Fitbit Versa 3 Vs. Apple Watch Series 5: Mid-range Vs Premium

Apple released its latest watch, Apple Watch Series 6, last year and about the same time Fitbit Sense was unveiled by Fitbit. Fitbit is leading the smartwatch evolution to a fully-fledged health device, but the Apple has the largest market share and following up closely.

Both these watches have FDA approved ECG sensor along with a host of other health and fitness feature. But the Fitbit Sense has an upper hand in health features. We would compare the two watches latter, and update you.

Here, we will compare their immediate predecessors. Why? Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t a groundbreaking improvement on Apple Watch Series 5, and so is true in case of Fitbit Sense and Versa 3. Comparing these watches, we intend to help buyers who don’t need the bells and whistles of latest smartwatches or are a little short of budget.

We have compared them feature by feature, and tried to add details right to the bare bones. Generally speaking, the comparison between two was not very easy, as they match punch-for-punch. And yet there are a few aspects in which one watch is clearly better than the other.

For example, take compatibility. Apple Smartwatches only works with IOS devices, whereas Fitbit works both with IOS and Android, though not as flawlessly with the former. On the other hand, Apple watch Series 5 has cellular connectivity available on its LTE version, it can be used as a standalone device. Fitbit has only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Apple Watch battery hardly make it to 18 hours on a single charge, Fitbit Versa 3 promise you more than 3 days with mixed usage.

In case of health feature, though, the watches are more or less similar. The only two major difference are the ECG feature in Apple Watch Series 5, and its absence in Fitbit Versa 3; and the blood oxygen monitoring sensor in Fitbit Versa and its absence in Apple watch. We will discuss them in detail in a separate section.

For our comparison, we picked LTE version of Apple Watch Series 5 and Fitbit Versa 3. You can find the links to both watches below. If you intend to buy any of these watch, let it be known that these links are affiliate and might earn us commission with no additional cost to you.

So without further ado, let’s get straight to our first section.

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Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

Apple Watch Series 5

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Features
  • Run, bike, hike and more phone-free and see your real-time pace & distance with built-in GPS....
  • Active Zone Minutes uses your resting heart rate to gauge exercise effort and gives you a buzz...
  • Better track heart rate 24/7 with PurePulse 2.0, Fitbit’s enhanced heart rate...
  • See your nightly blood oxygen levels at a glance with our collection of SpO2 clock faces. Then...
  • GPS
  • Always-On Retina display
  • 30% larger screen
  • Swimproof
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Fitbit Versa 3
Apple Watch Series 5

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Side by Side Comparison

Spoiler Alert, the following comparison table is very detailed and therefore long. If you are looking for a more organized comparison of relevant features, skip the table.

The whole point of adding this table is to compile raw specifications and features in one place so techies don’t have to scroll down to the bottom to get the desired information.

