The Fitbit Versa 3 is a smartwatch that many of us need to have. Having competitive and unique features, the Versa 3 has its own place among the competitors like Apple or Fitbit Sense. There is no electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) cleared by the FDA like the Sense, but the rest of the watch functions and fitness features are comparable to the Sense. If that wasn’t enough, the Versa 3 is $100 less expensive.
In this Fitbit Versa 3 review, we will discuss everything it has to offer.
Two-minute review With the Versa 3, Fitbit has finally addressed our greatest complaint about its smartwatch line. Leaving your phone behind, you can still use the Versa 3’s built-in GPS to measure your speed and distance during walks, runs, bike rides, and hikes. This makes it the greatest Fitbit of them all.
The bigger and more beautiful display is a huge improvement over the Vers 2, but there are still minor flaws that keep the Versa 3 from being one of the greatest wearables available.
User Rating: 7.8 out of 10
- Battery: Up to 6 days
- Sensors: heart rate, temperature, blood oxygenation, gyroscope, accelerometer
- Display: 1.58 inches 336 x 336 OLED
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, WiFi
- Measurements: 40.480mm x 40.480mm x 12.350mm, 40g (without band)
What we like
- Battery life: 3 days with an always-on display, and 6 days without
- Health Tracking: Heart rate and step counts seem very accurate
- Design: handsome and understated
What we don’t like
- Glitchy Software: In many cases, a glitch stops the user from switching clock faces. For hours at a time, certain pieces of information fail to sync.
- SpO2 Tracking: There is no longer a distinct clock face, but Fitbit metrics are difficult to discover and not very helpful on the app.
- Music: Additional procedures are required to control media playback. Deezer and Pandora are the two services that allow you to store music on the Versa 3.
Fitbit Versa 3 Better design all-around
A bigger 1.58-inch AMOLED display and narrower bezels are standard on the Versa 3, which retains the same square-is watch case and metal frame as the Versa 2. In direct sunlight, it is bright, sharp, and simple to read. An always-on version with a pared-down set of metrics is available for those who don’t want to remove their watch from their wrist. There are hundreds of watch faces to pick from since Fitbit allows third-party developers to create their own watch faces.
Fitbit’s touchscreen and Fitbit interface are still not as snappy as on a Galaxy Watch or an Apple Watch, both of which feature AMOLED panels, despite their improved looks. The lag between swipes and app loading is noticeable on the Versa 3’s screen.
The Versa 3 sports an indented haptic side button instead of a physical one like its predecessors. To be fair, it does precisely what it is supposed to do in principle, but it doesn’t feel quite like pushing a genuine button.
It’s fortunate that not all design modifications need a learning curve. The Versa 3’s strap system has been completely redesigned by Fitbit, and it’s now as simple as pressing a button to switch bands. In comparison to earlier versions, this one is a breeze to put on and take off.
Fitbit Versa 3 Better Tools for Fitness Tracking
We can safely presume that most Fitbit devices can now meet your basic fitness-tracking requirements, such as monitoring steps taken as well as the distance traveled and calories burnt. In terms of functionality, the Versa 3 is just as good as the more costly Sense. If you forget to start a workout, the app will automatically start it for you. It monitors 20 different sports, including indoor and outdoor swimming.
It is also the first Versa watch to have GPS, but not the first Fitbit, since the Charge 4 and Sense feature GPS as well. For us, the lack of GPS on previous Versa models was really frustrating since we had to use our phones to obtain a map of our run (or bike ride). The Versa 3 allows us to leave the phone at home and still track our exercise mileage and route. If there is any drawback, it is the watch’s slowness in locking onto a GPS signal. You’re meant to keep your feet on the ground while it accomplishes this, but I’d forget and take off right after pushing the start button, and it would take nearly four minutes for the confirmation to arrive.
The Versa 3 may also notify you of your heart rate zones while you are exercising. In order to tell you when you’ve entered a certain training zone, they monitor your heart rate and buzz when you’ve crossed that threshold. As a result, you’ll be better able to gauge whether you should push yourself a little more or relax a little during training. With Versa 3’s Active Zone Minutes, heart rate data is used instead of steps taken to establish how long you’ve been engaged in some form of physical activity, even if it doesn’t involve much walking. As an alternative to 10,000 steps, you might strive for 20 or above Active Zone Minutes, considering your objectives. According to Fitbit, your fitness level is better represented by Active Zone Minutes than by Steps.
