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Suunto 7 vs Fitbit Versa 3 (Sports smartwatches)

Here we have two tiers of sports oriented smartwatches: the Fitbit Versa 3 that will satisfy most people and the Suunto 7 for serious sportspeople.

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 main screen

The Fitbit Versa 3 is an excellent smartwatch that I really like.

But I also love the Suunto 7. It’s a very capable sports smartwatch.

At the end of the day, if I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose the Suunto 7. But I can immediately see why it’s not for everyone.

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 size

7 is bigger than 3

The Suunto 7 is not a pretty smartwatch. It’s a lot bigger, heavier and uglier than the Versa 3.

On average, modern devices are getting smaller. There’s just something about being modern and being compact. 

The Versa 3 packs a lot of power into its slim, squarish frame. It also incorporates the modern aesthetic feature of avoiding sharp edges. 

It has one “virtual” button on the left side which senses pressure and vibrates to simulate the feeling of a button press. 

The Suunto 7 is a brute. It’s thick. It has four buttons. Mine has a gaudy, ribbed, lime green strap

Aesthetically, I don’t find the Suunto 7 to be very pleasing. It’s very utilitarian in design.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Who are these watches for?

A utilitarian design can be a plus, though.

Specialized sport smartwatches like the Garmin Fenix 6 or Polar Vantage V all have many buttons. It seems like there’s a good reason for that.

When you are doing intense sports that require concentration, you want buttons that will reliably do what they’re programmed for.

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 buttons

The Versa 3 is a bit problematic that way. There are no buttons. When you are exercising and want to see another metric, you will have to tap on your screen. More likely than not, you will have to stop to do this because tapping is not always reliable.

But unlike specialized sport smartwatches, the Suunto 7 comes with Google’s Wear OS operating system. So that means it has a very capable suite of productivity tools.

Fitbit comes with its own operating system that I really like. It’s a very good mix of productivity tools and health tracking.

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 sports tracking

Sports, health and lifestyle

The key difference between the Suunto 7 and other Wear OS smartwatches comes down to its Suunto app.

Otherwise, the Suunto 7 would be an unremarkable Wear OS smartwatch.

The Suunto app is spectacular. I think it’s one of the best sports apps on the smartphone and on the smartwatch.

What I like about it is the detail that it gives you. You won’t find metrics such as “PTE” which represents what kind of benefit your workout has brought you, and if you’re overexerting yourself. 

You can also look at your EPOC which tells you how intense your activity was, which correlates to the Recovery Time metric which advises you on how long you should avoid exercise.

Fitbit’s data is less detailed but more mass appeal. The Fitbit Versa 3 tracks Active Zone Minutes which tracks how intense your activities were and gives you points based on whether you’re doing a vigorous or intense exercise.

The Active Zone Minutes points are based on studies that say everyone should do 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of vigorous activity. So for every minute you’re in the Fat Burn zone, you get one point, for every one minute in the Cardio or Peak zones (think HIIT) you get two points.

Winner: Tie

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 workout choices

Workout choices

If you enjoy niche sports like paddle boarding, kitesurfing or even more common sports like snowboarding, you are likely to find a means of tracking it on the Suunto 7 than the Versa 3.

The Versa 3 has about 20 exercise choices while the Suunto 7 has 70.

The information presented on screen is much more comprehensive on the Suunto 7 than the Fitbit Versa 3. In one glance, I can see my heart rate along with other metrics relevant to that sport, whereas on the Versa 3, you will see a maximum of three metrics on the same screen.

Winner: Suunto 7

Fitbit offers wholesome health picture

The Fitbit Versa 3 also has the advantage of giving a more wholesome view of one’s health. It tracks sleep, weight, nutrition, water intake and mindfulness, all integrated into the Fitbit app.

The Suunto 7 does not have all of these rolled into one. You can get breathing exercises through the Fit Breathe app but the rest of those features mentioned above do not exist by default on the Suunto 7.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

fitbit versa 3 sleep tracking

Sleep tracking

There isn’t any sleep tracking functionality on the Suunto 7.

However, the Fitbit Versa 3 can track your sleep and your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) during sleep. It’s really in vogue to provide information regarding SpO2 but I honestly don’t know what it’s used for.

Nonetheless, I like that the Versa 3 is comfortable to wear overnight so much so I don’t really feel it. I’ve worn a watch that’s as thick as the Suunto 7 to sleep and always seem to notice its presence as long as I put some pressure on it.

