Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit Versa 2 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit is a leader in the smartwatch and fitness tracker market, and for good reason. Devices like the Versa 2 are versatile, can track just about anything, and connect you to a massive and growing community of users, including friends and like-minded individuals, who can help motivate you. The Versa 2 is an older model but can be yours for a good deal.

Fitbit Versa 2

A fitness winner

Great battery life
Detailed sleep tracking
Good size and design options
On-screen coaching
More affordable
No built-in GPS
Notifications sometimes finicky

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Angle

The Galaxy Watch 3 combines the fitness features you'd want in a design that rivals a standard wristwatch and that you can wear every day. It has all of the expected features of a smartwatch and fitness tracker and then some, including detailed sleep tracking, LTE connectivity, and even fall detection. It's a solid watch option worth considering, even if it's an older model.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Smart and stylish

Built-in GPS
Stylish wristwatch design
Pairs with TV for workouts
Two size options
LTE option
Short battery life
More smartwatch than fitness

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2 What are the specs?

Samsung is hoping to gain more attention in the smartwatch market with its new Galaxy Watch 3, which is its answer to the Apple Watch. But how does it stack up against a company like Fitbit and its popular Versa 2? Before we dive into a detailed comparison, let's look at the Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2 in terms of their key specs.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Versa 2Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Operating SystemFitbit OSTizen OS 5.5
Battery Life6+ DaysUp to 1 day for 41mm, up to 2 days for the 45mm
Mobile PaymentsFitbit PaySamsung Pay
Water-ResistantUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
ChargingProprietaryProprietary, Wireless Powershare
Music StorageApprox. 2.5 GB8 GB
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0, Wi-FiBluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, LTE (optional)
Built-in Sleep TrackingYesYes
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
Always-on displayYesYes
SizesS, L41mm, 45mm
CompatibilityAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS

Based on the specs, the two smartwatches are pretty similar, with only a few minor differences between them. But in terms of design, how they work, and their perspective audiences, they are quite different.

Fitbit Versa 2 is the ultimate fitness companion

It's tough to rival Fitbit regarding fitness tracking considering the company's primary focus is on health and wellness. Thus, the Versa 2 is a great companion for working out, playing sports, swimming, or just tracking your daily activity.

However, both the Versa 2 and the Galaxy Watch 3 offer fitness tracking. Both track exercise and specific sports, as well as heart rate and sleep, which are factors that can contribute to your overall health and wellness. You can see your stats on the watch face itself or through the comprehensive app in both cases.

It's tough to rival Fitbit when it comes to fitness tracking.

The Fitbit Versa 2 tracks a multitude of different sports and exercises, from treadmill to cycling and swimming, and can even deliver on-screen coaching with a selection of workouts from which to choose. Some are free, but others are available for a fee with a Fitbit Premium subscription. There's also a pulse oximeter to track your blood oxygen saturation.

The Galaxy Watch also has tons of fitness programs. It can track specific activities, adding automatic activity detection for a handful of them and real-time detailed running analysis and a pulse oximeter. What sets the Galaxy Watch 3 apart in terms of fitness is that you can pair it with a compatible TV to show your workouts on a big screen. This can be accomplished on Fitbit through screen mirroring from the app on my phone, but the process is more seamless with the Galaxy Watch 3.

The Galaxy Watch 3 will have ECG measurements and blood pressure monitoring at some point, but those features are only available for now in South Korea. Unfortunately, Fitbit doesn't track either with the Versa 2.

On-board GPS is another advantage with the Watch 3: You can go for a run and leave your phone at home while still keeping track of your route. For example, I go for bike rides several times a week and bring my phone with me to keep track of the distance and route.

But when it comes to a community of users, Fitbit wins hands-down. Because of its long history, Fitbit has a large community of users who can communicate with one another in competitions and daily goals. You can follow detailed guided programs, different daily challenges, and even mindfulness activities, all accessible through the app.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Music to your ears

It's pretty impossible to work out without music, right? So, this is a huge factor when deciding on a smartwatch. Both devices have onboard storage for music, but the Galaxy Watch 3 has much more, so you can store plenty of playlists, podcasts, and more. With the LTE connectivity option, you could also leave your phone at home or in the gym locker and stream music from your favorite service, like Spotify, which will reportedly come pre-loaded.

