It took two years for Fitbit to release an update to their popular fitness tracker, the Charge 3. Launching at a price point similar to the Fitbit Versa Lite, how do you determine whether to go for the smartwatch hybrid or the brand new Fitbit Charge 4? We highlight each device’s best features and provide our recommendations below.
Fitbit Charge 4 vs Versa Lite Fitness Tracker Comparison Chart
|Model||Fitbit Versa Lite|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Dimensions||1.4″ x 0.9″ x 0.5″||1.55″ x 1.55″ x 0.44″|
|Weight||0.7 oz||1.34 oz|
|Call & Text Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Water Resistance||Up to 50 meters||Up to 50 meters|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Yes||Yes|
|Calorie Burn Tracker||Yes||Yes|
|Female Health Tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility||iOS, Android, Windows||iOS, Android, Windows|
|Battery Life||7 days||4+ days|
There are several notable differences between the
Like previous Charge versions, the Charge 4 still has a grayscale touchscreen, but it’s more of a swipescreen in practice. The backlit LED display looks nice and bright even in broad daylight. In comparison, the Versa Lite’s IPS LCD is brighter and displays in full color. With the variety of apps it can display, it’ll be nicer to look at, though you’d likely use your phone for most non-fitness related stuff. Still, the larger screen should be easier to read on than the smaller Charge 4.
We have to mention that, yes, nothing has really changed in the designs of both these new Charge and Versa fitness trackers compared to their previous versions. Those hoping to upgrade for a new look might be disappointed, but there’s still the option of simply changing band color and type.
You can get nearly all of the same activity tracking functionalities on the Versa Lite as on the Charge 4. With a heart rate monitor, pedometer, 3-axis accelerometer and altimeter, you can keep track of workouts and check your progress over time. Choosing one of the 20+ exercise modes lets you aim for goals to hit so you can push yourself harder if you like. Moreover, you can start any of the common exercises and automatically have your stats recorded thanks to Fitbit’s SmartTrack tech.
Where many outdoor runners and cyclists would want the Charge 4 over the Versa Lite is GPS capabilities. While you can connect the Versa Lite to your phone’s GPS and track route, distance and pace that way, the Charge 4 has it built-in, so you can leave your phone at home before you head out. Once you come back and sync data with your phone’s Fitbit app, you’ll see a visual map of where you’ve been along with other metrics.
Fitbit is also introducing a new Active Zone Minutes feature with the Charge 4, which monitors elevated heart rate at sustained periods of time. It’s a good way of ensuring you are being active for at least half an hour every day, which is important for better overall health. Using this with sleep score, as well as female health tracking for women, can provide a more comprehensive picture of your fitness levels.
The Fitbit Versa Lite has storage for apps while the Charge 4 has NFC.
As the smartwatch hybrid, the Fitbit Versa Lite gives you a much wider range on things you can do with it compared to a dedicated fitness tracker like the Charge 4. You can access different news, travel, sports, and fitness apps by adding them into the Versa Lite. There are even apps specially designed by Fitbit Labs just for their devices.
Despite the lack of apps on the
Both devices will let you receive notifications and calendar alerts on the fitness tracker so you won’t have to reach for your phone. Quick replies can also be made to SMS so you can focus on workouts better.
Battery Life and Other Features
There’s no contest between the
Note that using GPS will drain the Charge 4’s battery life much quicker, and keeping the feature turned on will empty its battery after just 5 hours or so. It’s an important consideration if you’re planning to go on longer outdoor trips. Still, for daily use during workouts you’ll have plenty of juice to rely on and it’ll ensure you’re able to track sleep quality as well.
Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Versa Lite
With GPS and NFC baked into the Fitbit Charge 4, it has just enough of an edge that we’re recommending it for users looking to get serious with their fitness and health. As the more focused fitness tracker, you can home in on exercise goals and personal reminders without extraneous distractions on your wrist. It’s lighter and slimmer too, so you’ll barely feel its impact while moving. Even better, it’s got almost twice the battery life, allowing you to wear it all week.
While it has all of the same essential activity tracking features, the best reasons to get the Fitbit Versa Lite are its looks and smartwatch features. You get to enjoy a nice color touchscreen that you can customize with different watch faces. With apps you can get a lot of utility and variety with the Versa Lite as a wearable, and its battery life is quite respectable compared to other alternatives.