If you want the ultimate Apple smartwatch, then you need the Apple Watch Series 6. If you want something that's still quite good, consider the Fitbit Versa 3.
Table of Contents
- Fitbit Versa 3’s strengths in summary
- Apple Watch Series 6’s strengths
- As a watch
- What about the “smart” part of smart watch?
- Fitbit app woes
- As a fitness tracker
The Fitbit Versa 3 is an upgraded Versa 2 with new features and a classic Fitbit Versa look.
However, unlike the Fitbit Versa 2 which was the smartwatch manufacturer’s previous flagship watch, the Fitbit Versa 3 is no longer Fitbit’s flagship smartwatch. The Fitbit Sense is.
Apple has done the same with its Apple Watch SE, which is the budget version of the Apple Watch Series 6.
So are we comparing apples to oranges by comparing the flagship Apple Watch Series 6 to the second-tier Fitbit Versa 3?
Fitbit Versa 3’s strengths in summary
The reason why I think both watches provide a very good basis for comparison is because they are both full of great features.
Smartwatches seemed to have plateaued in innovation in 2020, and I don’t know what they’ll come out with in 2021, but I am eager to see.
Nonetheless, the Fitbit Versa 3 remains one the best smartwatches out there for people looking to get into the smartwatch market. It has all the important features that help make a smartwatch useful and some of the niceties available in a watch released in 2020. Most importantly in this comparison, the Fitbit Versa 3 is more reasonably priced because it has pretty good features for its cost.
Apple Watch Series 6’s strengths
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the one watch is really the most perfect smartwatch for the iPhone user.
It only pairs to an iPhone, so be aware of that.
However, the reason why I love the Apple Watch Series 6 is because it’s such a massive productivity enhancer. I am sure you have noticed that smartphones have gotten larger and larger.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is a move in the opposite direction. Proving that you can get smartphone levels of features in a small package. If you bought the LTE version with cellular connectivity, you can have dumbphone levels of cellphone features including texting and calling.
Nonetheless, how does it perform the “watch” part of its job?
As a watch
OK. Why do you wear a watch?
For one, it might be an accessory that you wear because you like the look.
If you buy a watch for the looks, you might prefer the Apple Watch Series 6 because of its many elements that can be customized.
The Apple Watch Series 6 brought a new bunch of straps including one that absolutely requires no buckling called the Solo Loop. My version came with the Velcro-like strap called the Sport Loop which means you’ll have infinite amounts of adjustments.
The Apple Watch Series 6 also comes with a few options of materials for your watch case including aluminum, stainless steel and titanium.
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a bit simpler. The case is only aluminum but you can get the Infinity Loop band in different colours including black, blue, purple, green and pink.
Of course, you can buy different bands made of different materials including leather, textile and silicone.
On the whole, both smartwatches also have a similar modern look they’re going for with their curved glass and rounded edges. The Fitbit Versa 3 has no physical buttons which seem cool and trendy, while the Apple Watch Series 6 has a crown and a button. In terms of looks, I can’t say I have a preference for either watch’s decision on buttons, but when it comes to utility, having physical buttons is a lot better.
What about the “smart” part of smart watch?
So if you are choosing between these two watches, that’s probably because you want something smart.
I am guessing it’s the same reason why people hook up their homes to Alexa… so they can reduce the tediousness of doing some tasks. If we were all wealthy enough, wouldn’t we want to pay someone or buy something to reduce tedium like dish washing, laundry and vacuuming? Surprisingly these tasks can all been taken up by machines.
An ideal watch is one that functions like a virtual assistant. It tells you the time, reminds you of stuff, tells you about any important messages and reduce tedious tasks through voice commands.
Both watches are pretty good at this, but the Apple Watch Series 6 does it better.
The reason for this is because the Apple Watch Series 6 is better integrated with the iPhone. For example, if you want to reply to a message, you’ll be able to do that on the Apple Watch Series 6. However, you won’t be able to do that one the Fitbit Versa 3 unless it’s paired to an Android. There are further considerations, namely the voice assistant
The voice assistant is one of the most important components in a smartwatch. I believe this to be true because I really like being able to start timers on my wrist and also checking the weather. The good news is that both the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Apple Watch Series 6 are smart enough to be able to do so without any problems.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has always used Siri and Siri continues to be extremely effective. The Fitbit Versa 3 received a big boost in its recent update, which gave users a choice between Google Assistant and Alexa. I immediately chose Google Assistant and my experience has been a lot better.
But if you get into the edgier stuff like asking for directions or asking both smartwatches to send a message on your behalf, you’ll find that you’ll run out of steam on the Fitbit Versa 3 much faster than on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Fitbit app woes
I really dislike the Fitbit app because its linkage with any Fitbit smartwatch is often quite tenuous. That means sometimes you’ll receive calls on your phone and you won’t see the notification forwarded onto your smartwatch.
This isn’t a problem with the Apple Watch. Everything works and everything is smooth.
As a fitness tracker
One feature that I found very useful in a smartwatch is how it helps you keep track of your activity levels. I think that the health tracking features, if used right, can really enhance your life.
On the Apple Watch Series 6, your daily activity is measured through three rings which track move, exercise and standing. The watch will periodically remind you to stand and stuff.
On the Fitbit Versa 3, you can program reminders to move and if you swipe up, you can see a bunch of health stats including calories burned, floors climbed and Active Zone Minutes.
Smartwatches are increasingly becoming like traffic lights. In the past, most smartwatches only shot green lights for heart rate monitoring. Now, the cool ones shoot out red lights for blood oxygen tracking. It’s a trend to have a SpO2 sensor on your watch.
While the Apple Watch Series 6 can take a blood oxygen saturation reading through its Blood O2 app, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a bit more limited. It’ll only record your blood oxygen levels overnight.
And that brings me to the next feature: sleep tracking.
The sleep tracking feature of both smartwatches is pretty useful. The Fitbit Versa 3’s analysis is just a bit better because it will tell you which sleep zones you’re in. The Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t.
The good thing is that both smartwatches are very comfortable to wear overnight. I think this is great because
On the topic of exercise, I’d say the activity tracking of both smartwatches is actually quite good. The Apple Watch Series 6 is just a bit better because of its larger selection of workouts you can choose from. The Fitbit has much fewer workouts to pick from which is unfortunate because I end up “bicycling” on water (tip: don’t use walking because I think the Fitbit Versa 3 tracks specific motion to determine whether you’re moving or not).
If you are a perfectionist and want everything to work smoothly, then your only choice as a iPhone user is to get the Apple Watch Series 6. There’s no other option out there that can take calls, send messages and have so many features available at your disposal as the Apple Watch Series 6.
Nonetheless, the compelling argument for the Fitbit is that it is very affordable and also offers a range of features that allow it to excel. Some features that it would have such as replying to messages are disabled if you are paired to an iPhone but otherwise, it’s a very good smartwatch.