Fitbit Versa 2 vs Apple Watch 5: Which should you buy?

Titanium Apple Watch Series 5 on table
Titanium Apple Watch Series 5 on table (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

So, you're trying to decide between the Fitbit Versa 2 and the Apple Watch 5. In a nutshell, the Apple Watch 5 is twice as expensive, but hosts more advanced tech and more features than the Fitbit Versa 2. The Fitbit Versa 2 is still an excellent piece of machinery. It includes excellent fitness tracking and will monitor your sleep patterns, which the Apple Watch 5 does not, so it's worth considering. When it comes down to it, your price point and your must-have features are the main factors when making your choice. Let's see what both have to offer.

Let's break it down

Both of these products are highly rated and host a variety of high-tech features. Let's break it down so you can see exactly how they differ.

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Apple Watch 5Fitbit Versa 2
DisplayAlways onAlways on
Heart Health24/7 heart rate + ECG24/7 heart rate
Safety & emergencyEmergency SOS, fall detection, international emergency callingNone
Built-in GPS + cellularYesNo
CompassYesNo
Barometric altimeterYesNo
Built-in micYesYes
Built-in smart assistantSiriAlexa
All-day activity trackingYesYes
Female trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingNoYes
Multi-sport trackingYesYes
Harmful noise detectionYesNo
Smart payYesYes
Music + AppsYesYes
Swim resistant to 50MYesYes
CustomizableYesYes
Battery life1.5 days5+ days

To emphasize some essential differences that set these two apart, the Apple Watch 5 offers ECG monitoring, global safety and emergency SOS, built-in GPS and cellular, a compass, barometric altimeter, and harmful noise detection, but the Fitbit Versa 2 does not. The Fitbit Versa 2 offers sleep tracking and a superior 5+ day battery life to the Apple Watch 5's 1.5-day battery life. They both offer similar capabilities when it comes to smart notifications, menstrual health tracking, multi-sport tracking, and all-day activity tracking.

Fitness first

Apple Watch Nike 5

Apple Watch Nike 5 (Image credit: Nike)

These two are both exceptional smartwatches, but the Apple Watch 5 is in a class of its own. When it comes to heart health, both devices offer 24/7 heart rate monitoring and notifications, but the Apple Watch 5 also features ECG monitoring. It's one of the few watches that can monitor your ECG anytime, anywhere. An ECG monitors your heart's electrical patterns as a moving line with peaks and dips. With an ECG, you can detect arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) to get the help you needed before it was too late. Some doctors might suggest wearing an ECG if you've had a heart attack in the past, to see if your pacemaker is working, if heart disease runs in your family, or if you have high blood pressure.

When it comes to fitness, both offer advanced workout metrics. However, the Apple Watch 5 features even more metrics that are worth mentioning. For example, the Apple Watch 5 has two wheelchair specific workouts, which is a great feature. Runners can get pace and cadence alerts, and the watch can count flights of stairs and provide elevation gain in an outdoor workout.

The Apple Watch 5 is compatible with most gym equipment so you can keep track of metrics like heart rate, speed, and calories and can connect to hundreds of different fitness apps to track your progress and reach your goals. Not to be left out, the Fitbit Versa 2 can track heart rate, steps, features 15+ exercise modes, and has daily reminders to move. Both allow you to connect with friends for fitness challenges and will inspire you to sit less, move more, and exercise every day.

Although both are swim-proof and water-resistant up to 50 meters, the Apple Watch 5 was designed with swimmers in mind. The Pool Swim workout automatically records splits and sets and can recognize your stroke. The Open Water Swim visualizes your route on a map and both track active calories, distance, and overall pace. Overall, with either option, you can stay on track towards your goals with personalized reminders that remind you to stay active, get hydrated, and more.

Keeping an eye on your health

Apple Watch Series 5 Ceramic Edition

Apple Watch Series 5 Ceramic Edition (Image credit: iMore)

For more health-focused features, both of these watches can help track menstrual cycles, making it easier to track monthly cycles, record symptoms, and more. Additionally, both offer guided breathing sessions through paired complications so you can find moments of calm and peace throughout your day. Another cool feature that the Apple Watch 5 has over the Versa 2 is that it will tell you when things are getting too loud. The Noise app alerts you when decibels rise to levels that can impact your hearing.

When it comes to sleep tracking, the Fitbit Versa 2 wins because the Apple Watch 5 offers none. The Fitbit Versa 2 will help you understand your rest with automatic sleep tracking and silent alarms on your wrist, plus bedtime reminders and tips in the app. It will also give you a sleep score based on your heart rate, time asleep and restlessness, which can help you better understand your sleep quality each night and ultimately get better rest overall.

A smart look all day (or night) long

Fitbit Versa 2 Lifestyle Imore

Fitbit Versa 2 Lifestyle Imore (Image credit: iMore)

Let's talk about aesthetics. The Apple Watch 5 and the Fitbit Versa 2 offer fully customizable watch faces and have thousands of options to choose from. You can make each your own and further personalize them with a fun and funky compatible band. Buy a bunch of bands and choose your aesthetic for the day based on your mood.

When it comes to battery life, the Fitbit Versa 2 reigns supreme. It offers 5+ days of battery life on a single charge versus the Apple Watch 5, which only offers 1.5 days. If you're the kind of person that doesn't like charging your wearables every day (like me), this is a huge plus for the Versa 2.

Both of these watches are exceptionally smart, but the Apple Watch 5 is graduating with honors. It just offers more with the built-in GPS, compass, and cellular system, as well as the global emergency SOS technology. Paired with the Maps app, you can see your exact geographic location. Plus, this feature uses GPS technology to send your location to emergency personal close by with the click of a button. In that sense, it's kind of its own personal locator beacon, which is really cool!

When it comes to entertainment, you can download all of your favorite apps and download and stream your favorite music with both as well. As far as smart assistance, the Apple Watch 5 features Siri and the Fitbit Versa 2 features Amazon Alexa. Both offer smart pay and call, text, email notifications. When it comes to connectivity, both of these watches are compatible with iOS and Android.

So which should you buy?

Apple Watch Series 5 Black Titanium Hero

Apple Watch Series 5 Black Titanium Hero (Image credit: iMore)

The Versa 2 and Apple Watch 5 are both impressive and come from highly reputable companies, but in the end, if you have the money, the Apple Watch 5 is the way to go. You get a lot of bang for your buck and get additional features like the ECG monitoring, harmful noise monitoring, and international SOS capabilities. The number one selling point that sets these two apart is Apple's built-in cellular and GPS, which enables you to go anywhere, no phone required. You can check and send texts or emails without your phone while skiing or surfing, which is pretty awesome.

However, if sleep tracking is your number one priority, go with the Fitbit Versa 2. It's a fantastic product and will help you monitor your sleep cycles so you can get a better understanding of those unconscious hours and ultimately get better rest.

Nicolette Roux
Contributor

Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. She's been hooked on Apple products since she got the very first iPhone in 2007 and made the switch from PC to Mac in 2008 after inadvertently dousing her laptop with a hefty dose of water. A dedicated creative, Nicolette has had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the industry throughout her career, and enjoys writing about all things: Apple, health, fitness, audio, and home. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette specializes in tech pertaining to the field. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.