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Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5 (2021): Choosing Your Next Fitness Smartwatch

Fitbit has just released an update to their Versa smartwatch series with a much-requested feature: built-in GPS. The new Fitbit Versa 3 has several design upgrades along with more health and fitness tracking capabilities and improved battery life. So how does the Versa 3 stack up against the Apple Watch Series 5? Check out our comparison below.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5 Fitness Smartwatch Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Versa 3Apple Watch Series 5
 Fitbit Versa 3 - Midnight/Soft Gold AluminumApple Watch Series 5 - Gold Aluminum Case
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
DisplayAMOLEDRetina
Always-onYesYes
Screen Size1.58″1.57″
Resolution336 x 336 pixels324 x 394 pixels
Pixel Densityn/a326 ppi
Dimensions1.59″ x 1.59″ x 0.49″1.73″ x 1.5″ x 0.42″
Weightn/a1.29 oz
Colors33
Call & Text AlertsYesYes
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
ECG MonitorNoYes
PedometerYesYes
AltimeterYesYes
Calorie Burn TrackerYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesNo
Swim TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes
Skin TemperatureYesNo
CompassNoYes
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
CellularNoAvailable
Wi-FiYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
NFCYesYes
StorageYesYes
CompatibilityiOS, AndroidiOS
Battery Life6+ days18 hours
Fast ChargingYesNo

Design

The Apple Watch 5 has a more premium build quality than the Fitbit Versa 3.

Shown here are the Pink Clay / Soft Gold Aluminum version of the Fitbit Versa 3 (left) and the Gold Aluminum / Pink Sand Sport Band model of the Apple Watch Series 5 (right).

As you can see, several design elements bring the Fitbit Versa 3 closer to that of the Apple Watch Series 5. The Versa 3 comes with a new softer silicone band that Fitbit calls ‘Infinity Band’, likely so-named for the shape of its buckle. The gold aluminum case looks more rounded than ever and gives it a sleek premium touch. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 5 continues to rock its unique rectangular shape and Digital Crown.

There’s no denying that the Apple Watch Series 5’s screen is the best in the market, with its Retina display making it look like a mini-iPhone on your wrist. It’s made even better by an always-on display option along with custom watch faces. However, the Fitbit Versa 3 is stepping up to that level, as it now sports a bright AMOLED display with similar always-on functionality.

There are no specifics yet on the Versa 3’s display size, resolution, dimensions, and weight, so we’ll have to wait and see before comparing it to the Apple Watch Series 5 on those points. It’s likely to be close to the Versa 2, in which case it’ll be a bit lighter and smaller than the Apple Watch 5. Both are water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you can wear them in the pool safely.

Activity Tracking

The Fitbit Versa 3 has sleep tracking while the Apple Watch 5 has an ECG app.

These two remain to be unique health tracking features available to each.

Despite being in its 5th generation, the Apple Watch has yet to come with intrinsic sleep tracking, probably due to its short battery life. So while you’ll have to resort to third party apps to record your sleep quality on the Apple Watch Series 5, you can do so out of the box with the Fitbit Versa 3. You can track how long your light, deep and REM sleep are and get a Sleep Score to see just how well you’ve been sleeping. Plus, it has a Smart Wake alarm to get you up and running at the optimal stage of sleep.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 5 has a more fully-featured wrist-based heart rate monitoring with both electrical and optical heart sensors. Even better, it has an ECG app that can monitor your heart rhythm and warn you about possible anomalies. This feature has already saved several lives, warning their users early enough for them to get immediate medical help.

For fitness tracking, the Fitbit Versa 3 includes 20+ goal-based activity modes to help you with your workouts. Its SmartTrack feature can automatically recognize particular exercises and record your stats as soon as you start. You can measure a day’s effort with Active Zone Minutes, which note when you reach your target heart rate zones while exercising.

The Apple Watch Series 5 has a similarly impressive lineup of fitness related features, such as Activity rings that track how much you’re moving, resting, and exercising throughout the day. However, Apple still doesn’t offer nearly as much as Fitbit, as the latter has a richer Fitbit app as well as Fitbit Premium, a subscription service that gives you even more insights and tools for your workouts.

