Wearable tech has come along in exciting leaps and bounds in recent years. Smart watches have also become more aesthetic and streamlined. Whether you are using your device for personal introspection, or to share your progress loud and proud on a training app, there are so many positives to knowing your data.

Logging and tracking your fitness data makes it easier to set time-oriented goals, and for you to be as efficient as possible in planning workouts. It also adds to your accountability and can guide a trainer or wellness consultant in making subtle changes to your programme. Reading the patterns in your heartrate definitely helps to detect any underlying health issues and can guide you as to when it is safe to return to training, post-illness.

The Fitbit Versa 3 is the latest addition to the Fitbit family. I was training with the Fitbit Versa 2 prior to the 3, so it was great to draw some comparisons between them over the past few months. The big shifts are built-in GPS, an extra smart assistant in the form of Google Assistant, a built-in speaker and an impressive fast charging mode.

Because the Fitbit Versa 3 comes with built in GPS, which is the biggest change from the 2, you no longer need to borrow GPS from your phone. Tracking your pace, steps and distance is easy, and you can receive calls and texts on the 3 if you are connected to your phone’s bluetooth – there is an onboard mic and speaker.

I use the Fitbit Versa 3 for my 1 run a week, and for rebounding. Every rebound is equal to 1 step, and one rebound class gives me 5 0000 steps, which is half my daily minimum. I love that there are no buttons on the side of the watch, so that my weighted wrist bands don’t accidentally pause the watch during a workout! The Versa 3 has softer design lines and slightly improved comfort. It is also slightly larger which might help for screen reading on the go.

The Versa 3 has the new PurePulse 2.0 heart rate sensor. This is apparently more accurate than the system in the 2, as it maps multiple heart rate signals. With Covid-19 here to stay for the foreseeable future, and so many other viruses circulating, tracing an accurate heart rate has become absolutely vital for athletes of every level. Knowing you resting heart rate and monitoring your average during workouts gives you a fully accurate picture of your health.
Although the battery life promise is equal on both, I found the Fitbit Versa 3 to be slightly better, with almost a whole extra day of battery life, giving me 6 days on always-on display mode.

If you are considering an upgrade, then in summary the Fitbit Versa 2 remains a smartwatch with a good blend of health/activity tracking and features. It doesn't have built-in GPS or a speaker, but you'll have everything else, like heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking. The Versa 3 is a solid step up though, especially if GPS and extremely accurate heartrate monitoring is important to you. 

February 18, 2021 — Lisa Raleigh