Smartwatches. There are just so many to choose from, with plenty of popular options available that are designed specifically for Android. There are great choices from Fitbit, Samsung, and Apple as well. The amount of choices out there is simply countless, but today, we’re going to he;p you at least make a decision between two of the most popular brands today — Fitbit and Apple.
|Fitbit||Fitbit Versa Smart Watch||Check Price on Amazon|
|Apple||Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS, 44mm)||Check Price on Amazon|
Specifically, we’re gong to be looking at how the Fitbit Versa matches up against the Apple Watch Series 4. If you’re ready to find out which one you should pick up, follow along below as we cover their pros and cons. Let’s dive right in.
Apple Watch Series 4
Editor’s Note: Before we get started, we should mention that if you’re comparing the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch Series 4 for an Android phone, the comparison isn’t even worth making. That’s because the Apple Watch Series 4 doesn’t work with Android at all — it requires you to have an iPhone, and if you don’t, you essentially have a paper weight on your wrist. However, if you use an iPhone on the daily, this comparison is worth making, otherwise, the Versa wins every time because of the incompatibility between Android and the Apple Watch.
One of the areas that we like most about the Apple Watch Series 4 is its new design. Sure, it’s pretty familiar in form factor with previous generations of the Apple Watch, but it looks a whole lot more luxury this time because of a handful of notable changes. First, Apple made the Series 4 look flatter, which actually adds some nice dimension to it.
Additionally, Apple got rid of the bezels on the Apple Watch Series 4. That gives you a bigger screen to look at, and overall nicer looking piece on your wrist. The luxury really shines through in the Stainless Steel variant of the device, though the aluminum body doesn’t look too shabby either.
One of the nice things about the design is that the watch bands are replaceable. By pressing a small button down on the back of the Apple Watch, you can remove your current bands and replace them with an alternative. This could be a Silicone Sport band for going out on a run, jog, or workout, or it could be a Chain Link or Leather band for a night out on the town.
The Apple Watch Series 4 — with the upgraded hardware — is able to fly through software tasks with no hesitation. That’s because, under the hood is Apple’s watch processor — the next-gen S4 64-bit dual-core processor. It’s able to compute and complete tasks two times faster than the previous generation Apple Watch. In addition, Apple has made some notable changes to the sensors inside the watch as well — the accelerometer and gyroscope actually now have twice the dynamic range and can sample motion data eight times faster.
One of the major benefits to the Apple Watch Series 4 is a new sensor that allows for ECG tracking, otherwise known as the ability ti take an electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement of your heart’s electrical pulses. This sort of measure is able to gauge your heart health and give you a baseline for your wellness. Not only that, but it’s actually been known to detect elevated heart rates and save people from things like a heart attack.
You might be skeptical at its abilities, but worry not — Apple has been able to get this feature approved by the American Food and Drug Administration. Apple makes it pretty easy to use as well — just open the app on your Apple Watch Series 4, and simply hold your finger on the Digital Crown until the test is complete. You should see results straight away.
Unfortunately, when it comes to battery life in the Apple Watch Series 4, nothing has changed. You get the same exact 18-hour, all-day battery life that was found in the Series 3. Now, battery has — of course — been optimized thanks to the watchOS 5 software, but there’s been no significant enhancements here this time around.
Software is, naturally, the best part of the Apple Watch Series 4. This one came with watchOS 5 right out of the box, which brings you access to so many features.
One of our favorite aspects of the Series 4 is that, after you connect it with your iPhone, you can receive text messages and phones calls right on your watch. Not only that, but you can respond to and answer them as well. If you pick up the Cellular model of the Apple Watch Series 4, you can actually do all of these things independent of your iPhone.
In addition, the Apple Watch Series 4 has excellent workout integration. Using the Workout app, you can easily keep track of your runs, jogs, walks, biking, and even swimming. There are plenty of other workouts that you can track as well. And since the Series 4 is waterproof, a pool swim isn’t going to harm the device at all.
One of the unique things with the Series 4 is the fall detection. Due to some upgraded sensors, the Series 4 can now detect when you fall by analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration. The Series 4 can then initiate an emergency call. If the Series 4 determines that the fall is serious enough — and it detects that you’re immobile for at least 1 minute — it’ll automatically call and send a text message to your emergency contacts using something called the SOS feature.
Previous generations of the Apple Watch actually included an optical heart rate sensor to track calories burned, resting heart rate, and other aspects of your Health. The Series 4 actually takes things a little bit further to offer a handful of new features. For example, you can receive a notification if your heart rate appears to be too low, allowing you to get checked out by doctors before you experience a serious problem.
Now, what we think is one of the most important features, the Apple Watch will now be able to monitor your heart rhythm in the background. Them, it will actually send a notification to the watch if it detects irregular rhythm, which could point to atrial fibrillation or something else. The watch certainly can’t diagnose you with a problem, but it can help you get something checked out before things get bad.