Smart Features

The Apple Watch 5 has a larger app library and more connectivity options than the Fitbit Versa 3.

Apple still has a lead in its WatchOS library and celullar versions.

As mentioned, Fitbit has finally outfitted their Versa smartwatch with built-in GPS and it’s about time, too. This lets it compete more evenly with the Apple Watch Series 5, though it’s still a bit behind since you can completely leave your iPhone at home with a GPS+Cellular version of the Apple Watch.

Setting aside this more expensive variant, the Versa 3 and Apple Watch 5 have all of the same connectivity features, including NFC for contactless payments with Fitbit Pay and Apple Pay, respectively. However, the Apple Watch 5 offers slightly better navigation with its built-in compass and Maps app, giving it the edge for outdoor adventures.

Fitbit is also improving its voice assistant features, shipping the Versa 3 with support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Unlike the previous Versa 2, the third Versa now has a speaker to go with its mic, so you no longer have to read Alexa’s responses as text on the screen. Meanwhile, Siri works extremely well on the Apple Watch 5 and its speaker makes her sound great, too.

You can stream songs from the entire Apple Music library to the Apple Watch Series 5. On the other hand, Fitbit added Deezer and Pandora to the Versa 3, allowing you to store and play music and podcasts from the device. If you prefer Spotify, the Versa 3 remains limited to controlling your phone’s app.

Battery Life and Other Features

The Fitbit Versa 3 has a much longer battery life than the Apple Watch 5.

You can wear the Versa 3 for almost a week before needing to recharge.

A fully charged Fitbit Versa 3 can last around six days before you need to take it off to recharge. That’s a tad longer than the Apple Watch Series 5’s 18-hour battery life, which continues to be its one unimpressive aspect as a fitness tracker. Note that using their always-on display and GPS will drastically impact battery life. Continuous GPS use will reduce the Versa 3’s battery life to a mere 12 hours while the Apple Watch will last around 5 hours.

As such, there’s really no competition if you want a smartwatch and activity tracker that you can wear at all times, and it makes the Versa 3 the logical choice if you want to improve the sleep aspect of your overall health.

In addition, the Fitbit Versa 3 also has fast charging. You can get a full day’s worth of battery life after charging it up for 12 minutes. This is perfect for those who often forget to recharge their devices, since you can still head out for your workout without waiting too long.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa 3 is the all-around better fitness tracker while the Apple Watch 5 performs better as a premium smartwatch.

Unsurprisingly, choosing between Fitbit and Apple smartwatches remain the same as in most other comparisons between the brands. Fitbit simply has more to offer for those who want an activity tracker first and foremost, while Apple wins out if you want a deep app library and better visuals to enhance your smartwatch experience.

With a immensely longer battery life and built-in GPS, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a stronger-than-ever smartwatch choice for fitness enthusiasts. You no longer need to rely on your phone’s GPS to track outdoor runs and such, and it looks better than ever. Plus, it costs considerably less than an Apple Watch and you can use it with Android smartphones.

If you’re deep into the Apple ecosystem, you’re still better off with the Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS), as it just plays well with all other Apple devices. You get more health-related features, too, though you’ll need to keep an eye on battery levels more often.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Apple Watch 5 worth it over the 3?

Yes, we’d say so, as the Apple Watch Series 5 has a more advanced processor, a bigger display, an always-on option, an ECG app, extra safety features such as fall detection and a compass. For many, these additional features make the Series 5 worth the extra spend over the Series 3.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Fitbit Versa better than Apple Watch?

It depends on your particular preferences and needs. iPhone users will find the Apple Watch Series 5 to be a better complement due to smoother integration and deeper library. However, the Fitbit Versa smartwatches all have better battery life and works with Android smartphones.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you answer calls on Fitbit Versa 3?

It’s yet unconfirmed, but the Fitbit Versa 3 has built-in microphones and speaker that can allow this functionality, whereas previous Versa models didn’t.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is there a new Fitbit coming out in 2020?

Actually, three new Fitbit devices are coming out in September 2020. They have just been revealed to be the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3, and Fitbit Inspire 2.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.