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Fitbit Versa vs. Blaze: Is it Worth the Upgrade?

With the new Fitbit Versa on the market and taking over for the Blaze, a lot of Fitbit fans are wondering about the differences between the two. Whether you are considering an upgrade from the Fitbit Blaze or weighing the choice between a discounted (discontinued) Blaze and a full-price new Versa, we’re here to help.Let’s take a look at some of the key differences and similarities between these two devices.

Design

The Blaze was Fitbit’s first watch-type device, and the square face set it apart from most of the smartwatches on the market. When it first launched, reviews were mixed on the style, but over time a solid fan base has grown.

 

The Versa, on the other hand, seems to be Fitbit’s reaction to the controversy surrounding the Ionic, their first actual smartwatch that featured a unique style that many hated. The Versa looks a lot like other popular smartwatches — namely the Apple Watch — and compared to the Blaze is less square and smaller overall.

 

Both devices have various color options (though it will be harder to find the Blaze pretty soon) and lots of accessories available.

The screen design is going to be quite different between the two, however.

Remember that the Blaze is a smart fitness watch (not a smartwatch) and came out before Fitbit’s app store and smartwatch technology. Thus, the Blaze doesn’t have the ability to connect to the app store for watch faces. The screen resolution is also lower, and overall the Versa’s screen just has a lot more going for it.

Bottom Line: Design preference is a personal choice, but the Versa is more universally appealing in a smartwatch way. The Versa has superior screen resolution and design, but both watches sit well on the wrist though the Versa has a lower profile. Both offer plenty of accessories so you can customize the look of your watch to match your style.

 

Health & Fitness Features

Both the Versa and Blaze are excellent fitness watches that showcase the fitness tracking capabilities of the wearable giant. No matter which device you have, you’ll get:

  • All-day activity tracking (steps, distance, floors, calories, active minutes)
  • SmartTrack automatic exercise detection
  • Multi-sport mode
  • Reminders to move
  • Automatic sleep tracking
  • Continuous heart rate tracking
  • Guided breathing

Of the two devices, the Versa has many more exercise options. The Blaze is limited to basics like running, cycling, and a few others, but the Versa also has swimming, golf, and a dozen more. Both watches offer on-screen workouts, but the Versa has more (and the ability to pair with Fitbit Coach).

 

 

Because of the Versa’s smartwatch nature, there are also even more health and fitness features available via third party applications in the App store. The new and improved sensors and technology on the Versa also open up more possibilities for future health and fitness features, whereas the Blaze will always just be a fitness tracker with some watch capabilities.

Bottom Line: The Blaze offers Fitbit’s standard health and fitness tracking and compatibility with the Fitbit app, making a great fitness tracker that does some smartwatch-esque things. The Versa, on the other hand, boasts the latest and greatest technology, plus water resistance and more, making it a much more versatile fitness watch.

 

Extra Features

There’s just a lot more to the Versa. It is a smartwatch, whereas the Blaze is a “smart fitness watch.” Both have connected GPS (neither have built-in GPS—you’ll have to go to the Ionic for that), smartphone notifications, and music control, but the Versa also features:

  • Water resistance to 50 meters
  • On-board music storage
  • Apps
  • Optional NFC contactless payments (with Special Edition)
  • Quick replies (Android only)

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Both watches are pretty easy to operate, but the Versa feels more intuitive and has more customization options. Again, that’s where the Versa shines: the fact that it is a smartwatch and has access to the Fitbit apps and smartwatch functions.

Bottom Line: Given that the Versa’s starting price is the same as the Blaze’s was, it’s safe to say this device is absolutely a better investment. $200 is a steal for a smartwatch, and the Versa blows the Blaze out of the water when it comes to extra features and possibilities.

 

Should You Upgrade?

If you have a Blaze and are thinking about upgrading, it’s pretty likely that you’ll love the Versa. Whether you want to spend the money while your Blaze is still working is a tough call, but it’s worth noting that the Versa will be similar enough that you won’t feel like you’re missing any of your favorite features, and it’s new enough that you’ll definitely notice improvements.

Bottom Line: If you have it in your budget, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed in the Versa.

See our full review of the Versa here.

 

Which Should You Buy?

If you’re reading this to decide between a Versa at full price or a Blaze at a discounted price, you should know that you’re going to get a lot more bang for your buck if you choose the Versa. Having said that, if the extras that the Versa includes (apps, water resistance, extra workouts) are not important to you, the Blaze will do a fine job of being a stellar fitness tracker that looks nice on your wrist.

Bottom Line: The Versa is a better deal, but the Blaze will be a fine fitness tracker and save you a few bucks.

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