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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Versa 2 (2021): Choosing The Best Smartwatch

The release of the Apple Watch Series 6 confirms and debunks many rumors about the world’s most popular smartwatch. Moreover, it makes clear how Apple’s flagship wearable continues to put a premium on health and fitness features. Indeed, today’s smartwatches are indispensable companions both at work and during workouts.

With the introduction of blood oxygen monitoring and a revamped OS, how does the Apple Watch Series 6 fare against other hybrid trackers? Below, we compare the Watch 6 with another fan-favorite, the Fitbit Versa 2. Offering almost the same health and fitness features at half the price, is Fitbit’s wearable tech just a budget alternative?

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Versa 2 Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 6Fitbit Versa 2
New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport BandFitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim...
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Available Sizes40mm
44mm
40mm
DisplayAlways-On Retina OLEDAMOLED
Screen Size1.57″
1.78″
1.4″
SpeakerYesNo
MicrophoneYesYes
ECG MonitoringYesNo
Heart Rate SensorElectrical heart sensor, 2nd generation optical heart sensorOptical heart rate monitor
SpO2 MonitoringYes, blood oxygen monitorRelative SpO2 sensor
AltimeterYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Menstrual Cycle TrackingYesYes
GPSYesYes
Cellular ModelYesNo
PaymentApple PayFitbit Pay
Battery LifeUp to 18 days5+ days
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Release Date20202019

Design

The Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Versa 2 look and feel like premium devices. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 (left) and the Fitbit Versa 2 (right).

Although half the price of the Apple Watch Series 6, the Fitbit Versa 2’s overall build quality is premium. Its subtle, lightweight design sports an AMOLED display encased in aluminum, lending it sophistication and durability. The hi-res color touchscreen also delivers amplified brightness that keeps the display legible even under bright sunlight.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 6 looks and feels every bit like an Apple Watch. It sports the same rectangular form and rounded corners as previous generations, and comes in two sizes — 40mm and 44mm. While there were speculations it would brandish a circular screen, Apple has played it safe. The watch’s form factor is already emblematic of the brand, with an aesthetic that’s been emulated by the likes of the Fitbit Versa line.

Since the Watch 4, Apple’s wearables have been sporting a digital crown with haptic feedback. In terms of hardware, however, the only big addition to the Watch 6 would be the cluster of infrared LED sensors for blood oxygen monitoring. The Retina OLED display is also the same, although Apple claims its 2.5x brighter than in previous releases.

With the Versa 2, you can tell Fitbit went for less is more, ditching all but one of three physical buttons. As a result, you get a more streamlined device that looks and feels comfortable. The Apple Watch 6, on the other hand, is an incremental upgrade rather than a radical transformation. Perhaps the most obvious change would be the addition of the new color finishes Blue and Red, bold choices from a watch best known for its use of discreet colors.

Health and Fitness

The Apple Watch Series 6 has better health features while the Fitbit Versa 2 has fitness as its forte.

Both smartwatches track a number of health and fitness metrics.

With the Apple Watch Series 6, you get two new health features: one physical, the other part of the software. Blood oxygen monitoring — standard in most Fitbit devices like the Versa 2 — is finally available on the latest model. Meanwhile, the new watchOS 7 delivers Apple’s first native sleep tracking app. Just like with the SpO2 monitoring, this feature has been present in Fitbit’s devices for a while now.

The Watch 6, however, edges out the Versa 2 in a few health features. For instance, Apple allows you to log menstrual cycle details using the watch itself. On the Fitbit Versa 2, you’ll need to use a separate app. The Apple Watch also has ECG monitoring, a useful tech that can alert you of low and high heart rates. If you prefer Fitbit’s ecosystem, you can only get this feature from the Sense.

In terms of fitness, both devices come with standard features. Fitbit Versa 2 and Apple Watch 6 track a number of exercise modes while also auto detecting certain activities. The Apple Watch 6, however, adds four new activities: dance, cooldown, core training, and functional strength training. Both devices are still waterproof up to 50 meters.

