Despite being a fitness tracker in its own right, the Fitbit Charge 4 butts up against the company’s smartwatch lineup in a number of ways. Here we compare the Charge 4 with the Fitbit Versa 2 – one of the company’s most feature-packed wearables.
Design & Build
Both the Charge 4 and Versa 2 sport archetypal designs for their respective product categories. The Charge is thinner and lighter, with a portrait-oriented greyscale OLED touchscreen that falls within the boundaries of the strap, making the whole thing far less obtrusive. You could even wear a regular watch beside it – although the tracker will, of course, tell you the time and a whole lot more.
The Versa 2 makes more of a statement, adopting a squared watch appearance, with a brighter, larger 1.34in – compared to the Charge 4’s 1in – full-colour AMOLED display, set within an aluminium body. The Charge’s casing is made from a plastic resin, which makes it lighter (44g vs the Versa’s 60g).
Both come in a variety of colourways, with the option of interchangeable straps, hewn from various materials – but despite the Charge 4’s backwards compatibility with the
Fitbit Charge 3‘s straps, there’s a greater range of options available for the Versa 2, including some designer offerings.
As well as its touchscreen, the Versa 2’s body features a physical button on its left side. The Charge 4 opts instead for a single capacitive key here – a change first made on the Charge 3 – which is used in conjunction with its touchscreen. Even with this additional moving part on the Versa, both wearables are equipped for swim-tracking, with water-resistance up to 50m.
For more details, read our full
Fitbit Charge 4 review and
Fitbit Versa 2 review.
The Versa 2 pushes the ‘smartwatch’ angle perhaps even harder than the
Fitbit Ionic in at least one instance, with the integration of Amazon Alexa, for voice-based queries such as checking the weather, along with offline music playback support.
The Versa’s larger full-colour display also means there’s room for more information on-screen at any one time compared to the Charge 4, great when using it for guided on-screen workouts.
Both give you notifications on your wrist, but the Versa 2’s larger screen makes reading them much easier. Plus, notifications from select apps and services also allow for richer interaction opportunities, thanks to that additional screen real estate.
The Charge 4’s ace in the hole, however, is the inclusion of integrated GPS for phone-free route tracking. The Versa 2’s ‘connected’ GPS requires you to carry your phone with you, assuming you want to record such data.
Expect an integrated GPS in the Versa 3 when that arrives, but, in the meantime, the Charge 4 has something to boast over its older smartwatch sibling..
The smaller Charge also boasts better battery life (unless you are using the GPS all the time, of course), with Fitbit quoting up to seven days per charge, against the Versa 2’s (already improved over its predecessor) six days.
Fitbit’s new Active Zone Minutes metric (read all about it in our
Charge 4 review) was originally a Charge exclusive, but the new heart-rate feature has now been rolled out across other Fitbit smartwatches, including the Versa 2.
Beyond such distinctions, the feature sets between these two are much the same: fitness and sleep tracking, 24-hour heart-rate monitoring, Spotify controls, Fitbit Pay (contactless payments) support, guided breathing, female health tracking, move reminders, automatic exercise recognition, and a few other extras.
Price & Value
The next logical step up from the Charge 4 is the
Fitbit Versa 2, with its colour OLED touchscreen, on-screen workouts, large choice of apps, Alexa voice assistant and music storage. But it lacks the Charge 4’s built-in GPS, and, for a short while, Active Zone Minutes.
We love the Versa’s much-easier-to-read colour touchscreen but that missing integrated GPS will sting for existing Versa 2 owners. So really, the choice comes down to screen vs GPS.
Wearing a Fitbit as a watch might swing the larger colour screen for you, as it will if you want the onscreen workouts via Fitbit Coach or Premium, but the £129.99 / US $149.95 / AU $249.95 Charge 4 has just about all the fitness and health features the £199 / US $199 / AU $329.95 Versa 2 offers while being slim enough to wear with a different watch anyway.
That built-in GPS is something of a game-changer for the Charge 4 as it frees you from having to lug your phone around with you when you go for runs or even kayaking trips that you want to track and map your distance and pace.
As it’s a little older, you’ll also find online discounts on the Versa 2; see the deals link below for the latest.
Best Fitbit 2020 and
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Fitbit Versa 2