The Fitbit Versa 2 was my first introduction to a sports-focused smartwatch as was Samsung’s good old Gear S3 Frontier.
The Galaxy Watch3 has some elite level features such as a blood oxygen saturation meter, ECG, sleep tracking and a fantastic companion app, Samsung Health.
The Fitbit Versa 2 has a great companion smartphone app, a really comprehensive health app and features.
All smartwatches need an intermediary app to connect with your smartphone.
The Fitbit Versa 2 uses the Fitbit app while the Galaxy Watch3 uses the Galaxy Wearable app. The difference between them is major.
Both smartwatches depend on their smartwatch app a lot in order to get stuff done.
The Fitbit app can be quite a pain when there are connectivity issues. When I was setting up another Fitbit, it was brutal because things were just incredibly complicated. For example, you’d think the app would be OK running in the background while it updated the Fitbit.
Nope. You need to have the app open and your phone must not go into sleep mode.
Compared to the Samsung, the Fitbit is a lot more reliant on the Fitbit app for a lot of tasks, such as signing in to Spotify. The Galaxy Watch3 automatically pulls data from your phone so you won’t need to do these tasks manually.
Messages, emails and speech to text
Both smartwatches are able to reply to messages and emails when they come in as notifications.
That’s convenient because it means you can avoid reaching for your phone when you’re exercising and a message comes in.
The Samsung has the added bonus of being able to access my email and text logs when I was paired to my Samsung Note 9.
Both smartwatches offer a range of input methods. On both of them, you can use a pre-composed reply.
On the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, you have the additional options of drawing letters to form words and using a T9 predictive text number pad keyboard.
However, none of them are very convenient. Which is why I put a lot of weight on the quality of the speech to text transcription.
Samsung uses its own speech to text service while Fitbit uses Amazon’s.
Both watches have a voice assistant and that’s really great because some tasks are really tedious and they’re better off activated through the voice assistant.
The Fitbit’s Alexa voice assistant won’t work properly sometimes. It’ll give me the weather from Wilmington, Ohio, in Fahrenheit. I live in Canada and use Celcius…
And when you start a timer on Alexa, it doesn’t integrate with Fitbit’s timer, which means you’ll never know how much time is left until the watch starts vibrating.
It really feels like Fitbit and Alexa live under the same roof but they don’t really talk to each other.
Samsung’s Bixby feels a lot more integrated. If you start a timer on the Galaxy Watch3, you can refer to the timer app to see how much time is left. Likewise, if I asked for the weather, I will get it in Celcius, just like I would on the smartwatch app.
But Alexa has one advantage over Bixby. It can handle random questions. In fact, almost all voice assistants can handle questions such as, “What is the capital of Australia?” except Bixby.
Bixby is a lot more limited. You have to ask questions that are within the capabilities of its apps. Random trivia questions will not work.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has a speaker so you can get Bixby’s responses read to you. Whereas with Alexa, you will have to view the screen to find out what’s its response.
I much prefer Bixby because it feels much more integrated. Alexa is great but Fitbit needs to get the two systems integrated better.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Since the Galaxy Watch3 has a speaker, that means you can make and answer phone calls right on your wrist.
This is very convenient because sometimes you just need to answer someone quickly and don’t want to take your phone out to do that.
It’s a nice, premium feature that’s only available on higher-end smartwatches.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a pretty good sports-oriented smartwatch, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is more of a general purpose smartwatch.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is actually quite a good sports smartwatch too. There are some features on it which don’t exist on the Versa 2.
Let’s start with the smartphone app. Both of them are pretty amazing because they capture a comprehensive view of your health.
They both track nutrition, sleep, exercise and weight. Both of them also have some social networking features and also exercise tracker.
On the smartwatch itself, both smartwatches can track exercises automatically. This is great if you are like me and forget to start your tracker sometimes.
The Fitbit can track about 20 workouts while the Samsung can track about 40. Both of them track the standard running, biking or swimming, but when it comes to other water sports, the Fitbit has none.
So if you’re in a kayak, canoe or paddle board, you’ll have a hard time finding a setting that works for you. I tried tracking my exercises as walks, but they didn’t track accurately.
The Galaxy Watch3 actually has a really advanced feature called the “running coach.” These features are generally not found in watches in this category.
The running coach helps pace your runs and tells you about your running footwork such as asymmetry, contact time and flight time. It’s also able to tell you about your fitness level through its VO2Max gauge.
Both watches are suitable for the swimming pool, so that’s great.
The Galaxy Watch3 also has an ECG, blood oxygen saturation measurement and fall detection features, which the Versa 2 does not. Some of these features have not been enabled in Canada but the last update has allowed American users access to some of these features.
The advanced features offered by the Galaxy Watch3 gives it a real leg-up on the Fitbit Versa 2, and hence it’s a winner.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3
The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is an amazing smartwatch but it’s expensive.
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a great sports smartwatch but it’s old.
But the Versa 2 offers a great introduction to the world of smartwatches, but the Galaxy Watch3 does it even better.
The Galaxy Watch3 offers less connectivity problems, more streamlined processes such as the voice assistant and also a much more solid looking smartwatch.
The Versa 2 looks more like a good old digital watch with its square profile. It has many features that the Galaxy Watch3 has but things are not as streamlined.
But if your purpose of buying a smartwatch is to enhance your workouts and lifestyle, and you are choosing between the two smartwatches, the Versa 2 offers great value because its sports and lifestyle features are very close to the Galaxy Watch3.
This is especially so if you’re not a runner like me, and can’t use the running coach feature on the Watch3.
To me, it’s a consideration of how much you’re willing to pay. I think the Galaxy Watch3 would be my preferred watch if money was not a problem but the Versa 2 has always performed well in most cases.