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
Companion AppWatchFitbit
Operating SystemWatchOSFitbitOS
CompatibilityIOS iOS 13 or later. iOS, Android Apple iOS 12.2 or higher. Android OS 7.0 or higher.  
Box ContentWatch, Magnetic Charging Cable, Strap, DocumentationWatch, Charging Cable, Straps, Documentation
GenderUnisexUnisex
Weight:30.8-47.8g (Depending on the casing material)40-42.5 g (depending on the strap size)
Water Resistance5 ATM (Water Resistance for up to 50m)5 ATM (Water Resistance for up to 50m)
Release DateSeptember 20, 2019September, 2020
3-axis accelerometerYesYes
GyroscopeYesNo
CompassYesNo
Optical heart rate sensorYesYes
AltimeterYesYes
Microphones & SpeakerYesYes
Temperature sensorNoYes
Vibration MotorYesYes
NFCYes (Apple Pay)Yes (Fitbit Pay)
Ambient light sensorYesYes
GPS connectivityYes, Plus GLONASS (Russian Alternative to GPS)Yes, Plus GLONASS (Russian Alternative to GPS)
Oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring SensorNoYes
ECG SensorYesNo
BluetoothYes (Bluetooth 5)Yes (Bluetooth 5)
Wi-FiYes ( (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)Yes ( (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
Cellular ConnectivityYesNo
Size40, 44mm40mm
Dimensions40mm Watch Height: 40mmWidth: 34mmDepth: 10.74mm 44mm Watch Height: 44mmWidth: 38mmDepth: 10.74mm  40 mm Watch   Height: 40.48 mmWidth: 40.48 mmDepth: 12.35 mm  
Strap typeInterchangeableInterchangeable
FinishesAluminum, Stainless steel, Titanium, CeramicAluminum  
ShapeRectangular Frame with Rounded CornersRectangular Frame with Rounded Corners
ScreenRetina LTPO OLED display1.58-inch AMOLED display
Resolution44mm (368 by 448 pixels) 40mm (324 by 394 pixels)336 x 336 resolution
Pixel density sharpness326  pixels per inch300 pixels per inch
Brightness1000 nits1000 nits
Always-onYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Protectionion-X glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Custom Watch FaceYesNo
ProcessorApple S5 (Dual Core Processor)N/A
RAM1 GBN/A
Storage32 GBN/A (Store songs on Deezer and Pandora)
Magnetic ChargingYesYes
Expected Battery Life18 hours6 days
0-80%1 hour40 minutes
Battery TypeNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Blood Oxygen MonitorNoYes
ECGYesNo
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Distance Tracking (Running)YesYes
Step CounterYesYes
Sport Mode YesYes
Menstrual CycleYesYes
Voice AssistantYes (SIRI)Yes (Alexa, Google Assitant)
Music PlaybackStreaming + OfflineNo offline support (except Deezer and Pandora)
Calling, textingYesNo
Alarm, Timer, StopwatchYesYes
Web BrowsingYesNo
International emergency callingYesNo
Fall DetectorYesNo
Emergency SOSYesNo

 

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch Series 5: Sensors

You will find an overlap of sensors in both watches, but Apple Watch has more sensors in general. Versa 3 has oxygen saturation monitoring sensor as a plus, and the latest Apple Watch Series 6 has it too. Whereas, Apple Watch has ECG sensor as a highlight features. Apple was the first company to introduce ECG sensor in its watches, and also the first one to get FDA approval for it.

The body temperature sensor in Versa 3 can’t be used on-demand. It is available with premium Fitbit plan, and gives you the trends in temperature change while you are asleep. You will have to opt for a special watch face on the watch.

Apple Watch has Compass and Gyroscope too. The compass helps in navigation when there is no phone network around, or no Wi-Fi connectivity available. Gyroscope contributes to the accuracy of data while tracking multiple sports.

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
3-axis accelerometer  YesYes
GyroscopeYesNo
CompassYesNo
Optical heart rate sensorYesYes
Altimeter  YesYes
Microphones & SpeakerYesYes
Temperature sensorNoYes
Vibration MotorYesYes
NFCYes (Apple Pay)Yes (Fitbit Pay)
Ambient light sensor  YesYes
GPS connectivityYes, Plus GLONASS (Russian alternative to GPS)Yes, Plus GLONASS (Russian alternative to GPS)
Oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring SensorNoYes
ECG SensorYesNo

 

Connectivity:

Both watches has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth 5 is the gold standard of Bluetooth-connectivity in smartwatches. Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz) is only dwarfed by 5 GHz band connection in the latest Apple Watch Series 6.

Apart from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Apple Watch Series 5 comes with LTE connectivity. However, it would cost $100 more and if you don’t want to use this option, better get a Wi-Fi version. Apple Watch supports eSIM of almost all networks.

Also, both watches allows you to leave your wallet at home (given you are in a supported country), as they have contactless payment feature (NFC or Near Field Communication). Apple Pay is available across 41 countries worldwide followed by Google Pay in 29 countries.

As Google recently has finalized the acquirement deal of Fitbit, Versa 3 might have access to these countries as Fitbit Pay coverage is quite limited. And, you don’t need a cell or Wi-Fi signal to make these payments.

Surprisingly, both these watches has dual satellite navigation system (GPS and GLONASS). As you might know, GPS is based on the US satellite system. And GLONASS, on Russian Satellite system. You can expect a more reliable solution when you navigate with more satellites.

Other than these two, GALILEO and BeiDou the satellite constellation system built by European Space Agency and China respectively, are also available in a handful of smartwatches. However, not in these two. 

