’re also expecting it to have a familiar shape; watches in the Versa series have always had square faces with rounded edges, so we’re not anticipating a switch to round or rectangular face.
We’re also expecting it to stick with AMOLED screen technology, though we’d like to see a boost in resolution – particularly if the Versa 4 turns out to be Fitbit’s first WEar OS smartwatch. The Versa 3 has a resolution of 336 x 336 pixels, but a boost to 454 x 454 (the same as the superb TicWatch Pro 3) would be a real boon for apps like Gmail and Google Maps.
Fitbit Versa 4 features
The Fitbit Versa 3 does a great job of bridging the gap between fitness trackers and smartwatches, but it’s not without its flaws. Almost all of these would be solved automatically if the Versa 4 turns out to be the rumored premium Wear OS device (with access to all the accompanying apps) but even if it’s another FitbitOS watch, there are some tweaks that we’d like to see.
We’d particularly appreciate more offline music options. While the Versa 3 supports Spotify and Pandora, you can only add playlists for offline listening via Deezer, which is a real shame.
The Versa 3 was the first watch in the Versa line to offer on-board GPS, which makes it possible to track runs, walks and bike rides without the need to carry a phone, but if you don’t use Deezer then you won’t be able to enjoy your tunes at the same time. For the Versa 4, we’d like to see Fitbit take a leaf from Garmin’s book, and allow users to download their own songs and podcasts directly to the watch.
We’d also like to see the Fitbit Versa 4 borrow a few features from its sibling, the Fitbit Sense. It may not get the Sense’s standout stress-tracking feature, but we’d appreciate the addition of an ECG app for detecting unusual heart rhythms. This would also help the Versa 4 compete more directly with the new Apple Watch.
Improved battery capacity would also be a win. The Versa 3 can run for up to six days between charges (an improvement from three to four days for the Versa 2) so ideally we’d like to see the Versa 4 last a full week. Battery life drops significantly when using on-board GPS, and the addition of offline music storage and playback would cut it further, so a larger capacity may be a necessity.