Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite and Fitbit Inspire HR hands-on

Plus a quick chat on what Fitbit is up to

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Last month, Fitbit announced the Fitbit Versa Lite which is a colorful version of the beloved Fitbit Versa at a cheaper price point. They also announced the Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR, which are their most affordable fitness trackers yet. I finally got my hands on the new wearables and here they are in all their glory.

Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Regional Director Louis Lye explained to me that Fitbit’s move towards smartwatches came from the need to provide more information on a surface area. Fitbit knew they could deliver more on a smartwatch platform than just a wearable platform. Last year, 44 percent of Fitbit’s revenue came from smartwatches. Considering they only had two at the time, that’s pretty impressive. It comes as no surprise then that the brand decided on a follow-up to the Fitbit Versa.

The Fitbit Versa Lite offers brighter, livelier hues that cater to millennial tastes.

It does most of what the Versa can do but, for a lower price tag, Fitbit had to make a few compromises: no automatic stair counting, lap tracking, or in-device storage.

Fitbit Versa left, Fitbit Versa Lite right

Despite all this, the Versa Lite looks and feels promising — mostly because it looks and feels almost exactly like the original Versa and I liked that smartwatch. Save for more color options and the difference in buttons, the two are identical.

Yes, that’s my Bitmoji in a unicorn suit because why not 😂

Of course, I opted for the Mulberry unit because it’s just so cute! With the new responsive Bitmoji watch face announced just last week, this watch is definitely fun to wear. There are also a number of straps and accessories available for the watch so there are different look options!

The Fitbit Versa Lite retails for PhP 10,390 in the Philippines and SG$ 248 in Singapore.

Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR

Even with the Fitbit push towards smartwatches, Lye tells me that there’s still a demand for fitness trackers which are different from smartwatches.

In the wearables department, Fitbit also offers a new contender: The Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Inspire HR.

These no-nonsense trackers are pretty straightforward: exercise, sleep, and activity tracking, water resistance of up to 50 meters, smartphone alerts, and a five-day battery life. The HR version is equipped with a heart rate monitor.

What I love about these trackers, though, is the number of strap options you get! There’s even a clip mount so you can always have your Inspire on you without having to wear it on your wrist.

I especially love the mesh bracelets that make these things look so classy! All of a sudden, these trackers become less of that clunky sports wearable and more of an accessory.

These wearables will cost you PhP 4,590 and PhP 6,290 for the Inspire and Inspire HR in the Philippines and SG$ 118 and SG$ 158 in Singapore, respectively.

“How do we come up with products and solutions to make the world healthier?” Lye asked me. He tells me this is the same question Fitbit tries to answer. He further explains that Fitbit develops solutions based on data and that 56 percent of Fitbit employees are in research and development because of this.

As of now, Fitbit is focusing on solutions based on data. As we speak, they are awaiting approval in the US for a software algorithm based on Fitbit user data that will detect sleep apnea in its users. “This is all I can talk about now,” Lye explains, “but there’s definitely more.”

But as of now, these pretty straps will do.

News

AirPods 3 is still coming later this year

Already in production

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AirPods

Annual tech events are often huge platforms for upcoming products. For example, Apple’s bigger launch event, usually held in the third quarter of the year, packs in the latest iPhones and other accessories. However, amid the latest devices launched last year, Apple has surprisingly left the vastly rumored AirPods 3 out of the equation. Despite the notable lack, the company is still gearing up for a launch for the wearable later this year.

According to a report from Digitimes (via Tech Radar), the upcoming AirPods 3 has already entered production. Apple is still preparing for a launch before the year ends. Unfortunately, the report does not confirm any other details for the wearable.

A new AirPods has been rumored since last year. However, the first rumors pegged the launch for the first half of this year. That timeframe, as we know now, has come to pass without so much as a peep about the AirPods 3.

Since then, additional reports revealed more details about the wearable. For example, the upcoming generation will supposedly have an in-ear design and carry a more attractive price tag. In fact, a leaked photo even adds more fuel to the fire. Still, without an actual launch, it’s hard to confirm whether the details are correct or not. Thankfully, we have a few months to confirm them.

