Thinking of upgrading your current smartwatch or fitness tracker? Trying to decide between the Fitbit Versa 4 or Apple Watch 8? We’ll help you sort out the important distinctions between the two brands so you can make a well-informed decision.
Even though Fitbits and Apple Watches both track your daily activity and heart rate, there are many important distinctions between the two that you should be aware of before making your purchase.
Getting started can be difficult, and upgrades might present a dizzying array of options, making it hard to zero in on the one watch that’s just right. Having said that, here is some advice to assist you in selecting the appropriate gadget when they’re released (we think) this month.
Fitbit Versa 4
The Fitbit Versa 4 will be a huge improvement over previous versions as a health and fitness tracker.
This month, fitness-focused wristwatch manufacturer Fitbit introduced two new models: the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Fitbit Sense 2. Fitbit remains the best smartwatch for health and fitness tracking despite the fact that the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch outsell the previous leader in the wearables business and undoubtedly feature more smartwatch functions.
If you have done any homework on these watches, you know the answer is the battery. Since the original Fitbit Sense lasted that long between charges, I’m willing to give the upcoming Sense 2 the benefit of the doubt until we’ve had a chance to review them.
Both of these accessories can be modified in a variety of ways. A wide variety of clock dials are available for your selection. Series 8 will hopefully include a selection of brand-new watch faces (should there be a design change). The Series 8 and the Versa 4 will offer interchangeable bands.
There are always tons of different materials and colors from both brands. Both include Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing you to add your own unique touches with apps. It’s essential to keep in mind that the Series 8 will likely offer 32GB of internal storage, while the Versa 4 might only have 4GB.
When it comes to compatibility, the Versa 4 has the edge again. It will work with both Apple and Google’s mobile platforms. There is no Android support for Apple Watches. If you’re already committed to Apple products, this isn’t a major concern, but if you use Android, you’re stuck with the Versa.
The battery life of your Apple Watch will rely primarily on how often you use the fitness functions; however, we know it only lasts about 18 hours.
The Fitbit Versa 4 will boast a six-day battery life (note, this will vary depending on how often you use the various features) and just require a quick 12-minute charge to get you through the day.
Feeling exhausted and worn out?
What makes a device so great that you should pick the Versa 4 or Sense 2 instead of, say, an Apple Watch or a Galaxy Watch? It’s inconvenient to have to charge our phones every day, yet we do it nonetheless. All of these brands stress the importance of always wearing the watch so that it can monitor your vitals and progress toward your fitness goals.
It’s much more likely that you’ll go an entire day, weekend, or night without being able to use your Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch because you forgot to charge it or bring your charger on vacation than it is that you’ll forget your phone at home.
Imagine going to check the time or your messages to have your reflection look back at you on a blank screen, along with the loss of information such as the number of steps you did or how long you slept.
And if you’re maintaining a thorough health and fitness diary, you’ll find this to be true. You need more than an estimate if you want to know how many calories you burned over the day or during a specific activity; you need a heart rate monitor.
Because Apple is so proud of the precision of its inbuilt heart rate monitor, the inclusion of atrial fibrillation (shortened to A-fib) diagnosis via EKG is particularly notable. Once again, Versa 4 has you covered and has the added feature of monitoring for A-fib as you sleep. With more frequent monitoring, all of these parameters rise, and the Versa 4 excels at this task.
Both the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear S2 have a battery saver mode that, in essence, turns off all of the watch’s functions save for the time and maybe the step tracker in order to prolong the battery’s life. However, doing so nullifies any advantages such smartwatches have to have over the Fitbit.
Fitbit versus Apple – Fitness tracking
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to be a gym rat or a marathon runner. Daily action has genuine health advantages, and fitness trackers like the Apple Watch and Fitbit are great motivators.
Wearable activity trackers like the Apple Watch and the Fitbit can keep tabs on your daily movement, route taken, and energy expenditure. They also show you how many minutes you’ve been active during the day. In both cases, you can keep track of your development over time and access past data. You may also establish daily targets to work toward.
Apple Watch Activity App
In addition, the barometric altimeter on the Apple Watch Series 6 and later, and on the Fitbit smartwatches (other than the Versa Lite Edition), measures elevation gain (take the hilly route home, not the flat one). The Fitbits are compatible with the optional Fitbit Aria scales, syncing weight data. At the same time, the Apple Watch is compatible with any health and fitness software that syncs with Apple Health on the iPhone.
Thus, the Fitbit models span from everyday fitness and active fitness (similar to the Apple Watch) to sports and performance fitness, with the Charge 5, Sense, and Versa 3 accommodating running, cross-training, bicycling, strength, and cardio exercises.
Dedicated running watches like Garmin and Suunto are preferred by serious runners over the original Apple Watch and Fitbit. That all changed, however, with the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 2, which, like the Fitbit Charge 4, Versa 3, and Sense, had an internal GPS (plus older Versa 2 and Ionic).
Although the Series 3 and 7 watches have faster CPUs (the 7’s processor is significantly faster, resulting in better app loading times), their batteries still only last about 18 hours on average. There is also a built-in 4G model, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your iPhone along for your workout.
