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Garmin Venu Sq vs Fitbit Versa 3 (2021): What’s The Difference?

Garmin and Fitbit’s new additions to their smartwatch lineups are fairly straightforward competitors against one another. The Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 offer similar feature sets at almost the same price range, so choosing between the two should be fun. Or not, if you don’t like making close decisions. Here’s our review of these two more affordable fitness smartwatches launched in 2020.

Garmin Venu Sq vs Fitbit Versa 3 Fitness Smartwatch Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Venu SqFitbit Versa 3
 Garmin Venu Sq, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Up to 6 Days of Battery Life, Slate...Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
DisplayLiquid crystalAMOLED
Always-onYesYes
Screen Size1.3โ€ณ1.58″
Resolution240 x 240 pixels336 x 336 pixels
Dimensions1.6″ x 1.45″ x 0.45″1.59″ x 1.59″ x 0.49″
Colors73
Call & Text AlertsYesYes
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
ECG MonitorNoNo
Blood OxygenYesYes
PedometerYesYes
AltimeterNoYes
GyroscopeNoYes
Calorie Burn TrackerYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes
Stress TrackingYesYes
CompassYesNo
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
CellularNoNo
Wi-FiAvailableYes
BluetoothYesYes
NFCYesYes
StorageAvailableYes
Voice AssistantsNoAlexa, Google Assistant
CompatibilityiOS, AndroidiOS, Android
Battery Life6 days6+ days
Fast ChargingNoYes

Design

The Fitbit Versa 3 looks more stylish than the Garmin Venu Sq.

The Garmin Venu Sq (left) has an aluminum bezel while the Fitbit Versa 3 (right) has a full aluminum case.

Design-wise, the Fitbit Versa 3 simply looks more visually impressive than the Garmin Venu Sq. The Versa 3’s case is made of full aluminum and its AMOLED display is bright and colorful while the Garmin Venu Sq only has an anodized aluminum bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case. The Venu Sq’s screen is only LCD, too, so it’s good enough to see under outdoor daylight but it’s not as vibrant.

In addition, the Garmin Venu Sq is considerably smaller in size. Its LCD is only 1.2 inches and has a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, so navigating menus and tapping items can sometimes feel cramped. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Versa 3 has a 1.58 screen with 336 x 336 resolution, so there’s more to see and it looks crisper, too.

The new infinity bands on the Fitbit Versa 3 feels softer and more flexible, and its seamless design should lessen any impact while working out. In comparison, the Garmin Venu Sq has a more traditional strap design, which is fine for the most part but is purely functional. Physical buttons are pretty limited on the Versa 3 though, as it only has a touch-sensitive button that can be a struggle to press sometimes, while the Venu Sq has two physical buttons for easier navigation.

You’re spoiled for color choices on the Garmin Venu Sq, since it has three color combinations for the standard version and four for the Music Edition. The standard Venu Sq is available in Metallic Orchid, Slate/Shadow Gray, and Light Gold/White, while the Music Edition can be acquired in Slate/Black, Rose Gold/Light Sand, Light Gold/Navy, and Slate/Moss. In contrast, the Fitbit Versa 3 is only available in three: Black, Midnight/Soft Gold, and Pink Clay/Soft Gold.

Health and Activity Tracking

The Fitbit Versa 3 has more activity tracking sensors than the Garmin Venu Sq.

The Garmin Venu Sq and Venu have nearly the same activity tracking features.

The Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 are fitness trackers first and foremost, with new health monitoring features and extra smartwatch functionalities sprinkled on top. As fitness companions, they’re excellent devices in helping you track your workouts and motivate you to push harder and develop healthy habits. Both have sensors for heart rate, steps taken, pace, etc., but where the Fitbit Versa 3 comes out ahead is its inclusion of a gyroscope and barometric altimeter to more accurately track elevation data and angular velocity.

Otherwise, the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 share similar capabilities. They can track stress, respiration, menstrual cycle, and sleep, though they differ in methods and the level of detail they go into. You’ll be able to see a breakdown of your sleep stages, from light to deep to REM, though Fitbit gives you a Sleep Score to better track your nightly progress.

The Fitbit Versa 3 has a new Active Zone Minutes feature that can get you off your feet and reaching target activity goals together with its goal-based exercises modes. SmartTrack will auto-record your exercises if they’re supported. Meanwhile, the Garmin Venu Sq has preloaded workouts, too, and it tracks your energy levels with its Body Battery energy monitoring feature, showing you optimal times to be active or rest.

