Fitbit Versa 2 vs Galaxy Watch Active 2: Which One Is A Better Buy?

More than a year after launching the first Versa, Fitbit has launched the new Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch. Though the original Versa was a success, it lacked many features, putting it at a disadvantage against Samsung and Apple’s smartwatches. The new Fitbit Versa 2 brings a bunch of improvements over its predecessor. It will be competing with Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy Watch Active 2. Let’s check out how Versa 2 stacks up against Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Fitbit Versa 2 vs Galaxy Watch Active 2: Design & display

Fitbit’s device has a “squircle” design similar to its predecessor, though it does bring some refinements. The bezels have become slimmer. Unlike the original Versa which had three buttons, the Versa 2 features only a single button on the left side. You can customize the button. It comes with anodized aluminum casing, which makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The Versa 2 gets an AMOLED touchscreen that delivers sharp, rich, and bright colors. The display supports Always-on functionality to let you take a quick glance at the time, battery life, and workout progress. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. Fitbit Versa 2 is water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters. So, you can take it to track your swimming workouts.

Versa 2 comes in Black color with a Carbon case, Petal with a Copper Rose Aluminum case, Stone with a Mist Grey case, Bordeaux with a Copper Rose case, and Emerald with a Copper Rose case. Fitbit has also launched a Versa 2 Special Edition which is available in Smoke with a Mist Grey Case, and Navy & Pink with a Copper Rose case.

In contrast, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has a round and sporty design. It comes with both aluminum and stainless steel cases with tons of band choices. You can choose from a Bluetooth-only model and an LTE model of the Watch Active 2. The Bluetooth version gets an aluminum casing while the LTE model sports a stainless steel body.

Samsung gives you tons of options to choose from. The Watch Active 2 comes in two different sizes of 40mm and 44mm. The 40mm version has a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display while the 44mm model gets a slightly larger 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display. Its screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass DX+. Just like Fitbit Versa 2, it is water resistance up to a depth of 50 meters.

The Bluetooth model of Galaxy Watch Active 2 is available in Silver, Rose Gold, and Black colors with a matching silicone strap. The LTE model comes in Gold, Silver, and Black colors with a leather strap. The Watch Active 2 has two buttons on the side for navigation and controls. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 gets a digital bezel around the screen that you can use for navigation. It offers haptic feedback to emulate the rotating bezel of the original Galaxy Watch.

Hardware specifications

Both Versa 2 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 feature Bluetooth, a microphone, barometer, altimeter, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor. Both smartwatches support NFC for contactless payments. You can use Fitbit Pay or Samsung Pay to make payments.

While the Samsung device gets built-in GPS and LTE connectivity, Versa 2 lacks them both. With the new Versa, you’ll have to pair your phone to track your runs. The LTE version of Galaxy Watch Active 2 lets you to make and receive phone calls, allowing you to leave your home at home.

The Versa 2 gets a faster processor than its predecessor. It also allows you to download music for offline playback. The Watch Active 2 runs Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 9110 processor with 768MB RAM for the Bluetooth model and 1.5GB RAM for the LTE model. Both versions of Active 2 have the same 4GB storage.

Software

Fitbit Versa 2 runs FitbitOS, which has a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Its personalized dashboard shows you daily stats, reminders, and personalized insights. Fitbit’s app store has around 500 apps and more than 3,000 watch faces. It works with both Android and iOS devices.

One of the biggest highlights of Versa 2 is the support of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which you can trigger with a long press of the side button. You can give it a voice command, but its response will appear on the screen because the Versa 2 lacks a speaker. Fitbit has also added support for Spotify, allowing Spotify users to control music and podcast playback from the watch. However, you can’t download Spotify music to the smartwatch.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 runs Samsung’s TizenOS. It supports YouTube and Twitter to let you respond to tweets and watch YouTube videos on your wrist. The Active 2 also supports Spotify. You can also customize your watch face with My Style feature in the Galaxy Wearable app. What’s more, it allows you to use Google Translate as long as you are connected to the Internet. TizenOS supports both Android and iOS devices.

Battery life

Fitbit claims the Versa 2 lasts more than five days on a single charge with normal usage. It works with older Versa chargers and watch bands. However, battery life comes down to two days if you use the Always-on Display feature. It takes two hours to fully charge.

In contrast, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 packs a 247mAh battery inside the 40mm version and a 340mAh battery inside the 44mm model. It supports WPC-based wireless charging. According to Samsung, users can expect the device to last more than a day with normal usage.

Health and fitness tracking

Both smartwatches are capable of tracking a wide range of workouts such as cycling, swimming, running, and sleep tracking. Both of them have a heart rate sensor.

The Versa 2 gets a new Sleep Score feature that offers a detailed breakdown of your sleep patterns such as the sleep cycle, quality of sleep, and oxygen levels in your bloodstream. It also has a ‘smart wake’ function that will time the alarm based on your sleep cycle to make it less disruptive.

For people who want personalized coaching, Fitbit has launched a new service called Fitbit Premium, which costs $10 per month or $80 a year. It will give you detailed plans for calorie intake, workouts, and weight control. It would also provide sleep guidance and insights.

Samsung’s device can monitor your stress levels and offer relevant alerts and tips. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 gets the electrocardiogram (ECG) support to help detect atrial fibrillation. However, the feature hasn’t yet received the FDA approval.

Fitbit Versa 2 vs Galaxy Watch Active 2: Pricing

Fitbit Versa 2 is available for pre-order now. It will hit the store shelves on September 15. The device has been priced at $199. If you want the Special Edition which comes with an extra woven strap, it’s going to cost you $229.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 will go on sale on September 27. Samsung will start accepting pre-orders on September 6. The Bluetooth-only version has been priced at $280 for the 40mm model and $300 for the 44mm model. The LTE version will be even more expensive, but its pricing will vary depending on the carrier.

Fitbit Versa 2 is a significant upgrade over its predecessor, but it lacks onboard GPS, LTE connectivity, and ECG support that you’ll find on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2. The Versa 2 offers a much longer battery life than Samsung’s device.




About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com