In the morning, the Versa 3 tells you about how deep your sleep was, how long you slept and gives you a sleep score.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Battery Life with internal GPS use

Both the Fitbit Versa 3 and Suunto 7 have an internal GPS which is one of the biggest energy sapping hardware.

The Suunto 7 managed to last four hours on a paddle that I did in the summer. I used its internal maps and kept the workout logger running in the background.

The Fitbit Versa 3 also has an excellent battery life. Fitbit claims a 12-hour battery life with GPS use and I would say that is definitely achievable, although I have never done 12 hours of exercise so I can’t say for sure.

The few times I’ve taken the Fitbit Versa 3 on workouts ranging from one to two hours, I found that I still didn’t need to charge the Fitbit as it still held plenty of charge. 

In my experience, you’ll be charging the Suunto 7 more frequently than the Versa 3, so the Versa 3 wins for convenience brought by its long battery life.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

suunto 7 offline maps

Offline maps

Suunto 7’s offline maps are amazing.

I really find offline maps to be very important because sometimes I go to new trails or waters that I have been to before. Having a map allows me to find my way deep in the forest or out in the water when I have no idea what I’m looking at.

When I was testing the Fitbit Versa 3, which didn’t have preloaded maps, I had to default to using my smartphone. After a while, I got used to it, but I still fondly looked back to the time when the Suunto 7 would be right there on my wrist, ready to show me the way forward.

Winner: Suunto 7

suunto 7 text

Productivity

The Suunto 7 really has a big advantage even over specialized sport smartwatches because of its powerful suite of productivity tools afforded by the Wear OS.

The Fitbit also has many of these features, but it just has a harder time keeping up with Google’s prowess.

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 text

Text, emails and speech to text

When a message or email comes in as a notification on both smartwatches, you have the chance to reply to that notification.

You can reply using a bunch of methods, but the only two methods that I would use are the speech to text function or the pre-composed replies.

The speech to text function is very effective on both systems. In both smartwatches, they reliably transcribed most of what I said with errors here and there.

Winner: Tie

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 voice assistant

Alexa vs Google Assistant

To err is human, and maybe that’s why Alexa is less capable than the robotically-named Google Assistant.

Alexa isn’t as good as Google Assistant. 

The Fitbit Versa 3 and Alexa really feel like a couple who are about to be divorced. They don’t talk to each other although they live under the same roof.

Let me give you an example. You can tell Alexa to start a five minute timer. Then when you check Fitbit’s timer, you won’t see that five minute timer. But Alexa suddenly comes beeping five minutes later.

Or if you ask for the weather. It’ll give you weather in Wilmington, Ohio in Fahrenheit. I live in Canada and use Celcius. The Fitbit’s Weather app knows that but not Alexa.

Winner: Suunto 7

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 apps

Apps

The Fitbit Versa 3’s app store is small and doesn’t have the same variety as the Suunto 7’s Google Play Store.

So, if you are looking for an app to extend the Suunto 7’s capabilities, you are more likely to find it in the Google Play Store.

Winner: Suunto 7

suunto 7 vs fitbit versa 3 watch faces

Watch faces

I’d have to give this one to the Fitbit.

The Fitbit has a good range of watch faces to pick from in its app store. I really love some of them as they are really colourful and some even incorporate memes.

The Suunto 7’s watch faces look a lot more utilitarian and as such, they really aren’t that good looking.

Winner: Fitbit Versa 3

Verdict

I like the Fitbit Versa 3 but I also like the Suunto 7.

But life sucks. You can’t have it all.

If I wanted offline maps, I’d have to get the Suunto 7. If I wanted a sleek, modern look and a slim watch, I’d go for the Fitbit Versa 3.

In fact, for most people, the Versa 3 offers great value and good exercise and health information.

The Suunto 7 goes even further and it’s great, but the advanced workout analysis comes at a cost of the daily lifestyle metrics that the Suunto 7 doesn’t track.

Add in the extra cost of the Suunto 7 versus the Versa 3, I think most folks will be just fine with the Versa 3.

fitbit versa 3 watch face

Fitbit Versa 3 Review (Great consumer-grade sports smartwatch)

suunto 7 vs garmin fenix 6 main screen

Suunto 7 vs Garmin Fenix 6 (Offline maps on these two)