Fitbit Sense had a stroke on popularity a few months ago for its new health-tracking capabilities. However, the company sells Fitbit Versa 3 units than Sense units.
Why? Fitbit Versa 3 is essentially a $100 less expensive than Fitbit Sense. They do so by excluding a few smart features you're unlikely to use much when the novelty wears off (namely, ECG and EDA scans).
The Fitbit Versa 2 was comparable with Fitbit Versa 3. In terms of differences and similarities, I've got a relatively solid idea of what each sports watch has to offer.
Compared to the earlier Versa models, the Versa 3 has built-in GPS, along with a slew of health monitoring capabilities and health metrics (which are already coming to older Versa models). Still, the Versa 3 has the new FitbitOS 3.0 that supports automatic workout detection.
Here, I'll go through all the new premium features, what works (and doesn't), and help you determine whether this is the appropriate device for you. The Fitbit Versa 3 was something I bought for myself.
Fitbit Versa 3 Unboxing
There are two sets of straps within the box: one for small/medium and one for medium/large (one is on the watch, the other is detached). So you get two straps that cover both sizes. No problems occurred when I wore the small/medium strap.
You'll also find the charging cord and a quick-start guide if you take everything out of the box.
The Fitbit Sense has the same charging cord. However, Fitbit's new cable is a better option.
Fitbit Versa 3 Design and Display
However, the Versa 3's appearance has been tweaked to make it seem more refined than its predecessors at first sight. The Versa 3's aluminum chassis may be dressed up with a new color. The Versa 3's neutrality is preserved by the "soft gold" casing, although it may also be had in black.
The color of the chassis isn't the most significant design change, but the screen size is. The display is now a 40mm AMOLED screen with a better resolution of 336 x 336 pixels, compared to the 39mm on the Versa 2's display (the Versa 2 is 300 x 300).
A bright, sharp, and clear display that looks gorgeous even at its "dim" setting can be seen from almost any angle. However, the bezels remain rather thick, much like the Versa 2's.
The screen never lags while navigating menus and programs. Swiping up to bring various tasks and health objectives works really well. It is a breeze to use.
Our Independent Rating
One of the most noticeable changes to the Versa 3 is the absence of a side button, which is likely my greatest gripe. A push on the left side of the watch acts as a haptic feedback, and pressing it properly sends out a little vibration to signify that the wristwatch has been enabled.
Because it's hidden below the chassis's lip, you'll have to feel for it and push precisely in the right place. For the last month, I’ve been trying to locate the perfect position with the Versa 3, but we're still having trouble.
This "inductive" button doesn't always have to be used to interact with the watch; you may configure the watch to wake up with a touch on the screen, then swipe to bring up the menu you need.
But there are some "shortcuts" (such as bringing up Alexa) that may be placed on the watch, and these can be activated by either a tap and hold or double tap and hold action. Because of the button inconsistencies, bringing them up may be a hassle.
A small microphone and speaker are located on the right side of the watch's casing, allowing you to make and receive incoming calls.
Also, the strap mechanism has been updated by Fitbit, and I believe it's better than the one on the Versa 2's strap. The clasp is released by pressing a little physical button on the latch. As a result, the watch's design is more streamlined, and the default athletic strap can be easily swapped out without any hassle.
Another difference between the ordinary Versa 2 silicone strap and this strap is its color. There is no clasp on the "Infinity Band," as Fitbit refers to it, and it is the same as what is included as standard with the Sense smartwatch.
The charger is another significant change between the Versa 2 and the newest model. With the new magnetic dock, I jumped from 64% battery to 100% in less than 15 minutes.
If you're going for a swim, you can wear the Versa 3 in the pool or shower without worrying about it becoming wet. Fitbit cautions against using the device in a hot tub or sauna, but it can withstand a saltwater swim.
Fitbit Versa 3 Standard Smartwatch Features
It's hard to tell the Versa 3 from the Versa 2. However, there are enough applications to keep most people pleased despite the lack of features seen on Apple Watches.