Wireless Connectivity OptionsApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
BluetoothYes (Bluetooth 5)Yes (Bluetooth 5)
Wi-FiYes ( (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)Yes ( (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
Cellular ConnectivityYesNo
NFCYes (Apple Pay)Yes (Fitbit Pay)
GPSYes (and GLONASS)Yes (and GLONASS)

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch Series 5: Build Quality

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
Size40, 44mm40mm
ShapeRectangularSquare
Dimensions40mm Watch Height: 40mmWidth: 34mmDepth: 10.74mm 44mm Watch Height: 44mmWidth: 38mmDepth: 10.74mm  40 mm Watch   Height: 40.48 mmWidth: 40.48 mmDepth: 12.35 mm  
Strap typeInterchangeableInterchangeable
FinishesAluminum, Stainless steel, Titanium, CeramicAluminum  
Water ResistanceUp to 50 mUp to 50 m
ButtonDigital CrownInductive Button
Protectionion-X glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3

The first and foremost difference, and the most obvious, is the shape of these watches. Apple Watch Series 5 is rectangular with rounded corner, and it has been following the same design right from the start. Fitbit Versa 3, on the other hand, is square in shape with relatively thick bezel.

Apple watch Series 5 has two variants: 40mm and 44mm. Fitbit Versa has only one: 40 mm. The former is relatively thinner and lighter in weight. Fitbit Versa 3 is only suitable for small and average wrist size, and the strap sizing is mentioned on the website.

Small

  • Fits wrist 5.5″ – 7.1″ in circumference

Large

  • Fits wrist 7.1″ – 8.7″ in circumference

Both variants of the Apple Watch Series 5 come in variety of casing material, ranging from Aluminum to titanium. While with Versa 3, you are stuck with Aluminum.  Apple Watches comes with both glass (ion-X) and sapphire (highly scratch resistant), whereas Versa 3 come with Gorilla Glass 3 on top, a baseline protection against scratches.

There is a digital crown in the Apple Watch series 5 for navigation, and an inductive button on the Fitbit Versa 3. The capacitive indent is notorious for hit-and-miss functionality. It takes a few tries to find the exact spot you need to press to bring up apps and sub-menus. No wonder that Fitbit had to face a lot of criticism by users for its poorly designed button.

Both these watches has an option to change straps, and to change them conveniently. However, Apple watch has a wide variety of straps available ranging from Silicone, Nylon, Fiber, Leather, to metal. You can also buy third-party straps to customize your watch as per your style. Versa 3, however, has Silicone, recycled Plastic Fiber, and Horween leather bands available on Fitbit online store. You can use the bands with Fitbit Sense too.

Both these watches are 5 ATM rated which means that they have more or less same protection against water ingression. 5 ATM translates to water resistance for up to 50 meters. These watches are suitable for open-water swimming or surfing, but go a little deep than that, they would miserably fail.

So in build quality, Apple Watch Series 5 beats the Fitbit Versa, but only by a small margin. However, in terms of different case size and wide variety of straps option, the Apple Watch beat the Versa 3. But keep in mind, the former would exact top dollars for its premium editions as they have much expensive casing material (titanium) with hardened sapphire for better scratch-resistance.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Display

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
ShapeRectangular Frame with Rounded CornersRectangular Frame with Rounded Corners
Size1.78 inch (44mm), 1.57 inch (40mm)  1.58-inch
ScreenRetina LTPO OLED displayAMOLED display
Resolution44mm (368 by 448 pixels) 40mm (324 by 394 pixels)336 x 336 resolution
Pixel density sharpness326  pixels per inch300 pixels per inch
Brightness1000 nits1000 nits
Always-onYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Custom Watch FaceYesNo

Both these watches have touchscreen OLED display. Apple’s watches display is the gold standard in smartwatch industry. It is using Retina LTPO OLED display technology, and as you can guess it, the display is one of Apple’s highlight feature. Versa 3 display doesn’t lag far behind. It is equally crisp and clear.

However, there are minute differences when you go deep into details. The pixel density sharpness for Apple Watch Series 5 display stands at 326 pixels per inch, for Versa 3 it stands at 300 pixels per inch. In laymen’s term, Apple watch can fit more items on the screen and the icons would be sharp and clear.

In terms of outdoor visibility, both these watches offer 1000 nit peak brightness sufficient for clear view. The Apple Watch has two display sizes a 1.78-inch display on the 44mm and a 1.57-inch display on the 40mm variant. Fitbit Display has thick bezel but that doesn’t make it any less visually appealing.

