If you are currently looking for a smartwatch that also doubles as an activity tracker, then you are in luck because there are a lot of these devices that fit the bill. Two of these are the Fitbit Versa and the Garmin Vivoactive 3. Which one should you buy?
Fitbit Versa is known for its activity trackers. The company took their sweet time to release a smartwatch, and now the Fitbit Versa is their second device in this category. What are the things that you should expect from a Fitbit Versa?
Fitbit Versa: Design
The Fitbit Versa has a square face that measures 0.95 by 0.95 inches. The aluminum case comes in a variety of colors including black, rose gold, silver, and graphite. Fitbit offers different bands using different materials such as silicone, Horween leather, woven cloth, and steel.
The Versa can track all the basic fitness data that you need to monitor, such as your steps, calories burned, and even your sleep.
It can also track your pulse rate with the embedded heart rate monitor. Having the HR monitor onboard gives you additional information such as your resting heart rate, better calories burned tracking, and even give you your cardio fitness score.
The device can keep track of more than 15 exercises automatically. When you start to run or bike, the Versa will know what you are doing and start logging your data. You will also be able to see onscreen statistics in real-time, get a summary of your workouts, and have them saved on the Fitbit app.
The Fitbit Versa can also track your sleep and its different stages. You will be able to see how much time you spent in light or heavy sleep.
The app will also be able to use this data to tell you how to improve when it comes to your shuteye. For women, the Versa can also track their menstrual and ovulation cycles via the Fitbit app. This feature will give them a more in-depth view of their health, and allows them to combine this information with other statistics such as weight, activity, or sleep.
With the Fitbit Versa, you can get customized on-screen workouts straight from your wrist. The Versa will guide you through each exercise and then adapt to your feedback. As your fitness improves, the on-screen workouts also get more challenging.
The Fitbit Versa may not have an embedded GPS, but you can pair it with your smartphone. This process will enable the Versa to use the GPS from your phone to give you more in-depth fitness data such as distance and pace, as well as a mapped route of your runs.
The Fitbit Versa has enough built-in memory to store more than 300 of your music files, allowing you to listen to your workout tunes on the go. You can also download from Pandora or Deezer music services.
You can use Bluetooth to pair your Fitbit Versa to your smartphone or a headset. While paired to your phone, you can also get text, calendar, and call notifications from your wrist. The smart notifications can also work with your installed apps.
Mobile apps on your watch
The Fitbit Versa allows you to download your favorite apps on the device itself. You can now read news headlines, get sports scores, and even see where to travel next all from your wrist.
The Fitbit Versa comes with a battery that can last more than four days without needing a recharge. This battery enables the smartwatch to track your fitness all day, even when you sleep, instead of charging your device every night.
Some versions of the Fitbit Versa has an embedded near-field communication chip that enables the wireless payment feature that you can use to pay for purchases from your wrist.
You no longer have to take your wallet with you when you run and still pay for anything that you buy just by tapping the Versa against a contactless payment terminal. Further, you can get reminders to drink water, sleep, or stay active.
The good thing is that you can customize these reminders. The Fitbit Versa is also water-resistant up to 50 meters. You can wear it while swimming or even when you run in the rain. You can also get guided breathing sessions with the Fitbit Versa. The Versa uses your heart rate to determine whether you are stressed or not and then takes you through breathing exercises to help calm you down.
On top of all these features, you can also personalize your Fitbit Versa with a variety of clock faces that you can choose from. Moreover, you can buy woven, metal, or leather straps so that you can change the looks of your Versa and make it match your mood or what you are wearing.
Ratings and Reviews for the Fitbit Versa
The Fitbit Versa has an average rating of 3.7 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon, with more than 3,700 reviewers leaving their opinions.
People love the affordable price and focus on the fitness of this smartwatch. Verified buyers attest that the Fitbit Versa works as advertised and that the features are useful.
However, there are some complaints that the sleep tracking and the heart rate monitor might not be accurate. There are also those who claim that the Bluetooth connection might be problematic. Then there are others who say that their Versa broke after only a short period of use.
Fitbit Versa: Prices
Pricing for the Fitbit Versa ranges from $140 to $200. This model is still available on the manufacturer’s online store where it sells for around the same price range.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
If Fitbit built a name in the activity tracking space, then Garmin carved its reputation with its GPS products. The company has branched out into making sports devices, and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is one of its offerings. Check out our full VivoActive 3 Review here.
What is the Garmin Vivoactive 3?
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is among the most versatile devices that the company is offering right now. Garmin manufactures products that are geared towards different athletes such as golfers, swimmers, runners, and others. Indeed, the Vivoactive 3 offers something for everybody.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is made with the best materials and is designed to be rugged. It features a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the lens, a stainless steel bezel material, a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a stainless steel rear cover, and silicone straps.
The display is visible even under the sun. The transflective memory-in-pixel touchscreen measures 1.2 inches in diameter and has a resolution of 240 by 240 pixels.
Features of the Garmin Vivoactive 3
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 can tell you the date and the time. It also works as an alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer. The Vivoactive 3 can also adjust the time for daylight saving time automatically. You will also like the GPS time sync feature.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 has several sensors that allow it to track your fitness. It has an accelerometer and compass that can count your steps and calories burned. It also has a barometric altimeter that can get weather and altitude information, as well as a thermometer and compass.
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 also features the Elevate wrist heart rate monitor and the global positioning system. You can get location data from the most number of satellites because this device works with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. Overall, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 can count your steps, calories burned, floors and stairs climbed, distance, intensity minutes, and stress.
