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Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 (2021): Which Smartwatch Has The Edge?

Fossil is known for its catalog of ultra-stylish and contemporary watches. In recent years, however, it’s ventured into the smartwatch arena as well. Among its more popular offerings is the Fossil Gen 5, a modern-day wearable housed in a variety of quintessential Fossil designs. Fitbit, on the other hand, is an old reliable when it comes to fitness trackers. Its flagship smartwatch—the Fitbit Versa 3—brandishes a sportier design and packs loads of health and fitness capabilities. Which one should you get? Read on to find out.

Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 Smartwatch Comparison Chart

ModelFossil Gen 5Fitbit Versa 3
 Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless and Silicone Touchscreen Smart Watch with Heart Rate, Color:...Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Case Size44mm40.48mm
CompatibilityAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
GPSYesYes
WiFiYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
Heart Rate MonitoringYesYes
Activity TrackingYesYes
SpO2 MonitoringNoYes
Temperature SensorNoYes
Sleep MonitoringYesYes
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Answer and Take CallsYesYes
Contactless PaymentsGoogle PayFitbit Pay
Battery LifeUp to 24 hoursUp to 6 days
Water ResistanceUp to 30.9 metersUp to 50 meters

Design

The Fossil Gen 5 follows the stylish design of the brand’s analog watches, while the Fitbit Versa 3 brandishes a sportier appearance.

Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 Design
Fossil’s Gen 5 watches are more modern and stylish (left) compared to the sportier look of the Fitbit Versa 3 (right).

The Fossil Gen 5 is available in a range of eye-catching styles. These vary depending on the platform you choose — either the Carlyle or the Julianna. With the former, you’re getting a modern watch in dark colors and sporty accents. The Julianna, on the other hand, has a more feminine design, with emphasis on gold-tone casings and straps.

There are no functional differences between the two Fossil Gen 5 platforms, though. Whether you opt for the Carlyle or Julianne, you’re getting the same 44mm case with interchangeable straps. The rest of the physical components draw inspiration from Fossil’s catalog of analog watches as well. On the Gen 5, you’ll find a circular AMOLED display, along with configurable push buttons on the side. Fossil shares the Gen 5 is also waterproof up to 3 ATMs.

In contrast, the Fitbit Versa 3 has a sportier appearance. Its square case with rounded corners is reminiscent of other smartwatches, too, including Apple’s own. Unlike the Fossil Gen 5, the Fitbit Versa 3 comes in only one style but is available in five color finishes. There are no physical buttons here. Fitbit has instead opted for indents on the side of the watch that you can press. Overall, it gives the Versa 3 a more streamlined look.

As a fitness tracker, the Versa 3 boasts a rugged construction. The case is crafted from aluminum and is waterproof up to 50 meters. Meanwhile, the bands are made from a flexible material, ideal for use in a range of fitness and sports activities.

Health and Fitness Features

The Fitbit Versa 3 has more comprehensive health and fitness monitoring compared to the Fossil Gen 5 watch.

Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 Health and Fitness Features Comparison
Here’s a look at the difference in tracking interface of the Fossil Gen 5 and the Fitbit Versa 3.

Fossil’s Gen 5 is powered by Google’s WearOS. While this makes navigating the smartwatch intuitive, the activity tracking features are limited. Between the Fossil Gen 5 and the Fitbit Versa 3, the latter simply has more health and fitness monitoring capabilities. That isn’t to say the Fossil Gen 5 isn’t cutting it as a fitness companion.

You still get your basics here, including tracking daily goals, steps, and calories burned. Improvements with the OS have introduced sleep tracking as well, complementing features like heart rate monitoring. The accompanying Google Fit app also provides access to workouts and breathing guides.

Compared to what the Fitbit Versa 3 offers, however, the Fossil Gen 5 falls short. With the Versa 3, you can track standard metrics, of course. But the watch also boasts advanced tools like oxygen saturation monitoring, a feature that’s fast becoming a staple in many wearables. The Fitbit Versa 3’s heart-rate monitoring is more reliable, too, thanks to PurePulse 2.0 technology.

The Fitbit Versa 3 also comes with native sleep and female health tracking apps. Fitbit has even introduced skin temperature tracking, adding to the comprehensive health metrics already recorded by the watch. Lastly, Fitbit’s flagship smartwatch is pre-loaded with over 20 exercises that offer real-time stats.

