Fitbit Versa vs. Apple Watch Series 4: Which wearable is the best?

Apple Watch Series 4
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We previously compared the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch Series 3, with the Series 3 taking the gold. With the new announcement of the Apple Watch Series 4, it’s time for another head-to-head challenge.

Fitbit is a household name for wearables and the Versa was an impressive addition to the family. A bit smaller than its counterpart, the Fitbit Ionic, the Versa is less harsh in design, with a more delicate appearance. Introduced on September 12, the Apple Watch Series 4 promises to be the best version yet, boasting a larger display area, but a slimmer body, than the Series 3. But how will the Versa and Series 4 match up in a spec to spec showdown?

Specs

Apple Watch Series 4
Fitbit Versa
Display size 44 mm (1.73 inches) 34 mm (1.34 inches)
Resolution
368 × 448 pixels
300 × 300 pixels
Touchscreen Yes Yes
Color display Yes Yes
Wireless interface Bluetooth, NFC Bluetooth, NFC
Weight 48 grams 38 grams
Depth 10.7 mm 11.2mm
Interchangeable strap Yes Yes
3-axis accelerometer Yes Yes
3-axis gyroscope Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Optical heart rate Yes Yes
GPS Yes No
SmartTrack Yes Yes
Waterproof Yes Yes
Battery life 18-hours 4-plus days
Price $400 $200
Availability  Now Now
Review Hands-on Full Review

Fitbit has never revealed the processor used in the Versa, but the brand-new S4 processor in the Apple Watch Series 4 is said to be 2 times faster than its predecessor.

The built-in GPS is one of the top Series 4 advantages. The GPS allows you to record your workouts even when you don’t have cell service. With the Versa, you can leave your phone at home, but without GPS, it’s more difficult to track your every move during your run.

The Apple Watch Series 4 with cellular allows you to make a call, send a text, and stream music from your wrist all without your phone, but it is more expensive than the basic model. This functionality is not available for the Fitbit Versa.

Introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 is WatchOS 5, a new version of Apple’s smartwatch operating system aimed at improving the overall experience with the Series 4. WatchOS 5 introduces brand-new workouts and features, including an all-new yoga workout, a hiking mode, and pace features. Apple also introduced advanced running features, like rolling miles, where your metrics are constantly updating, allowing you to see your split for the preceding mile at any time.

Fitbit OS has always been designed to help you meet your fitness goals. You can check your daily progress and set reminders that will keep you moving toward your goal. Fitbit OS also includes multisport modes and your very own Fitbit coach equipped with personalized video workouts. You can also connect your phone, allowing you to view alerts like text messages, app notifications, phone calls, and calendar events.

Though the two offer similar specs and features, the Apple Watch Series 4 wins overall thanks to the included GPS sensor and the superior WatchOS 5.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 4

Design

Apple Watch Series 4
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Fitbit Versa has made strides toward improving its overall design. With curved edges and more aggressive corners, the overall look and feel is impressive. It’s now available in black, peach/rose gold, and gray. Featuring a 1.34-inch LCD screen, the Versa has a thin and compact design perfect for any wrist size. Fitbit provides a small- and large-sized wristband with every purchase.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The screen is 30 percent larger than before and the watch is slightly thinner than the Series 3. The back is made from ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to pass through the front and back for better cellular service. The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, which offers a more mechanical and responsive feel. Unlike anything out there, the Series 4 can perform an ECG (electrocardiogram). Electrodes built into the Digital Crown help to read your heart’s electrical signals and detect irregular heart rhythms. Series 4 also introduces fall detection and an Emergency SOS feature, making it all about your health and well-being.

The Apple Watch Series 4 comes in three aluminum finishes: Silver, gold, and space gray. The speaker has been redesigned, making it 50 percent louder, and the microphone, which is now on the opposite side of the speaker, should reduce echo and make phone calls clearer. With its new-and-improved features and sleek design, the Apple Watch takes the win in the design category.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 4

Battery life

fitbit versa full review 32
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

Compared to the Series 3, the Apple Watch Series 4 has the same battery life, boasting up to 18 hours of screen time. Apple has increased outdoor workout time to six hours, with full GPS tracking for long bike rides.

While the Apple Watch Series 4 is new and shiny, the Fitbit Versa still dominates in terms of battery power. Featuring a 145mAh battery, Fitbit claims that the Versa will last four days between charges. Since it also takes just two hours to get back to a fully charge, it’s safe to say that the Versa takes the win when it comes to battery life.

Winner: Fitbit Versa

Price and availability

best fitness trackers for women fitbit versa

The Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $400, while the Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) will start at $500. That’s expensive when compared to the cost of the Fitbit Versa at $200. If you are looking for a budget-friendly smartwatch, the Versa is the way to go. Though the Apple Watch Series 4 comes with additional features (built-in GPS and cellular functionality), the Fitbit Versa’s affordable price tag is hard to beat.

Overall winner: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Though the Fitbit Versa puts up a pretty good fight and the features are comparable, it is the Apple Watch Series 4 that reigns supreme. They are both good for everyday activities including working out, checking messages, and simply keeping up with your steps for the day, but the Apple Watch Series 4 shines brighter with its built-in GPS capability and the clever WatchOS 5 on board.

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