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

Fitbit Versa 2 iPhone
Fitbit Versa 2 iPhone (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

Though the Apple Watch Series 5 and Fitbit Versa 2 fit into two very different categories — Versa 2 is fitness-focused, and Apple Watch Series 5 is smarts focused — they're more alike than you might realize. Both offer an app ecosystem, solid fitness trackers, notifications, and Bluetooth connections so you can listen to music right from your watch.

The most significant difference between the two is that Fitbit was designed with a focus on fitness and with the bonus of smart technology. At the same time, Apple Watch was created as an all-around smartwatch with the bonus of fitness tracking.

When it comes to the number of features, Apple Watch Series 5 is the clear winner, but not everyone needs all those smarts.

The details

When it comes to deciding whether you want a Fitbit Versa 2 or an Apple Watch Series 5, the main thing you should consider is what you want it for. Though there are a lot of similarities, where Apple Watch Series 5 and Fitbit Versa 2 differ will make all the difference.

Fitbit is fitness first: smart second

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2 (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

The Fitbit Versa 2 has a seriously great battery life for a smartwatch, even with the continuous heart rate monitor, step tracking, sleep tracking, and automatic workout recording. In addition to the improved battery life over the original Versa and Versa Lite, Fitbit added a better OLED screen and pushbutton access to Amazon's Alexa smart voice assistant for simple queries, reminders, and automation.

As far as fitness goes, the Versa 2 has an on-screen workout guide and connectivity to Fitbit Premium, which is a subscription-based personalized training program. Fitbit Premium includes adaptive workout videos, audio coaching, and in-depth analytics and insights covering your sleep, nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness data. Fitbit has always had a robust and easy-to-use app with tons of fitness data, but it's worth noting that this data is all self-contained within the app and is not shared with the Apple Health app.

The Fitbit app store is very limited right now and mostly focuses on either fitness, minimal productivity tools, and a few major brand apps, like Starbucks and Yelp. It does, however, have a lot of room to grow. There may only be a couple hundred right now, but it could reach Apple Watch's 10,000+ mark in the future.

Apple Watch is smarts through-and-through

Apple Watch Series 5 Titanium 2 Hero

Apple Watch Series 5 Titanium 2 Hero (Image credit: iMore)

The Apple Watch has everything you could want from a wearable device: fitness tracking, productivity, lifestyle, and more. You can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and even use the walkie-talkie app for quick conversations. Apple Watch supports Siri, which means you can ask it to set an alarm or give you directions, all without needing your iPhone in hand. Siri can send and read texts and emails for you, right from your Apple Watch, answer questions about movies, music, sports, and more, and even search the web.

Apple Watch Series 3 and newer also can stream Apple Music right from your wrist. So even if your iPhone is on the other side of the room, or nowhere near you, if you're on the same Wi-Fi network, you can listen to thousands of songs without having to download anything to your Watch.

The Apple Watch GPS + Cellular lets you use your watch untethered (without your phone) for anything an Apple Watch with an iPhone could do, including sending messages, making calls, getting directions, and more. Perhaps most important of all, the Series 4 and 5 both feature the ability to take on-wrist EKG recordings and can detect if you've fallen and notify emergency responders and close contacts. Series 5 even has international SOS that works without a cellular plan for those emergencies overseas.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Versa 2Apple Watch Series 5
PriceFrom $150From $400
Battery life5 days18 hours
Weight38 grams +30 grams+
Cellular (not all models)
Musicdownload onlystreaming Apple Music
Onboard workoutPersonal trainerPre-made routines
Sleep trackingBuilt-inVia third-party apps
Notificationssame as phone (no reply support on iPhone)Same as phone
Virtual assistantAlexaSiri
Platform supportAndroid
ColorsCopper Rose
Mist Grey
Space Gray
Stainless Steel (Stainless Steel model)
Space Black (Stainless Steel, Titanium models)
White (Ceramic model)
Stainless Steel
App Store150 +10,000 +

When looking at all of the available features between the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Fitbit Versa 2, the first question you should be asking is what do you want your smartwatch to do for you.

Do you want a step tracker, sleep tracker, workout planner, and guide to help you get fit? Do you switch between iPhone and Android? Do you want to have a device with battery life for up to a week? If that describes you, then the Fitbit Versa 2 is your style.

Are you an upwardly mobile, go-getter who needs to stay connected to essential communications? Do you have a busy life that keeps you on the go? Do you prefer a little autonomy from your iPhone? Sound more familiar? Then the Apple Watch Series 5 is more for you.

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.