Fitbit Versa Vs Apple Watch

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If you haven’t already, go check out my Fitbit Versa review.

I will probably be repeating myself with things I mentioned in my Fitbit Versa review, but it is important to explain the differences.

Just so everyone knows, I am comparing the Apple Watch Series 2. While there is a newer version, the Series 3, other than speed and a newer battery, I think this comparison will hold true to most Apple Watch generations.

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Size & Design

Lets face it, when trying to put a computer on your wrist, it is more than likely that the finished product will not be pretty. The Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch look very similar.  Both have somewhat square bodies that will definitely let everyone know that it is a smartwatch. If you have had Fitbit’s previously, this will be a totally different setup. It is not the small fitness band that it used to be. There is only one size for the Fitbit Versa. It is a 39mm watch which comes in just a little bigger than Apple’s smallest offering.

The Apple Watch has not changed sizes since its release in 2015. Apple offers a 38mm and 42mm watch size. It is nice having two options for different size wrists. I have used the 42mm size since its release and the Fitbit Versa has made me rethink that size.

You cant go wrong with either device as far as it comes to size, in my opinion. I am loving the size of the of the Versa and you have multiple options when it comes to the Apple Watch.

Battery

I will tell you up front, the winner is the Fitbit. This is also where my Series 2 starts to show its age, compared to its newest iteration, the Series 3. As mentioned in my Fitbit review, I got three full days and about halfway through a fourth, with the Versa. This blew my mind.

With the my nearly two year old Apple Watch, I get one full day. I have just gotten in the habit, since day one, to throw it on the charger overnight, just like my phone. I will take up for Apple here and say that a new Apple Watch does get better battery life. My fiancé recently got the Series 3 (38mm version–which has a small battery) and she can get two days easily.

While I know both batteries will degrade over time, the Versa is clearly the winner here. Knowing I don’t have to charge it every-night is a huge benefit when it comes to consumer electronics. Apple, take note here

Exercise

Fitbit’s entire business is based around fitness. So clearly this will fall under the pro category for the Versa. At a quick glance, you can see your steps, distance, heart rate, calories burned, floors climbed and how many active minutes you have moved. As far as workouts are concerned, you can choose from run, bike, swim, treadmill and weights.  An awesome feature, that I was surprised to see, was that Fitbit recognized when I started a run and also when I finished.

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The Apple Watch’s fitness functionality has grown quite a bit over the years.  Now, it is one of the primary reasons I love my watch. Currently, the Apple Watch can track runs, walks, elliptical workouts, a bike workout, rowing, a stair stepper workout, High Intensity Interval Training (life cross-fit) and swimming. Coming this fall, in iOS 12, the Apple Watch will be gaining hiking and yoga workouts.  As it stands today, Apple Watch cannot recognize when you start and stop a workout like the Versa does. It will be gaining this feature with iOS 12, as well.

When it comes to the exercise portion of these devices, I would have to say it is a draw and you are getting a top notch fitness device with either.

Function

Focusing on notifications, the Fitbit Versa can receive and display text messages and give you phone call alerts, and that is it. Those notifications are better than nothing but compared to the Apple Watch, it is lacking.

The Apple Watch will give you notification alerts for pretty much every application that you have installed on your phone.

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Another benefit the Apple Watch has over the Fitbit Versa, for me personally, is the on screen music/podcast/audio controls. When listening to my podcasts, if I want to skip a couple of seconds ahead, I can simply do that from my watch. Also, when listening to music, I can play/pause/skip track, all from my watch. You cannot do this with the Fitbit.

As far as functionality on these watches, the Apple Watch is, hands down, the winner.

Remember this paragraph when you get to the price part of this post. GPS. The Apple Watch (Series 2 and later) has GPS built in. The Fitbit Versa does not. If you want a Fitbit similar to the Versa with GPS, you have to opt for the Fitbit Ionic, which is an extra $100. The GPS is nice if you like to map your runs or walks. If you take your phone with you on these workouts, the Fitbit Versa will use connected GPS by using your phones GPS connection. For me this was not a big deal since I do take my phone with my on walks and runs.

Watch Faces

Apple…please read and re-read this part. Bring third-party Apple Watch options to the Apple Watch. This was probably one of my favorite features of the Fitbit Versa. There were thousands of different watch faces and ways to customize them.

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The Apple Watch is very limited in the watch face department. While there are options, in true Apple fashion, you are limited to what Apple wants you to have.