Both watches have Always-on display mode to allow you to discreetly check the time and workout progress during exercise without having to tap your Watch screen or turn/raise your wrist to activate it. On Apple Watch the display is bright enough to save you any outdoor visibility issues.

On Apple watch, you have hundreds of watch faces available, but your options are limited on the Versa 3. You cannot customize watch faces on Fitbit Versa and can keep only 5 faces on the watch all the time. However, Versa 3 has special watch faces for sleep and blood oxygen tracking.

Again, Apple Watch Series 5 has an upper hand. The screen technology, bright always-on mode, higher screen resolution all contributes to its superiority over Versa 3.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: RAM, Storage & Processor

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
ProcessorApple S5 (Dual Core Processor)N/A
RAM1 GBN/A
Storage32 GBN/A (Store songs on Deezer and Pandora)

In terms of raw hardware, Apple Watch Series 5 vs Fitbit Versa 3 is the classic David vs Goliath battle, which in this case is conclusively ended in the victory of Goliath (Apple Watch Series 5). The smartwatch is not only superior to Fitbit Versa 3, but is one of the most powerful watch in the market, only second to the latest Apple Watch Series 6.

The S5 chip, 64-bit dual core processor, is one of the fastest processors on the market. And it is supported by 1 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. So the horsepower of the Apple Watch comes from raw hardware. When it combines with a refined WatchOS what you get is a fast smartwatch experience.

Fitbit Versa 3 has no mention of its hardware anywhere. But in speed (boot up time, switching between apps, and voice assistant performance) it fails to close the gap. Its competitor isn’t just any watch, but the most well-equipped watch for smooth experience. Similarly, the software isn’t as refined as the Apple’s Watch OS.

There is simply no way Versa 3 can beat Apple watch in performance, the latter has significantly more firepower to deliver a jaw-dropping experience.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Battery Life & Charging

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
Magnetic ChargingYesYes
Expected Battery Life18 hours6 days
0-80%1 hour40 minutes
Battery TypeNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery

In battery performance, Versa 3 beats Apple Watch by a fairly high margin, but that battle is rigged in the favor of Versa. Apple watch is features-titan and as we have seen in previous section, it can destroy Versa in raw horsepower.

Apple claims that you would get 18 hours out of a single charge with mixed usage. Our experience was in line with that claim, and if you cautiously use the watch with minimal interface and limited features, the watch can make it to 24 hours. But even that is not enough. Let’s face it, all Apple Watches need overnight charge.

LTE and GPS along with the Always-on mode drains battery much faster than all other features combined. On a single charge, the watch would last for up to 2 hours (talk time), 7-10 hours (audio playback: streaming -local), 5 hours (GPS+LTE).

This apple watch supports magnetic charging, and it takes about 1 hours, 40 minutes to fully charge the watch.

Fitbit Versa 3 claims 6 days of battery life. And, if you set the display at normal brightness and given GPS being used no more than 2-3 times a week, it will deliver on the promise. However, if you prefer to use always-on display all the time, the battery time will be reduced to 3 days.

Versa 3 charges fast, and with mixed usage, the following claim by the company holds true.

  • Charge time: (10-80%): Approximately 40 minutes
  • Fast charging: 1 day of battery life in 12 minutes

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Activity & Fitness Tracking

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
Blood Oxygen MonitorNoYes
ECGYesNo
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Swim TrackingYesYes
Distance Tracking (Running)YesYes
Step CounterYesYes
Sport Mode YesYes
Menstrual CycleYesYes

As mentioned earlier, Apple watch can track ECG, and Fitbit Versa 3 can track blood oxygen saturation as their unique advantage over one another.  Both these watches can track heartrate, sleep, swimming and steps.

There is no built-in app in the Apple watch to track sleep, you can use third-party apps for it. In Versa 3, the sleep tracking is a bit advanced as you get all these metrics like Deep Sleep, light Sleep and Rapid Eyes Movement.

The heartrate tracking of both these watches are very accurate, slightly off when compared with medical grade equipment but better than most smartwatches. However, while running, both these watches are highly inaccurate. Serious runners should go for Suunto or Garmin, or pick a suitable chest strap.