This brings it in line with the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, which (thanks to their integrated GPS, inbuilt audio, alerts, and contactless payments) take care of most of your workout demands without needing you to carry your phone or wallet. We don’t see this not being the same in the Versa 4.
Fitness is clearly at the heart of Fitbits. Whereas activity monitoring is only one of the numerous capabilities of the Apple Watch.
Fitness-wise, the Apple Watch has two primary apps: Activity, which focuses on health, mobility, wellbeing, and your everyday life, and Workout App, which monitors aerobic activities like running, cycling and walking. The Activity app on your iPhone stores all of this information, but the Health app on your iPhone, which incorporates data from multiple sources beyond just the Watch, can give you a more complete picture of their health.
Whereas Fitbit’s key statistic is steps, Apple employs movement and calorie burn. For those younger than 13, Apple focuses on activity rather than calories.
Fitbits are great when paired with an iPhone, but Fitbit itself does not officially support Apple HealthKit. However, there are third-party apps that allow for Health Kit integration.
The Apple Watch’s bright three rings light up to indicate how far you’ve come toward your daily exercise and health objectives. Burned calories are displayed on the Move ring. The number of minutes you’ve spent in vigorous activity is shown around the Exercise ring. And the Stand ring counts the number of times you’ve gotten out of your chair to stretch. Every day, you should try to finish one more ring. Inspiring words like this may do wonders for getting people to work harder.
According to Apple, a definition of exercise is performing activities that are at least as physically demanding as a brisk walk. Because the Watch considers your heart rate and movement data, you might not see as much progress in the green ring as you’d expect from going for a stroll. It’s urging you to speed up your heart rate. The more active you are, the more the Apple Watch will encourage you to keep going.
We really like how the Apple Watch will ping you if you’ve been sitting still for too long, signaling that it’s time to stand up and move about a bit to increase your heart rate. The haptic pulses on your wrist and the alerts on your phone are basically a warning that you’ve been inactive for too long. Even if you’re standing still, the Watch will send you a notification since it measures inactivity.
All Fitbits have a similar feature called “Reminders To Move,” which serves the same purpose.
In addition to providing real-time statistics on your workout’s duration, distance, calories burnt, and pace, the redesigned Apple Workout app is also compatible with 80% of the gym’s equipment, so you can obtain this information from the treadmill or stationary cycle you use.
Fitbit Versa 4 or Apple Watch 8: Who wins?
Fitbit is the winner when it comes to goal setting. One key difference is that Apple doesn’t allow you to set yourself targets for steps or other metrics, save for calorie burn. This is an obvious drawback of the Watch if weight loss is not your primary goal.
In contrast, Fitbit lets you personalize your activity objectives down to the step, distance, calorie, active zone minute, and floor.
Smarter than your average fitness tracker
So, on the other side of this coin is… Which features do you think the Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2 lack compared to the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch? The difference is not quite as large as you may think.
The company’s smartwatches may now use Google Maps for directions and Google Wallet for quick and easy contactless purchases. For hands-free Bluetooth calling and voice control of compatible smart home devices (like Google Now or Amazon Alexa), Fitbit incorporates a speaker and microphone. Notifications and messaging are also solid, albeit they pale compared to Apple Watch, especially for iOS users.
Fans of the Apple Watch’s Photos app or home automation features may be sad about the Versa 4. But others who are content with basic health and fitness tracking in addition to light notification triage will find Fitbit watches to be more than satisfactory.
I can’t wait to see how Fitbit’s newest offering stacks up against the Apple Watch Series 8 when it finally launches. The Apple Watch 7’s sleeker appearance helped it win our comparison evaluation over the Fitbit Sense – read the full comparison here. This was partly because the Sense’s side capacitive button wasn’t always working. There’s once again a proper button on your Fitbit since the company obviously got the message.
Despite several rumored Apple Watch improvements, I do not believe they will address the device’s brief battery life. The rumored rugged Series 8 Pro could offer longer battery life than the Versa 4 or Sense 2, thanks to a larger battery and chassis. Still, its larger size will make it less appealing to those who like smaller watches, and it’s unlikely to last as long over the course of a week as those two models.
Which should you buy, the Fitbit Versa 4 or Apple Watch 8?
Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 8 will still be the best smartwatch money can buy. The Fitbit Versa 4 will be an excellent smartwatch for the money because it has all the standard smartwatch features, is waterproof, and can track your general health and fitness in addition to many other metrics.
How you decide between the two depends on your needs, operating system, and budget. A lot of the more advanced functions of the Apple Watch are reserved for the Series 8, so it might be quite an expensive upgrade. However, if you use an Android device, the Fitbit Versa 3 is the smartest pick.
If you feel like you’d reap the benefits of all the things the Series 8 will offer and are already settled into the Apple ecosystem, it’s worth the purchase. But if you don’t mind doing without certain advanced features on your wristwatch and you’re looking to save some cash, the Fitbit Versa 4 is an excellent option.
If you do think Apple is for you, check out everything you need to know about WatchOS 9.
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