I have to give Fitbit a huge win here as it has proven that third party watch faces are cool and would be awesome on the Apple Watch.

Price

The Fitbit costs $199.95 and $229.95 for a special edition that adds the option for NFC payments and a special charcoal or lavender band.

The Apple Watch costs $329 for the smaller 38mm and $359 for the 42mm versions.

Conclusion

If you are a long-time Fitbit fan and have years of statistics logged through the Fitbit app, I cannot recommend their newest fitness device enough.

But the Versa is just that, in my opinion, a fitness device. The Apple Watch offers so much more if we are talking about smart watches. It is still difficult for me to call the Versa a smart watch in its current state.

So here is where I stand, if you want a smart watch, get the Apple Watch. If you are looking for a fitness device, save a few extra bucks and go with the Versa. You will not be disappointed with either.

Let me know which on you are planning on getting!

Images courtesy of Apple and Fitbit

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

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Review: Fitbit Versa

Apple Tree of Knowledge: Did you know that Apple considered the name of “iPad” for the first iPhone? 

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In a previous post, I commented as to why I had some interest in the newest Fitbit, the Fitbit Versa.

I was fortunate enough to receive one as a graduation gift from my fiancé and family. I wouldn’t shut up about it, when it was first released, and my fiancé got the hint.

I currently use an Apple Watch Series 2 but I am going to try to keep that out of this review but I will follow up with another post comparing the two. I want to give the Fitbit a fair review with no Apple Watch comparison.

Size & Design

The size of the screen on the Fitbit Versa is 39mm. This is a great size for both men and women. As someone with smaller wrists, I did not think this watch seemed too big on my wrist. For those with bigger wrists, unfortunately this is your only option to choose from. But hey, it does make your buying decision easier!

I am loving the weight of the Fitbit Versa. It is so light and sometimes I do forget it is one my wrist.  Having a light fitness watch is important when you are doing your workouts. You don’t want anything weighing you down anymore than you have to.

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The Versa does come with a small and large silicone band and it fits comfortably. It isn’t some fancy band that you have to look up how to use, but it is your standard watch band. Speaking of bands, changing the bands wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. It reminded me of older watches that used a pin mechanism to replace the bands. It is straight forward, but again, not the easiest.

Battery

Ive never had a smart watch last more than two full days. So this was awesome! I got three full days out of the Versa. The three full days was with All Day Sync turned on. All Day Sync basically means it is constantly syncing with your phone to sync all of your data. Obviously, this will drain your battery. If you have any type of Fitbit, this is a setting that you should check to see if it is turned on or off. It may help your battery.

With All Day Sync turned off, I got a tiny bit more battery life but still had to charge that third night. So, essentially, I got the same amount of usage out of the device either way. I have read of people getting 5 full days out of the Fitbit Versa, I clearly did not.

The only thing about a device that has great battery life is that you might forget to charge it at the right time. You don’t want to be stuck with a dead Fitbit at lunchtime when you could have charged it the night before. As a best practice, I would charge the Fitbit Versa every two days or just top it off whenever possible. Something of this size does not take long to charge up.

Function

The Fitbit Versa has three buttons: a back button, a top button and a bottom button.  Since the Versa is also a touch screen, you can navigate the Fitbit without the buttons and it sometimes makes me wonder why they put buttons on there to begin with. But I am glad they did, because sometimes, I cannot get my Fitbit to wake up. I tap on the screen, I raise it to wake and nothing. Then, the only way to turn the screen on, is that left “back” button. So, I am thankful they put some buttons on there to help when it is not functioning correctly.

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The raise-to-wake feature is something that should work 90% of the time in my opinion. It would be one thing if the Fitbit had an always on display but it doesn’t. I would say the raise to wake feature worked for me around 60% of the time. Which is annoying. I stand there looking silly as I keep flipping my wrist up to wake up the Fitbit and nothing happens. Soon, I just give up. Also, as mentioned before, even tapping on the screen will not wake up the device every single time. This feature should work 100% of the time since you are directly tapping the screen. But, again, that is not the case. When these simple functions do not work as intended, it becomes very frustrating. I have a lot of patience with technology and am pretty forgiving for stuff like this but I know the average consumer will walk away after too many issues like this.

The Fitbit Versa will give you text message and phone call notifications. They do work really well. The phone calls can be declined or accepted from the watch itself but if accepted, have to be answered on your phone. If you have an android phone, you are able to reply by voice to text messages. Us iPhone users, are stuck with just being able to read those notifications and that is it.

