Apple Watch Series 3 vs Fitbit Versa 2: Even a two-year-old Apple Watch is hard to beat

The Fitbit Versa 2 was announced only a month ago and already its biggest competitor is trying to take it down. With the release of the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple cut the price of the Series 3 to $199, a near-30 percent drop over the prior year’s price. But more importantly, it means you can buy an Apple Watch for the same price as Fitbit’s latest smartwatch—99 cents less if you’re being technical.

Of course, there’s one big difference between the two wearables: one’s two years old. Even though Apple Watch Series 3 can be updated to the newest version of watchOS (minus a couple watch faces), the fact remains that it was made in 2017. So, is an old Apple Watch worth as much as a brand-new Fitbit?

Update 11/22: Fitbit will be rolling out Fitbit OS 4.1 to the Versa 2 in early December. This article has been updated to reflect the new features.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Design

Unlike wearables from Fossil, LG, Huawei, and pretty much every Wear OS watch, both the Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa 2 are square rather than circular. The Versa’s 1.34-inch display is significantly smaller than the smaller Apple Watch’s 1.5-inch screen and dwarfed by the larger 1.7-inch one, mostly due to the Apple Watch’s slightly tall shape.

But where even the 38mm Apple Watch might seem too big for some wrists, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the closest to one-size-fits-all that I’ve tested. While the bezels around the screen are much thicker and more visible than they are on the Apple Watch, the two watches look extremely similar from a distance.

And up close, they don’t look all that different, either. There’s no denying the Apple Watch’s weight and craftsmanship make it feel like more of a luxury device, but the tapered design of the Versa 2 gives it a slimmer feel, despite being only slightly thinner (11.2mm vs 11.4mm). Colorwise, the two watches are very similar as well, with gray, silver, and gold options.
Winner: Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Display

The display on the Fitbit Versa 2 has switched from LCD to OLED, bringing it up to speed with the Apple Watch. It’s also centered now, thanks to the elimination of the Fitbit logo, and from a distance, the two watches are virtually indistinguishable, with deep, rich blacks and crisp, vibrant colors.

The two screens differ the most when you’re not actively using them. The Versa 2 has an option for an always-on display—meaning you can see the time at a glance without raising your wrist or tapping it and waiting for the screen to light up—while the Apple Watch Series 3 will fade to black once you lower your wrist. The always-on options were limited to rudimentary black-and-white clock faces, but with OS 4.1 due in early December, color options will be available. The new Series 5 Apple Watch has a bigger screen, rounded corners, and an always-on option, but you’ll need to pay twice as much to get it.
Winner: Fitbit Versa 2

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