We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Garmin vívoactive 4 (2021): Which Smartwatch Offers More?

The race for best all-around fitness smartwatch continues with Fitbit and Garmin releasing the latest iterations of their Versa and vívoactive lines, respectively. The Fitbit Versa 3, for instance, now comes with on-device GPS, fast charging, and Google Assistant. Meanwhile, the Garmin vívoactive 4 boasts of activity tracking improvements, along with blood oxygen saturation and respiration monitoring.

But how do the upgrades on Fitbit’s flagship smartwatch compare with the changes in Garmin’s budget device? Here, we take look at Fitbit Versa 3 and the Garmin vívoactive 4 to see what’s changed, and know which watch offers more.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Garmin vívoactive 4 Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Versa 3Garmin vívoactive 4
 Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days...Garmin 010-02174-01 Vivoactive 4 Smartwatch, Shadow Gray/Stainless Bundle with Deco Gear Magnetic...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Sizes40mm40mm, 45mm
Dimensions40.48mm x 40.48mm x 12.35mm40.0mm x 40.0mm x 12.7mm,
45.1mm x 45.1mm x 12.8mm
Display Size1.58 inches1.1 inches (40mm), 1.3 inches (45mm)
Resolution336 x 336 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Always-On DisplayYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYes
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Store and Play MusicYesYes
Contactless PaymentFitbit PayGarmin Pay
Swim ProofUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Blood Oxygen Saturation MonitorYesYes
Heart Rate TrackingYes (optical heart rate sensor)Yes (optical heart rate sensor)
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Stress TrackingNoYes
Fitness TrackingYes, multiple profilesYes, multiple profiles
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, Altimeter, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Device Temperature SensorGPS, GLONASS, Altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer
Battery LifeUp to 6 days (always-on display off, moderate use of GPS)Up to 8 days (smartwatch only)
6 hours (GPS mode + music)
18 hours (GPS mode without music)

Design

The Fitbit Versa 3 flaunts a sportier aesthetic along with a larger 1.58″ display, whereas the Garmin vívoactive 4 puts a premium on build quality and looks more like a traditional timepiece.

The Versa 3 and vívoactive 4 come in a number of colors.

The new smartwatches from Fitbit and Garmin take different approaches when it comes to design. The Fitbit Versa 3, with its squarish display and rounded corners, share the sporty aesthetic of the Apple Watch. In contrast, the Garmin vívoactive 4 sports a circular frame—just like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series—and looks more like a traditional timepiece.

You can get the Versa 3 in three color combinations — midnight/soft gold aluminum, black/black aluminum, and pink clay/soft gold aluminum — along with an array of stylish, swappable bands. But the vívoactive 4 still has the dressier overall appearance, especially if you opt for the 41mm variants that brandish the rose gold and light gold bezels. Suffice to say, you shouldn’t worry about wearing the latest Garmin watch in a formal event whereas the Versa 3 might look a little out of place.

And yes, unlike the Versa 3, the vívoactive 4 does come in two sizes, the other being the larger 45mm model. It’s definitely weightier than the Versa 3 but should still be a comfortable on the wrist.

Nonetheless, the smaller 40mm frame of the Versa 3 is able to pack a 1.58-inch OLED display compared to the 1.3-inch display on the the larger vívoactive model. It also comes with a higher 336 x 336 pixel resolution. Garmin’s vívoactive 4, on the other hand, retains the transflective MIP display that should make it easier to read even under direct sunlight.

Build

These watches are built to take on hits, drops, and scratches, even in the most intense activities. The Fitbit Versa 3, for instance, flaunts an aluminum watch case that goes well with its sporty, flexible bands. However, the Garmin vívoactive 4 uses a more durable fiber-reinforced polymer that’s much better at absorbing impact. Lastly, both devices use Gorilla Glass 3 for their lenses and are water proof for up to 50 meters.

Smart Features

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin vívoactive 4 come with standard smart features.

Both the Fitbit Versa 3 (left) and the Garmin vívoactive 4 (right) are equipped with contactless payment solutions and smart notifications.

Fitbit and Garmin are primarily sought after for their fitness tracking, but that doesn’t stop them from equipping their latest wearables with smart features. The Versa 3 and vívoactive 4 come with the staples: smart notifications, contactless payment solutions, as well as Android and iPhone compatibility.

Fitbit, however, does the Garmin better with voice assistants baked into the Versa 3, and now, this includes Google Assistant. The Versa 3 also comes with a built-in speaker, so you can take calls and answer messages using voice replies. Replies, however, are limited to Android. The vívoactive 4 doesn’t have speaker, so you can only send a text response and reject a phone call with a text. But just like the Versa 3, the feature is limited to Android phone users.

Garmin does have a better app ecosystem compared to the limited choices you get from Fitbit. Nonetheless, there’s still a long way to go for both devices. If you put a premium on smart features, you’ll be better off with an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Health Monitoring

Garmin’s vívoactive 4 now includes Pulse Ox while the Fitbit Versa 3 has upgraded to PurePulse 2.0.

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin vívoactive 4 share many of the same health monitoring features.

