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Fitbit Versa vs. Charge 2 and Alta HR

Whether you’re thinking about upgrading from a Charge 2 or Alta HR to the new Versa, or you’re looking to buy one of these models for the first time, you probably have some questions. Sure, the Versa is a smart watch and the Charge 2 and Alta are fitness trackers, but what are the key differences? Is the Versa worth the extra money? We compiled this full review to help you decide.

Similarities

No matter which of these trackers you have, you’ll get the following:

 

  • All-day activity tracking (steps, distance, floors, calories, active minutes)
  • SmartTrack automatic exercise detection
  • Reminders to move
  • Automatic sleep tracking, including sleep stages and time asleep
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Guided breathing
  • Smartphone notifications (calls, texts, calendar)

 

Essentially, you’ll get the best in fitness tracking and access to the excellent Fitbit app no matter which device you use. All of these also have small and large strap sizes (although only the Versa comes with both sizes standard; with the Alta or Charge you’ll buy the size you need) and plenty of options for different bands to customize your look.

 

Note: Regarding connected GPS: The Charge 2 has connected GPS like the Versa, but the Alta HR does not. Also, the Alta HR does not have an altimeter sensor, which tracks floors climbed (the Charge 2 and Versa both do).

 

Differences

Of course, given the fact that the Versa is a smartwatch, there are many more differences than similarities. Basically, beyond the key tracking functionalities (fitness, HR, and sleep), the Versa is completely different.

 

Here’s what else the Versa offers that the Charge 2 and Alta HR lack:

  • Swimproof: The Versa is water resistant to 50 meters
  • Smartwatch capabilities: Apps, quick replies (Android only), and music storage
  • Optional Special Edition with NFC payments through Fitbit Pay and a woven band
  • Music storage and music control
  • On-screen workouts
  • Female health tracking
  • Swim tracking and other additional workouts

 

As you can see, it’s primarily the smartwatch features and water resistance that really set the Versa apart from the others.

There’s also the difference of price to consider. The Versa retails at just under $200, while the Charge 2 and Alta HR are around $150 regularly (but watch for them to be on sale for $120 and under). Style is another key difference. The Versa has the smartwatch shape with a larger screen (1.34″ diagonally) and overall bigger footprint on your wrist. The Alta is the slimmest of the bunch, with the Charge just slightly larger.

 

Which One is For You?

If you want smartwatch capabilities or you want water resistance, the Versa is your only option (unless you want the Ionic, but that’s a different story altogether!) If you just want a solid fitness tracker, don’t swim or plan to wear your device in the shower, and you have no need for apps, music control, or customizable screens, you’ll do fine with the Charge 2 or Alta HR (see the comparison between those two here). The price difference can be a big selling point, but we do think that the extra $50 you’ll pay for the Versa is well worth it to get all of the extras — particularly water resistance.

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