Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: we compare Fitbit smartwatches

Fitbit has officially unveiled its Versa 3 smartwatch, the successor to the Versa 2 smartwatch that launched almost a year ago.

The new First Versa 3 brings new health, fitness and sports tracking features that make the new version a great upgrade, and solve some of our biggest bugbears with the Versa 2.

But there’s set to be some great Versa 2 deals, and many people will find the older version great value.

We’ve surveyed the specs sheets to see how the Versa 3 and Versa 2 match up.

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Price

The arrival of the Versa 3 is likely to see the Versa 2 disappear from Fitbit’s own site. That doesn’t mean it will disappear from third party retail sites like Amazon so it’s likely to still be up for grabs for a while yet.

The Versa 2 was priced at £199.99 at launch, while the Versa 3 will go on sale for £199.99. That means it’s coming at the same price as the Versa 2 in the UK but will cost more in the US.

As we said, it’s likely that the Versa 3’s arrival will see a price drop for its predecessor, so you’ll likely be able to pick it up for less.

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Design

The Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

The Versa became known as Fitbit’s ‘mass appeal smartwatch’ because it boasted a more everyday, unisex style to the Fitbit Ionic.

With the Versa 2, we got that same square case with soft edges like the first Versa, with the addition of a new curved display to give it more high grade feel.

Fitbit promises something largely with the same look on the Versa 3, though it is set to take some design cues from its new Sense health watch, It’s promising softer lines and increased comfort.

We know that the Versa 3 will be slightly larger with a 1.58-inch display with a 336 x 336 resolution display. The Versa 2 featured a smaller 1.39-inch display with a 300 x 300 resolution screen.

In terms of dimensions, the Versa 3 measures in at in at 40.48mm x 40.48mm x 12.35mm compared to Versa 2’s dimensions of 39.95mm x 39.84mm x 12.15mm. So it’s going to be slightly thicker as well.

Fitbit Versa 3 showing watch face

Fitbit Versa 2

We do know about the Versa 3 colors that will be available, which include a pink band with a soft gold case, a navy band with a soft gold case, and a black band with a black case.

In typical Fitbit fashion, it’s rolling out new bands that include its new Infinity band as well as Horween leather, woven and knitted bands. It’s also introducing partnerships with designers Pendleton and Victor Glemaud to make bands for the new Versa.

What we can tell is that it’s likely to accommodate the same kind of space on your wrist and will carry the same 5ATM waterproof rating to make it safe for a shower and a pool swim (up to 50 metres depth).

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Fitness and sports tracking

Fitbit Versa press image yoga

The Fitbit Versa has always felt like Fitbit’s best watch for 24/7 activity tracking. Those features remain on the Versa 3 including tracking steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, hourly activity and stationary time.

And it monitors heart rate 24/7 and keeps tabs on resting heart rate too.

You’ll get sleep monitoring including the heart rate based Sleep Scores. You still have all-day calorie burn and access to guided breathing exercises.

Fitbit Versa 2 showing sports tracking modes

Fitbit Versa 2

The bigger disparity features lie with when you’re ready to get a good sweat on.

The Versa 3 gives you all of the Versa 2 features including 20 goal based exercise modes including pool swimming, automatic exercise recognition and working out in heart rate zones.

But Versa 3 now has built-in GPS, so there’s no need to borrow the GPS signal off your phone to track outdoor activities.

The latest Versa uses Fitbit’s new PurePulse 2.0 heart rate sensor, which the company claims will improve accuracy and features. Fitbit says its machine learning algorithms can map multiple heart rate signals and build them into a better picture of your heart rate. We’ll be testing in our reviews whether that improves the performance at high intensity.

The Versa 3 also gets Active Zone Minutes – Fitbit’s new metric based on and workout intensity maps, which will show where your heart was really working its hardest on a map of your run.

If you care about sports smarts, it looks the Versa 3 will have the upper hand.

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Health tracking

Fitbit Versa 3 press shot

Fitbit Versa 3

While Fitbit’s new Sense health watch has now arrived on the scene, that doesn’t mean the Versa can’t be used to closely monitor your health too.

With the Versa 2 you can monitor resting heart rate, access menstrual health tracking features and there’s the SpO2 sensor, which can now be used for Fitbit’s Estimated Oxygen Variation feature.

The Versa 3 is set to get all of those same features, but it’s also making use of Fitbit’s new Pure Pulse 2.0 heart rate sensor technology, which should led to an improvement in data accuracy for those health monitoring features.

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Smartwatch features

Fitbit Versa 2 showing Fitbit Pay feature

Fitbit Versa 3

Every smartwatch feature you’ll find on the Versa 2 is sticking around for the Versa 3. That means something that works with iPhones and Android phones giving you the ability to view phone notifications, store music and download offline playlists from the likes of Deezer and Pandora. You can also access apps and watch faces from Fitbit’s App Gallery storefront and make use of Fitbit Pay.

Smart assistants are also in play here on both watches, except on the Versa 3 you’re getting an extra assistant to tap into. Fitbit has announced its adding Google Assistant, though it won’t be rolling out until Winter 2020, so it will be a bit of a wait before Versa 3 users can make use of it.

Another Versa 3 feature that isn’t supported on the Versa 2 is the ability to take calls on the watch when connected to Bluetooth. You’ll also be able to adjust call volume and send calls to voicemail. That’s an indication that a speaker is now on board, which might also mean the smart assistants we mentioned will now also read out responses on the new Versa.

Fitbit Versa 3 v Versa 2: Battery life

Fitbit Versa 3 and sport strap

Fitbit Versa 3

These two watches match up when it comes to battery life. Whether you go for the Versa 2 or Versa 3, you’re getting promise of 6+ days battery.

When we put the always-on display mode into action on the Versa 2, we typically got 3-4 days.

One big addition the Versa 3 gets over the Versa 2 is new fast charging technology. It uses a new magnetic charger that will get you 24 hours of battery off just 12 minutes of charge. That’s a pretty desirable feature.

Either way, it looks like the Versa 3 will be capable of going almost a week depending on what features you put to regular use.

Initial verdict

There’s no doubt that the Fitbit Versa 3 is a better all-round smartwatch.

The big things here are built-in GPS, an extra smart assistant in the form of Google Assistant, a built-in speaker and a pretty impressive fast charging mode.

But if you can live without GPS for running, then absolutely jump on any Versa 2 discounts you can find.

GPS is a biggie if you want more in the way of sports tracking while that Fitbit has shown it can put a smart assistant on a smartwatch and make it work.

The addition of a speaker makes it a more useful for communication and that charging tech sound pretty impressive too.

It sounds like the Versa 3 makes some pretty significant changes that should make it the smartwatch worth paying a little extra for if you have the choice.

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