Still, fitness is the forte of Fitbit—not just of the Versa 2—thanks to intuitive and easy-to-understand metrics. Plus, the company’s devices is one of the best-in-class when it comes to battery life. If you put in hours in the gym, you’ll find the Versa 2 will be with you every step of the way.

Smart Features

When it comes to smart features, the Apple Watch 6 has the edge. 

The Apple Watch 6 and Fitbit Versa 2 come with a number of customizable watch faces. 

The Fitbit Versa 2 is largely a budget smartwatch. While its bread-and-butter remains fitness tracking, the smart features are not as topnotch compared to the Apple Watch Series 6. Its voice assistant support, for example, isn’t exactly seamless. Although the Versa 2 has built-in Amazon Alexa, the device itself doesn’t have a speaker, so you’ll need to look at the screen to read the responses from the voice assistant.

In contrast, the Watch 6 has a mic/speaker system and builds on the successful integration of Siri across Apple devices. You can simply speak to Siri on your watch and also hear Siri answer your questions, just like on the iPhone or iPad.

The Watch 6 is also available as a GPS + Cellular model. This means you can actually leave your phone behind and answer calls using the watch itself. Even though the Fitbit Versa 2 can also manage call and text alerts, the lack of a speaker means you’ll have to grab your phone to take a call.

However, the Versa 2 does come with built-in NFC like the Apple Watch, allowing contactless payments in supported establishments. You’ll also get health app integration, although the Versa 2 does not support Google Fit. It’s a bit of a bummer since Google Fit became a standalone app in iOS last year. But it’s a minor issue, considering how comprehensive the Fitbit App already is.

Battery Life and Other Features

The Fitbit Versa 2 still holds the edge in terms of battery life.

The Apple Watch 6 Nike+ model (left) and the Fitbit Versa 2 in black (right).

The Fitbit Versa 2 still outperforms the Apple Watch Series 6 in terms of battery life. Currently, the Versa 2 can run for over five days on a single charge with the always-on display disabled. Turned on, you’ll still get about two days from Fitbit Versa 2. In contrast, the Apple Watch 6 offers up to 18 hours of battery life, less if the always-on display is active.

You do get solid customization options from Apple. And with the release of watchOS 7, you’ll find more watch faces and complications to choose from. There’s even a family setup feature that allows non-iPhone users to make the most out of the device. Fitbit already does a great job in this aspect, since its devices are platform-agnostic.

But there will be competition outside of hardware itself. Apple Fitness+, a subscription-based service for virtual workouts, has been announced alongside the watch and OS. This could rival existing programs including Fitbit’s own Fitbit Premium.

Verdict

Long-time iOS users will gravitate towards the Apple Watch Series 6 while those on a budget will find the Fitbit Versa 2 a capable and affordable fitness companion.

Apple Watch Series 6

Best smartwatch for iPhone users

Fitbit Versa 2

Best tracker for fitness enthusiasts

If you’re looking for a budget fitness tracker with the added productivity features of a smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the watch for you. At half the price of the Apple Watch Series 6, the Versa 2 delivers excellent activity tracking capabilities supported by a longer battery life. Plus, it works on both Android and iOS.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 6 remains fully compatible only with iOS. For long time iPhone users, it’s still the device to get, especially with the new features like sleep tracking and oxygen monitoring. It’s definitely the most complete Apple Watch in the market today.

FAQs

📌 Does the Fitbit Versa 2 have an always-on display?

Fitbit’s Versa 2 also comes with an always-on display. Keep in mind, however, that enabling this feature will reduce battery life.

📌 Is the Apple Watch 6 better than the Fitbit Versa 2?

If you’re on iOS, the Apple Watch Series 6 is better. The device offers seamless connectivity and support for many of Apple’s applications. However, the Fitbit Versa 2 is more versatile and comes with a better battery life.

📌 Is the Fitbit Versa 2 available in a 44mm model?

The Fitbit Versa 2 only comes in one size which is 40mm. Nonetheless, each purchase of the watch includes a small and big strap.

📌 Does the Apple Watch 6 come in a Nike+ variant?

Following its predecessors, the Apple Watch 5 is also available in a Nike+ variant. This model includes special straps made especially for runners.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.