Fitbit Versa 3 vs Fitbit Versa 2 – what’s new, what’s exactly the same


As you might expect, Fitbit’s new Versa 3 replaces the older Versa 2. But what are the differences between the two fitness smartwatches?

Here, we’ll compare the functions both share and the new features you’ll find with the latest model.

The Fitbit Versa 3 was released in September 2020, a year after 2019’s Versa 2 – so the older model is hardly ancient.

There aren’t many differences in terms of fitness and health functions, but runners and cyclists will especially appreciate the Versa 3’s exclusive features.

First, what they have in common is all of Fitbit’s great all-day activity tracking and exercise features, Active Zone Minutes, smartphone notifications, best-in-class sleep-quality monitoring, and guided breathing sessions – but then so do the cheaper Fitbit Charge 4 and even entry-level Inspire 2.

Only the colour-touchscreen Fitbit smartwatches can show on-screen workouts, but there’s no difference between Versa 2 and 3 in this regard, except the Versa 3’s slightly larger screen.

Both are water-resistant up to 50m and can control your phone’s Spotify Premium playlists.

• Fitbit Versa 2 review

• Fitbit Sense review

Versa 3 now with built-in GPS

The principal difference between the Versa 2 and Versa 3 is the latest model’s built-in GPS. The older Versa 2 relies on connecting to your phone’s GPS for pace and distance measurements.

The advantage of having the GPS built into the smartwatch is that you don’t need to carry your phone with you on runs, hikes and bike rides.

If this doesn’t bother you and you’re likely to go out with your phone anyway, the Versa 2’s connected GPS will suit you just fine.

Using the built-in GPS will significantly reduce daily battery life, and the Versa 3 can switch to connect to the phone just like the Versa 2 if you want to save watch juice.

Google Assistant ‘soon’

Another difference between the Versa 2 and 3 is the latest version’s “coming soon” inclusion of Google Assistant voice functionality.

The Versa 3 can work with Amazon’s Alexa, just like the Versa 2, but will later in the year also work with Google Assistant for voice commands.

Alexa wasn’t my go-to feature even on the Versa 2, but it’s possible Google will do more with Assistant as it is in the process of acquiring Fitbit.

Both smartwatches have a microphone that is used to speak to the voice assistant.

The Versa 3 has a speaker, too!

Coming soon, the new built-in speaker will enable you to take calls from your wrist via Bluetooth. Android users can reply to texts on-the-go through voice command.

Also on the way, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant will have audible replies.

More accurate heart-rate monitor

The Versa 3 has an improved version of Fitbit’s PurePulse heart-rate monitor. PurePulse 2.0 is a multi-path optical tracker. This means that it analyses multiple channels for a more detailed look at every heartbeat, making it more accurate and reliable.

Versa 2 vs Versa 3 sensors and components

Inside the Versa 3 watch case is where you will find the major differences, including the built-in GPS, Speaker and improved heart-rate monitor

Versa 2 specs

3-axis accelerometer, which tracks motion patterns
Altimeter, which tracks altitude changes
Optical heart-rate tracker
Ambient light sensor
Vibration motor

Versa 3 specs

3-axis accelerometer, which tracks motion patterns
Altimeter, which tracks altitude changes
Built-in GPS receiver + GLONASS, which tracks your location during a workout
Multi-path optical heart-rate tracker
Device temperature sensor (skin temperature variation available through Premium only)
Ambient light sensor
Vibration motor

Versa 3 has bigger screen

The Versa 3 is equipped with a 1.58-inch display with a resolution of 336 x 336 pixels. The display on Versa 2 is 1.39 inches with a resolution of 300 x 300 pixels.

The dimensions of the Versa 3 watch case are 40.48mm x 40.48mm x 12.35mm, compared to Versa 2’s dimensions of 39.95mm x 39.84mm x 12.15mm.

Battery life and charging

Both Versa 2 and 3 take around two hours for a full charge, which should give you around 6 days power, depending on usage – for instance, using the Versa 3’s GPS all the time would reduce battery life to 12 hours.

The Versa 3 features Fast Charging, which gives you one day of battery life in just 12 minutes.

Versa 2 vs Versa 3: what’s in each box

Both models of Versa ship with one Small and one Large strap, so you can choose the best fit for your wrist.

The charger for the Versa 2 is much chunkier than the magnetic charger of the Versa 3.

The silicone Classic Band of the Versa 2 has a proper buckle, which is secure and very unlikely to accidentally fall of, and it’s easy to put on and take off.

The silicone Infinity Band of the Versa 3, on the other hand, feels decidedly less secure as it uses a peg rather than a buckle. I’ve had mine fall off once, and another time while I tried to tie the end through the loop.

You can buy different bands for the Versa 3 – and Fitbit Sense, which is pretty much identical in design – and all of these have the much more sensible buckle.

It’s much easier to swap bands with the Versa 3 than the Versa 2, which has a very fiddly strap-switch process that will test your patience and finger nails.

Versa 2: more colours

There are more colour options with the Versa 2, which comes in three case aluminium colours (Carbon, Mist Grey, Copper Rose) and five strap colours (Black, Stone, Petal, Bordeaux, Emerald; the last two available only on the Fitbit Store).

There’s also two models of Special Edition Versa 2 with special Woven bands (alongside the standard silicone), available in either Smoke or Navy & Pink.

Price difference: it’s all about the deals

While stock exists, the company is selling both models, and you’ll find the Versa 2 available at discounts at major retailers for some months.

The Versa 3 has a retail price of £199 in the UK and $229 in the US, the same as the Versa 2 at launch.

At the Fitbit Store, the Versa 2 at £199 is not discounted in the UK. In the US, the price has been dropped $20 to $179.

Check out our roundup of the best Fitbit deals, and see below for the very latest prices, plus find out which is the Best Fitbit for you.

Fitbit Versa 2 vs Versa 3

With its built-in GPS, the Versa 3 is a more proficient sports watch for runners and cyclists. But the Versa 2 can get the same results by connecting to your smartphone, so if you’re happy carrying your phone on runs and rides, then this might not be enough to upgrade to the Versa 3.

The Versa 3 claims more accurate heart-rate measurements, which could be sway newcomers to the latest model, but probably not existing Versa 2 users.

If you find a Versa 2 at a great price, we still rate it as a great fitness smartwatch – not as great as the Versa 3 but only a couple of features behind.

See also our comparison of the differences between the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3.

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