When selecting the best Fitbit, it’s fair to ask “should I buy the Fitbit Sense over the Fitbit Versa 3?” The models are remarkably similar, although there are a few key differences below the surface.
While Fitbit has made a name for itself with more wristband-style fitness trackers, the Versa 3 and Sense show the manufacturer embracing a smartwatch-like design. They’re easily among the best fitness trackers (opens in a new tab) you can buy now and also be featured in our roundup of the best Fitbits (opens in a new tab).
That said, they’re not quite on par with the best Garmin watches. (opens in a new tab) or the Apple Watch series 7 (opens in a new tab) – the interface on Fitbits is still app-based, and third-party connections on watches are very limited. But what the models lack in fancy features, they make up for in a low price and long battery life.
So, without further ado, here’s a full breakdown of the Fitbit Sense (opens in a new tab) against Fitbit Versa 3 (opens in a new tab) – who will emerge victorious?
Which is the cheapest?
Both the Fitbit Sense and the Versa 3 are perched at the top of the Fitbit pyramid in terms of features, so they represent the most premium models available from the company.
The Fitbit Versa 3 retails for $229.95, though it can be found retailing for around $80 less if you dig a little. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Sense will set you back $299.95, but again, you can find it for a lot less (we recently spotted it on sale for $219.)
Which is the most accurate?
In our testing on a variety of workouts, the Sense and Versa 3 were equally accurate.
Since both offer GPS, we were able to run without having a phone connected. The two spotted our location within seconds and followed footsteps and distance within a few feet of each other. It would be fair to say that a dedicated running watch (like the Garmin Forerunner 255 (opens in a new tab)) would be more accurate, but it would also cost a lot more.
Both also have water resistance, and in testing with a swimming pool both lengths tracked consistently without any functionality issues (although using a touchscreen device with wet hands is a challenge on both models).
What looks best?
The Fitbit Sense and the Versa 3 look very similar. Both offer a 1.58-inch OLED display with color support that’s easy to read in bright sunlight. The bezel around the screen is also thin and there are no physical buttons – although there is a touch section to one side. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass to make the whole thing more durable.
If you’re upgrading from a smaller Fitbit Inspire 2, you might be surprised at how big it is. The Versa 3 weighs 27.21g, while the Sense is slightly heavier at 31.75g. When testing them, we found that this difference was negligible.
They both offer interchangeable straps that easily snap on and off, and whichever one you choose, they contain no moving metal parts. The idea is that it helps the “Infinity Band” last longer.
So what’s different? Aside from the slight weight difference, the only indicator of whether you have a Fitbit Sense or Versa 3 in your hands is the color option. The Sense is available in soft gold, silver stainless steel and graphite stainless steel.
The Versa 3 is a bit more varied, with four options; black, gold (with midnight blue strap), gold (with pink strap) and thistle (basically gold with a purple/grey strap).
The two are so similar, however, that it will come down to personal preference.
Which model offers more features?
The Fitbit Sense has two sensors above what is offered by the Fitbit Versa 3: EDA and ECG scans.
The first, in simple terms, follows the electromagnetic current of your skin, which is affected by the active secretion of sweat. This is influenced by your nervous system, so in theory the higher the reading, the higher your stress level. To get a reading, all you have to do is place your palm on the screen of the device and wait.
An ECG is a way to identify atrial fibrillation, also known as an irregular heartbeat. Although it is quite rare to find EDA sensors in wearable devices, ECG sensors are common in other devices. None of these features are available on the Versa 3.
Besides the above, both models offer a similar range of tracking features. You can track steps, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, distance, calories burned, sleep and more on either device, all fed back into the excellent Fitbit app so you can read your data at a glance.
Both also include six months of Fitbit Premium, an additional subscription that adds personalized workout, rest, and diet options to your Fitbit.
Which is best for tracking workouts?
Both Fitbit models allow for many types of workouts, with over twenty available out of the box on each.
That means there’s an option for the basics like walking, running, and biking, as well as more gym-based workouts like weights, stair climbing, circuit training, and sports like climbing. tennis, golf, etc.
Again, there’s nothing to choose between the two in terms of number or variety of workouts.
Which has better battery life?
Again, it’s a bit difficult to pick a winner here. Since both share the same chassis with presumably the same battery size (Fitbit doesn’t list internal battery size), actual battery life depends on the features you’re using.
If you take regular ECGs on the Fitbit Sense, for example, you’ll see battery life decrease compared to the Versa 3 with standard use.
Considering the fairly slim differences between the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Versa 3, it would be fair to say that the Sense comes out on top in terms of features – EDA and ECG analysis make it the most feature-rich Fitbit.
That might be oversimplifying things, though – if you’re not looking for any of these features, you can save $80 and be just as happy with the Versa 3.
Of course, it may just come down to the color options, especially if a discount brings the prices of the two models closer together. Either way, the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Versa 3 are great fitness trackers.