Click here to read our Fitbit Versa 3 vs Versa Lite comparison.

Smart Features

Both the Fossil Gen 5 and Fitbit Versa 3 come with smart notifications, music control, and support for voice assistants.

Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 Smart Features
Use the Fossil Gen 5 for cashless transactions (left). Get things done hands-free with the Fitbit Versa 3.

Besides design and activity tracking, there’s a reason why the Fossil Gen 5 and Fitbit Versa 3 are called smartwatches. Fossil’s stylish wearable boasts a plethora of smart features to underscore its place as a daily watch. Fitbit’s Versa 3 claims the same. Both devices come with smart notifications, support voice assistants, and can be used for contactless payments. They also have built-in speakers and microphones so you can receive and take calls using them.

For those who like to control their playlist as they work or work out, you can do so with the Fossil Gen 5 and the Fitbit Versa 3. Fossil’s smartwatch comes pre-loaded with Spotify. You can also store music locally since the Gen 5 comes with 8GB of storage. The Fitbit Versa 3 also allows users to transfer music to the watch and play them via Deezer or Pandora. There’s support for Spotify streaming on the Versa 3, too, although it doesn’t work offline.

Battery Life and Other Features

Fitbit’s Versa 3 has a longer battery life compared to the Fossil Gen 5.

Fossil Gen 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 Battery Life and Other Features
Here’s a closer look at the Fossil and Fitbit smartwatches.

The Fitbit Versa 3 has the edge over the Fossil Gen 5 when it comes to battery life. With the Versa 3, you’re getting up to 6 days of battery on a single charge. Fossil’s Gen 5 watch, on the other hand, lasts only for a day. Of course, actual performance will vary depending on usage and settings. However, if you’re someone who’s always on the go, the Versa 3’s extensive battery life is more convenient.

One of the best things about smartwatches is the ability to customize the watch face. It’s especially true with the Fossil Gen 5 and Fitbit Versa 3, both of which offer an extensive library of designs and themes. Just like its physical appearance, the Fossil Gen 5’s clock faces are trendy and stylish. From styles that mimic analog watches to more subdued dials, there’s a watch face for everybody.

Fitbit also boasts an impressive collection of clock faces. Versa 3 users can choose designs based on category as well, including stats-heavy displays or quirkier templates made by third-party developers.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa 3 is better for most health and fitness enthusiasts. The Fossil Gen 5, on the other hand, is a more stylish alternative, albeit with fewer tracking features.

As a watchmaker, Fossil is renowned for its fashionable watches. The same design philosophy extends to its smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 5. The modern wearable looks just like Fossil’s analog offerings and is available in a collection of colors and styles. However, health and fitness tracking aren’t as comprehensive as other watches in the same price range. Battery life leaves a lot to be desired as well.

If you lead an active lifestyle, then the Fitbit Versa 3 will benefit you more. While not as dressy as the Fossil Gen 5, Fitbit’s flagship wearable comes with all the health and fitness features you need. Some of the functions are pretty advanced, too, like SpO2 and skin temperature monitoring. Because of its sporty design, you can count on the Versa 3 to handle sweat and movement while working out. Plus, it has a solid 6-day battery life that keeps up even with the most frenetic lifestyles.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle and Julianna watches?

The Carlyle and Julianna are the two platforms available when you get the Fossil Gen 5. Carlyle watches sport black or grey cases and straps. They’re also the sportier of the two platforms. Meanwhile, Fossil Gen 5 Julianna watches are typically available in gold or rose gold tones. They brandish a more feminine aesthetic with dressier cases and straps.

📌 Is the Fossil Gen 5 compatible with the iPhone?

Yes, the Fossil Gen 5 is compatible with iOS.

📌 What are the sensors on the Fitbit Versa 3?

The Fitbit Versa 3 is equipped with built-in GPS + GLONASS. The watch also comes with an accelerometer, altimeter, and ambient light sensor. For health monitoring, you get an optical heart rate sensor and device temperature sensor. The Versa 3 also features an infrared sensor for SpO2 monitoring.

📌 Is the Fitbit Versa 3 available in different sizes?

No, the Fitbit Versa 3 only comes in one size. However, the watch includes two band sizes in the box. The small band fits wrists 5.5″ – 7.1″ in circumference. Meanwhile, the large band is recommended for those with wrists 7.1″ – 8.7″ in circumference

Last update on 2021-07-19 / 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.