The Fitbit Versa 2 is the tracking giant’s latest smartwatch, launching back in September and replacing the original Fitbit Versa.
However, for those trying to decide between the pair, the key differences might not immediately be clear.
After all, they still look very similar – and still do a lot of the same things. Rest assured, there are significant changes to be aware of before you potentially buy one of these smartwatches, you just have to fig a little deeper.
So, below, we’ve outlined the biggest distinctions to help you pick the right device for your wrist.
|Specs||Fitbit Versa 2||Fitbit Versa|
|Display||300 x 300 pixels; AMOLED||300 x 300 pixels; LCD|
|Heart rate sensor||PPG Optical sensor||PPG Optical sensor|
|GPS||No GPS||No GPS|
|Waterproof||Yes, up to 50 metres||Yes, up to 50 metres|
|Payments||Fitbit Pay on all models||Fitbit Pay on Special Edition only|
|Battery life||Five days||Four days|
Fitbit Versa 2 or Fitbit Versa: What are the differences?
You can find our detailed testing of each smartwatch in our full reviews, but here you’ll find some direct comparisons of the two – and particularly how the Versa 2 has been upgraded.
1. An all-new display for Versa 2
The original Fitbit Versa has an impressive display, with good depth of colour and clear readability. It’s an LCD display with a pixel resolution of 300 x 300, and no slouch at all.
However, Fitbit has given it a proper upgrade for the Versa 2. Firstly, it’s now using an AMOLED display, which offers deeper blacks and even sharper details.
The display is also slightly bigger, and every little bit counts when it comes to wrist real estate.
If you’re keen to make sure you’ve got the best display possible, the Versa 2 is the choice for you.
2. Always-on screen
As far as features are concerned, the Versa 2 packs a first for Fitbit. The new model boasts the first ever Fitbit display that can be always-on, needing no wrist-raising or button-pressing to be viewed.
This obviously hits battery life pretty hard, shortening it from five days to more like two or three, but it’s still a pretty attractive feature that the original Versa can’t match.
Both watches share a range of other features, including Fitbit Pay, and the full range of fitness tracking abilities. This means they can track your workouts, detect activity and monitor your heart rate with their optical sensors. They’re also both swim-proof to a depth of 50 metres.
This means that regardless of which Versa model you choose, you’ll get access to impressive and comprehensive fitness tracking.
3. Alexa support
Another big difference between the Versa 2 and Versa serves to emphasise the “smart” bit of their smartwatch status. The Versa 2 comes with Alexa, Amazon’s smart assistant, built in.
The newer watch packs a small microphone hole on its side, to allow you to talk to Alexa – activated by holding down the button to the side of the display.
The watch doesn’t have a speaker, so responses will only be viewable on the screen. You’ll be able to ask the assistant to set reminders, answer queries, or obey commands – for instance, if you’ve got a smart home set-up, to turn the lights on.
Again, this isn’t present on the original Versa, so, if you’re keen to step up your interaction with Alexa, the newer model has a clear advantage.
4. More curves, less boxy
As we mentioned up top, there’s still very little difference in how these two watches look. However, side-by-side, the changes do become more noticeable.
Like Fitbit did with Charge 3, it’s made the Versa 2 more curved and less sharp on corners. So, instead of the boxy design of the original, we now have something that looks more like a smaller Apple Watch.
In a more subtle tweak the Fitbit logo (which you can see above) on the original model has also been removed for the Versa 2.
However, thankfully, that’s about all that’s changed. You can’t really go wrong either way here, given the amount of customization options Fitbit offers, though we would say the Versa 2 is a slightly more comfortable watch to wear.
5. Battery life has been improved
The Versa 2 scores another win against its predecessor when it comes to battery life – always an important consideration when choosing a smartwatch.
The original Versa could be expected to last around four days or more before a charge was needed.
For the Versa 2, this estimate has been upped to five days or more, meaning you could get through a whole work week before you have to pop it on its charging cradle.
As mentioned, this will decrease a lot if you use the always-on display, but using similar features to the original Versa will underscore the increased life.
6. A slight difference in price
The standard edition of the Fitbit Versa 2 is available £199.99, with a special edition available for £219.99, which includes three months of Fitbit Premium.
This is the same price the Versa launched with, but, since that device is older now, you can find it for slightly less from various retailers, often as low as £149.99
This means that if you’re particularly keen on sticking to a lower budget, you could save around £50
Fitbit Versa 2 or Fitbit Versa: Which smartwatch is best?
As always with comparisons between devices, which is better for you depends slightly on your priorities.
The Versa 2 brings some nice upgrades over the Versa, especially if you’re either a practised user of Alexa or are happy to get to know the smart assistant.
The nicer display and boosted battery life are also worthwhile improvements. The Fitbit Versa was and remains a great smartwatch, though, and if you’d prefer to stay closer to the £150 mark (or below) it may make sense to pick it up, instead.
Both smartwatches have a similar software experience – both running FitbitOS and syncing through the Fitbit app – and most of the app updates and compatibility brought first to the Versa 2 should also arrive for the Versa in due course.
In our view, the improvements brought to the table by the Versa 2 are worth the small bump in cost, and we’d ultimately recommend the newer model to most people.