Fitbit Ionic vs Versa, which is better

When it comes to finding the best fully-featured smartwatch, things can be tough. Unless, of course, you are on iOS and can pick up an Apple Watch.

However, for those who have an Android device, then either the Versa or Ionic is the way to go. Today, we’re going to take a look at the similarities and differences to help you determine the best option.

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The Specs for Fitbit’s Versa Series and Ionic

Before jumping right into what’s similar and different between these, let’s take a look at the specs for the Ionic vs Versa.

The Fitbit Versa Series (including Versa, Versa Lite, Versa 2, and Versa 3) Fitbit's Versa Series smartwatches

  • Display: Corning Gorilla Glass
    • Versa or Versa Lite 1.34-inch LCD Touchscreen & Versa 2 1.4-inch Color AMOLED
  • Memory: 4GB (2.5GB for music storage on Versa & Versa 2–no music storage on Versa Lite)
  • Battery:
    • For Versa, Versa Lite, and Versa 2: 4-5 Days
    • For Versa 3: 6 Days + Fast Charging (full day’s charge in 12 minutes)
  • Water Resistance: 5ATM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Altimeter, Ambient Light Sensor, Vibration Motor, Wi-Fi, Connected GPS, NFC (special edition)
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, and Windows
  • GPS: Only available on Versa 3
  • Bluetooth: 
    • 5 on Versa 3
    • 4 on Versa, Versa Lite, and Versa 2
  • Other Notes: No WiFi on Versa Lite (Bluetooth connection to phone for all data including firmware updates)

Fitbit’s Ionic model Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch

  • Display: 1.42-inch LCD Touchscreen (348×250 resolution)
  • Memory: 2.5GB
  • Battery: 4+ Days (10 hours in GPS mode)
  • Water Resistance: 5ATM
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Altimeter, Ambient Light Sensor, Vibration Motor, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, and Windows
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.0

What’s different between the Versa and the Ionic

In the Ionic vs Versa battle, the first thing to look at is the design. The Versa sports rounded edges, and generally looks more like an Apple Watch.

As for the Ionic, we have a rather blocky design with a little bit larger of a display (1.34 vs 1.42). The bands are a bit different as the edges of the face come further down than the Versa. The Ionic weighs more (1.76 oz) and is slightly larger and thicker–making it more noticeable.

The price is about the same for either model–hovering around $200 USD.

Under the hood, things are pretty similar save for a few key aspects:

  • Memory (4GB vs 2.5GB)
  • GPS
  • NFC

The Versa wins in the memory department, as it sports 4GB of onboard storage. However, only 2.5GB has been allotted for music storage specifically.

The Ionic and the Versa 3 take the cake for those looking to leave your smartphone at home.

There is a built-in GPS chip, which makes it possible to keep track of your workouts without your phone in-hand. If you wanted to do this with the Versa, you’ll need your phone in an arm-band or in your pocket.

As you see, we mentioned NFC. Both smartwatches have an NFC chip, but you’ll have to spring for the Special Edition Versa. The standard Versa does not include one out of the box.

Finally, we would be remiss without mentioning pricing of the Ionic vs Versa. The standard Versa smartwatch is priced at $199.95, while the Special Edition (with NFC) will run you $229.95.

As for the Ionic, you are going to have to jump for between $200-250 USD. This is closer to the price of an Apple Watch, but is already more than a year old.

What’s Similar between the Versa and the Ionic

As for what’s similar between the Versa and Ionic, the list is plentiful. Both smartwatches keep track of all of the same metrics including steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate, sleep, and more.

Naturally, you will also have access to the ever-growing Fitbit community, so you can find new workouts or partners. This is done via the Fitbit application and can help push your limits during workouts if you are competing.

On the software side of things, both the Versa and Ionic have received the Fitbit OS 4.1+ update. This includes smartphone notifications, Fitbit Today, and Female Health Tracking.

The update also includes the ability to store music for offline usage. Finally, these smartwatches now make it possible for you to quickly reply to various messaging applications.

The final similarity is perhaps the biggest when it comes to smartwatches. You don’t want to have to worry about charging another device every night, and that is true for both options.

Battery life for the Ionic and Versa is rated at 4+ days. This is something that is rather impressive, considering that the Apple Watch lasts for maybe two days.

Conclusion

Now that we have given you a lay of the land, you’re probably wondering which smartwatch we recommend. Well, the answer is rather simple, as it depends on your usage.

If you are someone that wants to rely on your smartwatch for GPS and NFC capabilities, then spring for the Ionic. However, if you don’t care about GPS, then go ahead and get the Versa.

As someone who has been using a Versa for the past few months, I can’t say enough good things. The smartwatch looks more natural, while the Ionic definitely appears to be a “first-gen” product.

We want to hear from you as to which option you decided on grabbing. Sound off in the comments and let us know whether you picked up the Versa or the Ionic.

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