More damning for some is the fact that you can't store any music on the Versa Lite. Fitbit wouldn't confirm how much internal storage its new smartwatch has, but it doesn't matter — you can't store any music on it, nor can you access music apps from partners like Pandora or Deezer. That's a big blow to anyone hoping to take their Versa Lites on a run without their smartphones, but, considering the price tag, something had to give. And remember those guided workouts? The ones that would walk you through a series of exercises through a series of alerts that would pop up on-screen? Those are gone, too — you'll have to pay for the full-blown Versa for them.
As frustrating as some of these omissions are, it's easy enough to see why Fitbit went with a cheaper Versa this year. The company's original cheap-and-cheerful smartwatch steered Fitbit to profitability, and it needed a product with mass appeal to help keep that momentum going. With its cleaned-up design and bright color options, the Versa Lite just might be the second hit that Fitbit needed — after all, it sticks very closely to a winning formula, and who doesn't like saving money? For first-time smartwatch shoppers and people with relatively modest wearable needs, the Lite seems like a great option.
The thing is, the Lite only saves you $40, and the extras the standard Versa brings to the table might well be worth the premium. They are for me, anyway, and I could see people bypassing the Lite entirely as a result. (If the Lite were just a little cheaper, though, we wouldn't be having this conversation.) Only time will tell if the promise of solid performance at a very slightly more reasonable price is the answer Fitbit has been searching for — in the meantime, stick around for our full review soon.