Fitbit Versa 3 : Wear-and-Forget Fitness Tracking

“The Fitbit Versa 3 is so comfortable and works so well, you will forget you’re wearing it until you need it. Best of all, when you do call it into action, it has all the fitness tracking features you could want.”

  • Very comfortable
  • Simple to use
  • Comprehensive health tracking
  • Battery lasts a week
  • Side button is awkward to press

I put the Fitbit Versa 3 on more than 10 days ago and have pretty much forgotten it was on my wrist, meaning it has stayed there 24-hours a day, silently tracking my movements, sleep, and workouts. The way it has slipped into my everyday life is a testament to its simplicity and good design, and although it’s not really a smartwatch, it’s a definite step above basic fitness trackers. Let’s go into more detail about this excellent wearable.

Design

The Versa 3 is a watch-like fitness tracker, rather than a full smartwatch. My review version has a simple black strap made from a material that feels similar to the synthetic rubber used for Apple Watch Sport straps, attached to the black aluminum case. It’s a 40mm case and just 12mm thick, so it can be worn under a cuff without being annoying, and the 42-gram weight means it’s entirely unobtrusive.

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The straps are easily removed with a single button press, and a choice of a short or long strap is included in the box. I’ve stuck with the short strap, which fits my 6.5-inch wrist with a hole to spare and minimizes the amount of extra strap to tuck away. This has gone a long way to making the Versa 3 so comfortable to wear. It’s light and doesn’t get particularly hot or sweaty, and I’ve been able to wear it overnight to track sleep.

There is a single button on the side of the case which acts like a back control, but it’s not a physical button, more of a touch-sensitive panel. It’s set low on the case and is awkward to locate and press, and I still spend a few seconds feeling around for it. The 1.58-inch AMOLED touchscreen has a 336 x 336-pixel resolution and is sharp and very bright. The size is just right, it’s easy to interact with, information is displayed clearly, and it’s readable in most lighting conditions.

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Fitbit almost gets everything right with the Versa 3, apart from the overall design. The basic shape and lines aren’t conventionally attractive, and it’s not something I would wear and show off. The simple look and choice of colors will elevate it above a fitness band for some, but because it’s not overtly stylish in any way, I’d rather go for the stealth black model and keep its existence under the radar.

Fitness tracking

It’s hard to imagine what other features most people would need to track their health and activity above what’s offered by the Versa 3. It has a heart rate sensor on the back, can monitor blood oxygen (SPo2) levels, checks skin temperature, plus it has GPS, is swim-proof, and a wide range of workout tracking modes, some with automatic recognition. What it doesn’t have is an electrocardiogram (ECG), which comes with the more expensive Fitbit Sense wearable.

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My chosen watch face shows heart rate, steps, and calorie burn which is all the data I need at a glance. There are other, more comprehensive watch faces available too, although I struggled to find one that I thought looked good. To see more detail you either select the Today app, or just swipe up on the screen where it shows step count, distance traveled, floors climbed, active time, and sleep scores. If you choose to manually add calorie intake, water consumed, and even core temperature it shows these too. It’s all clear, concise, and easy to find.

Tracking workouts is similarly easy, and all the options are accessed under the Exercise app. I tracked a walk with the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Apple Watch SE, both using GPS. The Versa 3 showed a total distance of 1.58 miles, 243 calories burned, and an average heart rate of 97bpm. The Apple Watch SE recorded 210 total calorie burn, a 1.6-mile distance, an average heart rate of 99bpm. Both wearables showed the same GPS data, but the Versa 3 did lose the signal once. The differences between them are minimal, and at all other times, they have remained consistent with each other.

Compared to Apple’s Fitness app, the Fitbit app is far more comprehensive, with masses of detail for the more committed exerciser. However, it’s also accessib