Like previous Fitbit devices, the Versa 3 sets weekly activity objectives instead of evaluating you on a daily basis. Working from home while caring for two young children during a pandemic is difficult. Having weekly targets was much more encouraging since we know that we are not always at our best. Rather than deeming myself a failure, I’d see the daily data on the watch as an opportunity to improve. When you meet your weekly target before the end of the week, Versa 3 informs you and celebrates it with an on-screen animation. In the Fitbit mobile app, you can see how many points you’ve accrued over the week, as well as a breakdown of your activities.
To find out how healthy you are, it’s necessary to trawl through all the options. With Versa 3’s heart rate sensor, you can measure your maximal oxygen intake during exercise (VO2 max) and compare your results to your demographic. You may discover it by tapping the heart rate button on the Today summary and sliding left on the graph in the Fitbit smartphone app.
Members of Fitbit Premium may also access fitness videos and guided training routines. With Versa 3, you receive three months of premium service for free. You may follow along with courses from PopSugar and Daily Burn on your phone, or you can use the Fitbit Coach app to download a full exercise to your watch. By downloading an exercise, you can do a 10-minute ab workout straight after your run without having to glance at your phone for directions.
Fitbit Versa 3 Plenty of Health Data
The Versa 3 is more than a mere fitness tracker. It monitors your breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, and fluctuations in skin temperature as you sleep, helping you have a more complete picture of your overall health.
It is important to note that this is not medical equipment, and shouldn’t be used for diagnostic purposes. Always seek medical advice or contact another trained health practitioner if you have any health-related questions or concerns regarding a medical condition or health goals. Only the ECG feature on the Fitbit Sense has been approved by the FDA.
Fitbit excels when it comes to sleep monitoring, and the Versa 3 delivers the most complete monitoring of your sleep data when compared to any other wristwatch on the market. It’s another matter of whether or not something is genuinely beneficial to you.
In addition to time, it takes into consideration the distinct phases of sleep, which is normal practice in the field of sleep monitoring. However, it also records your breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and fluctuations in skin temperature as you sleep, and you can examine all of this data in the Fitbit app the next morning when you wake up.
Additionally, Fitbit Premium customers get access to advanced sleep analytics, which helps put some of the information into perspective by letting you know how you compare to an average person. This was particularly useful for someone who was just starting out with a sleep tracker. It also provides advice on how to have a better night’s sleep.
When we wake up in the morning, though, one of the most frustrating things is that we can’t see health-related information at a glance on the wristwatch face. A brief report of your sleep and SpO2 range is shown on the watch face (as long as you choose a certain watch face), but you will have to download and utilize the Fitbit app to get further information. That, in our opinion, rather negates the idea of wearing a smartwatch. Users will often spend days, if not weeks, without using the app, which is frustrating. When we finally went in to look into it, we were pleasantly surprised by the information we discovered. For example, when looking at skin temperature variability, we noticed that some of the dips in the chart correlated with changes in the menstrual cycle, and we can see how you could begin to draw correlations between these data points over time.
Thermometry is not something you’ll likely use on a daily basis. However, it’s wonderful to have a large amount of information about yourself to refer to if you ever need it.
The Fitbit Versa 3 will soon have a Readiness Score for Fitbit Premium customers, which will take into consideration sleep data, heart rate variability, and activity level to help you decide whether you should push yourself during a workout or take a break day from working out altogether. Depending on your score, you’ll also get recommendations for exercises and meditations, as well as a specific activity zone minute count.
The Fitbit Versa 3 gets smarter, but…
The previous generation of Fitbit smartwatches trailed behind rivals such as the more costly Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, in part because they lacked a diverse variety of third-party applications and did not support LTE connectivity. It suffers from many of the same shortcomings as its predecessor, and it depends significantly on its companion phone, but it is finally beginning to catch up with the competition, particularly when coupled with an Android phone.
The Fitbit Versa 3 has a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing you to make and receive calls from your wrist if you have an Android or iPhone smartphone. You may also use the Versa 3 with earbuds to make a hands-free call. However, only users of Android will be able to answer messages from their wrists via quick replies or by dictating their responses. Incoming call alerts will be shown on the watch regardless of which phone you are currently using.
It also has two speech assistants to choose from Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, which you can use to voice commands on your wrist with the Versa 3. Moreover, although we haven’t had a chance to thoroughly compare them yet, Alexa is the one that can read your replies aloud rather than just showing them on the screen.
Additionally, you can use the Versa 3 to make contactless payments with Fitbit Pay while listening to music from Deezer or Pandora. There’s no music storage onboard for songs that you own, such as MP3 files, on this device. Instead, you’ll need a membership to a service like Pandora or Deezer in order to save music for offline listening. The Versa 3 does come with a Spotify app, but you can use it only as a remote to control the music on your phone when connected to the device.
