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Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Does Newer Mean Better?

Fitbit may be best known for its wearable fitness trackers, but it has now entered the third generation of its Versa smartwatch series. The Versa 3 is the direct successor to last year’s Versa 2, and while it may now arguably be overshadowed by the new Fitbit Sense, it features built-in GPS, a new PurePulse 2.0 monitor, as well as support for Google Assistant and Alexa.

It seems to offer a better all-round package than its predecessor, but is it really the best Fitbit smartwatch of the two? To find this out, we compared the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Versa 2 across five categories. Hopefully, this will help you to decide which is the device for you.

Specs

Fitbit Versa 3 Fitbit Versa 2
Display size 1.58 inches 1.34 inches
Body size 40 x 40 x 12mm 40 x 40 x 12mm
Resolution

336 x 336 pixels

300 x 300 pixels
Touchscreen 1.58-inch AMOLED display 1.34-inch OLED display
Storage 4GB 4GB
Wireless interface Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC
Depth 12mm 12mm
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Heart rate sensor Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
GPS Yes No
Compass Yes No
Water-resistant Yes Yes
Battery life 6+ days 6+ days
Price From $230 From $200
Availability Fitbit Fitbit
DT review News 3 out of 5 stars

Design and display

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Versa 2 look similar at first glance, but Fitbit has introduced a number of subtle differences that distinguish the Versa 3 from its predecessor. It features a slightly curvier outline and softer edges than the Versa 2, something Fitbit claims will improve comfort. More noticeably, it’s also bigger than the older model, sporting a 1.58-inch AMOLED display compared to the Versa 2’s 1.34-inch OLED screen. This increased size may please those who prefer bigger screens, although it may mean that the Versa 3 will feel a touch bulkier.

Things are also fairly even when it comes to display size. At 336 x 336 pixels, you may suppose that the Versa 3 offers sharper visuals than the Versa 2, which manages 300 x 300 pixels. However, this works out at roughly 300 pixels per inch, while the Versa 2 offers around 316 ppi. This means you’ll be hard-pressed to find a significant difference in display quality between the two smartwatches, even if the slightly larger screen of the Versa 3 might seem more impressive.

The Versa 2 currently offers more color options, at six compared to the Versa 3’s three. Both also offer a selection of woven bands that can be purchased separately and used instead of the basic band that comes in the box.

Given the very small differences between the two smartwatches, this round can only be a tie.

Winner: Tie

Fitness and health tracking features

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Versa 2 are again evenly matched in terms of the health-tracking features. Both smartwatches can be used to track steps, distance, calories burned, and active minutes. They also offer 24/7 heart tracking, as well as sleep tracking and menstrual health tracking.

One significant difference is that the Versa 3 offers built-in GPS for the first time in the Versa series’ history. This will be a big plus for runners and cyclists, since it will enable geographical tracking of outdoor activities and will let users access features such as heart zone maps.

Another departure is that the Versa 3 introduces the PurePulse 2.0 heart monitor. By collecting more data points and using machine learning, it should provide more accurate and more finely grained heart data than the Versa 2. For anyone who wants to examine their work and heart rates more closely, this should be a plus.

This is another close round, but with in-built GPS and a new heart rate monitor, the Versa 3 takes the win.

Winner: Fitness Versa 3

Battery life

Fitbit Versa 2
Joel Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Versa 2 boasts a battery that can endure six days on a single charge, and so does the Versa 3. However, the Versa 3 takes the lead in this department thanks to its newly added fast charging, which provides a full day’s charge in just 12 minutes. This isn’t something the Versa 2 can match, so while its battery is just as capable as the Versa 3’s, we declaring this round a narrow victory for the newer model.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Special features

Corey Gaskin/Digital Trends

The Versa 2 and Versa 3 both allow you to do things that aren’t related to workouts, such as reply to messages on Android smartphones, control music streaming, and pay for in-store purchases via Fitbit Pay. They also provide Do Not Disturb modes, as well as the ability to use a wide variety of normal, non-health-related apps.

One difference is that the Versa 3 houses the aforementioned PurePulse 2.0. This processes more data points related to your pulse, while it also harnesses machine learning to analyze for heartbeat patterns. In practice, this should result in more accurate and detailed heart rate information, something that could make the difference for users looking to evaluate their performance and health at a more granular level.

Another new special feature is the inclusion of support for Google Assistant. The Versa 2 already provided Alexa as a built-in voice assistant, but the Versa 3 offers the choice between Amazon and Google’s rivals. If you prefer Google Assistant, it may be the better choice.

These additions may not be massive, but they’re enough to give the Versa 3 the edge in this round.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Price and availability

Fitbit Versa 2 spotify
Joel Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Fitbit Versa 2 is already widely available, while the Versa 3 is available to pre-order now and ships from September 25. The Versa 2 retails at $200, while the Versa 3 will set you back $230.

Both smartwatches offer a variety of extras you can add at checkout when ordering from Fitbit, such as woven straps and Fitbit Premium memberships (which gives you access to personalized goals, challenges, and coaching).

Overall winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Versa 3

There isn’t too much in it, but the Fitbit Versa 3 squeaks past the Versa 2. The inclusion of built-in GPS, Google Assistant, a new heart monitor, and fast charging give it the edge over its predecessor. It’s also only $30 more expensive than the older smartwatch, so its advantages aren’t out of reach of most budgets.

The Fitbit Versa 2 still holds its own, of course. Its display is basically as clear and as crisp as the Versa 3’s, while its overall battery life is just as strong. It also offers almost exactly the same fitness-tracking features, aside from its own GPS and improved pulse-monitoring, so it will do a very similar job for you. If you want to save yourself $30, it’s certainly a good buy. But if not, the Fitbit Versa 3 is looking like the better choice.

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