The Fitbit Versa has the advantage of a known-good, highly reliable manufacturing partner, and the features that made it special in the first place. The big changes are the new strap and the performance sensor. The former made the Versa second only to the Fitbit Charge 3 in terms of compatibility, enabling many of its features on the Charge 3.
The former is physically larger, but it’s lighter (the Versa can barely move with its legs), has more activity-friendly, easy-to-use metrics (especially speed and distance), and has a slightly better backlight, but in my opinion it’s worth it to have a larger strap (and a few more fast-paced features) to make the Versa more useful than the Fitbit Charge 3.
Fitbit Charge 3 sells for $149.99 which is around $20 cheaper than the Fitbit Versa. Both devices have their perks and drawbacks, and if you’re looking for a good daily activity tracker with a solid build quality, the Charge 3 may be your best bet.
Fitbit Charge 3
The Fitbit Charge 3 stands out the most from the other Fitbit smartwatches. The lightweight design makes it a great option for people who can’t throw on a lot of clothing.
However, it is not as durable as it looks or feels. This is because of the 13-hour battery life that is listed. By contrast, the Fitbit Versa is a 10-hour battery-life smartwatch. It is also a little too bulky and difficult to use. The Slide button may prove useful for waking the device up, but it isn’t particularly easy to hit or use.
You won’t need to go out of your way to find a way to charge it. Charging it is easy, as the watch has an USB-C port. The Versa will take a bit longer to charge, depending on the current battery life.
More importantly, the Connect app will be a great time saver. Having a heart rate monitor at the ready is a great feature, but I found myself taking my watch out almost every night before bed to check the data. I don’t think you need to have the Connect app installed for the Versa to be a useful device for your fitness tracking.
The Fitbit Versa has WiFi and Bluetooth with Near Field Communication, which means you can remotely monitor your body’s heart rate, and you can connect your Fitbit Versa to an ANT+ heart rate monitor. You’ll need to make sure you get a compatible heart rate strap, but most heart rate straps are compatible.
This is a much better option than having your smartphone nearby because it means you can still track your steps without having to try to use your phone.
The Fitbit Charge 3 has more popular functions that don’t require ANT+ and can track the steps you take while wearing the watch. In addition, the Fitbit Charge 3 comes with a heart rate strap, iphone dock, and clip that you can use with the Charge 3 to attach to your iphone.
This is the option I would recommend if you’re a gym goer or use the watch to track activities. It also adds the option to record workouts in the cloud for sharing with others
Ultimately, the Fitbit Charge 3 is the best wearable tracker for activity tracking. You also have more options when it comes to software and you get a smart phone app for workouts, programming workouts, and downloading workouts.
So Should I Buy the Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Charge 3?
It’s a tough decision. Both are wearable activity trackers and at a very reasonable price. With the Fitbit Versa you get a slightly larger screen, a few more functions and a waterproof case. The Charge 3 is a larger device with all the usual features. But, it’s only on the iPhone and Android. With the Versa you can save a few bucks and go for the more traditional “FITBIT” style of device.