Fitbit Versa ($ 199 on Amazon) is a worthy alternative to Apple Watch ($ 409 at Walmart) .
Versa is Fitbit Ionic ($ 248 on Amazon) s more attractive siblings with a narrower body, interchangeable bands and a lower price. It costs about $ 79 less than the cheapest series 3.
So, how do you choose between Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch 3?
CNETs Vanessa Hand Orellana and Lexy Savvides both had them side by side for about a week to find out which ones fit best for their needs.
Design and Durability
The two bells share a similar design, replaceable straps, a selection of metal colors and a variety of bellows to match the look. They are both waterproof to 50 meters, so you can carry them in the shower or use them to track laps in the pool.
This is the facts, but here are some things we like and dislike about each bell's design:
- It's very comfortable to wear because it's so thin and sits on your wrist and because it's so easy
- There are three different buttons on Versa and it's confusing to designate which button does
- Fitbit Pay is available only if You buy Special Edition, which costs $ 30 more in the US. But elsewhere in the world, Versa ships as standard with NFC for mobile payments. The list of supported banks is not as great as Apple Pay
- You are attached to the Apple Ecosystem, so you can only use it with an iPhone ($ 1,099 at Walmart) not Android
- It has many more smartwatch features than Versa, like calling your phone or unlocking a Mac.
- Transferring iPhone from Your Digital Wallet to Watch for Apple Pay is Simple
- Being able to leave your iPhone behind (when using the LTE version) means you do not feel shut if you need to haber your Uber or Lift, or get a call or message during a workout
- If you have multiple language settings on your phone, voice dictation does not select the correct language
Health and Fitness Tracking  If you do lots of outdoor activities, you can Do not let the phone be a possibility with Versa because of its lack of GPS. In our actual use, we did not miss GPS as much as we thought, but you will not get the correct reading of the pace and distance when it is not connected to the phone.
Versa can also act as a personal coach with the Coach app that comes with some basic workout or forks out $ 40 per year for unlimited access. It shows you the movements directly on your wrist – and being able to initiate a guided workout in your living room is a game changer if you're tight on time. Fitbits standing reminders are also better than Apple Watch: By requiring 250 steps per hour to "win", it is more focused on motivating regular motion.
Visual signals on Apple Watch just give you messages to stand or continue to move during the day, instead of guiding you through workouts, although there are plenty of third-party applications that can help fill that gap. And it's really easy to get addicted toif you're motivated by such types of messages.
Versa contains afeature on the watch, as you can see when sweeping up from the lock screen. Log in your latest period in the Fitbit app and predict your next fertile window based on this data. You can not log in directly at the time, but you can see how long you've got to your next window right from your wrist. Apple Watch has third-party tracking apps that do the same, but they are not backed up in the interface.
Interpretation of your workout
Both allow you to dive into a deeper distribution of your exercise data over time. Fitbit consolidates all of this in its main phone app, while Apple Watch divides this into the Watch app, App Activity, and Health app on iPhone.
Having your training statistics across three different apps can be confusing if you want to track progress over time. Again, there are many third-party apps available for Watch that let you find everything in one place. Vanessa is a fan of the Nike + Run Club for driving or AllTrails for hikes, while Lexy prefers Strava to track progress towards past training and other users.
The Fitbit app was better to translate heart rate readings into useful information, such as telling you if you were in a fat burning, heart or top zone during exercise. Apple's heart rate data in the Activity app can be difficult to interpret on its own because there is no baseline to compare. The closest function is the color-coded route map that shows how fast you went during each part of your trip – green is fast and red is slow. But Apple Watch will soon getincluding better tool for runners who can give it an edge over Fitbit.
Our biggest complaint about the Fitbit app? It does not show elevation for individual activities, so walking up is the only way to figure out the height of the summary page of the clock, even if it seems to disappear when you finish a workout.
Both have third-party apps, although many major partners seem to be less invested in developing wrist-based apps, with Google Maps, Amazon, eBay, and Instagram, leaving all the Apple Watch platform in the past year or so.
You can sync songs to each watch while they are loading. Versa has 2.5GB of storage space dedicated to music, which is about 300 songs, while Apple Watch has 8GB for music on the LTE model (2GB if you have an LTE version).
- Synchronizing music is a challenge for you to use the desktop. It takes a long time if you transfer many songs
- You can only load music you own and nothing with DRM protection
- If you pay for Deezer or Pandora, you can synchronize playlists and stations for when you do not have your phone (Pandora is just the US)
- Sync music is easier than Versa because you can do it from your phone. But you must have the songs in your Apple Music library (Spotify can come to Apple Watch soon because some users are now testing the beta version of the app.)
- Streaming over LTE is possible through Apple Music as long as you are paid subscriber or you can listen to Beats1 radio if you do not subscribe
- But streaming music over LTE is a major feature of battery life
Where Fitbit really is lit, the battery life. After five days of wearing Versa all day during exercise, but not listening to music, it still had about 10 percent battery left.
Apple Watch is struggling in comparison, especially if you use battery-intensive features like LTE and GPS. If you only track a workout, reflect messages or answer texts, you will have a full day of use before you have to charge it – something extra is a bonus.
Both use proprietary chargers, but they do quite quickly.
Please note that Fitbit Versa is brand new: It just hit stores in April, so we do not expect to see another Fitbit smartwatch in 2018. If you want the Fitbit state of the art, this is it.
Apple Watch is another story. Apple has recently released Series 4, with additional health features and a slightly larger screen, but still shares much of the same features as Series 3 with the latest WatchOS 5 update.
As said, thoughts about future Fitbit and Apple products are just trained guesses. We have no embedded info.
And our winner is?
Vanessa: I stopped using Fitbit more, for longer battery life. Even when I forgot to load, I could grab it when I ran out the door in the morning and knew it would at least have enough juice to get me through the day. But Apple Watch is a much more versatile device – I missed many of its features, especially GPS and text reactions, which made me break my phone.
Lexy: Neither is there a versatile smartwatch for me, but if you are an iPhone user and want a smarter companion who can also free you from your phone once in a while, Apple Watch is likely a better fit. I love that Versa is so comfortable and has amazing battery life, but I would choose the watch because it can do so much more.
Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch Series 3 received the same overall rating from our CNET editors, 8 out of 10.
: The best smelting of smartwatch and general fitness tracker under $ 200.
: Still the best smartwatch.