Hands-On

Fitbit Versa hands-on: A better smartwatch attempt?

Is this your next wearable?

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Fitbit’s second attempt at smartwatches is looking (and feeling) pretty good.

A sequel to the Fitbit Ionic, the Fitbit Versa is the company’s newest addition to its wearables roster. It has a more discreet look and the promise of an updated interface. Will this finally be Fitbit’s successful venture into the smartwatch space? I recently got hold of the device and here are initial reactions to the brand’s newest device.

The looks department

Let me cut to the chase: I love how the Versa looks.

My main gripe with the Ionic is that I simply hated how it looked. The Versa doesn’t share that same sentiment — this beautiful tiny thing sits perfectly on my wrist and I enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoy looking at it to check the time, steps, notifications, you name it.

It’s simple and sleek; some would argue it’s reminiscent of the Apple Watch, but whatever, it looks good and it comes with a rose gold face.

There’s also a black and gray face with matching serious-looking straps but, of course, I went for the more colorful option. This face usually comes with a pink silicone strap but the Limited Edition Versa comes with a lavender woven strap like this.

By the way, speaking of straps, there are so many strap options in different colors and materials! Unfortunately, not all regions have these straps in stores as of now.

Navigation

There are three buttons on the device: back button on the right and two shortcut buttons on the left.

Gestures are still a thing, but this has been tweaked from the previous device. A swipe down now brings you notifications, a swipe up gives you the day’s summaries, and a swipe right leads you to the menu where you can access different apps.

Everything is smooth, quick, and responsive. The screen has seamless transitions, colors are bright, and details are pretty crisp.

What can it do?

It still works the same way: Connect your Fitbit to the Fitbit app, set goals, and download apps to help you live that healthier lifestyle. The same Fitbit app functions are available — from here, track your sleep cycle, active minutes, steps, and even food intake. A health crowd favorite, the continuous heart rate monitor is another feature I love and battery time is estimated at a whopping three to four days, despite this running in the background.

Of course, the Versa allows for smartphone connectivity which also means you get alerts on your wrist, so long as the watch is paired with your phone. Also expect to be able to do quick replies with the Versa, a function that wasn’t previously available on the Ionic. This feature is coming as an update in May for both smartwatches.

What I’m pretty excited about is Fitbit’s newly announced Female Health Tracking. This feature supposedly ties in info specific to women (*ehem* like your monthly cycles *ehem*) to the info that the wearable gathers which will make for more accurate data and predictions health-wise. I cannot stress how long I’ve been waiting for a feature like this! Though this feature isn’t available yet as of writing, expect it to roll out in the coming months.

Unfortunately, not all of these devices are created equal as not all are equipped with NFC. In the US, only the Special Edition watches are NFC-enabled. Good news for the European and Asian markets, though: All versions are equipped with NFC.

Initial Thoughts

At a hundred dollars cheaper than the Ionic, are there any compromises to this device? Will the overall performance be as good, or even better than the Ionic’s? Who is this wearable designed for? I’d have to spend more time with this smartwatch to answer these questions.

But, it’s been a few days with the Versa and I’m loving it so far. When you plan to wear something 24/7, looks matter and Fitbit finally seems to have caught on to this truth.

Of course, it’s not only looks that matter so I’d still have to do a full review on the Versa’s performance, but if you ask me right now, it’s looking pretty good — literally and figuratively.

The Fitbit Versa retails for US$ 199.95 in the US and PhP 13,890 in the Philippines. At that price point, this watch is looking even better.

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on

Samsung isn’t giving up just yet

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It’s been a year since the first foldable of Samsung was released. Fast forward today, we have another foldable on the track.

Say hello to the Galaxy Z Flip! Unlike the Galaxy Fold that turns into a tablet, this one is so compact, it can even fit inside your coin purse.

Head on to the video above to know more or click the link here.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S20 Hands-On

Unpacked features just for you

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2020 is a year where Samsung is taking a leap of faith by getting out of its comfort zone. The Galaxy S20 may look like last year’s Galaxy S10, but it offers double the power and features than its predecessor.

But does that mean the prices also doubled? Find out more by watching the video above or through this link if you can’t access it.

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Accessories

PH3 wireless headphones is a wearable Filipino pride

A limited-edition offering that gives back

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Electronics manufacturer H-Audio has been providing quality products to its market when it comes to audio solutions. While they have a select lineup of offerings, it caters to different types of users.

What we have here is the PH3 that screams Filipino pride as soon as you put it on. Read on and find out if it performs as good as it looks.

It has a straightforward design

Red and blue stripes signify colors from the Philippine flag

Three stars and a sun on each earcup

Can’t get any more Filipino than this

Solid build quality

Headband has a good flex to it

Clasps comfortably on the head

Doesn’t come off easily

Comfortable ear cups

Earmuffs are made of memory foam

What I personally like about the PH3 when it comes to design is how it has a minimalistic kind of approach with just the three stars, sun, and stripes of red and blue. Apart from these Philippine flag-inspired colors, everything else is white. Sure, it might require extra effort to keep it clean, but it’s just something that works aesthetically.

Build quality feels durable and not flimsy which is what I look for next to sound quality. This is made possible by using stainless steel for the headband support and hard plastic for the rest — making it light, but tough.

It has a nice fit around the ears and wearing it for extended periods of time was still comfortable thanks to its memory foam earmuffs. I’ve used it a couple of times while running on the treadmill and the earcups remained snug and in place.

All-around performer

When it comes to sound quality, let’s get to the point — the PH3 delivers. It’s got warm and distinct mids, decent highs, and impressive lows. The overall sound is what you’d expect of closed-back headphones and leans on the muffled side of the sound spectrum.

Active Noise Cancellation option

One thing I noticed, though, is that sound leaks a little to the outside world so you might want to keep that in mind when you’re in an elevator with other people or something.

Connection via Bluetooth was easy and automatically pairs to the phone each time the headphones is turned on. That alone is a big check for me.

Micro-USB port for charging

The company says it has up to 20 hours of battery life. While I was not able to continuously use it, the headphones lasted me about five days with ANC off and mainly using it for music at the gym, walking around the neighborhood, or even just at home.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

H-Audio’s PH3 is a reliable pair of cans with minimal drawbacks. It might require extra care to keep it clean and sound leak at full volume might be an issue for a select few. Looking past those, however, you have a good set of headphones that not only performs well but also looks attractive with its touch of a local theme.

Additionally, its features like wireless connectivity and Active Noise Cancellation make operations easier and add to the overall music-listening experience.

Priced at PhP 7,480, proceeds will go to platforms to raise funds and help the underprivileged Filipino youth. The PH3 is available in select The Loop by Power Mac Center branches, Urban Gadgets, and The Listening Room. For more list of stores carrying their products, visit their Facebook page.

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