Fitbit Versa vs. Fitbit Ionic: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa

The Versa is Fitbit's best mass-appeal smartwatch the company's created to date. It has an excellent design, great battery life, tons of features, and starts at a very resonable $200.

Fitbit Versa

Our pick

Sleek design
More affordable
4+ days of battery
Fitbit Pay on Special Edition
No built-in GPS

Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Ionic may not be Fitbit's flashiest smartwatch, but it is the most powerful. In addition to a built-in GPS chip and up to a week-long battery, all models come with NFC for Fitbit Pay and it's very comfy to wear.

Fitbit Ionic

Flagship tracker

Up to seven days of battery
Built-in GPS
Very comfortable
Lackluster design

Unless you need built-in GPS, the Fitbit Versa is the better purchase for most people. It does just about everything the Ionic can, and if you step up to the Special Edition, you can still get Fitbit Pay for a great deal less than the Ionic's starting price.

Don't need built-in GPS? Get the Fitbit Versa.

The Fitbit Versa and Ionic are very, very similar products. They share more features than they don't, but there are a couple of key things to keep in mind. For starters, let's talk about those designs.

The Versa is Fitbit's best-looking smartwatch to-date, and it draws a lot of inspiration from both the Apple Watch and Pebble Time. Fitbit chose a squircle shape for Versa's body, and this gives it a very clean and minimalistic design that looks right at home whether you're at the gym or attending a formal dinner.

Along with the good looks, the Versa is also designed to fit and be comfortable on just about anyone's wrist. Versa is incredibly comfy to wear, and it practically disappears from your mind once you put it on thanks to how lightweight it is.

The Ionic feels just as good to wear, but its design pales in comparison when placed next to the Versa. While the Versa is sleek and fashion-forward, the Ionic has a sporty aesthetic that certainly won't appeal to everyone. It can be dressed up with a leather or metal watch band to look a touch classier, but even so, the Versa has a much more appealing and flexible design.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit VersaFitbit Ionic
Operating systemFitbitOS 3.0FitbitOS 3.0
Heart-rate sensor✔️✔️
WaterproofingUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Fitbit Pay✔️ (on Special Edition)✔️
Battery4+ daysUp to 7 days
Music storage✔️ (up to 300 songs)✔️ (up to 300 songs)
Replacable bands✔️✔️

However, while the Ionic may not be as stylish as the Versa, it is the more powerful smartwatch. One big advantage it has is built-in GPS. When you go running with the Ionic, it can map your route without having to be connected to your phone. The Versa can record a route of where you run/walk, too, but it requires a constant connection to your phone in order to do so.

The Ionic also gets a lead in battery life at up to seven days of use, but with a 4+ day rating on the Versa, it still has much better endurance than just about every other smartwatch in its price range.

Joe Maring

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