Both these watches used friendly and straightforward and focus on basic health stuff as opposed to hardcore sports metrics.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Smartwatch Features                             

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
Voice AssistantYes (SIRI)Yes (Alexa, Google Assistant)
Music PlaybackStreaming + OfflineNo offline support (except Deezer and Pandora)
Calling, textingYesNo
Alarm, Timer, StopwatchYesYes
Web BrowsingYesNo

In fitness features, both these watches stand toe to toe and fight punch for punch. There is no conclusive victory.

However, in smartwatch features, Apple Watch knocks down Versa 3 in the first round. It is one of the most feature-rich watch on the market.

Apple watch has SIRI to control IoT devices and for people who depend on voice commands for their everyday tasks. It is snappy and smooth in experience. Versa 3 has two voice assistants, Google Assistant and Alexa, both slower than SIRI.

In Apple watch you can call and text via iMessage app with or without phone (LTE version). You can also send emails and browse the web, and above all, can stream music via ‘Apple Music’ or store it on the watch for offline playback.

Unfortunately, Fitbit Versa 3 offers only some of these features even though it has Wi-Fi connectivity. You cannot store the music on Versa 3 except for the playlists on Deezer and Pandora (You would needs paid subscription for it). You can call over Bluetooth, but cannot browse the web or send custom messages.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Emergency Features

FeaturesApple Watch Series 5Fitbit Versa 3
International emergency callingYesNo
Fall DetectorYesNo
Emergency SOSYesNo

Apple watch series 5 is quite big on emergency features. It has international emergency calling and emergency SOS. There is a fall sensor to activate them.

When you fell on the ground and remain inactive for more than 5 minutes, the watch will leave a message to friends and family members, plus call emergency numbers. If the feature is activated by mistake, you can manually turn it off.

The emergency features are particularly useful for elderly people and kids.  Apple’s new Family Setup service lets parents provision an Apple Watch for their kids to use. They can choose what apps and services their kids can access, who they can call or send messages to, and track their location through GPS.

Fitbit Versa 3 doesn’t offer any competition at all as it don’t have the necessary hardware.

Apple Watch Series 5: The Pros & Cons

Apple Watch Series 5 is an expensive watch and yet there are few watches around the corner that can beat it in performance in style.

Pros:

  1. Calling, Texting, Streaming, contactless payment and web browsing along with the basic smartwatch features.
    1. Apple’s Display is simply the gold standard in the industry.
    1. Advanced health features like ECG, optical heart rate sensor, sleep tracking
    1. Always-on Display to save you the embarrassment of lifting your wrist in the middle of important meetings and conversation.
    1. Variety of casing material: titanium, ceramic, stainless steel and aluminum. 5 Atm water resistance.
    1. Has compass, altimeter, barometer, and build-in GPS for back country tracking.

Cons:

  1. Expensive watch, might break the bank.
  2. Not suitable for marathon and for serious runners.
  3. Poor battery performance.
  4. Only pairs to an IOS device.

Fitbit Versa 3: The Pros & Cons

Versa 3 is a mid-range watch that packs within a ton of health features, the signature mark of the company, along with a balanced set of smartwatch features.

Pros:

  1. Versa 3 is an affordable health device disguised in a smartwatch.
  2. Advanced sleep and heart rate tracking.
  3. Pairs with both IOS and Android devices.
  4. Has two voice assistants well integrated (Alexa and Google Assistant)
  5. Solid display, screen suitable for slim and slender wrist.
  6. Long battery life

Cons:

  1. Don’t have ECG. (It is not a major drawback for young and healthy users)
  2. The watch has limited smartwatch features. (calling texting and web browsing)
  3. Not suitable for large or big wrists.
  4. Can store music offline except for Deezer and Pandora playlists
  5. Advanced sleep and temperature tracking is locked under premium Fitbit account
  6. The user interface needs a major overhaul, the performance is slow yet acceptable

Fitbit Versa 3 vs Apple Watch 5: Value for money

Fitbit Versa 3 costs around 200-230 dollars, where as Apple Watch series 5 can range from $400-600 depending on the Wi-Fi/LTE version or casing material.

Versa 3 is an affordable alternative to the Apple Watch Series 5 for people looking for a health device without ECG. It is the closest health device to Apple watch for android users.

For iOS users those who can pay a little extra, get their hands on Apple Watch Series 5.  All Apple Watches outdo the competition by a fair margin and the only watch slightly better than Series 5 is Apple Watch Series 6.