The battery life: It is second to none
The Fitbit Versa 3 might not be the most intelligent watch on the market, but it outperforms the competition when it comes to battery life. We were able to get about three days of battery life out of the watch even while we were running on all cylinders with the always-on display turned on, a couple of GPS workouts, and sleep tracking enabled.
Using the device in a more moderate manner and deactivating the always-on display may increase this time to up to six days. It also charges more quickly than prior Versa watches. Fitbit claims that 12 minutes of charging will provide you with a full 24 hours of battery life, and 30 minutes of charging will restore you to 100 percent of your original battery life. When upgrading from a prior model, keep in mind that the Versa 3 uses a new proprietary charger that will not be compatible with your previous model, and vice versa. It’s magnetic, and in order to charge it, it has to be positioned at the proper angle, which takes some time to get used to.
Should you be buying it?
Sure, if you go in with the right expectations. It’s conceivable that the Versa 3’s problems won’t get in your way, even if they’re annoying. If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that’s easy to use, has a high battery life, and accurately measures your sleep, counts your steps, and heart rate, the Versa 3 is a great option for $229, especially if you can get it on sale. If you don’t require ECG or (questionably relevant) EDA stress metrics, there’s no need to spend an additional $100 on the Fitbit Sense.
But it still has faults. The automatic monitoring of activities is erratic, and some data is often lost in the shuffle. Also, changing clock faces is a major hassle. A successful initial major software update for the Versa 3 has given us optimism that it may one day deliver on its full promise.
Buy it if:
You are on the lookout for an affordable, full-featured smartwatch
Although it may be a bit more costly than the Versa 2 in certain areas, the Versa 3’s pricing is extremely affordable when considering the full feature set that it offers. Although many of the applications available for it do not appeal to people outside of certain geographic areas (typically the United States), there is still enough to keep the average customer happy with the device.
You would like in-depth health tracking and fitness
Fitbit is known for its fitness trackers, and the Fitbit Versa 3 is still primarily a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch. As a result, for anyone who wants to track their activity, sleep patterns, and heart rate, the Versa 3 provides more than enough data – even without a Fitbit Premium membership – to help them stay on track with their fitness goals. It is possible that signing up for the Fitbit Premium may be essential if you need additional data from your device.
Need a wearable having a decent battery life
Fitbit manages to provide nearly a week of battery life from a single charge, whereas OS smartwatches provide little more than a day’s worth of juice, and Samsung and Apple struggle to provide more than a couple of days’ charge. That is, of course, assuming you don’t leave the display “always-on” and only use the GPS when necessary. In any case, even if you choose to leave your screen on always and go for a run every day, charging the battery on the Versa 3 takes much less time than on the Fitbit Versa 2, its predecessor.
Don’t buy it if
You require more productivity features
As previously said, the Versa 3 is more of a fitness tracker than a smartwatch in terms of functionality. iPhone users, for example, are unable to react to messages sent via the device, while Android users are only able to do so in a restricted way. So, if you’re looking for a wristwatch with additional features, you may want to look into the Apple and Samsung options, which are both much more costly than the Fitbit Versa 3.
Need advanced heart monitoring
Though the Versa 3 is very capable of providing you with a wealth of health information, it does not have several enhanced heart monitoring functions that were first introduced on the Fitbit Sense. To get the most out of it, you should consider investing more money in it. It then allows you to monitor your stress levels, keep track of your skin temperature, get notifications if your heart rate jumps or dips, and much more.
You are on a tight budget
Fitbit Versa 3 offers a few enhancements over its predecessor, the most notable of which are a better and bigger screen and a built-in GPS. If you don’t need these features, the Versa 2 is still an appealing alternative since it can do almost all of the functions of the Versa 3, including monitoring SpO2 levels, at a lower cost. Despite the fact that your workouts will not be recorded, the Versa 2’s display is still rather impressive, especially when the brightness is set to ‘dim. ‘ It has the same amount of battery life as the previous model and, owing to a software upgrade that was released in February 2020, it can now monitor your blood oxygen levels while you are sleeping. Furthermore, it is much less expensive.
Where to buy
- Best Buy
As per our Fitbit Versa 3 review, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a fantastic wearable, made even better by its integrated GPS and a few design modifications. It is, however, more of a fitness tracker than a wristwatch, with just a few productivity applications to choose from, much like its predecessor was. However, you will benefit from a long-lasting battery, a better display than previously, and an extensive collection of fitness information, making it a very appealing and cost-effective Apple Watch alternative. However, considering that this is the third version of the popular Versa series, it’s a little frustrating that Fitbit is still falling short in a few areas with this model.