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

Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Charge 4 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

The Fitbit Charge 4 has finally arrived and it's built to impress. It offers impeccable health/activity tracking as always plus some amazing new perks. You'll now have built-in GPS, Fitbit Pay, and Spotify Connect & Control.

Fitbit Charge 4

Brilliant fitness tracker

Fitbit Pay is standard
Great health/activity tracking
5 ATM water resistance
Seven-day battery life
Lacks smartwatch perks
Costs more than Versa lite

Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Versa Lite

The Fitbit Versa Lite is designed for those who need the basics built into a beautiful package. You'll appreciate the unique design, great health/activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and more.

Fitbit Versa Lite

Affordable smartwatch

Gorgeous design
Great health/activity tracking
5 ATM water resistance
Heart-rate monitoring
Affordable for a smartwatch
Lacks built-in GPS, NFC
Shorter battery life

You might think that there's not much of a comparison between fitness trackers and smartwatches, but that's not always the case. This is especially true when you compare the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Fitbit Versa Lite. There are quite a few similarities that make them both worthy contenders.

Your final decision may come down to a couple of key differences, whether it be the overall design or some must-have features. The Fitbit Charge 4 will attract users who want the newest device that comes with some bonus perks. The Versa Lite is a wonderful smartwatch for beginners at a reasonable price.

Next-level fitness tracking

Fitbit Charge 4 Review

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

The new Fitbit Charge 4 is a remarkable improvement of its predecessor. It delivers everything you need for a well-rounded fitness tracking experience as well as some neat perks you usually only get in a smartwatch. For starters, you'll now be able to track your route when you exercise without carrying your phone around. The new built-in GPS makes this possible, which is ideal for workout enthusiasts who would rather leave their phone behind.

Fitbit Pay and built-in GPS are standard features on the Charge 4.

Fitbit Pay is also a standard feature on the Charge 4, so you'll be able to make contactless payments from your tracker. You also have the convenience of Spotify Connect & Control to control your phone's music from your wrist. This is nice to have, but keep in mind that the screen is small so it's not exactly groundbreaking.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Versa Lite
Display1-inch grayscale OLED1.34-inch Color LCD
SensorsGPS, altimeter, 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, ambient light, SpO2
Battery life7 days4 days
Onboard GPS✔️
Activity/sleep tracking✔️✔️
Female health tracking✔️✔️
Fitbit Pay✔️
Smartphone notifications✔️✔️

Another change that users might enjoy is the addition of the Active Zone Minutes feature. You'll earn credit during exercises that get your heart rate up. It's broken down into three categories to give you a clear idea of how effective your workouts are, which include Cardio, Fat Burn, and Peak. The feature also gives you daily and weekly goals to meet.

You'll also still have everything that made the previous Fitbit Charge such a hit, like several exercise modes, automatic activity detection, 24/7 heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, female health tracking, and more. The battery life will last for seven days before needing more juice, which is perfect for those on the go. You'll get smartphone notifications on your tracker, but again, the tiny screen can make this tricky to navigate.

Perfect starter smartwatch

Fitbit Versa Lite

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

If you've been on the fence about buying a smartwatch due to the expensive price tags and overload of advanced features, the Fitbit Versa Lite just might sway you. It's everything that you need and nothing you don't. Most importantly, it's reasonably priced and won't have you regretting your purchase. It even costs a bit less than the Fitbit Charge 4. The attractive design is available in multiple bright shades and comes with a colorful touchscreen. The larger display makes it easier to operate through a series of swipes and taps, too.

Don't expect bells and whistles with the Versa Lite and you won't be disappointed.

Don't expect bells and whistles with the Versa Lite and you won't be disappointed. It lacks built-in GPS and Fitbit Pay. Other than these two major factors, you'll have a lot of the same features. It tracks your steps, calories, and heart rate. It will also monitor your sleep and provide you with automatic activity tracking. You get notifications, which will be easier to view on a larger screen. You can expect the battery to last for four days, which is less than the Charge 4's seven-day battery life, but is still great for most.

Final thoughts

While the price tag is often a deciding factor when choosing between two wearables, these are nearly the same price. Therefore, you'll want to consider some other factors. Are you set on having features like built-in GPS and Fitbit Pay? If so, you may prefer the Fitbit Charge 4. You'll also enjoy longer battery life along with the new Active Zone Minutes feature and Spotify Connect & Control. It's easily one of the most advanced trackers out there.

If you've been thinking about venturing into the world of smartwatches, the Fitbit Versa Lite is an excellent option for beginners. As long as you're aware that it truly is a 'lite' version of the Fitbit Versa, this watch is a good place to start. You'll need to rely on connected GPS and you won't have NFC payments, but it still offers a solid health/activity tracking suite.

All in all, both of these Fitbit devices are good picks. We're excited about all of the new features that the Fitbit Charge 4 has to offer. That being said, the Versa Lite might be more appealing to those who are buying a smartwatch for the first time and don't want to spend a fortune on it.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.