Fitbit offers a Premium subscription that lets you unlock additional features on the Versa 3, such as a skin temperature variation sensor, along with more fitness metrics and programs. Getting a Versa 3 unlocks a free 90-day trial for Premium’s guided programs, personalized insights, mindfulness tools, and more. Garmin, meanwhile, doesn’t have anything similar, though the Garmin Venu Sq comes with the Garmin Coach app for 5K/10K run training.

Smart Features

The Fitbit Versa 3 has voice assistant support and better connectivity than the Garmin Venu Sq.

Smart notifications are given on both devices, but the Fitbit Versa 3 has the edge with voice assistants.

The Fitbit Versa 3 definitely feels like the more modern smartwatch with built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. With its mic and speaker, you can ask Alexa about anything, manage your schedule, and even control smart home devices once you’ve set them up. Google Assistant support is coming later this year, though. Still, this feature is a big plus on the Versa 3’s side if you’re a fan of voice assistants, since the Garmin Venu Sq has none.

Their other difference is in music support. The Fitbit Versa 3 includes music storage for Pandora stations and Deezer playlists, and can also control your phone’s Spotify app. However, it doesn’t actually let you download music from Spotify to the device to play them offline, and some might not have Pandora or Deezer subscriptions.

In comparison, the Garmin Venu Sq has standard and Music Edition models, and all the music features the standard version has is app control. It also doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so you’ll be relying on Bluetooth connections solely. Meanwhile, the Venu Sq Music Edition has Wi-Fi and lets you download songs from Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music so you can play them offline. It does cost an extra $50 more than the standard version, making it more expensive than the Fitbit Versa 3.

Other smart features the Venu Sq and Versa 3 share are built-in GPS, contactless payments via NFC, smart notifications, and quick replies to texts for Android phones. You can find more apps to customize either smartwatch on their respective app stores, expanding their functionalities. Worth adding is the Garmin Venu Sq have safety and tracking features that let you send your location to your contacts if you need aid as well as automatically for select activities supported by its incident detection.

Battery Life

The Fitbit Versa 3 charges faster than the Garmin Venu Sq.

Both Venu Sq and Versa 3 can last up to nearly a week with conservative use.

Garmin and Fitbit are both well-known for long-lasting wearables which measure battery life by days. The Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 are no different, as they have expected battery life of 6 or so days in smartwatch mode, meaning no GPS or music. Turning either of those on occasionally will still result in plenty of charge left, and you’ll likely get enough battery life for several days before needing to recharge.

The Fitbit Versa 3 gets an edge in coming with a fast charging adapter, which allows you to get a full day of use in just 12 minutes of charging. That’s fantastic for busy individuals and if you lose track of when to charge your device. Note that turning on the always-on display options for either Venu Sq or Versa 3 will also rapidly drain their charge.

Verdict

The Fitbit Versa 3 has a slight edge over the Garmin Venu Sq.

So far, the Fitbit Versa 3 simply has a noteworthy advantage over the Garmin Venu Sq in every category, making it the winner on a pure feature by feature comparison. It packs a more comprehensive array of activity tracking sensors and has more smart features, particularly in enabling voice assistants on your wrist. The Versa 3 also already includes music support and also comes with 3 months of Fitbit Premium for even more value.

Those who only need fitness-related features for their workouts should consider the Garmin Venu Sq instead, as Garmin’s apps can be more focused on helping you train. If you can afford the extra cost, the Venu Sq Music Edition is simply better since it includes music storage that can be essential to those who need their beats to get properly motivated to work out.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, Fitbit or Garmin?

In general, Fitbit wearables are better suited for those who are starting out on their fitness journey or who want a better idea of their overall health and how to improve it. Garmin devices, on the other hand, are better positioned for those who are already into sports and athletics and want to go further.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you store songs directly on the Fitbit Versa 3?

The Fitbit Versa 3 can only store songs and podcasts from Deezer and Pandora, both of which require subscriptions. It doesn’t allow downloading from other sources, such as your local music files. It also only controls Spotify on your smartphone.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Garmin Venu Sq’s display stay permanently on?

The Garmin Venu Sq has an always-on mode that displays the time so you can check it at a glance.

๐Ÿ“Œ Will the Fitbit Versa 2 replacement bands work with Versa 3?

Unfortunately, no, the Fitbit Versa 3 (and Sense) comes with new infinity bands that latch differently than Versa 2 bands.

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.