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Fitbit Versa 3 vs Ionic (2021): Which Fitbit Smartwatch Should You Get?

With the release of the Fitbit Versa 3, older Fitbit smartwatch models like the Fitbit Ionic have seen significant price reductions. One of the highlights of the Versa 3 is its onboard GPS, something that the Ionic is equipped with, but is lacking in the Versa 2. Before the Versa 3, it’s easier to recommend the Ionic to outdoor enthusiasts as its built-in GPS allows you to track your pace and distance even without your phone. Now that the latest Versa is also equipped with GPS, it can be confusing to choose between the two. We break down their key similarities and differences to help you choose which is the better smartwatch for you.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Ionic Smartwatch Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Versa 3Fitbit Ionic
 Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days...Fitbit Ionic GPS Smart Watch, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Active Zone MinutesYesYes
Case Size40mm36mm
PurePulse 2.0YesNo
Colors Black/Black, Midnight Blue/Gold, Pink/GoldBlue-Gray/Silver, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, Slate Blue/Burnt Orange,
Built-In GPS w/ GLONASSYesYes
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Battery Life6 days or more4 days or more
Fitbit PayYesYes
Smart Voice AssistantYesNo
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Year of Release20202017


The Fitbit Versa 3 sports a more modern look while the boxy frame of the Ionic makes it look more dated

Here’s the Fitbit Versa 3 (top left and middle) in black and the Fitbit Ionic (bottom left and right) charcoal/smoke gray

The most glaring difference between the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Ionic is their design and overall look. At a glance, you can tell right away which smartwatch is the more recent model, thanks to the Versa 3’s more stylish design. The Versa 3’s slightly curved profile is reminiscent of the Apple Watch series, while the Ionic’s sharper edges give it a more dated look. The Ionic comes with more physical control buttons, too, compared to the Versa 3 that only has one.

The Versa 3 is available in Black/Black, Midnight Blue/Gold, and Pink/Gold while the Ionic comes in Blue-Gray/Silver, Charcoal/Smoke Gray, and Slate Blue/Burnt Orange. Just like most Fitbit watches and fitness trackers, you can change their straps to suit your taste and activities.

Activity Tracking

Both the Fitbit Versa 3 and Ionic are equipped with a built-in GPS, but the Versa 3 comes with an updated heart rate monitor

With onboard GPS, you won’t need your phone with you if you want to track your pace and distance

In terms of activity tracking features, the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Ionic are pretty similar. They share the following features that provide insights into your fitness activities:

  • Steps, distances, calories burned, active and stationary minutes
  • Sleep tracking
  • Menstrual health
  • Automatic exercise recognition
  • Floors climbed
  • Active Zone Minutes (lets you set goals for your heart rate)
  • Pace and distance through their built-in GPS with GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System)
  • Swim tracking (both are water-resistant for up to 50 meters)

Something that’s new with the Fitbit Versa 3 is the PurePulse 2.0 sensor, which Fitbit claims can provide more accurate and advanced data tracking than its predecessor, the PurePulse.

Smart Features

The Fitbit Versa has more smart features than the Ionic

A feature thats missing in the Ionic is smart voice assistant compatibility

As they were released three years apart, it comes as no surprise that the Fitbit Versa 3’s smart features trump the Ionic’s. A major upgrade to the Versa 3 is its compatibility with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant. As it comes with a built-in microphone and speaker, you can also answer calls directly from the Versa 3, something you cant do on the Ionic.

Both Fitbit smartwatches are equipped with Fitbit Pay for contactless payments and let you store music so you can control your playlist straight from your wrist. However, if you want to use Spotify on your smartwatch, the Versa 3 is the way to go as the Ionic doesn’t support Spotify.

Battery Life

Both have excellent battery life, but the Versa 3’s is slightly longer

You can enjoy more than six days of battery life on the Versa 3 (left) and more than 5 days on the Ionic (right)

Fitbit’s edge over other popular smartwatches like the Apple Watch is its long battery life. With long battery life, it’s easier to consistently track your daily activities, including sleeping.

Both the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Ionic won’t disappoint in this area. The Versa 3, for instance, can last for more than six days (although this varies depending on how often you use GPS). If you’re in a rush, a quick 12-minute charge will give you an extra day of battery life. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Ionic can last from four days to a week if you don’t activate its GPS as often.


From its design to its new smart features, the Fitbit Versa 3 proves to be a worthwhile upgrade

With all the new features that the Fitbit Versa 3 is packed with, its slightly higher price tag compared to the Fitbit Ionic seems negligible. For a little more, you will get a more stylish smartwatch equipped with better Bluetooth connectivity, an updated heart sensor, and more smart features with the Versa 3.

If you want to save a little and don’t mind missing out on a couple of smart features, such as voice assistant and Spotify compatibility, go for the Fitbit Ionic instead. In addition, the Ionic’s old-fashioned design is something that may appeal to a certain demographic.


๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, the Fitbit Versa 3 or the Ionic?

The newer Fitbit Versa 3 is overall better than the Ionic. To see their differences at a glance, check out our comparison chart above.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the difference between the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Ionic?

In addition to the difference in their designs, the Fitbit Versa 3 comes with more smart features than the Ionic. The Versa 3 features smart voice assistant compatibility and Spotify control, to name some.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do the Versa 3 and the Ionic have Fitbit Pay?

Yes, they are both equipped with NFC so you can use either Fitbit smartwatch for contactless payments.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do I need Fitbit Premium with the Versa 3 and the Ionic?

No, you can use all their features even without a subscription to Fitbit Premium.

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

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.