The third generation of the Fitbit Versa smartwatch has been announced at the same time as the Fitbit Sense, which is a bit more comprehensive in terms of health measurement. The Fitbit Versa 3 is a bit more affordable and collects data to encourage you to live more actively. Is Fitbit’s new smartwatch right for you?
Fitbit Versa 3
price € 229, –
Colors Pink, Black, Blue
Platform Android, iOS, Windows
Screen 1.58 inch OLED (336 x 336)
Format 40 x 40 x 1.2 cm
Sensors Heart rate monitor, accelerometer, pedometer, calorie counter, sleep monitor, altimeter
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, NFC
Other waterproof, interchangeable straps, GPS
7 Score 70
- Nice screen
- Advanced measurement
- Accessible app and controls
- Fitbit Premium
- Copied design
- Little innovation
Fitbit’s most functionally comprehensive smartwatch has always been the Versa. Although the watch, like other Fitbit products, is mainly based on measuring activities and your physical condition. The company has never been subtle about what the Fitbit Versa is inspired by: the Apple Watch. The smartwatches are very similar in appearance. But Fitbit allowed Apple to leave Fitbit behind in the health field, for example by measuring blood oxygen levels and the possibility of making heart videos. Fortunately, Fitbit has made a lot of catching up, but saved these functions for a new (more expensive) smartwatch series: the Fitbit Sense. The health innovations remain out for the new Fitbit Versa 3. This makes the Versa 3 seem more focused on exercise and healthy living, while the Fitbit Sense keeps a finger on the pulse in terms of health (but also has the functionality of the Versa 3).
The Fitbit Versa 3 is almost identical in design to the Versa 2. Watch straps are unfortunately not interchangeable, but they are interchangeable. Fitbit itself sells other bands, but you can also find them more affordably at Chinese web shops, for example. That can be handy anyway, because the standard rubber band of the Versa 3 (and actually all Fitbits) cause skin irritation for me. Especially after exercise. It is a shame that the design has remained the same, because it is still difficult to distinguish the smartwatch from the Apple Watch, a watch whose design can already be improved.
The watch is waterproof, so it can be used for all kinds of sports. Whether you’re swimming or throwing through the mud on a Viking run. Obviously such a watch is not suitable for contact sports such as football and you have a glass screen panel on your wrist. Glass is and will remain vulnerable.
Innovations of the Fibit Versa 3
The biggest innovations seem to be kept for the Fitbit Sense, but the Fitbit Versa 3 has also been improved compared to last year’s Fitbit Versa 2. You notice this immediately when you turn on the smartwatch, the OLED screen with which the device is equipped is a lot nicer and, above all, sharper. In addition, the function has been added for an always-on display, where the screen always shows a clock. Incidentally, the Versa 2 also got this. Personally I like that very much, you no longer have to make a wrist movement to see the time. Although this function does of course demand a lot from your battery.
The Fitbit Versa 3 is equipped with a GPS chip. The lack of GPS was a big shortcoming on the Versa 2. The Versa 2 used the GPS of the smartphone to record routes, which the Versa 3 can now do without having to depend on your smartphone. Especially if you like to run, walk or cycle, this is a nice addition to check routes and compare your performance on specific routes. Thanks to the addition of Fitbit Pay, you can leave your smartphone (and wallet) completely at home, and still have a pit stop on a terrace or supermarket. Fitbit Pay only works for Rabobank and ABN AMRO customers.
The fact that Fitbit is being taken over by Google is also cautiously noticeable. The watch is equipped with a microphone and speaker, so that voice assistants also find their way to your wrist. Perhaps for some Google Assistant users of added value, but in general I do not see the added value and it feeds my (personal) irritation that the voice assistant is forced. You can also use the microphone and speaker for phone calls. However, this function has not yet been activated.
Fitbit itself adds most of its features with updates. I already talked about the always-on screen. But you can also increasingly use the watch to let off steam, for example, by pausing yourself with the mindfulness function. Fitbit has been supporting its products with updates and new features for a relatively long time, so you can expect a lot of extras in that regard.
I am slightly less pleased with Fitbit Premium. This is a paid service that analyzes collected data even more in-depth and provides additional tips for exercises or healthy habits. However, it feels like a kind of tying sale: if you first buy a pricey Fitbit watch, you then have to pay a tenner a month for functionality that should actually already be included.
Furthermore, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a continuation of the Versa 2, and like the other Fitbit wrist accessories, it features advanced measurements: sleep analysis, heart rate, activity measurement and detection, step counter and more. There is also smartwatch functionality, although this is not very comprehensive as the smartwatch is more focused on movement and helping you live a healthier life. Fitbit Pay is a nice addition, you can also use your watch to control your music (Spotify and Deezer), go through the weather forecast and view your own health and exercise statistics. But this is not very extensive, for more smartwatch functions you are better off with watches from Samsung or Apple.
The battery life is also about the same. Assume a maximum of five days. But there are of course functions that put a heavy load on the battery, such as route recording with GPS or the always-on function. The latter can shorten the battery life by about two days. Although this can also be tame by automatically turning off the display at night, a night light on your wrist is of little use to you.
Fitbit’s measurements are accurate and the app is very user-friendly. That is and remains the point that sets Fitbit apart from all other brands. The heart rate measurement is continuous, not only during activities. This provides valuable data, because not only do you want accurate measurements during exercise, but how the heart rate drops after the activity also says a lot about your health. It is strange that the pedometer also measures steps while cycling. Whether this is a measurement error, or whether Fitbit rewards you with steps is difficult to say.
I would have liked to see that Fitbit had implemented a little more innovations from the Fitbit Sense to the Fitbit Versa 3 and had not hidden new functions behind Fitbit Premium. Also, a nicer, more original watch design would not have been out of place. You can actually see the Fitbit Versa 3 more as an improved version of its predecessor, where the nicer screen stands out in particular. Furthermore, the Versa 3 offers everything that makes Fitbit such a great brand: accurate data collection, an accessible app… In short, a smart coach on your wrist that helps you perform just that little bit better and live a healthier life.