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

Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit Versa 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Galaxy Watch Active 2 (40mm)

There's a lot to love about the new Galaxy Watch Active 2 from Samsung. While activity tracking remained mostly the same, the most notable upgrade is optional LTE capability. You'll also enjoy onboard GPS, Samsung Pay, and a digital touch bezel.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Beauty and brains

Digital touch bezel
LTE capability
Samsung Pay
Built-in GPS
Shorter battery life
More expensive

Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

As the newest member of the tried and true fitness tech family, the Fitbit Versa 2 had pretty big shoes to fill. Fortunately, it succeeded with some decent upgrades. Fitbit Pay is now standard, users have Amazon-Alexa built-in, and battery life is on point.

Fitbit Versa 2

Tried and true

5-day+ battery life
New AMOLED display
Fitbit Pay
Amazon-Alexa built-in
Lacks built-in GPS

When you begin shopping around for a fitness smartwatch, Samsung and Fitbit are likely to be some of the first brands you come across. They've both got robust lineups with plenty to offer a variety of audiences. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Versa 2 are no exception. Whether you're hoping for a smartwatch that's both brains and beauty or one that's all about that fitness, you'll be able to get what you came for.

Similar but different

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Source: Android Central Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Being that we're dealing with two fitness-focused smartwatches, there's bound to be some similarities. They both come with many of the same core features, like heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, smartphone notifications, and music storage.

There are some important differences to take note of, though. You get less than half the battery life with Galaxy Watch Active 2, for starters. This may not be a big deal for some users, while others don't want to be bothered with charging their devices so often. The Fitbit Versa 2 delivers on battery life, but it lacks built-in GPS. In other words, you'll need to have your phone with you to track your route when you exercise.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Galaxy Watch Active 2Fitbit Versa 2
Operating systemTizenFitbitOS
Display1.2-inch AMOLED1.34-inch AMOLED
Built-in GPS✔️
NFC payments✔️✔️
Music storage✔️✔️
LTE capability✔️
Water resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Battery life2 days5 days
ChargingQi wirelessProprietary charger

As far as displays go, you'll find some common ground between these two. Both are sporting sizable AMOLED displays with touchscreen capabilities. The AMOLED is a new and long-awaited feature for the Versa family. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is easier to navigate thanks to its digital touch bezel. Samsung has added an innovative touch strip around the watch, so you get the function of a rotating bezel without the extra hardware.

The Versa 2 comes in an aluminum case and five different color choices. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available in aluminum or stainless steel with three color options for both. You'll also be able to choose your own straps for both of these watches as they support interchangeable bands.

Another difference is that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. It can detect an irregular heartbeat, which can be a sign of atrial fibrillation. This condition, also known as AFib, can lead to serious heart-related complications, including blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. While not everyone is going to buy a watch for this feature alone, it's a thoughtful addition on Samsung's part.

You can expect some overlap when it comes to health and fitness tracking on the Galaxy watch Active 2 and Versa 2. For example, both will keep track of your heart rate, steps, distance, and calories burned throughout the day. Additionally, both watches are equipped with automatic activity detection, so they'll know to start tracking when you begin certain workouts.

Fitbit Versa 2

Source: Android Central Pictured: Fitbit Versa 2 (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

On the Versa 2, you can rely on the on-screen workouts to guide you through each move. These sure do like nice on the new AMOLED display. Samsung tried a different approach with Running Coach. This feature provides you with real-time pace metrics, so you'll receive a breakdown of what to expect from your workout before you start. You can even rely on the audio cues, which can be heard through the watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

This time around, the Versa 2 has Amazon-Alexa built-in. What does this mean for users? You can talk to your watch to get the things you need. For instance, all you have to do is press a button and ask your watch to check the weather, set reminders, and you can even get on-screen answers to your questions. You can also quickly and easily start a workout with the help of this feature. "Alexa, start a walk with Fitbit," and you'll be on your way.

If you've been waiting for a fitness smartwatch with LTE connectivity to come along, you'll be content with the Galaxy Watch Active 2. When users choose an LTE-enabled model, they'll be able to make calls and send text messages right from their watch without needing to have their phone. Keep in mind that the price goes up when you go with this model.

How to decide

Like with any purchase, the best way to decide between products is to determine what type of experience you're looking for. Both of these smartwatches live up to their respective hypes, but choosing one over the other will depend on what you value most in a wearable.

When you want to enjoy a top-notch activity tracking suite in a fashionable package, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the way to go. That's not to say that the Fitbit Versa 2 won't look good on your wrist, but Samsung's latest smartwatch is undeniably more stylish. If you've been longing for a fitness watch that comes with LTE connectivity, that also makes the Galaxy Watch Active 2 a superior choice.

Those who aren't investing in a smartwatch for LTE or fashion might prefer the Versa 2. It's a known fact that Fitbit is one of the go-to brands when it comes to solid activity tracking. With 15+ goal-based exercise modes, on-screen workouts, 24/7 heart-rate tracking, and sleep monitoring, this is a stellar fitness tracking experience through and through.

Courtney Lynch

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.