And then, we have one of the biggest factors you have to consider when buying an Apple Watch — the price. The cheaper, aluminum body will cost you $399, whereas the more expensive Stainless Steel option starts at $799. It comes with a default band, but any extra bands that you want will, obviously, cost extra.
Buy it now: Amazon
One of the biggest problems that Fitbit is having these days is competition with devices like the Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch, and other smart watches. That’s because these companies are closing the gap in the differences between these devices, essentially providing better value for money in their smartwatches than anything Fitbit could offer.
However, there are still a few features that are unique to Fitbit, at least for now. Not only that, but they’ve created their own full blown smartwatch to better compete against the likes of the Apple Watch Series 4. Let’s see how it stacks up, shall we?
First off is the design. This is one area where Fitbit isn’t really excelling, offering up a pretty clunky looking aluminum body. Fitbit boasts making the Versa out of thin, anodized aluminum, keeping the Versa as one of the lightest smartwatches out there to date. What is unique is the rounded square face, which Fitbit — believe it or not — calls a “squircle.”
While the design might definitely not be attractive, Fitbit is teaming up with The Council of Fashion Designers of America to create some different styles through watch cases and bands that make it stand out. And while it goes a long way to making the Versa stand out, it just doesn’t have the beautiful design of the Apple Watch Series 4.
As you might imagine, bands are interchangeable, so you can at least change your style up whenever you’d like.
We don’t know all of the intricate details packed into the Fitbit Versa because it’s “proprietary” hardware. However, some Versa fans have dug into the smartwatch, revealing a single Cortex M4 at 120MHz. Suffice to say, it’s not a super high-end processor, and might prove to be limiting should you want to take advantage of more demanding apps.
Battery life is probably the best aspect of the Fitbit Versa, giving you a little over four days off of a single charge. This is so necessary, simply because the Fitbit Versa also offers sleep tracking, something that you won’t find in the Apple Watch Series 4 right now.
The software included on the Fitbit is actually pretty good. First and foremost, the Fitbit Versa is excellent at keeping track of different workouts. You can use over fifteen exercise modes like Run or Swim (Fitbit Versa is water-resistant to 50 meters) to record workouts and connect to smartphone GPS for more precise real-time pace & distance.
One of the features that sets the Fitbit Versa apart from other smartwatches is the sleep tracking features. You can track your sleep stages, light sleep, deep sleep, REM time, and more with the Versa. In addition, you’ll be able to track your all-day activity, 24/7 heart rate, and more.
One of the cool things about the Fitbit Versa is the ability to store and play over 300 songs. You’ll be able to utilize on-screen workouts that play on your wrist, which coach you through every move, laps swimmed, etc.
You can get a variety of notifications sent to your Fitbit Versa as well, including calendar, text, and call notifications. If you’re running an Android smartphone, you can actually send Quick Replies right on the Fitbit Versa. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Reply features available on the iPhone at all.
Similar to the Apple Watch, sometimes you don’t have to initiate workouts either. The Fitbit Versa actually automatically tracks select sports & workouts with SmartTrack. One of the aspects that’s really unique about the Versa is femal health tracking in the Fitbit app to log periods, symptoms and more. That’s something you won’t find natively supported by the Apple Watch, at least not right now.
Lastly, the Fitbit Versa has something called Fitbit Pay. It’s a secure contactless payment system, allowing you to pay for your purchases at select stores simply by hovering it over the chip reader. Apple has something similar — Apple Pay.
The price of this smartwatch might be the most attractive selling point yet. When it first launched it retailed for $230, but has obviously fallen in price and will continue to do so as the Versa gets older. It’s still way cheaper than you could ever get a Series 4 for, which might make it attractive in that sense.
Buy it now: Amazon
The winner here is really dependent on the type of phone you have. If you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch is the clear winner. You’re able to use all of the Apple Watch’s base features, but you can add more apps and features to it through the App Store. That’s something that the Fitbit Versa doesn’t have, and likely won’t have due to a lack of developer support. The watch is also a lot more polished overall.
However, if you don’t have an iPhone, the Fitibt Versa is obviously the winner, simply because it works. It has some nice fitness tracking features, as well as some apps for playing music and answering texts. The unfortunate part here is that the Fitbit Versa really drops the ball when it comes to design.
It’s just not an attractive look for doing anything other than casual activities, as well as sports and exercises. It looks out of place at work and professional events, unfortunately.
Both the Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch Series 4 are excellent smartwatches; however, the Apple Watch is definitely the top performer, and comes with better support overall. The Apple Watch Series 4 is guaranteed to get updates for a couple of years from now as well, whereas the Fitbit Versa just isn’t going to see that type of support.
We really like how the Apple Watch Series 4 can fit into work and professional environments as well, whereas the Fitbit Versa looks clunky and out of place. Thanks to a large variety of band types, and at all different price ranges, the Series 4 can really fit into almost any environment.
Do you have a favorite smartwatch out of these two? Do you think one is a clear winner over the other? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.