The Fitbit Versa ($ 200 at Amazon.com) is a worthy Apple Watch ($ 400 at Amazon.com) alternative.
The Versa is the Fitbit Ionic ($ 300 at Dell Home) 's attractive younger sibling, with a slimmer body, interchangeable straps and a lower price. It also costs $ 50 less than the cheapest Apple Watch model, the or $ 130 less than the Series 3. (In the UK, the Versa is £ 50 less than the Apple Watch Series 1 and Australia AU $ 60 less.)
So, how do you choose between the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch 3?
Vanessa Hand Orellana and Lexy Savvides of CNET both wore each other for about a week to find out which would best suit their needs.
Design and Durability
The two watches have a similar design, interchangeable straps, a choice of metal surfaces and a variety of dials to customize the look. They are both waterproof up to 50 meters, so you can carry them under the shower or use them to track tracks in the pool.
These are the facts, but here are a few things we like and dislike about any watch design:
- It's really comfortable to wear because it's so thin and flush sitting on the wrist, and because it's so light
- There are three different buttons on the Versa and it's confusing to figure out which button does what
- Changing the band is a real fight – it's extremely fiddly
Apple Watch  Replacing the straps is a breeze
While both mirror notifications from your phone, only the Apple Watch gives you unlimited answers n. Android users can program quick answers to the Versa, but due to the lack of a microphone, you can not dictate or scribble an answer like the Apple Watch. Fitbit Versa Apple Watch
Health and Fitness Tracking
19659011] Runners who want to leave their mobile behind them may think that the lack of GPS in Versa is a big deal-breaker. In our real use, we did not miss the GPS as much as we thought, but you will not get as accurate a reading of distance and calorie consumption when it's not paired with the phone.
While both mirror notifications from your phone, only the Apple Watch gives you unlimited answers n. Android users can program quick answers to the Versa, but due to the lack of a microphone, you can not dictate or scribble an answer like the Apple Watch.
The Versa can also act as a personal trainer with the trainer app, which comes with a few basic workouts, or give you $ 40 a year for unlimited access. It shows you the movements right at your wrist – and if you're able to start a guided workout in your living room, that's a game that changes when you're short of time. Fitbit's reminder is also better than the Apple Watch: if you need 250 steps per hour to "win", it's more geared towards motivating regular moves.
With visual cues on the Apple Watch, you'll only receive notifications to stop or keep moving during the day, rather than leading you through workouts. However, there are many third-party apps that can fill this gap. And it's really easy to become addicted toif you're motivated by these types of notifications.
On the Versa, there is afunction on the watch, which you can see when you swipe up from the lock screen. Record your last period in the Fitbit app and your next fertile window will be predicted based on this data. You can not save the information directly on the watch, but you can see how long you are right up to your next window from your wrist. The Apple Watch has third-party tracking programs that do the same but are not integrated with the user interface.
Interpret Your Workouts
Both will allow you to immerse yourself in a deeper breakdown of your fitness data over time. Fitbit consolidates all of this into its main phone app, while the Apple Watch splits it via the Watch app, the Activity app, and the Health app on the iPhone.
Using your fitness metrics in three different apps can be confusing if you want to track progress over time. There are also many third-party apps for the Watch so you can find everything in one place. Vanessa is a fan of Nike + Run Club for runs or AllTrails for walks, while Lexy Strava prefers to track progress over previous workouts and other users.
The Fitbit app has made it easier to turn heart rate measurements into useful information, such as: For example, if you were in a fat burn, cardio, or peak zone during a workout. Apple's heart rate data in the Activity app is hard to interpret on its own, as there is no baseline to compare. The closest feature is the color-coded route map, which shows you how fast you were on each part of your journey – green is fast and red is slow. But with WatchOS 5 the Apple Watch will soon get
Our biggest complaint about the Fitbit app? It does not show the altitude difference for individual activities. When it comes to hiking, the only way to find out the altitude is to keep it on the watch, even though it seems to go away after training.
Both have third-party apps, although many big partners seem to have invested less in developing wrist-based apps. Google Maps, Amazon, eBay and Instagram are leaving the Apple Watch platform last year.
You can sync songs to any watch while charging. The Versa has provided 2.5GB of storage for music, which is about 300 songs, while the Apple Watch has 8GB for music on the LTE model (2GB if you have a non-LTE version).
- Synchronizing music is a challenge as you need to use the desktop app. It can take a long time to transfer many songs
- You can only load your own music and nothing with DRM protection
- If you pay for Deezer or Pandora, you can sync playlists and channels if You do not have your phone (Pandora is just US)
- Synchronizing music is easier than the Versa because you can do it from your phone. But you must have the songs in your Apple Music Library (Spotify users are out of luck at the time, just like the Versa)
- Streaming through LTE is possible through Apple Music, as long as you've been paying subscribers, or you Can Listen to Beats1 Radio If You Can not Subscribe
- But streaming music over LTE is a big drawback to battery life
Where the Fitbit really shines is battery life. After five days of wearing the Versa throughout the day while exercising but not listening to music, it still had about 10 percent battery left.
The Apple Watch fights in comparison, especially if you use battery-intensive features like LTE and GPS. If you're just tracking a workout, mirroring notifications, or responding to lyrics, you'll get about a full day before you need to recharge it-all the extra is a bonus.
Both use proprietary chargers, but they swell fairly quickly.
Note that the Fitbit Versa is brand new: It landed in stores in April, so we do not expect to see another Fitbit watch in 2018. If you are for Fitbit State of the Art, that's it.
The Apple Watch is another story. The current Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 3 models were released in September 2017, and Apple has been quite busy updating the line since the first model in 2015. Do not be surprised to see new Apple Watch models in September this year.
However, these considerations for future Fitbit and Apple products are only guesses. We have no inside information.
And our winner is?
Vanessa: In the end, I wore the Fitbit more, just for the longer battery life. Even when I forgot to charge it, I was able to grab it when I ran out the door in the morning, knowing it would at least have enough juice to get me through the day. But the Apple Watch is a more versatile device – I missed many of its features, especially GPS and the text responses that allowed me to free myself from my phone.
Lexy: Neither are all the same as an all-round smartwatch to me, but if you're an iPhone user and looking for a smarter companion that can free you from time to time, your mobile phone will fit the Apple Watch probably better. I love that the Versa is so comfortable and has an amazing battery life, but I would choose the watch because it can do so much more.
The Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch Series 3 received the same overall rating from our CNET editors, 8 out of 10.
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