Skip to content

Fitbit Versa 2 vs. Versa 3: An In-Depth Smartwatch Comparison

If you‘re trying to decide between the Fitbit Versa 2 and Versa 3, you‘ve come to the right place. As a long-time wearable technology analyst, I‘ve taken a deep dive into comparing these two popular Fitbit smartwatch models to help you pick the right one.

In this comprehensive, 2000+ word guide, you‘ll get the full rundown on how the Versa 2 and Versa 3 match up in terms of design, display, features, fitness tracking, health sensors, battery life, software and value. Let‘s dive in!

At a Glance: Versa 2 vs. Versa 3

Before we get into the details, here‘s a high-level overview of how the Versa 2 and Versa 3 compare:

Specs Versa 2 Versa 3
Release Date August 2019 August 2020
Display 1.39" AMOLED 1.58" AMOLED
Battery Life 3-4 days 5-6 days
GPS Connected GPS only Built-in GPS
Voice Assistant Alexa only Alexa + Google Assistant
Mobile Payments Fitbit Pay Fitbit Pay
Price $149.95 $199.95

As you can see, the Versa 3 costs more but brings upgrades like a larger screen, longer battery life and onboard GPS. But let‘s explore this comparison further…

Design and Display

The Versa 2 and Versa 3 share a remarkably similar square watch case design with rounded corners and edges. Despite releasing a year apart, their dimensions are extremely close:

  • Versa 2 – 39.95 x 39.84 x 12.15mm
  • Versa 3 – 40.48 x 40.48 x 12.35mm

Both models feature an aluminum watch body and side button for navigating the interface. From a looks perspective, you‘d be hard-pressed to visually tell them apart.

However, the Versa 3 stands out with its slightly larger 1.58” AMOLED display compared to the 1.39” screen on the Versa 2.

This results in over 15% more viewable area that makes the Versa 3 better suited for glanceable stats during workouts. And even with the bigger screen, battery life has actually improved in the newer model (more on that later).

Both watches offer an always-on display mode to keep your stats or watch face viewable at all times. But this drains battery life faster, cutting it roughly in half on both models.

When it comes to durability, the Versa 2 and Versa 3 smartwatches share an impressive 50M water resistance rating. This allows you to swim and shower without concern.

So if you‘re hoping for a stylish, sleek-looking smartwatch, either Versa option fits the bill. But the Versa 3‘s slightly larger face gives it an edge for at-a-glance viewing.

Features and Capabilities

The Versa 2 and Versa 3 are stacked with useful features for health and fitness tracking, notifications, music control and more.

Here’s a closer look at some of the key capabilities offered by both smartwatch models:

  • Activity Tracking – 24/7 tracking is offered for steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed and heart rate. Active Zone Minutes based on your activity and heart rate are also provided.

  • Sleep Tracking – Both watches use heart rate variability (HRV) data and motion sensing to breakdown your light, deep and REM sleep stages. You also get a sleep score and insights each morning.

  • Heart Rate Monitoring – Optical heart rate sensors take continuous readings throughout the day and during workouts. You can view trends and analyze how your heart rate varies.

  • Smartphone Notifications – Get call, text, app alerts and calendar events sent from your Android or iPhone to your wrist. Respond directly to some notifications on the Versa 3.

  • Swimproof Design – Thanks to their 50M water resistance rating, you can confidently wear both Versa models for swim tracking and in the shower.

  • Music Control – The Versa 2 stores 300+ songs and the Versa 3 streams playlists from Spotify, Pandora or Deezer (subscriptions required).

  • Fitbit Pay – Make secure contactless payments right from your wrist wherever NFC payments are accepted. Both watches support this.

  • Voice Assistant – Ask questions, set timers/alarms, control smart home devices and more with Amazon Alexa on the Versa 2 or Alexa + Google Assistant on the Versa 3.

There are also some distinct features offered on each smartwatch model:

  • Built-in GPS – The Versa 3 has an onboard GPS receiver to track pace, distance and routes for outdoor activities without needing your phone.

  • SpO2 Sensor – Only the Versa 3 has a sensor to measure blood oxygen saturation levels to detect variations that could indicate health issues.

  • Temperature Sensor – Also exclusive to the Versa 3 is a temperature sensor that tracks your skin temperature for signs of fever or illness.

  • Call Notifications – You can accept or reject calls right on your wrist with the Versa 3. The Versa 2 shows call notifications but can’t accept them.

  • Altimeter – The Versa 2 is equipped with an altimeter/barometer to measure elevation gain like flights of stairs climbed or track air pressure/altitude changes.

If top-of-the-line smartwatch features are most important to you, the Versa 3 clearly has an edge. But the Versa 2 still includes a robust set of capabilities for the price.

