Great for beginners

Fitbit Versa Lite

Wear OS's finest

Fossil Sport

The Versa Lite is Fitbit's most affordable smartwatch to-date, and because of this, it's also one of the best smartwatches for first-time buyers or people that are looking for an upgrade from their basic fitness tracker. Along with tying into Fitbit's phenomenal fitness/health platform, the Versa Lite can also download apps, sync notifications from your phone, and more.

$160 at Fitbit

Pros

  • Excellent health/fitness features
  • Waterproof
  • 24/7 heart-rate tracking
  • Sleek, lightweight design
  • Over 4 days of battery life
  • Great price

Cons

  • Doesn't support mobile payments
  • No GPS
  • Limited app selection

If you've got a bit more money to spend and want a smartwatch with every feature possible, the Fossil Sport is probably a better fit. Powered by Google's Wear OS, the Fossil Sport easily manages all of your notifications, has access to a large selection of apps, and even comes with the Google Assistant built-in. It's also equipped with GPS and NFC to support Google Pay.

$275 at Amazon

Pros

  • Lightweight and striking design
  • Google Assistant is really useful
  • Swimproof + heart-rate tracking
  • Has GPS and Google Pay
  • Large selection of apps/watch faces

Cons

  • Battery only last a day
  • Slow/buggy software
  • Over $100 more expensive

The Fitbit Versa Lite and Fossil Sport are two really solid smartwatches that cater perfectly to the customers they're being marketed to. If you're looking to buy your first smartwatch and want something that isn't too expensive, it's hard to do better than the Fitbit Versa Lite. On the other hand, if you have a bit more experience with wearables, want something with more features, and/or have additional cash burning a hole in your pocket, the Fossil Sport is definitely worth checking out.

The Versa Lite is perfect for first-time smartwatch buyers

Whether you're in the market to buy your very first piece of wearable tech or want an upgrade from your aging fitness band, the Fitbit Versa Lite is a really compelling gadget. Not only is it affordable, but Fitbit's custom operating system, (Fitbit OS) is simple enough for just about anyone to use.

First-time smartwatch buyer? Get the Versa Lite.

The Versa Lite connects to your phone via Bluetooth and shows any notifications that you receive. If you're using it with an Android phone, you can send off Quick Replies to things like texts, WhatsApp messages, etc. Quick Replies are pre-made responses you can send off with just one tap, and using the Fitbit app on your phone, you can customize what these say. This is nice, but the Fossil Sport's built-in mic that allows you to dictate whatever you'd like to reply to notifications is a lot more convenient.

You can also download apps on the Versa Lite, including Starbucks, Uber, and Walgreens. Fitbit's done a commendable job at expanding the app selection for its wearables, but when compared to Wear OS on the Fossil Sport, it's apparent just how much work Fitbit still has to do. Then again, for someone that's just getting into wearables, these issues probably aren't that important.

Where the Versa Lite really shines is with its fitness tracking capabilities. Here's a quick rundown of just a few of the Versa Lite's best fitness features:

  • Step tracking
  • Calories burned
  • Distance walked/run
  • Female health tracking
  • In-depth sleep tracking
  • Guided breathing sessions
  • Heart-rate tracking
  • 15+ exercise modes
  • Automatic workout detection

In addition to being able to view a lot of your fitness stats directly on the Versa Lite, you can also view everything on your phone using the Fitbit app. All of your data is readily available, you can compete with your friends in fitness challenges, and connect with other Fitbit users all around the world to encourage each other on your fitness journey. Without a doubt, it's one of the best platforms of its kind.

Fitbit Versa Lite Fossil Sport
Operating System FitbitOS Wear OS
Heart-rate sensor ✔️ ✔️
Waterproof ✔️ ✔️
Female health tracking ✔️
Mobile payments ✔️
GPS ✔️
Microphone ✔️
Digital assistant ✔️
Battery 4+ days About 1 day
Price $160 $275

The Fossil Sport does (and costs) a lot more

Where the Fitbit Versa Lite is more of a suped-up fitness tracker with some solid smartwatch features, the the Fossil Sport is a fully-fledged smartwatch that comes equipped with pretty much every feature you could imagine.

The Fossil Sport is powered by Google's Wear OS, and while not as easy to use as Fitbit's operating system, it's quite a bit more capable. Notifications are handled better, the Google Assistant is built-in and ready to answer any questions you have, and the app selection is considerably larger than what you'll find on the Versa Lite.

The Fossil Sport does a lot to justify its higher price.

Thanks to the NFC chip built into the Fossil Sport, you can store your debit/credit cards on it and use Google Pay to pay at any stores that accept it. We also really like the inclusion of GPS which enables you to map your runs/jogs/walks without having to take your phone with you. Oh, and if you want to save music on your watch for local playback, only the Fossil Sport can do that.

While all of that's great, the Fossil Sport does lose to the Versa Lite in a couple big ways.

Google Fit is used as the primary fitness-tracking platform for the Fossil Sport, and while it's not bad, it just doesn't compare to what Fitbit's offering. Also, where the Fitbit Versa Lite can keep going and going for over 4 days on a single charge, you'll need to charge the Fossil Sport just about every single night.

Lastly, the Fossil Sport can be really inconsistent with its performance. Sometimes it'll be buttery smooth and work without a hitch, but just a couple minutes later, it can be glitchy and unbearable to use.

Buy the watch that's right for you

As I've mentioned already, these are two watches that were created for very different demographics. The Versa Lite absolutely excels when it comes to fitness tracking, has some good smart features, and comes in at a really attractive price. If you want features like GPS, mobile payments, and the Google Assistant, the Fossil Sport delivers — albeit with a much higher price.

Great for beginners

Fitbit Versa Lite

One of the best affordable smartwatches out there

Long-time Fitbit user? Looking to buy your first smartwatch? The Versa Lite is for you. The fitness-tracking tools are fantastic, the smart features get the job done, and the battery easily lasts 4 days on a single charge. Add that together with a sleek design and super accessible price tag, and the Versa Lite is an easy purchase.

Wear OS's finest

Fossil Sport

All the features you could ask for.

For people that want their smartwatch to do everything, the Fossil Sport is a much smarter choice. The Google Assistant is incredibly useful, you can make payments using Google Pay, map your runs with built-in GPS, and access a lot more apps. We just wish the fitness features were better and that the battery lasted longer.

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