SEE ALSO: Third generation AirPods leaked in photo

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News

The Apple Watch Series 7 is better in every way

Tougher than expected

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Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch has been a staple for its lineup since its debut. With yearly updates and the eventual redesign, the Apple Watch seems to get more and more features. Like clockwork, the Apple Watch Series 7 is better in just about every way imaginable than the one that came before it.

Here’s everything new on Apple’s wearable:

For one, the Always-On display is larger. The increase in screen real estate is 20 percent larger than the Series 6, and 50 percent larger compared to the Series 3. And since you’ll be looking at that display a lot, Apple added seven new watch faces to make sure the experience never feels stale. To name a couple, new watch faces are the Contour Face and Modular Duo face.

Fall detection has been helpful when unprecedented falls and slips occur. This time around, Apple has added biking to its list of fall detection inclusions. With these capabilities added to the watch, fitness will give us a little safer experience.

There’s also fast charging included with the new Apple Watch. With the new connection via USB Type-C, the charging speeds of the Apple Watch have claimed to be 33 percent faster than the previous model. The watch can reach charging speeds from zero to 80 percent with 45 minutes of charging. On the other hand, an eight-minute charge will give you eight hours of sleep tracking.

Durability

The Apple Watch may be the most exposed product from their lineup. Having to withstand wear and tear when used daily, Apple has started an initiative to make this device sturdier than ever before. The new front crystal is 50 percent thicker than the previous model. With this information, Apple claimed that it will be more crack-resistant without compromising clarity.

The device is also IP6X dust-resistant, making it easier for the watch to withstand environments such as the beach or the desert. They did not sacrifice the swimming durability of this watch as it still retained its WR50 water resistance rating.

Price and availability

All Apple Watch series 7 will be available later this fall, starting at a price tag of Us$ 399.

So, you gotta make sure you pick the color that best fits your style. There are five to choose from: Midnight, Starlight, Green, a new Blue, and Product Red. With also new looks coming from Nike and Hermes, the Apple Watch will simply rock with your style.

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Style

Ray-Ban, Facebook team up to create Ray-Ban Stories

Look sharp and snazzy!

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Ray-Ban Stories

Ray-Ban’s foray into smart glasses is looking sharp!

The luxury brand has teamed up with Facebook to launch Ray-Ban Stories — smart glasses that capture photos and videos, listen to music, take phone calls, and even share your adventures directly onto social media platforms!

Make and view content through your glasses

Ray-Ban Stories comes with a 5-megapixel camera, designed to capture steadily across all movements. It has several features seen on smartphones such as HDR, Low Light Fusion, Video Stabilization, and Denoising.

Ray-Ban Stories

The smart glasses also pairs with the new Facebook View app, which is available on iOS and Android, making it easy to import, edit, and share content captured. Then, you can send it to various apps such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and more.

For those who like to edit, you can save the content to your smartphone’s camera roll. Although, Facebook View has exclusive enhancements to make your content special.

Privacy is still a focus

Smart glasses can raise flags, both for users and the people around them. This is why Ray-Ban and Facebook integrated privacy into the product design.

For instance, there are hardware protections like a power switch to turn off the cameras and microphone. The smart glasses notify people nearby, too, through a shining white light when taking photos or videos. For those who like to be more in control of their privacy concerns, you can customize your experience through the Facebook View app.

Ray-Ban Stories

As per Facebook, Ray-Ban Stories collect only what’s needed to make your glasses work and function. Say, your battery status, your Facebook account for verification when using the Facebook View app, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Price and availability

The Ray-Ban Stories starts at US$ 299 and is available in 20 variations like the iconic Ray-Ban styles such as Wayfarer, Round, and Meteor. Personalization is easy since it comes in five colors with a range of lenses — clear, sun, transition, and prescription.

It’s available for purchase online and in select retail stores in the US as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

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