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Fitbit Versa 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 5

Fitbit is a company best known for its wearable fitness trackers, but the company’s Versa 2 smartwatch shows that the company isn’t playing around when it comes to more advanced wearables. Compared to the Apple Watch Series 5, one of the most well-received smartwatches on the market, how does the Versa 2 stand up? We take a close look at both wearables in this battle of top wearables to find which might be the best option for you.

Specs

Apple Watch Series 5 Fitbit Versa 2
Display size 1.57 inches (40mm), 1.78 inches (44mm) 1.34 inches
Body size 40 x 34 x 10.7mm (40mm), 44 x 38 x 10.7mm (44mm) 40 x 40 x 12mm
Resolution
324 x 394 pixels (40mm), 368 x 448 pixels (44mm)
300 x 300 pixels
Touchscreen 1.57-inch LTPO OLED Retina display w/ Force Touch (40mm), 1.78-inch LTPO OLED Retina display w/ Force Touch (44mm) 1.34-inch OLED display
Storage 32GB 4GB
Wireless interface Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, LTE Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC
Depth 10.7mm 12mm
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Heart rate sensor Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
GPS Yes No
Compass Yes No
Water-resistant Yes Yes
Battery life Up to 18 hours 6+ days
Price From $400 From $200
Availability Apple Fitbit
DT review 4.5 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars

Design and display

Apple-Watch-Series-5
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Apple Watch has become a standard for smartwatch design — and it’s perhaps one of the reasons the Versa 2 looks so familiar. The Apple Watch Series 5 comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The exterior of the Series 5 is available in either aluminum, great for a light feel on the wrist, or more expensive stainless steel. Those looking for a more premium option can also seek out unique titanium and ceramic editions. Aluminum and steel variations can be picked up in three colors, including silver, Space Gray, and gold. Titanium can be obtained in either silver or Space Gray, and ceramic is available in white.

Fitbit keeps things a bit simpler with the Versa 2, so you won’t find any premium options here for materials. You can pick up the Fitbit Versa 2 with an aluminum body in either Carbon, Mist Grey, or Copper Rose. When it comes to wrist size, the Versa 2 isn’t as adaptable as the Apple Watch, as it only comes in a single fitting around 40mm. One thing that both devices do sport, however, is an always-on display for quickly glancing at the time and other notifications. Both screens won’t leave you struggling to see them either, as both are rated at 1000 nits of brightness.

Following each smartwatch’s design to the strap, we see a healthy collection of options for both watches. Apple offers several different straps, including the everyday sport band, nylon sport loop, and a variety of both leather and stainless steel options. Fitbit offers woven bands, classic sport bands, and options available in leather, suede, and stainless steel. Both Apple and Fitbit have partnered with fashion brands for unique edition bands, including Hermes and Kim Shui, respectively.

Both are attractive watches, but the Apple Watch’s design just about beats the Versa 2’s aped design.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

Fitness and health tracking features

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Both the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Versa 2 offer similar, if not the same, fitness tracking abilities. Both wearables can track steps, distance, calories burned, and active minutes. Beyond your daily movements, both watches also offer 24/7 heart tracking and sleep tracking when worn to bed. Both smartwatches also offer menstrual health tracking to keep you informed of your cycle.

If you’re looking to receive a daily grade on your activity, Fitbit offers its custom Cardio Fitness Score, while Apple uses its Activity Rings rating system. Both smartwatches also feature breathing exercises to keep your anxiety and stress under control. One edge Apple does offer with the Series 5 is the ability to receive alerts for potential heart irregularities and the ability to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) to understand your heart rhythm better.

If you’re thinking of taking a swim, both the Apple Watch Series 5 and Fitbit Versa 2 are swim-proof, and you can enjoy heading down to depths of up to 50 meters without worry. Just remember to switch out of any leather watch straps, as water can cause damage.