Between the vívoactive 3’s release in 2017 and the launch of vívoactive 4 this year, we’ve seen some considerable changes when it comes to what fitness and health watches can do. Now, the latest Garmin wearable is equipped with increasingly standard features like the blood oxygen saturation monitoring (Pulse Ox) and respiration tracking. The vívoactive 4 also comes with what Garmin calls Body Battery, a wearable tech metric that promises insightful data about one’s energy levels.

Fitbit’s Versa 3 doesn’t add anything revolutionary to the Versa 2’s health monitoring features. Instead, the smartwatch refines existing technology. The Versa 3, for instance, is introducing PurePulse 2.0, an improved heart rate sensor that makes use of updated algorithms to deliver more accurate data. But aside from these changes, you largely get the same set of health monitoring features already found in the Versa 2.

Again, just like with their smart features, the Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin vívoactive4 are outfitted with the staples: guided breathing, personalized health reminders, menstrual cycle tracking, and sleep monitoring. If these health metrics are important to you, then you’ll find that both devices deliver.

Fitness and Activity Tracking

The vívoactive 4 tracks more fitness and sports metrics compared to the Versa 3.

The Versa 2 (left) and vívoactive 4 (right) are known for their fitness tracking features.

When it comes to 24/7 activity tracking, the Versa 3 builds on the strong foundation of Fitbit’s Versa series. You’ll find a bulk of the same features from previous models on the Versa 3, including built-in exercise modes and continuous heart rate monitoring. Steps, calories, active minutes, distance: all these metrics form the core of Fitbit’s latest watch.

But perhaps the biggest change is that the Versa 3 finally comes with built-in GPS. This should make running, hiking, and riding less cumbersome now that you don’t have to worry about bringing your phone with you.

The Garmin vívoactive 4, however, tracks more activities compared to the Versa. It’s simply an advantage of a device coming with more sensors. Apart from the usual gym and running activity profiles, the vívoactive 4 also gives more detailed metrics for golfing, outdoor recreation, running, swimming and cycling.

Battery Life

Garmin’s vívoactive 4 has a longer battery life, but the Fitbit Versa 3 does come with fast-charging.

The Fitbit Versa 3 (left) and the Garmin vívoactive 4 (right) should last the day when used moderately.

Fitbit and Garmin’s new smartwatches offer improved battery life over their respective predecessors. With the Fibit Versa 3, you can get up to 6 days of battery life. The Garmin vívoactive 4, on the other hand, offers up to 8 days of battery life with the 45mm model, and about a week with the 40mm variant.

However, actual battery performance will vary according to use. Use the vívoactive 4 simply as a smartwatch, and you’ll probably get enough juice for over a week. But turn on GPS mode and even music, and you’ll get anywhere between 6 to 19 hours of battery life.

The same caveat applies to the Fitbit Versa 3. While a battery life of up to 6 days is an improvement over the Versa 2, the inclusion and regular use of GPS will likely shorten what’s been advertised. In any case, you can rely on the new fast charging feature, which should give the Versa 3 around 24 hours of power with just 12 minutes of charge.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa 3 is ideal for casual users while the Garmin vívoactive 4 should appeal to more dedicated fitness and sports enthusiasts.

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin vívoactive 4 are significant upgrades from their predecessors. Apart from improved battery life and the new sensors, many of the existing features have been enhanced to turn the latest iterations into more all-in-one watches. The smart features on both the Versa 3 and vívoactive 4, however, leave a lot to be desired. If you want a smartwatch, you’ll find that Apple and Samsung’s offerings are better. Fortunately, most people purchase Fitbit and Garmin devices for the health and fitness features. And the same will be true for the Versa 3 and vívoactive 4.

Most casual users, however, will be satisfied with the Fitbit Versa 3. It gives you enough activity tracking information without overwhelming the user with metrics they don’t need. In fact, the Versa 3 is probably one of the best entry level products for those trying wearable tech to monitor their health for the first time. Plus, it’s a dead ringer for the Apple Watch if modern and sleek is your aesthetic preference.

Now, if you’re looking for a device that offers dedicated and comprehensive sports-based metrics, then go for the Garmin vívoactive 4. It has a more expansive list of activities you can track, and some of the insights you’ll get are not found in any other fitness watch. And if you don’t want to draw too much attention, the vívoactive 4’s design should allow it to pass for a regular watch.

FAQs

📌 How many songs can I store on the Garmin Vivoactive 4?

You can store up to 500 songs on the Garmin Vivoactive 4

📌 What is the difference between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 4?

Unlike the Garmin Vivoactive 3 which comes in only one size, you can get the Vivoactive 4 in 45mm or 40mm models. In addition, the Vivoactive 4 is equipped with respiratory tracking and pulse oximetry.

📌 How many bands are included in the Fitbit Versa 3?

Every purchase of the Fitbit Versa 3 includes two bands: a small band that should fit wrists between 5.5 to 7.1 inches in circumference, and a larger one for wrists between 7.1 to 8.7 inches in circumference.

📌 Is the Fitbit Versa 3 compatible with iPhone?

Yes, the Fitbit Versa 3 is compatible with the iPhone. However, some Fitbit Versa features like voice replies are only available when paired with Android devices.

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

RELATED  Fitbit Versa 2 vs Versa 2 Special Edition (2021): What's The Difference?
Mari Bassig

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