The Fitbit Versa 2 has very little music storage, and it's a complicated process to get the music on the watch in the first place. You can stream from Deezer and Spotify, but music playback isn't this watch's strong suit.

What other wellness features do these watches have?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 41mm Silver

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

The Galaxy Watch 3 includes fall detection, which will detect if the wearer has potentially fallen and allow them to send a custom SMS to up to four contacts to call for help.

The Versa 2 doesn't have a similar feature, but it does provide other wellness features. As noted, there are things like mindfulness activities to help keep you calm and focused, breathing exercises, and female menstrual cycle tracking. In the app, you can also manually add details like how much water you drink and what you eat. Pair it with a Fitbit smart scale, and you can also keep track of your weight and body mass index and set goals.

Both watches include heart rate tracking and detailed sleep tracking with sleep cycle data, including light, deep, and REM sleep, and a Sleep Score that tells you the quality of your sleep. Detailed sleep tracking has been one of Fitbit's strongest suits, so Samsung including this in the Galaxy Watch 3 is a big deal.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Versa 2 have very different looks

Galaxy Watch 3 45mm Black

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

These two watches differ primarily in how they look. The Galaxy Watch 3 is designed to look more like a standard wristwatch with a round face, thin band, and sleek design. Conversely, the Versa 2 looks more like a smartwatch with a square face, side button, and a variety of band options.

The Watch 3 comes in Mystic Black and Mystic Silver for the 45mm version (the titanium option will only come in black) and Mystic Bronze or Mystic Silver for the 41mm. It has a physical rotating bezel. The Versa 2 comes in seven colors, from Basic Black and Carbon Aluminum to Petal and Copper Rose Aluminum and a special edition finish in Smoke Woven and Mist Grey Aluminum. The Versa 2 has one button on the left side for navigating menus, but everything else is done via the sizable touchscreen.

Fitbit Versa 2

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

Both watches let you customize the look with different clock faces. As with bands, the Versa 2 has many watch face options, from analog to digital, fun and quirky. I, for example, love to use the Bitmoji face through Snapchat that displays your avatar, and it does something new throughout the day based on your activity or the time.

Samsung has neat clock faces, too, including live animation and the ability to cycle through different ones throughout the day. Samsung also found another way to make the Galaxy Watch 3 stand out: If you head out for a night on the town, take a photo of your clothing, and the watch will generate a background that matches the color and pattern of your outfit.

You can access apps with both devices, although Fitbit's app ecosystem is lacking compared to Samsung's. The Versa 2 adds Alexa voice control so you can get text-based responses to queries on its screen or use it to control compatible smart home devices.

Don't die on me!

Fitbit Versa2 Bitmoji

Source: Christine Persaud/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Christine Persaud/Android Central)

What could be the deciding factor for some is battery life. While the Watch 3 can last up to a day for the 41mm version or up to two for the 45mm option, the Versa 2 has an impressive 6+ day battery life. This means you only need to charge it once or twice a week.

The Watch 3 does work with Wireless Powershare, which means you can actually recharge it by drawing power from a compatible smartphone without having to worry about the charging cord and proprietary charger. Still, it's hard to compete with the Versa 2's generous battery life.

They both feature the same waterproof rating of down to about 50 meters, which means you can safely use them in water, whether it's in the shower, a pool, or at the beach (try to avoid saltwater or heavily chlorinated water).

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Which do you choose?

Whether you have an Android device or an iPhone, either of these smartwatches would be a great companion. However, while the Galaxy Watch 3 employs a much nicer design, we're living in a time when most people have fully accepted the idea of a smartwatch-looking smartwatch on the wrist. Since both devices offer pretty similar feature sets, with the Versa 2 being half the price, it remains the better option.

That said, the Watch 3 does have some notable features and upgrades that might make it worth opting for instead, even if you don't care about the look. Fall detection is a helpful feature for the elderly or those with mobility issues. And some features make it simple to leave your phone at home, from the built-in GPS to LTE connectivity (optional) and 32GB of music storage. However, the Versa 2's much better battery life, bigger online community of users, on-screen workouts, customizable clock faces, and access to apps still make it a winner in my book.

Keep in mind if you're looking for something newer and are willing to spend a bit more, it isn't just about the Galaxy Watch 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Both the Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Versa 2 have newer versions that rank among the best Android smartwatches.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.