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Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

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The initial days of fitness trackers began with Fitbit. Recently, the brand expanded its product range with smartwatches, starting with the Versa and Ionic series. Its Versa 3 is currently one of the best-selling smartwatches on the market and is positioned as a budget-friendly choice for entering the Fitbit ecosystem.

On the other hand, the Korean technological giant Samsung is also trying to capture a piece of the smart wearable market with its Galaxy Watch series. The Galaxy Watch 4, at the time of writing this article, is one of Samsung’s latest flagship wearable devices, clearly aimed at similarly priced alternatives from Fitbit, Fossil, and Ticwatch.

Versa 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 are often available at roughly the same price, which raises the question – which option is better? Keep reading as we compare these smartwatches to help you make the best choice.

Fitbit Versa 3 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Comparison by Features

Here’s a brief description of the features of Versa 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 that can be compared:

FeatureFitbit Versa 3Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Display ShapeSquareRound
Display TypeAMOLEDSuper AMOLED
Case MaterialAluminumAluminum
Water ResistanceUp to 50 meters (5 ATM)Up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
NotificationsYes (with quick reply feature)Yes (with reply feature)
Contactless PaymentFitbit PaySamsung Pay
Battery Life6 days~ 2 days
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi 4 (2.4 GHz)Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5 (dual-band), LTE (LTE models only)
Additional Device Sensors3-axis accelerometer, altimeter, Ambient light sensorAccelerometer, Barometer, Geomagnetic sensor, Gyroscope, Light sensor
Health Monitoring SensorsOptical heart rate sensor, SpO2 infrared sensor, Skin temperature sensorOptical heart rate sensor, Electrical heart sensor, bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor
Operating SystemFitbit OSOne UI Watch (Wear OS)

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Initial Impressions

Fitbit Versa 3 is equipped with a bright AMOLED display, similar to its predecessors, but now slightly larger – 1.58 inches with a higher resolution of 336 x 336. The screen curves are now more pronounced around the edges, giving it a premium look.

In comparison, Versa 2 comes with a 1.39-inch display with a resolution of 300 x 300. Versa 3 also has slightly larger dimensions than its predecessor, although the difference in size on the wrist seems insignificant.

Versa 3 supports the “Always On Display” feature, meaning you can track your key health and fitness metrics without turning off the watch. This feature comes in handy during runs, bike rides, and intense workouts in the gym.

Although Versa 3 resembles its more expensive counterpart, Fitbit Sense, it lacks the high-quality stainless steel ring and EDA and ECG sensors necessary for stress and heart rate monitoring.

One of the quality improvements in Versa 3 is the spring bar fixator for straps on thin metal plates compared to Versa 2 and the original Versa. This significantly simplifies strap replacement compared to before.

Versa 3, like Fitbit Sense, has a touch-sensitive side button to wake up the screen. Users can also use it as a quick access button for various functions. Navigation is done by swiping up, down, left, and right on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 essentially has the same design as the Watch Active 2, and many consider it its spiritual successor. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, on the other hand, is the successor to last year’s Galaxy Watch 3.

Galaxy Watch 4 is available in two size options: 40mm and 44mm. The screen sizes in these variants are 1.2 inches and 1.4 inches respectively.

The screen resolution in the 44mm variant (450 x 450) is higher than in the 40mm variant (396 x 396). It is worth noting that both variants use Samsung’s Super AMOLED display technology and Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ protection.

Galaxy Watch 4 has two navigation buttons. Users can assign shortcuts to the Home button and hold it to activate the voice assistant. They also feature a capacitive touch digital bezel, replacing the physical rotating bezel of the Watch 3. The latter is now a hallmark of the Watch 4 Classic.

Compared to its predecessors, Galaxy Watch 4 has a larger and brighter screen, increased battery life, and new health monitoring features. It also switches from the Samsung Tizen operating system with limited capabilities to the more powerful Wear OS from Google.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Watch 4: Waterproofing

Fitbit claims that Versa 3 is waterproof up to 50 meters or approximately 164 feet. This means you can safely wear it in the shower, at the beach, or in the pool. Those planning to wear it in water are strongly recommended to use a silicone strap.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is certified to the IP68 standard and has a 5 ATM rating, meaning they are waterproof up to a depth of 50 meters. Therefore, they can withstand rain, splashes, showering, and swimming.

It’s worth mentioning the MIL-STD-810G certification of the Watch 4. The watches withstand extreme conditions such as drops, shocks/vibrations, and abnormal temperature/altitude changes. They are also resistant to dirt, sand, and small dust particles.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Fitness Monitoring Features

Let’s delve into the fitness monitoring capabilities of these watches. While Versa 3 has fewer health tracking sensors than the Watch 4, its active heart rate monitoring and real-time activity tracking are sufficient to meet the average user’s needs.

When it comes to health and fitness monitoring features, Fitbit’s companion mobile app remains the best. It reminds users to walk for a few minutes every hour, offers a variety of meditation tracks, and provides access to detailed analysis of heart rate zones, blood oxygen levels, and sleep quality. Users can also set and track daily fitness goals and receive personalized workout recommendations.

Versa 3, like other Fitbits, allows users to choose from over 20 workout modes, including high-intensity interval training. The new built-in GPS also enables more accurate tracking of outdoor activities such as running, cycling, and swimming.

On the other hand, Galaxy Watch 4 users can track heart rate, sleep quality, stress levels, and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). The watches can also track over 90 types of workouts and exercises and automatically detect some key activities like running, cycling, and swimming.

One significant caveat is that Samsung limits the ECG and blood pressure monitoring features in the Watch 4 to certain regions due to regulatory requirements. Users also need a Samsung phone to access these features, even in supported areas. While this can be circumvented, the absence of these features out of the box might be a drawback for some users.

Another exciting feature of the Galaxy Watch 4 is the BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis) sensor, which sends micro-currents into the body to measure overall body composition, including fat, muscle, and water.

Place your middle and ring fingers on the two navigation buttons to find out your basal metabolic rate, body fat, water percentage, and skeletal muscle indicators. It’s akin to “smart scales” but may occasionally yield inaccurate readings depending on the situation. Note that it does not detect or diagnose underlying medical conditions.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Battery Life

The Fitbit Versa 3 significantly outperforms the Galaxy Watch 4, providing up to 6 days of battery life on a single charge. Of course, this is only with automatic screen brightness adjustment and GPS when necessary. Nevertheless, this is a significant improvement compared to previous Versa models.

Unlike most other Wear OS-based smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 4 offers decent battery life. It can comfortably last for a full day or even two days of use, but it’s nowhere near the battery life of the Versa 3.

The downside is that you’ll likely have to remove and charge the Watch 4 more often, impacting your health and fitness routine. Versa 3 is the clear winner in this regard.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Which One Is Better?

It’s challenging to judge which of the two options is better. Both have advantages, drawbacks, and similarities, all of which we’ve discussed above. In fact, the recent acquisition of Fitbit by Google and their collaboration with Samsung in software has brought benefits to both sides in different ways.

If you only need a solid fitness tracker with a long battery life, the Versa 3 is your best bet. It’s a significant step forward compared to the Versa 2 in several aspects, and the continuously improving Fitbit app is a powerful platform for the health of regular users and intermediate athletes.

As an alternative, for those enticed by the features of the new Wear OS 3 and extensive fitness monitoring suite and who are willing to compromise on battery performance, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is what you need. It’s one of the most feature-rich smartwatches you can get outside the Apple ecosystem.