To operate smart lights, for example, there's a Philips Hue app and a map app. As a result, depending on where you are, you may have access to fewer or more applications, whether you are in the US, UK, or another area. With many banks across the globe now accepting cashless payments, Fitbit Pay should be a practical alternative for most nations.
I have no issue using Fitbit Pay so far in the United Statas. However, I still have no idea wheather I can use it abroad.
Like with Apple Watch and Android Wear OS, you'll need to pay for some of the better Fitbit apps to have access to some of the additional fitness features they provide.
Although the Fitbit offers a wide variety of clock faces to select from, the process of applying a new face takes a long time. Additionally, you can use Amazon Alexa Built-in to get answers to quick queries and manage your smart home devices if you download the Alexa app and link it to your Amazon account.
The addition of Google Assistant compatibility is expected as a result of Google's planned acquisition of Fitbit, although no specific date has been established.
You can still stream music from Deezer and Spotify while working out, but the only way to access it while you're away from your phone is via Deezer. It's frustrating that Spotify doesn't provide an offline mode yet.
If you have a built-in microphone and speaker, you should be able to answer phone calls. Although, I was unable to test this at the time of writing. Incoming calls might be answered, but it seems that Fitbit needs to activate this function so that users may utilize the device's Bluetooth connection to their phone and talk with a caller (and hear them) by just lifting their wrist near their mouth.
I might have another review when Fitbit releases a software upgrade that fully enables this function, which is listed as "coming soon" on its website.
Your phone notifications will continue to appear on your Versa 3 wristband, and you can choose which applications may send heart rate notification to the device via the Fitbit app. Third-party apps like Gmail and Uber, as well as the most popular mobile apps like Slack and WhatsApp, are all supported.
Android users may utilize the Versa 3's pre-programmed messages to respond to texts, but iPhone users cannot. For iOS users who want a wearable with additional smartphone features, the Apple Watch SE may be a compelling option. Despite having an inbuilt microphone, you are not able to dictate messages and transmit them across platforms, despite having an onboard mic.
Tracking Your Physical And Mental Well-Being
As with the previous version, the Versa 3 excels in interval workout, circuit training, and health tracking. Although it lacks some of the more advanced health monitoring functions found on the Sense, the 24/7 daily activities and heart rate monitor by PurePulse 2.0 provided here is sufficient for the ordinary user to keep updated on their health objectives.
These days, there are guided breathing exercises and meditation tracks that can be accessed via the Fitbit app. You may set up hourly app notifications to remind you to get up and walk around, establish exercise objectives, outdoor workouts, and monitor your sleep.
Even while you're sleeping, the Versa 3's infrared sensors can monitor your blood oxygen levels, which may help identify medical conditions like sleep apnea. In case you don’t know, oxygen saturation does influence your sleep quality.
Outdoor activity is divided into step counts, steps taken, calories burnt, and zone minutes. In order to get a better sense of how you're progressing with the Fitbit, which costs $9.99/£7.99/AU $15.49 a month, you'll need premium subscription to the Fitbit Premium service.
Advanced metrics on breathing sessions, oxygen variation, and heart rate variability may be accessed via the Health Metrics dashboard.This is useful to detect breathing issues if you have any.
The record of your heart rate will be saved, but you won't get alerts when it increases like you do with the Fitbit Sense 2. To help you keep track of your breathing rate when you are working out and are unable to glance at the clock display, the Versa 3 vibrates as you move between heart rate spikes in the heart rate zones.
Almost everyone's fitness goals are available with a variety of routines, from circuits to interval workout. As previously described, the Versa 3 may be worn when swimming in a pool or the sea. Its optical heart rate sensor works perfectly whenever I use it.
Youcan track all of your outdoor exercise in real time with the Versa 3's internal GPS. However, even if the built-in GPS isn't always accurate, it's still a major improvement over the Versa 2's. Remember that the GPS will only be engaged when you manually pick a Fat Burn training mode. In order to use the SmartTrack function, you must manually start the GPS on your Fitbit before it will start tracking your movements.
