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As the summer travel season approaches, a smartwatch offers a convenient way to check the time, read messages, track activity, and access your favorite apps when not not always convenient to reach for your phone.
Two of the most popular options are Apple Watch Series 7 and Fitbit Versa 3 — Both are fully functional smartwatches that can extend your phone’s functions and perform the functions of a fitness tracker. So how do they compare, head-to-head?
Apple Watch Series 7 (from $329.99, originally $399.99; amazon.com)
The Apple Watch Series 7 might retain a similar form factor to the original, but Apple’s smartwatch has come a long way. the Series 7 starts at $399 for a 41mm version and $429 for a 45mm GPS version, while cellular models start at $499. Either way, they’ll wirelessly connect to your iPhone and act like a companion on steroids. Among other things, you can send messages, open apps, pay with Apple Pay and make calls from your wrist.
New to the 7 Series is a Retina display always on it’s 20% bigger than its predecessor. It lets you do more on the smartwatch screen without having to take out your iPhone.
So how well does the Apple Watch work as a fitness tracker? Out of the box it can handle tracking basic activities as well as various workouts with a high level of precision. Additionally, the GPS will track workouts like runs or hikes. You can track your heart rate and even do an electrocardiogram if you feel your heart is functioning differently from your norm. (Of course, you always want to see a doctor if you think you have a problem and act quickly if you suspect a heart attack or other cardiovascular issues.) ECG capabilities are a growing trend in smartwatches but are not a tool of diagnosis. Additionally, Series 7 can tackle Blood oxygen readings as well.
A big call from apple watch are the activity rings, which are a daily measure of the wearer’s activity. You can almost gamify the experience to close your rings and share them with your friends.
Related: Win an Apple Watch Series 7 for $70 off
The Apple Watch battery lasts all day and takes about 45 minutes to charge up to 80% using the fast charging USB-C cable included. However, other charging methods will not charge it as quickly. Fast charging capabilities make the new Series 7 more relevant as a sleep tracker since you can charge it up to 80% before bed and then boost it in the morning before you start your day’s activities.
Any Apple Watch is also a solid solution for kids or elderly people who don’t want to carry a phone around. the Family setup feature, introduced in 2020, lets you set up an Apple Watch independently of an iPhone. This allows you to associate a phone number with the watch as a separate device through your mobile carrier. You will be able to call, send SMS and use GPS location. However, you need an iPhone for the initial setup.
Fitbit Versa 3 ($171.49, originally $229.95; amazon.com)
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the Fitbit Versa 3 Boasts plenty of improvements over its predecessor, and it’s well positioned to compete in a crowded market of wearables (like the Apple Watch) that do much more than track your activity, sleep and heart rate. It’s also a bit cheaper with an MSRP of $229.95 – however, Iit’s reduced to $171 on Amazon.
One big difference is that the Versa 3 doesn’t have ECG capabilities. Instead, it features updated heart rate algorithm and multipath heart rate sensor for more accurate tracking. It also includes a Built-in GPS with real-time pace and distance regardless of the distance between your phone and your watch.
Another key benefit is the Versa 3’s ability to answer phone calls and activate voice-to-text via the built-in mic and speaker as long as your Android phone is within Bluetooth range. This capability puts the Versa 3 firmly in the camp of other smartwatches and their capabilities. Coupled with new connectivity to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, where the Versa 2 only worked with Alexa, the Fitbit smartwatch offers a full suite of features.
the Versa 3 also stands out for its long battery life and fast charging. the the battery lasts more than 6 days, making it the perfect option if you want to track your sleep consistently. And because the device charges in just 12 minutes, your tracker rarely needs to leave your wrist.
Easily choose from 20 exercises to track or let Smart Track record your activities without missing a beat. The Fitbit Versa 3 includes six months of Fitbit Premium. This gives you access to advanced analytics, fitness programs, and enhanced sleep and stress insights.
A brief history of Fitbit and the Apple Watch
While the first smartwatch dates back to 1927, you’d hardly recognize it from the stylish clothes we sport today. Fitbit released its first fitness tracker in 2009 and Apple arrived in 2015. It quickly became the world’s best-selling watch (smart or otherwise) in 2017. Between January and June 2020, Apple Watch sales accounted for more than half of the global sales of all smartwatches. sold.
Today, Fitbit remains a leader in fitness wearables, but has expanded the capabilities of many of its products to compete with other smartwatches on the market. The last incarnation, Fitbit Versa 3, allows you to make and answer calls and texts as long as your Android phone is within Bluetooth connectivity range. This huge advantage puts the Versa 3 in the same league as the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, and other options.
Of course the apple watch can connect directly through your cellular network. But comparing the Versa 3 with the Series 7 isn’t as much like comparing apples to oranges (so to speak) as you might think.
Both wearables are industry leaders in their field and have many similar capabilities. As Apple continues to expand the wellness and fitness aspects of its watch, the Fitbit Versa 3 has communication capabilities that previous versions lacked.
Cheaper than the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Versa 3 offers almost everything the best-in-class 7 Series does. iPhone users won’t get voice-to-text on the Versa 3, and there’s no cellular connectivity.
Ultimately, it comes down to your needs and budget – and the smartphone you’re currently using. You’ll get the most out of your Fitbit with an Android smartphone, and you’ll maximize the functionality and connectivity of your Apple Watch Series 7 if you have an iPhone.
However, I’ve been testing the Versa 3 for a few weeks now with Fitbit Premium loaded on my iPhone 12 and didn’t feel the Versa 3 missing. I also tested the Apple Watch Series 7, which my daughter has been using since late December 2021. The Apple Watch can do a bit more than the Versa 3. The main appeal of this wearable is the convenience of using it in a autonomous. communication device even if the iPhone is not nearby if you add it to your cellular plan.
Both devices have their followings and communities where you can connect with users. This community can help you stay on track to achieve your fitness goals for many people. If feeling better, moving more, and being healthier is your primary motivation for investing in a smartwatch, either of these devices can get you there.
Prices are correct and items in stock at time of publication.