In the world of smartwatches, Apple Watch reigns supreme – and for good reason.
The 4-year-old watch – which is on its fourth iteration, the Apple Watch Series 3 – is still the best watch for iPhone users. It has built-in GPS, an optional cellular connection, a stunning edge-to-edge display, and can even tell you when you’re having heart problems.
But in recent months, Fitbit introduced an exciting new smartwatch called Fitbit Versa that looks a lot like an Apple Watch, has most of the same features, and costs a fraction of the price.
And while Fitbit Versa is a fantastic watch, there are still 11 strong reasons to buy an Apple Watch instead:
1. Apple offers more styles, finishes, and bands for the Apple Watch.
Apple currently sells five types of Apple Watch – Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Edition, Apple Watch Hermès, and Apple Watch Nike+ – all of which come in multiple finishes and colours.
Apple also sells eight different types of bands in dozens of colours, not to mention the third-party bands that work with Apple Watch, too.
All in all, Apple Watch is more customisable than Fitbit Versa.
2. Apple Watch comes in two sizes, whereas Fitbit Versa only comes in one.
Apple Watch comes in two sizes – 38mm or 42mm. This is perfect for people with larger or smaller wrists, or anyone who has a particular preference when it comes to the size of their watch face.
Fitbit Versa comes in only one size – about 34mm. This is perfect for slim wrists, but not for anyone who prefers a larger watch face.
3. Apple Watch has a bigger screen and slimmer edges — called bezels — meaning it’s closer to having an edge-to-edge display.
The screens on both sizes of the Apple Watch are larger than Fitbit Versa’s 34mm display. But beyond screen size, Apple Watch has slimmer edges than Fitbit Versa, which means the screen takes up more of the watch face.
Plus, all Apple Watches have an OLED display, versus Fitbit Versa’s LCD screen. OLED displays typically look better, brighter, and have more contrast than LCDs.
4. Apple Watch is more lightweight than Fitbit Versa.
The 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 weighs 26.7 grams, while the 42mm Apple Watch weighs 32.3 grams (the cellular versions of each watch add about two grams to each case size).
Meanwhile, Fitbit Versa clocks in at 38 grams. There isn’t a major difference in the weight of the two watches, but when it comes to something you’re wearing on your wrist all day, every little bit helps.
5. Apple Watch has built-in GPS.
Apple Watch has built-in GPS, which means it can give you directions and track how far you go when working out outdoors.
While Fitbit’s other smartwatch – Fitbit Ionic – has GPS built in, the Fitbit Versa does not.
6. The Apple Watch can alert you to irregular heart rhythms, and let you participate in a heart health study.
Apple partnered with Stanford University School of Medicine on the Apple Heart Study, a research study to advance the study of heart science. The study uses an app to alert Apple Watch users if it detects an irregular heart rhythm.
Since Apple rolled out the feature, several Apple Watch owners have claimed that it saved their lives.
While Fitbit Versa does have a heart-rate sensor, it’s not yet able to measure irregular heart rhythms or alert you if it senses something wrong.
7. Apple Watch has cellular connectivity, so you can leave your phone at home.
Apple now offers a cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3, which is denoted by a red dot on the watch’s crown. A cellular connection means you can leave your phone at home and use the watch to listen to music, answer calls, and send texts.
Cellular service for the Apple Watch does cost extra, however: A cellular service plan for the watch will usually run you an extra $US10 per month.
Fitbit does not offer cellular service on any of its watches yet.
8. Apple Watch has Siri built in.
While Siri certainly isn’t the best smart assistant around – Alexa and Google Assistant eclipse Siri in “smarts” and usefulness – it’s a nice feature to have built into the watch just in case. Apple Watch has a microphone, so you can both talk to Siri and have its answers played out loud.
Fitbit Versa does not come with its own smart assistant built in.
9. Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for iPhone users.
While almost every smartwatch will work with any operating system these days, no other smartwatch works better with an iPhone than an Apple Watch.
From setup and pairing to day-to-day use, Apple Watch’s operating system – WatchOS – works seamlessly with iOS. And if you’re someone who wants to use the watch for calls and texts, there’s almost no reason to buy a third-party watch.
10. You can check out an Apple Watch in person, and bring it back to the Apple Store to get repaired if it breaks.
One of the benefits of purchasing from Apple is the Apple Store. While the experience isn’t always perfect, the fact you can try the Apple Watch before you buy it is a major perk.
Plus, if you have any issues with your watch down the line, you can bring it into a store to have Apple employees answer your questions or provide repairs.
While you can buy Fitbit in stores like Best Buy and Target, Fitbit doesn’t currently have dedicated stores for its devices. Any questions or repairs will most likely have to be handled over the phone or online.
11. You can trade in your old Apple Watch for a new one.
If your Apple Watch is starting to slow down, or you’re simply ready for an upgrade, Apple lets you trade in your watch for an Apple Store gift card of up to $US175 to use toward a new device. If it’s not eligible, Apple will recycle it for you.
Fitbit doesn’t have a similar trade-in window yet, although it does offer a 45-day money back guarantee on the Fitbit Versa.
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