My Fitbit Versa shut off on me twice (with plenty of battery). Once for an hour and the next for a half hour. The first day, I kind of thought it was due to the heat as it was 90 degrees out. Once I was in air conditioning it seemed to function fine. The following day, it wasn’t hot at all and it did it again. I am not sure what caused this but it was unreliable enough to stick out in the my mind.

Statistics

The Fitbit Versa will track your steps, distance, heart rate, calories burned, floors climbed and how many active minutes you have moved. As far as I can tell, it is very accurate. And it should be. Fitbit has been doing this, and improving, for years now. I would hope that their watches have become more accurate with every new release.

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Under workouts you can choose from run, bike, swim, treadmill and weights. From the workouts I completed, which were all running, it seemed to be pretty accurate. One awesome thing about the workout function, is that it automatically paused the workout when I stopped. I had to stretch during my run at one point and it paused my workout. That was a very welcoming feature.

Again, when I wanted to view my current pace of the run, it was unreliable with the raise-to-wake feature.

Watch Faces

I am a big fan of the watch faces available for the Versa. It seems like the developer community is very active and there are over 400 different watch faces to choose from. I love having a statistics heavy watch face. I want to see every statistic I can just by looking at the watch.

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Price

The Fitbit Versa starts at $199.99 and also has a special edition that has NFC (for mobile payments) and comes with a more premium band available for $229.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa is by far the best Fitbit I have ever used.  I absolutely love the battery life, the custom watch faces and the fitness tracking. But as a smartwatch, it has a lot to improve on.

If you are looking to upgrade your Fitbit and have never had a smartwatch, I will tell you to go buy this, now! It will not disappoint.

If you are in the market for a full fledge smartwatch, I would keep your eye open for something different. Fitbit is almost there and for the price, compared to competitors, they have done one heck of a job with the Versa.

Let me know in the comments, twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you like the Fitbit Versa and plan on buying one!

Thanks for stopping in!

Disclosure: All links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Why The New Fitbit Versa Is So Tempting

Last week, Fitbit announced the Fitbit Versa, the company’s newest smart/fitness watch. While this is not the first smart watch Fitbit has released, I think this is the first one that stands a chance against the Apple Watch.

I was very shocked to hear that Fitbit is releasing another smart watch since they just released the Ionic, last October. The Ionic did not get much praise and in my opinion, looked horrendous.

If you remember the Pebble smart watch, before Fitbit acquired them in 2016, the Versa will look extremely familiar. This is a good thing. While I never owned a Pebble, it always seemed so simple, to the point, long lasting and easy to use. Looking at the Versa, I think this will be in the same boat.

Women’s Health

Women will find a new feature that is a first for a smart watch. This watch will track a women’s menstrual cycle.  Fitbit says that it will “log your period, record symptoms & compare your cycle against other health stats like sleep, activity and weight.” I think that this is fantastic and will be a huge selling point. That is until Apple does the same thing later this year, I’m sure.

Software

I’ve used Fitbit’s for years. I have had the Fitbit Flex, Charge and Flex 2. All are great products but far from smart watches. Since then, I have been using the Apple Watch and haven’t looked back.  I really like the Fitbit software on the iPhone so that is an advantage going forward with any Fitbit product. My entire family, for the most part, has a Fitbit of some form. The challenges and competitions you can do within the app is a lot of fun and motivating. That is something the Apple Watch is lacking and can make a huge difference.

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The software on the watch itself is something I have no experience with. Now, they have Fitbit Lab apps that are built specifically for the Fitbit. Hopefully they run a lot better than most apps on the Apple Watch.

Size

From the reports, the Fitbit Versa will be a little bit smaller than the 38 mm Apple Watch.  Fitbit also says that this will be a lightweight device. The Apple Watch is a pretty heavy device on your wrist so a lighter and smaller watch will be welcomed.

Price and Availability

The Versa will be out later this year and cost $199.95 and $229.95 for a special edition, that comes with a woven band.

Closing Thoughts

I am very surprised that this product caught my attention so much. When they released the Ionic, there was no temptation. My Apple Watch works fine for what I use it for but to have a smart watch that lasts 4+ days? Now that is something I could get on board with.

Are you in the market for a smart watch? Do you think the new Fitbit Versa is something you will plan on buying? Let me know on twitter or in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Disclosure: Links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Images courtesy of Fitbit.