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Fitbit Versa 4 : Do You Need a Premium Subscription?, The Answer is No.

These days when you buy a new Fitbit device, it comes with a free premium subscription. Depending where you are in the world, you may get a free 3 month or 6 month Fitbit premium subscription, and you should take advantage of this. However, do you need a premium subscription once it’s expired?, the answer is No

If you take away the Fitbit premium features, the user experience is still very good, but there are some things that you need to be aware of. It’s not going to suit everybody but I here is a user profile that I think will benefit using the Versa 4 (without premium)

  • Likes a smart watch that’s smart feature heavy.
  • That wants a smart watch with excellent battery life.
  • That wants a basic fitness tracker to track steps etc.
  • A smartwatch with a reasonable level of water resistance.
  • That’s not too concerned about Health tracking, but general health tracking will do.
  • That’s not too concerned about GPS tracking accuracy.
  • That’s not too concerned about third party integration.

After reflecting back on the above list, I really do think that this is the best user profile that I think will get the best value out of the device. The first four bullet point’s is what the Fitbit Versa 4 is really strong, and the user experience is very good.

But like many smart watch’s you have to accept the good with the bad. Bullet points 5, 6 and 7 is area’s where the Fitbit Versa 4 does not do very well in, so you do need to take that into consideration before you decide buy. In this article, I will provide a short summary of each bullet point and to explain this further in detail.

Versa 4 Has Excellent Smart Feature Ability

Smart features have grown in popularity over the last five years, and each year, with numerous product updates, smart features are starting to become a little more reliable. If you are not familiar with the term smart features, it’s where the device can provide some form of automation or convenience in your everyday lives. During testing the Versa4 has performed really well during testing, here is a short summary of my test results for smart features.

Final Score11/15

If you want to know how I have rated the Versa 4 you can check out my full testing article Fitbit Versa 4 : Smart Feature Ability is Very Good. If smart features is something that you must have in a smart watch, then it might be a good idea to check out my testing results.

Smart Feature Summary

My testing results show that the Fitbit Versa 4 has a range of smart features across all levels that performed reliably and consistently. However I can only speak from my own experience here in New Zealand. Hear is a short summary of what’s available to you without premium.

Ability to find your phone
Ability to set alarm or timer
Ability to reply to messages with preset messages
Ability to answer phone calls (not directly from watch)
Contactless payment (Google Wallet)
Ability to provide assistance (google, Alexa or Bixby)
Ability to provide direction (similar to google maps, Petal maps)
Ability to connect to smart devices
Live stream* (not available in New Zealand, maybe available in your country)

Strong Battery Life

Fitbit versa 4 vs Huawei Band 7 message display is bigger

When it comes to battery life the Versa 4 is fairly reliable, and after conducting two separate tests, the Versa 4 has performed very well and has score a strong score of 7 out of 10. If you want to know more about how I rate a device, please check out my article Fitbit Versa 4 : Battery life is fantastic.

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TestsVersa 4
Battery economy without GPS Tracking2/5
GPS Battery consumption5/5
Final score7/10

Based on my typical usage I consistently get 4-6 days battery life. Which isn’t too bad, the battery economy is reasonably good with a 2 out of 5 rating, but here is what the numbers would look like

Criteria6 Day life4 Day life
20-25 screen activationsYesYes
All day heart rate tracking including sleep trackingYesYes
50 minutes workout trackingYesYes
20 messagesYesYes
1 hour of GPS trackingYes
Test ends once 90% of battery has been used.
  • 6 Day Life : In the first four rows of the above table is my typical using without 1 hour of GPS tracking, and that gets me around six days or 15% per day
  • 4 Day life : I repeat the same test but in include exactly one hour of GPS tracking, and that usually gets me around four days battery life or 22% per day.

Excellent Option to Track Your Workouts at a Basic Level

If you are after a basic fitness tracker, you cant go wrong with Fitbit. From experience, Fitbit is more focused on you being active, and that’s it. No high performance features , just a basic overview of your overall activity. If have already done a full review on what the Fitbit Versa 4 can offer, when it comes to tracking your workouts. Check out my Article Fitbit Versa 4 : Workout mode ability and what to expect. In this article I test and rate a device when tracking workouts, Otherwise here is a summary of my full results.

Activity LevelNo of Stars out of 5
Beginner Level5/5
Intermediate Level1/5
Advanced Levelzero

The Fitbit Versa4 is more than capable of tracking your steps, track your heart rate during workouts, and there is about 25 different workout modes to choose from.

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GPS Tracking Could Be Better

Straight up, the GPS tracking isn’t the greatest, since your potentially okay with this, I will give you a glimpse of what to expect, otherwise for more information about the Fitbit Versa 4 GPS accuracy, check out my article Fitbit Versa 4 : is the GPS tracking accurate?

The black dotted line is my planned route, whereas the other coloured line is the Versa 4 tracking. Early in 2023, a new update was deployed by Fitbit, where the Versa 4 will have dynamic GPS tracking. Unfortunately I have not yet got to test this new mode yet as it’s not available here in New Zealand.

Dynamic mode is where the device will use the phones GPS signal when the device it’s self cannot gain a satellite signal. The device can switch when it pleases to try and maintain continuous tracking. From experience it’s not that reliable, because The Fitbit Charge 5 has this mode, and the final results were the greatest.

Third Party Interaction is Not Useful

With the Versa 4, you cannot interact with third party apps directly from the watch. You can only connect to third party apps in directly, which is sharing your tracking data from the Fitbit app with the third party app as a partnership.

From experience, there isn’t many third party apps you can connect to, but in my latest test, I connected the Versa 4 with the popular calorie tracking app, My fitness pal by Under Armour.

The end result from the test was that the data took a few hours before the information transferred to the third party app. There were at times where the information did not transfer at all.

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope I have answered the question. It’s a real tricky question to answer, because it’s hard to know what your intentions are, so creating the user profile was probably the best way to approach this question.

I also did not want to bore you with long explanations, and just provided short summaries that would give you an idea of what to expect if you do not continue with the Fitbit premium subscription.

Do take the time to check out the links that I provided, to go over the test’s I have conducted. You will get an idea of how I go about testing a device, and also how the device is ranked in the market. Thank you for reading