Following a workout, Fitbit will instantly display a map of the route you took as well as your speed, heart rate spikes, and calories burned. For female users, menstrual health tracking is also available here to track menstrual cycle. This way, female users can adjust their workout based on the cycle.
Evaluate the Quality of Your Sleep
Similarly, sleep data is gathered in the app. Sleep and naps will be trackable by the device automatically. The charts below show that sleep has taken place. A daily sleep score and a breakdown of the daily score on sleep stages, and oxygen variation are also available.
As far as I know, the Versa 3's sleep and wake times are very accurate. Even if you have medical equipment, it's hard to tell what sleep stages or phases you're in.
One of Fitbit's strengths is its battery life, which is superior to that of Apple or Samsung. The Versa 3 provides up to six days of battery life on a full charge, similar to the Versa 2's, when the display is set to standard brightness and the GPS is used just once or twice a week. In my tests, I found that if you use the GPS for 30 minutes, it drains the battery by around 8%.
However, leaving the screen on all the time depletes the battery quickly, with a full charge lasting little more than two days. You'll have to charge the battery every day if you utilize GPS and the always-on display.
The Versa 3's battery type may be quickly recharged when it becomes low. A 15-minute charge on the new USB charger resulted in a 36% increase in power.
Who is Fitbit Versa 3 Best For?
Invest in it if you are:
#1 In search of a affordable smartwatch with useful features.
The Versa 3 may cost a bit more than the Versa 2 in certain areas, but considering the Versa 3's vast premium feature set, the pricing is extremely reasonable. Despite the fact that many of the applications available for the compatible devices in the United States, there is still plenty to keep the typical user satisfied.
#2 You want comprehensive monitoring of your physical and mental well-being.
The Versa 3 is still primarily a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch, which is what Fitbit does best. Even without the Fitbit Premium membership, the Versa 3 offers more than enough stats to let you keep track of your activity, sleep, and heart rate. If you feel the need for additional data, you may always upgrade to Fitbit Premium.
#3 Looking for a fitness smartwatch with long battery life
Fitbit's smartwatches have a battery life of almost a week on a single charge, whereas Wear OS watches last just a day or two, and Apple and Samsung's models last only a few days. As long as you don't leave the display on all the time and you don't rely on the GPS too much, even if you're a daily gym goer who likes to leave the screen on all the time, charging the Versa 3 takes far less time than charging the Versa 2.
Who is Not Suitable for Fitbit Versa 3?
Don’t buy Fitbit Versa 3 if..
#1 You want a smartwatch with additional productivity functions
As I’ve already pointed out, the Versa 3 is a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch. On the other hand, Android phone and iPhone users are restricted in their ability to react to messages through their devices. Even so, if you're looking for a smartwatch with additional fitness features, you may want to look at Apple and Samsung's offerings, which are both much more costly.
#2 In need of more sophisticated cardiac monitoring
The Versa 3 is capable of providing a wealth of health data, but it lacks some of the sophisticated cardiac monitoring functions that were introduced on the Fitbit Sense in 2012. You'll need to fork out the additional money for the Sense if you want to monitor your stress levels, keep an eye on your skin temperature (provided by device temperature sensor), receive alerts when your heart rate rises or falls, and much more.
Two improvements over the Fitbit Versa 2 are the bigger screen and the inclusion of GPS. If you don't need these features, the Versa 2 is still a viable alternative—it can do almost all of the functions of the Versa 3, including SpO2 monitoring.
Even with the brightness set to "dim," the Versa 2's display is still rather nice, even if your workouts aren't recorded. Since a software upgrade was released in February 2020, its blood oxygen sensor has also been able to monitor your blood oxygen levels while you sleep (SpO2). It's also a lot less expensive.
Its heart rate tracking technologies provided by PurePulse 2.0 was the one I like the most. You should try it yourself!
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