Despite Fitbit’s original fitness-focus, Apple has made some serious strides in fitness tracking, and it wins here.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

Battery life

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you think the Apple Watch Series 5 has the Fitbit Versa 2 beat, here is where things begin to get interesting. The Versa 2 features a battery life of up to six days on a single charge, while Apple Watch Series 5 is only rated for up to 18 hours. Both watches will see a decrease in battery life if the always-on display mode is utilized, but there is no doubt that Versa has Apple beat when it comes to stamina. The Apple Watch Series 5 and the Fitbit Versa 2 both feature built-in batteries, so they cannot be removed or swapped. Additionally, both watches charge via propriety wireless chargers included in the box. It’s pretty clear the Fitbit wins here.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 2

Special features

Corey Gaskin/Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Series 5 and the Fitbit Versa 2 both offer their own combination of special features. While both devices can receive smartphone notifications, the Apple Watch is the only wearable device that can receive and respond to iMessages when using an iPhone. On the flip side, the Versa 2 does include a quick reply feature when used with Android smartphones. Both watches can also control your music and be used as a contactless payment device when shopping.

When it comes to special features, the Apple Watch shines with its LTE model offering. Unlike the Fitbit Versa 2, if you purchase the LTE model of the Apple Watch Series 5, you can continue to use the watch as a second mini smartphone, even when your iPhone is not around — Fitbit offers no such feature. The Series 5 also offers a fall detection function that can call emergency services if it detects that you have fallen and need assistance. If you’re on the lookout for great apps, Fitbit can’t compare when it comes to Apple’s App Store, whether you want to pull up an Audible book, search for local electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, browse your favorite sub-Reddit, or control your smart home.

We have to admit that the Apple Watch Series 5 packs a collection of unique features that the Versa 2 simply can’t replicate, but the Versa 2 does have a few tricks of its own. For starters, Amazon Alexa is built directly into the watch, making it easy to make requests or control your Echo-based smart home with a voice command. Apple Watch does offer Siri, but it’s up to you to decide whether that’s a pro or con. Additionally, the Versa 2 includes Spotify Connect & Control, allowing you to browse your songs, playlists, and podcasts all from your wrist. But even with that, the Apple Watch surges ahead.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

Price and availability

Fitbit Versa 2 spotify
Joel Chokkattu / Digital Trends

Apple has worked hard to bring the Apple Watch Series 5 to the world, and the Fitbit Versa 2 is no different. Both watches are available on every continent (except Antarctica, of course — what would a penguin do with a smartwatch?). When it comes to pricing, the Fitbit Versa 2 comes in at $199 — that’s it. You can add on additional bands and accessories, but the smartwatch itself will run you only two George Washingtons. The Apple Watch Series 5, on the other hand, is priced like any other Apple product we’ve seen.

If you select an aluminum Apple Watch Series 5, the price starts at $399 for a 40mm and $429 for a 44mm variation. If you choose to add cellular to the device, it will cost you another $100 and a monthly data plan for around $10 a month from your local carrier. If you want to upgrade to stainless steel, the base price will cost you $699, while titanium starts at $799, and ceramic starts at $1,299.

Overall winner: Apple Watch Series 5

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

The Apple Watch Series 5 comes through as the winner in this battle. While the Fitbit Versa 2 put up a good fight, the Series 5 had a few unique tricks up its sleeves in each round. Apple’s production of the Watch allows for a great number of variations to be made with different materials, allowing for a more personalized experience — an essential factor when it comes to wearable devices. Additionally, Apple’s advanced health features, LTE option, support for a broader app ecosystem, and overall compatibility with the iPhone make it our standout winner.

The Fitbit Versa 2 is nothing to be shamed, however. It comes in at a remarkably great price, and as long as you don’t mind a few sacrifices, it can be an excellent health companion and smartphone notification delivery device. Plus, it works with Android devices. Additionally, Versa 2 owners won’t find themselves charging up anywhere as much as Apple Watch Series 5 users. However, it’s clear the Apple Watch Series 5 is the stronger device of the two.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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