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OnePlus Watch vs. Fitbit Versa 3: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

OnePlus Watch

OnePlus Watch Reco

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When you're looking for a budget-friendly smartwatch that offers solid health and fitness tracking, the new OnePlus Watch might catch your eye. It's got the essentials, including onboard GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, two-week battery life, and more. It may not be as advanced as the Versa 3, but it delivers in some important areas.

OnePlus Watch

Great features on RTOS

Onboard GPS
Heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring
2 weeks of battery life
Music storage
Mic/speaker support
Runs RTOS rather than Wear OS
No support for NFC payments
Lacks always-on display option

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

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Most people in the fitness tracking world are familiar with Fitbit. The company's latest smartwatch, the Versa 3, has many improvements. You get a solid six days of battery life, improved heart rate accuracy, onboard GPS, Active Zone Minutes, and a built-in mic/speaker with two voice assistant options. It runs FitbitOS, which is easy and intuitive for all users.

Fitbit Versa 3

An all-around better OS

GPS, HRM, NFC
Blood oxygen monitoring
6 days of battery life
Google Assistant & Alexa Built-in
Mic/speaker support
Shorter battery life
More expensive

OnePlus Watch vs. Fitbit Versa 3: Similar features, different experiences

Some of the best Android smartwatches are new models that just hit the market, while others have been around a bit longer. The OnePlus Watch and the Fitbit Versa 3 are two perfect examples of this. While they offer many similar features, the overall wearable experiences are different.

If you want a smartwatch with a tried-and-true operating system, the Fitbit Versa 3 is the better choice. The OnePlus Watch does things a bit differently with a real-time operating system (RTOS). On paper, it's an impressive fitness smartwatch with plenty of features, but in our OnePlus Watch review, things aren't quite as rosy. Most importantly, it's one of the most affordable options we've seen in some time. If you're not willing to take a gamble on this OS, you might want to consider the Fitbit Versa 3 instead.

The OnePlus Watch kills the battery life game

OnePlus Watch Press Image

Source: OnePlus (Image credit: Source: OnePlus)

You might expect an affordable smartwatch like the OnePlus Watch to be cheaply made, but that's not the case. This new wearable comes in an attractive 46mm stainless steel case. You also get a rich 1.39-inch AMOLED display. It comes with a sturdy fluoroelastomer strap, which is compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands.

One of the popular topics with this new release is that it runs RTOS, which stands for real-time operating systems. This isn't totally unheard of for smartwatches, but it is definitely not the most common route when systems like Wear OS are readily available.

OnePlus WatchFitibit Versa 3
Display1.39 inch AMOLED1.58-inch AMOLED
Dimensions46.4×46.4×10.9mm40x40x12mm
SensorsHRM, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, SpO2, air pressure sensor, capacitance sensor, ambient light sensorHRM, 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, SpO2, ambient light sensor
Battery life14 days6+ days
Water-resistance5ATM + IP685ATM
Onboard GPS✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️
Microphone✔️✔️
Speaker✔️✔️

What's the difference? RTOS handles tasks differently. A pre-determined time constraint is used for executing tasks on your smartwatch, whether that be launching an app or taking a heart-rate measurement. As a result, users will typically experience quick and reliable usage. The company has offered an explanation for this decision and also addressed other common questions ahead of the launch.

RTOS means better battery life, which is one of the high points for the OnePlus Watch.

If you've had smartwatch experiences in the past that were full of bugs and slow performance, you'll be happy to know that's not going to be a prominent issue with RTOS. It's designed to eliminate extraneous effort within the system, so it doesn't have to work as hard to complete simple tasks. RTOS means better battery life, which is one of the high points for the OnePlus Watch. This seems to have been the company's main goal with choosing RTOS, and two weeks of battery life isn't too shabby.

That all sounds pretty great, so you're probably wondering what the problem with a real-time operating system is. If you're looking for the full smartwatch experience, a wearable with RTOS can't really live up to that. For example, don't expect a giant app selection or tons of watch faces. The little things that make a smartwatch smart may not make it into the picture with RTOS.

Moving away from OS talk, the OnePlus Watch does a surprisingly good job of measuring up against the Versa 3. It offers many of the same features, including heart-rate monitoring, onboard GPS, activity/sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, and mic/speaker support for Bluetooth calls. As far as what's missing, there are no voice assistant options. You also won't have an always-on display feature, but the company says it's looking into this. There's no mention of NFC support for contactless payments, either.

After a few attempts, the Fitbit Versa 3 got it right

It might have taken a few attempts, but the Fitbit Versa lineup has finally delivered gold in the form of a smartwatch. Sure, the previous models were nice, but there was always something missing. Short offering an LTE model, the Fitbit Versa 3 covers all the key areas that users are looking for in a wearable. All of the Fitbit features you're accustomed to are here, like 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, 20+ goal-based exercise modes, advanced sleep monitoring, female health tracking, and Fitbit Pay.

The squircle design is familiar yet refined. You have smoother lines, a larger display, and better responsiveness. The 40mm case is available in Black and Soft Gold. Another improvement is the Fitbit Versa 3 bands. If you have any experience with the old band system for these models, you know this improvement was sorely needed. It's easier to swap out bands when you want a change with the new Infinity band system. The only drawback is that any old Versa bands you have won't be compatible here.

The Fitbit Versa 3 also offers better battery life than previous models. You'll get approximately six days out of this watch, depending on your usage. Fitbit also added a fast charging feature, which allows you to put your watch on the charger for only 12 minutes, and it'll supply you with a full day of battery life. When you're in a rush or forgot to charge it, this perk will surely come in handy.

One new Versa 3 feature is Active Zone Minutes, which alerts you when you hit your target heart-rate zones.

One new Versa 3 feature is Active Zone Minutes, which alerts you when you hit your target heart-rate zones. Users can "earn" Active Zone Minutes during an activity for the time they spend in fat burn, cardio, or peak heart-rate zones. Keep in mind these zones are personalized based on your fitness level and age. You'll also appreciate that the Fitbit Versa 3 comes with improved heart-rate accuracy thanks to the new PurePulse 2.0 technology.

The last Versa model offered Amazon Alexa, which was a step in the right direction. Now, you also get Google Assistant. The built-in microphone and speaker lead to a seamless experience when using both of these voice assistants. Not to mention that you can also use the mic/speaker for Bluetooth calling, which is an excellent upgrade.

OnePlus Watch vs. Fitbit Versa 3: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa 3

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

As far as features are concerned, these two fitness smartwatches aren't all that different. Both the OnePlus Watch and Fitbit Versa 3 offer activity/sleep tracking, onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, blood oxygen tracking, multiple exercise modes, and a mic/speaker for Bluetooth calls.

The OnePlus Watch offers more than double the battery life of the Versa 3, which may be enough to win some people over. It's also significantly cheaper. While a real-time operating system (RTOS) may be useful for longer battery life, it does come with its own set of drawbacks.

If you want a wearable experience that's guaranteed to be great, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a wonderful choice. It runs FitbitOS, which is easy to navigate and offers enough app support and watch faces for most people. It might be more expensive, and the battery life isn't as long, but those are small compromises in the grand scheme of things.

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.