It can also remind you to move, set goals automatically, and give your fitness age. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 will be able to automatically know what type of exercise you are doing so that it can record your activity without you doing anything.
You can get notifications from your phone on your Garmin Vivoactive 3. Once you pair this Garmin device with your smartphone, you can be alerted when somebody calls or texts you.
If you are using an Android phone, you can also send a short reply to SMS messages or reject a call right from your wrist. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 can also control your phone’s music, and keep you up-to-date with the weather and your calendar schedule. You can use your watch to find your phone and vice versa.
Other features of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 you should know
With the Garmin Vivoactive 3, you have access to Garmin Pay. This feature means that you can use the smartwatch to pay for your purchases. You can also customize the looks of your device with thousands and thousands of watch faces. You can even download apps and widgets to your Garmin Vivoactive 3.
Battery life for this device lasts up to seven days with the GPS turned off. It can still give you 13 hours of juice when tracking location data. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is swim-proof, with a 5 ATM water resistance rating.
Ratings and Reviews: Garmin Vivoactive 3
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 receives an average rating of 3.9 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon. Positive reviews for this product talk about how this watch is just perfect for people who do more than one sport. It does what it promises to do and more. Others like its durability and looks while some call this model the best Vivoactive device made by the company.
However, some reviewers warn interested buyers not to buy this product because it does not track sleep accurately, and stress tracking is not that reliable or useful.
Others are confused why their selected watch faces just change randomly. Then some people complain that the battery does not last long enough and that it comes with a lot of bugs that can be frustrating to troubleshoot.
Pricing for the Garmin Vivoactive 3
Prices for this device range from $190 to $250. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is still available from the manufacturer’s online store with an original price of $269.99. These days, however, the watch now has a $199.99 price tag.
Comparing the Fitbit Versa and the Garmin Vivoactive 3
Just by looking at the Fitbit Versa and the Garmin Vivoactive 3, you will notice just how different they are. The Fitbit Versa has a square face, while the Garmin Vivoactive 3 has a round form. The Vivoactive 3 is also bigger and a bit thicker than the Versa. Both of these smartwatches feature a color touch display.
When it comes to design, it is a matter of personal taste. Some people will prefer the rugged looks of the Vivoactive 3, which makes it look like a traditional sports watch.
Others will appreciate the elegant look of the Versa. Both of these smartwatches are swim-proof, provided that you do not go deeper than 50 meters.
You can also customize watch faces on both devices, as well as download apps. Further, both offer NFC-based payments. However, both Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay do not have as many supporting merchants and banks as Google Pay or Apple Pay.
Where the Fitbit Versa wins over the Garmin Vivoactive 3
The Fitbit Versa has a larger screen measuring at 1.34 inches. It also has a higher screen resolution at 300 pixels. The Vivoactive 3 only has a 1.2-inch display that delivers 240 pixels of resolution. The Versa also has an ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and SpO2 sensor, which the Vivoactive 3 does not have.
Further, if you have a Windows Phone, then you should get the Versa because the Vivoactive 3 does not support devices running on Microsoft’s mobile operating system.
You will also like the more affordable price tag on the Fitbit Versa. Plus the Fitbit Versa also allows you to store music files on the device itself, which means that you are taking your workout playlist everywhere with you.
Where the Garmin Vivoactive 3 wins over the Fitbit Versa
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 delivers superior battery life. One full charge gives you seven days of juice, three days more than the Versa. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 also has sensors that the Fitbit Versa does not. These include the compass and the thermometer.
However, the Vivoactive 3’s most significant edge over the Versa is the embedded GPS. Garmin made sure that you can connect to any satellite no matter where you are, and this device is compatible with GLONASS, GPS, and Galileo.
Meanwhile, the Fitbit Versa relies on your phone for its location data. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 also wins when it comes to smart notifications. While both of these smartwatches can alert you of calls and SMS, as well as getting schedules and push notifications from installed apps, you cannot interact with these alerts with the Fitbit Versa.
The Vivoactive 3, on the other hand, lets you reject calls, and reply to text messages. Fitbit Versa also does not natively allow you to find your phone with your smartwatch, and vice versa.
Fitbit Versa vs. Garmin Vivoactive 3: Side by side comparison
To make it easier for you to compare these two models, here is a comparison table that details the similarities and differences between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the Fitbit Versa.
|Garmin Vivoactive 3
|43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7
|39.4 x 39.4 x 11.2
|Display size (inches)
|Display resolution (pixels)
|240 x 240
|300 x 300
|Maximum battery life (days)
|Maximum GPS battery life (hours)
|Water resistant up to 50 meters
|Heart rate monitor
|Ambient light sensor
|In some versions
|Customizable watch faces
|Reply to text
|Reject phone calls
|Controls smartphone music
|Find My Phone
|Find My Watch
|Compatible with iOS
|Compatible with Android
|Compatible with Windows Phone
Final Word: The Fitbit Versa vs. the Garmin Vivoactive 3
Choosing between the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and the Fitbit Versa is a matter of preference. Both of these smartwatches deliver great fitness tracking features and come with a companion mobile app.
These fully-featured smartwatches offer their own sets of functionalities. Indeed, you can either one without regretting your decision later on. However, if GPS is an important feature for you or if you are the type that will like to exercise without your phone nearby, then you should get the Garmin Vivoactive 3.
The Versa relies on your phone for GPS data, which means that you will need to take it with you on a run or a hike. Garmin embedded GPS into the watch itself. Lastly, if you are looking for a device that is easy on the wallet, then get the Versa. The Versa also benefits from a better companion app that gives you a lot of meaningful insights into your health.
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