Fitness and Workout Features

As advanced fitness smartwatches built for activity tracking, the Versa 2 and Versa 3 are packed with workout features. Here’s how they compare:

  • Exercise Modes – Both feature 20+ workout mode options like running, biking, swimming, yoga and more. The Versa 3 covers additional unique modes like golf, kickboxing and pilates.

  • On-Screen Stats – The Versa 3 shows real-time pace & distance stats right on the watch face during runs and rides thanks to the bigger screen.

  • GPS Tracking – Built-in GPS on the Versa 3 lets you track the route of outdoor activities without bringing your phone. The Versa 2 relies on connected GPS from your smartphone.

  • Active Zone Minutes – This feature available on both models tracks time spent in heart rate zones to help you optimize workout intensity.

  • SmartTrack – Both can auto-detect workouts like runs and bike rides. But the Versa 3 SmartTrack recognizes more unique activity types like martial arts and dance.

  • Intensity Map – The Versa 3 provides colorful intensity maps in the app displaying your heart rate, pace and effort levels during each workout.

When it comes to workout features, the Versa 3 is the superior option, especially for runners, cyclists and outdoor athletes who will benefit from the built-in GPS. However, the Versa 2 still covers the basics very well.

Health Tracking and Insights

In addition to fitness, both Versa models leverage their array of sensors to provide detailed health monitoring and insights. Here’s how their health tracking capabilities compare:

Health Tracking Versa 2 Versa 3
Heart Rate Zones
Cardio Fitness Score
Sleep Stages
Skin Temperature
Resting Heart Rate
Breathing Rate
Stress Management

Both watches cover core health stats like heart rate, sleep tracking and stress management. The Versa 3 pulls ahead with its additional sensors for temperature and SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation).

But the Versa 2 still provides great overall health insight for the price. It just lacks some of the more advanced health sensors packed into the Versa 3.

Battery Life and Charging

Good battery life is crucial for any smart wearable. Here’s how the Versa 2 and Versa 3 compare in this area:

  • Versa 2 – Normal use results in 3-4 days between charges. In always-on display mode, expect around 2 days max. A 12-minute quick charge provides 24 hours of battery life.

  • Versa 3 – Fitbit claims 6+ days in regular use or 2 days in always-on display mode. Most users get 5-6 days per charge, about 1-2 days longer than the Versa 2. There’s also a 12-minute quick charge feature.

So while the Versa 3 clearly has the battery advantage, the Versa 2 is still respectable at 3-4 days on a single charge. That‘s as good or better than most smartwatches.

I found wearing both models for sleep tracking at night doesn’t make much of a dent in battery levels. But heavy use of GPS or always-on display on the Versa 3 will decrease its battery life.

Overall, charging once or twice a week is realistic for average use with either Versa model. But the Versa 3 maintains a slight edge in day-to-day battery performance.

Software, Interface and App

The Versa 2 runs on Fitbit OS 4.1, while the Versa 3 features the updated OS 5.0. This gives the newer model advantages like quicker loading times and the Google Assistant integration.

Interacting with the watches themselves is very similar. Both offer smooth, responsive performance whether you’re tapping the touchscreen or pressing the side button.

When paired with your phone, the Fitbit app dashboard is a central hub for viewing your activity, sleep, workout and heart rate data. The clean, intuitive interface makes it easy to analyze trends and progress.

Premium memberships add extras like customized guidance, health insights and sleep tools. The Versa 3 comes with 6 months free Premium while the Versa 2 just provides a trial.

Overall, the software experience is great on both devices. But the Versa 3 performs faster and offers some interface upgrades over its predecessor.

Price and Value Comparison

With its newer technology and features, the Versa 3 comes at a higher retail price point than the Versa 2.

  • Versa 2: $149.95
  • Versa 3: $199.95

However, it‘s common to find both models discounted below their MSRP:

  • Versa 2 Sale Price: ~$120
  • Versa 3 Sale Price: ~$175

At full retail pricing, the Versa 3 certainly carries a premium. But extra features like onboard GPS justify the added cost for many buyers.

And if you can find the Versa 2 on sale, it becomes an even greater value as a fitness smartwatch option for a budget shopper.

The Verdict

To sum up this comprehensive Versa 2 vs. Versa 3 comparison, here are the key conclusions:

  • The Versa 3 is the best option overall, with upgrades like built-in GPS, extra health sensors and better battery life.

  • However, the Versa 2 is still a great smartwatch for the money. It shares the majority of health tracking features outside onboard GPS.

  • Budget-focused shoppers can benefit from Versa 2 sales under $130. But the Versa 3 adds more value for athletes and those who want the latest tech.

  • Unique extras like music storage on the Versa 2 or the altimeter sensor add appeal if those specific features are important to you.

  • Both watches have stylish designs and deliver a robust software experience through Fitbit‘s excellent app.

So while the Versa 3 edges out its predecessor overall, I hope this detailed comparison gives you a clear sense of which model best matches your needs and budget! Let me know if you have any other questions.