Apple Watch Series 5 vs Fitbit Versa 2
Design, Size and Straps
The two smartwatches come with OLED displays but the bezels on the Versa are quite thick which cheapens it a bit.
Both brands offer a wide variety of interchangeable wristbands and both have proprietary mechanisms for attaching them to the watch. Changing a band on the Versa can be a pain and it does not feel intuitive, but once you get the hang of it after a few attempts, you should do okay. With the Apple Watch things are much more intuitive and easy.
Watchfaces and Apps
Apple wins the watchface game, hands-down
When it comes to the digital aesthetics of the devices, things start to move in different directions. Both have always-on displays but on the Versa, you’re limited to only two styles if you’re using this feature: a digital one and an analog one. That’s a real bummer because there are some really cool watch faces for it that you’ll hardly ever see. Meanwhile, on the Apple Watch, every watch face has an always-on version that appears whenever you’re not looking at it.
When it comes to the watch faces themselves, the Versa has more variety as it supports third-party developers to have their own on the mobile app alongside Fitbit’s own designs, but quality is a different matter and watchfaces simply look ugly in comparison to the informative and visually well-refined ones on the Apple Watch. Apple only allows a curated lineup of home-made faces to grace the display of its Watch, so don’t have that much choice, but what’s available really looks and functions great. The ability to customize the watchfaces, add complications, and so on is also a huge advantage of the Apple wearable.
When it comes to apps, the Apple Watch takes another step forward. Not only can you install new apps straight from the watch, but the variety and quality of them are much better. Fitbit’s ecosystem just isn’t large enough to attract enough developers so the selection of apps for the Versa is limited and they’re mostly focused on fitness.
Siri vs Alexa
Siri wins this round
Both watches come with a voice assistant built-in: the Apple Watch with Siri, as usual, and Fitbit has opted to integrate Amazon’s Alexa. The first thing you notice when using the two side by side is the speed difference: Siri is lightning quick on the Apple Watch and it's actually faster to use it than to pull out your phone. Alexa on the other hand definitely takes its time and you need to wait for a few long moments for every single request. We found that in general, Siri was also way more knowledgeable and capable: it can show directions, it knows facts, it shows the weather with a detailed forecast, it also understands nuance better, and the only thing it couldn't do is tell us who is the NBA's greatest all time player. Alexa was far less useful on these tests, but it got the NBA GOAT question right (it's Michael Jordan, of course, thanks, Alexa!).
Activity and Fitness Tracking
Both do a good job for activity tracking, but the Apple Watch goes the extra mile to look over your heart with ECG
The Versa will last you two days on average, while the Apple Watch you need to charge every night
Now for the category where the Versa 2 is the clear winner: battery life. However, we do find the official numbers that Fitbit provides are far-fetched and do not correspond with real-world use. The company says that the Versa 2 is rated for "battery life of 6+ days", but in reality with the always-on display turned on (as is the best experience using the watch), the Versa will go for 2 full days between charge. Even with the always-on feature turned off, you can expect around double that, or somewhere between four and five days, but 6+ seems like a far-fetched number.
The Fitbit Versa is extremely affordable when compared against the Apple Watch
The S5 emerges as the clear winner, but the real question might be whether the Versa 2 is better than the Apple Watch Series 3
At the end of the day, using the Apple Watch S5 and Fitbit Versa 2 side by side made it abundantly clear that Apple is far ahead of Fitbit in terms of performance, speed and the overall quality of the experience. The Fitbit looks slow and laggy, and its screen doesn't look nearly as good as the one on the Apple Watch. If you just want the better smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 5 is not just better than the Fitbit: it is miles ahead.