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Smartwatches have come a long, long way since Garmin’s circa 2003 Forerunner that takes up half your forearm (more like Forearmrunner, amiright?). Thankfully, you now have a wide range of makers, models, and functions to choose from, so you can find something that fits your needs (and your arm).
For most people, fitness watches and smartwatches are different things, but it seems like makers of both are trying to blur the lines by taking on more features. We’re not saying anyone’s achieved the perfect fitness/smartwatch hybrid, but they’re trying. In this post, we’ll compare the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch 3. We’ll go over what you’ll get with both devices, as well as the advantages they have over each other.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch 3 – Review + Comparison
There are really only a couple ways in which these two devices are matched up. At first glance, they do look like related products. I mean, no one’s mistaking them for twins, but I’d believe they’re at least cousins. They have a similar design, with the rounded corners on a square face.
Apple Watch Series 3
Both devices run on rechargeable batteries and will last you around 3-4 days when fully charged. Of course, the exact time depends on usage. That’s pretty standard and we don’t have any gripes about the battery life.
One of the newer features that’s been popping up in recently released fitness watches is on-board music storage and playback. The Fitbit Versa can store 300+ songs, plus it supports music streaming services like Pandora and Deezer. The Apple Watch supports Apple Music, so you get your phone-free playback there, as well.
The first advantage the Versa has over the Apple Watch is its price tag. At $200, the Versa is a whole $130 cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 3. And $330 is just the starting price for the AWS3. Depending on what band and case you choose, it could run you up to $400 or more.
When it comes to activity tracking, we’re really not surprised that Fitbit is the better performer. The company is founded on fitness tracking – it’s what they’ve always done, while it’s an area that Apple is just starting to merge into. Just overall, Fitbit has a better handle on fitness functions.
Part of what makes the Versa a good fitness watch is its wrist HRM. Just in general, it’s more accurate across the board than a lot of other WHRM out there. It’s not perfect, but it is probably better than Apple’s.
Going along with the Versa’s superior activity tracking is Fitbit’s mobile fitness app and fitness community. Both are far better than anything Apple has to offer. So if you’re looking for a device that’s really going to bump up your fit life, the Versa is more prepared to do that for you.
Although, as we mentioned, the at-a-glance look of the Versa and AWS3 are similar, ultimately, the Versa’s design is thinner and more compact than the AWS3’s. It’s a comfortable device that’s perfect for all-day use, as well as for wearing during workouts.
One of the coolest things about this Apple Watch is its cellular model. Where the Versa gives you phone-free music, the AWS3 gives you phone-free music, as well as phone-free calls and texts. It’s crazy convenient and, honestly, as a person who owns a Samsung phone, I’m not pleased that Apple is so exclusive. (I just think it’s rude and selfish, okay? I want to use your products, Apple. I just don’t want to use only your products.) Apple has three different cellular models of the watch and you’ll need to choose the right one for your location in order to have the LTE and UMTS bands supported in your area. You can get more information on Amazon.
While we still think the Versa is the better fitness watch overall, Apple does have a leg up with its built-in GPS and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System). The Versa uses Connected GPS, which means it grabs data from your phone to display on your watch. That’s not really a problem, except that it requires you to have your phone on you and that’s not exactly convenient if you’re going for a run or something.
Another perk you get with the Apple Watch is the waterproof rating. While the both the Versa and the AWS3 are waterproof down to 50 meters, the AWS3 is rated for both pool and open water swimming, while the Versa is only rated for the pool. So if you’re an ocean swimmer, the Apple Watch has got you covered.
We mentioned before that the Versa’s WHRM is better than the HR sensor on the Apple Watch, but it is worth noting that the AWS3 can be paired with an external HRM, where the Versa cannot. That’s a nice feature if you’re looking for super accurate data while weight lifting, for example, where a chest strap HRM is going to be beneficial.
Where the Versa falls on the fitness watch side of the fence, the AWS3 falls on the smartwatch side. Which is why it’s not a surprise that it has the better App Store and more Smart features. The notifications and widgets are better with Apple because all Apple products sync up. They make both the phone and the watch, which leads to the best crossover function. The notifications are more engaging and you can actually reply right from the watch. You can also take call right on your wrist. And, of course, with Apple comes Siri, and she’s right on your wrist, too.