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Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4: Which should you buy?

fitbits on wrist
fitbits on wrist (Image credit: iMore)

While we have a favorite in our Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Charge 4 competition, they're both capable fitness trackers. It ultimately comes down to what you want out of your tracker and what you're willing to pay. The Fitbit Versa 3 is a blend of smartwatch and fitness tracker, with plenty of great perks with a price tag to match. On the other hand, the Charge 4 is an excellent tracker, perfect for those who don't need all the extras of a smartwatch at a more affordable price. So, which one is right for you?

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4: Let's break it down

Fitbit Versa 3 Lifestyle

Fitbit Versa 3 Lifestyle (Image credit: Fitbit)

The third generation Versa arrived on the scene in 2020, and it has all the bells and whistles of most smartwatches. You'll get a large color touchscreen, app compatibility, fast charging, and the ability to play music, reply to texts, and make calls from your wrists. Our Fitbit Versa 2 review explored the many reasons why that model was a better fitness tracker than a smartwatch. Fitbit has improved everything we took issue with last year, turning out a well-rounded, affordable watch with the Versa 3.

The swimproof Versa is also an advanced fitness tracker with 24/7 heart rate tracking, oxygen saturation monitoring, onboard GPS, cardio fitness level monitoring, sleep stages and scores, and a workout intensity map. The always-on display is beautiful, albeit huge. If you have small wrists, this will feel oversized on your body. The Versa 3 isn't quite on par with the likes of the more mature Apple Watch 6, but it's a capable fitness tracker/smartwatch combo that will please those who favor a touchscreen and GPS. And some of the best accessories for the Fitbit Versa came out this year. Let's look at the specs.

Fitbit Versa 3Fitbit Charge 4
Release dateAugust 2020April 2020
Step counter
Heart rate monitor
Sleep tracking
Swim-proof
Swim tracking-
Built-in GPS
Active zones
Smartphone notifications
Female health tracking
Stores music-
Alexa-
Google Assistant-
On-screen workouts-
Calorie counter
Bluetooth
Display1.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen, color1-inch OLED touchscreen, grayscale
SensorsOptical heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, SpO2, ambient light sensorOptical heart rate, altimeter, accelerometer, SpO2
Microphone-
NFC
Storage-
Mobile payments
Battery life6 days7 days

The wallet-friendly Fitbit Charge 4 has many features users have requested for years, including GPS. With the Charge 4, you can head out for a run or a hike and leave your phone behind as satellite tracking keeps tabs on your location, distance, and pace. Battery life takes a hit with built-in GPS, but for those of us who don't want to carry a phone during outdoor exercising, it's a long-overdue feature we love.

The Charge 4 looks identical to its predecessor. The inside is where the magic happens here. In addition to GPS, you can track your fitness intensity with something Fitbit calls Active Zones. Basically, it registers various heart rate zones throughout the day to give you a better estimate of calorie burn, energy depleted, etc. The Charge 4 also comes with swim-tracking and now delivers info on swim lengths, distance, pace, and duration. As with all Fitbits, it's water-resistant down to 50 meters, and can be customized with your favorite color Fitbit band.

Fitbit Versa 3 vs. Fitbit Charge 4: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa 3 Lifestyle

Fitbit Versa 3 Lifestyle (Image credit: Fitbit)

The Fitbit Versa 3 and the Fitbit Charge 4 are both capable fitness trackers. You'll get a reliable heart rate monitor, calorie counter, sleep tracker, female health tracker, and stopwatch with both models. The deciding factor is whether you favor a smartwatch-style watch with a touchscreen or a basic tracker.

If you want a tracker that will compliment your phone, the Versa 3 is the better choice. You'll get Alexa and Google Assistant, GPS, notifications, apps, space for music, a microphone, and a big, beautiful touch screen. If you want a rugged, budget-friendly tracker that will stand up to anything, you'll love the Charge 4. It's built tough, has standalone GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, swim tracking, and a screen you won't have to worry about scratching.

So who wins our Fitbit Versa vs. Charge 4 challenge? If I were jumping on the Fitbit bandwagon today, I wouldn't hesitate to invest in the newer Versa 3. For me, the GPS, precise heart rate tracking, and color touchscreen make it the clear winner.

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.