Fitbit Versa Lite vs. TicWatch S2: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit's still finding its footing with smartwatches, but the Versa Lite is evidence that it's on the right track. This watch excels with fitness and health-tracking, allowing you to do everything from counting steps to managing your feminine health. It also has a great design, truly phenomenal battery life, and software that's steadily getting better with each update.

Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitness focused

Lightweight, slim design
Available in fun colors
Powerful fitness/health features
Over four days of battery life
Slightly more affordable
Doesn't have GPS
Small app selection
No voice assistant

TicWatch S2

The TicWatch S2 is one of the more affordable Wear OS watches on the market, and for the price, it does a lot right. The design is rugged, it's waterproof, and we love having GPS onboard. It also does more with its software, including things like Google Assistant and access to a larger app selection.

TicWatch S2

Built-in GPS

Military-grade durability
Built-in GPS
Access to a ton of apps
Google Assistant
Worse battery life
Less impressive fitness tracking

When deciding between the Fitbit Versa Lite and TicWatch S2, you need to decide what you value the most out of a smartwatch. If you want access to top-notch fitness tracking, excellent battery life, and a design that's accepting of smaller wrists, the Versa Lite is the way to go. For most people, the Versa Lite is the best all-around option, but if you want features like the Google Assistant, GPS, and a more rugged/durable design, the TicWatch S2 will serve you better.

Where the Fitbit Versa Lite wins

Coming from a company such as Fitbit, it shouldn't be any surprise that the Versa Lite absolutely dominates in regards to its fitness tracking capabilities. If you're looking for a wearable that'll help you live a healthier life, the Versa Lite is a great companion.

The Versa Lite tracks all of your daily activity, including things like steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned, and how many minutes you've been active in a given day. It can track over 15 different exercise types, and if you're running, walking, or biking, it can automatically detect when you start and stop your workout. At night, there's a built-in sleep tracking system that goes as far as to detect how much time you spend in deep, light, and REM sleep stages.

All of your stats are displayed right on the Versa Lite for easy access, and if you hop into the excellent Fitbit app on your phone, you can view more detailed information about your health, compete in fitness competitions with your friends, and connect with the other millions of Fitbit users for motivation, tips, and more.

But wait, there's more! The Versa Lite allows you to track water intake right on your wrist, go through guided breathing sessions, and get reminders to move throughout the day. If you're a woman, Fitbit even has a built-in platform for female health tracking for you to keep a detailed log of your menstrual cycle. In addition to seeing and logging this information on your phone, you can also quickly look at the Versa Lite's health dashboard to see how many days are left until your next period. I've watched my fiancé use this tool a few times, and it's pretty incredible stuff.

From a hardware standpoint, the Versa Lite has a great design that's lightweight and easily accessible for even the tiniest of wrists. It comes in some really fun colors (Marina Blue and Mulberry are my favorites), is waterproof up to 50 meters, and lasts over four days on a single charge.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Versa LiteTicWatch S2
Operating systemFitbitOSWear OS
Heart-rate sensor✔️✔️
WaterproofUp to 50MUp to 50M
Voice assistant✔️
Local music storage✔️
Mobile payments
Activity tracking✔️✔️
Female health tracking✔️
BatteryOver four daysUp to two days

Why you may want the TicWatch S2 instead

As much as I'm a fan of the Versa Lite, I will admit that it's lacking a few features I really enjoy having on a smartwatch. Its app selection is pretty small, you can only reply to notifications with a handful of pre-made Quick Replies, and there's no form of a voice assistant at all.

Thankfully, these are all things that the TicWatch S2 addresses.

The TicWatch S2 is powered by Google's Wear OS, and as such, there are a ton of apps to choose from. Whether you're looking for Spotify, Uber, Google Keep, Facebook Messenger, American Airlines, Shazam, or anything else in between, there's probably a Wear OS app for it.

The TicWatch is a lot bulkier, but in regards to "smart" features, it does much more than the Versa Lite.

You can reply to notifications in a variety of ways, including sending a pre-made message, typing something out, or using the built-in microphone to dictate anything you want. Speaking of the microphone, this also allows you to speak to the Google Assistant to ask about the weather, control smart home devices, find out who won last night's game, or anything else you can think of. Google Assistant is one of the best virtual assistants around, and having constant access to it directly on your wrist is pretty awesome.

From a hardware standpoint, this is where the TicWatch S2 may deter some potential buyers. Its military-grade durability rating is wonderful for people that are particularly rough on their tech, but this also makes the watch large and bulky. If you have tiny wrist like I do, this might make the S2 a nonstarter.

Battery life is considerably weaker on the TicWatch as well, with it only getting around two days of use max before needing to be charged up. Performance can also be hit and miss thanks to the aging processor, but if you need a watch with built-in GPS, you may be willing to overlook those issues as you won't find it at all on the Versa Lite.

So which one is right for you?

It'll still come down to personal preference, but for most people, the Fitbit Versa Lite wins this battle. It fits on most wrists and isn't bulky like the TicWatch S2. That means it'll be more comfortable not only when you're working out but when you're sleeping. With the Versa Lite's sleep tracking abilities, you're going to want to make the most of it. While both wearables will give you a great number of fitness tracking features, the Versa Lite also has better battery life.

However, the TicWatch will be more appealing for people looking for access to more apps, including Google Assistant. You can access apps beyond the fitness realm and can reply to notifications on your phone. It also has built-in GPS, while the Versa Lite doesn't.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.