Last year I discussed the differences between the Galaxy Watch Active and the Fitbit Versa. Well, both Fitbit and Samsung have updated their watches for 2019, so I thought I would talk about them again.
- Both are excellent Smart Watch Fitness trackers that are cross-platform
- Each offers specific benefits that make them uniquely different
- Deciding is going to come down to what's important to you in a watch
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the Fitbit Versa 2 are best in class for what they offer and for the price. Depending on what features are more important to you, one will outshine the other.
What's the same
- Close in Size (Active 2 is a bit thicker)
- Both run their own OS
- Both have their own app stores
- Calls, SMS, and Notifications
- Smart Assistants
- Both have tap to pay
Both smartwatches have some similar features. They are close to the same size though the Watch Active 2 is a bit thicker. The Versa 2 has a more square display where the Watch Active 2 has a round display.
If you switch between devices or are an iPhone user you will be happy to know that both of these wearables are cross-platform and work on both Android, iPhone iOS, and as standalone devices.
You can respond to phone calls, SMS, and receive notifications on both of these watches but there are a few limitations with the Versa 2. The Versa 2 only has quick replies to text messages and you can only answer a call or decline it from the Versa 2, not use it as a speakerphone.
The Versa 2 has Alexa integrated into the watch and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has Bixby Smart Assistant.
If you like making payments with your watch, you will be happy to know that both watches support NFC payments.
- Battery Life
- Different Smart Assistants
- GWA2 Higher Resolution & More Vibrant Display
- Versa 2 Always On Display Low Power
- GWA2 Is More Customizable (Widgets)
- Versa 2 More fitness-relevant data
- GWA2 Has GPS and a Cellular option
The Versa 2 wins big time on battery performance with it lasting on average 5-6 days on a single charge.
If you have smart home enabled devices at your home or office, you may want to make your decision based on which watch supports your other devices the best. Pretty much everything works with Alexa but it's a bit trickier to get things to work with Bixby at times.
If you want a nice display, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has one of the best out there. The low power display of the Versa 2 just can't hang with the Galaxy Watch Active 2 though the Versa 2's display is pretty bright.
The Versa has a low power always-on display, which is really nice. If you enable always-on display on your Galaxy Watch Active 2, the battery life suffers big time.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is much more configurable than the Versa 2. Everything is inside of an app and requires a few taps with the Versa 2. On the Galaxy Watch Active 2, you can create widgets that make it easy to get into the features and apps of the watch you use most often.
The Versa 2 and the Fitbit platform offers better fitness-related data.
Galaxy Watch Active 2 has built-in GPS and a Cellular option where the Versa 2 requires a constant connection to your phone to utilize directional data.
Currently, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is $100 more than the Versa 2.
Why Choose the Fitbit Versa 2
- Fitness Focused
- More Cross-Platform easier to switch between devices
- Amazing Battery Life
- Lower priced option
The Versa 2 is the clear choice for someone who wants smartwatch features in a fitness tracker. The Versa 2 does a great job of packaging all of that into one while still giving you an amazing battery life.
Why Choose the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- More premium look and feel
- Better with Samsung devices but works well cross-platform
- Want to use watch more standalone
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the clear choice for someone who wants a more premium experience and a smartwatch that just looks and feels better. The user interface is much better and there is more you can do with your Galaxy Watch Active 2. It may be a better experience using it with a Samsung smartphone, but the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still a great watch for those on other devices as well.
- Consider how you will use it – Fitness or lifestyle focused?
- Battery life difference is huge
- Is there enough value in the GWA2 for the price?
Depending on your lifestyle, you will likely find more value in one versus the other. For me, I like the style and extra features of the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It's a great looking watch that is easy to get around, but it's fitness tracking features are too tied into Samsung for me. I understand that they have to do it that way in order to be cross-platform, but I don't enjoy Samsung's take on fitness. I really like the data that the Fitbit Versa 2 captures and how it is displayed in the app. You can't get your data out of the Fitbit platform to sync it with other services that easy but since it is the same experience whether you are on an Android phone or an iPhone, it makes it less of a big deal to me.
Battery life is a huge one as well. I love not having to worry about yet another device each night. The Versa 2 assures I only have to think about that once or twice each week.
With that, is there enough value in the Galaxy Watch Active 2 for you to want to buy it over the Versa 2? That will likely come down to how you plan to use it in your life. Let me know which one you choose by tagging StateOfTech in an Instagram photo.
Listen to this article instead on the State of Tech podcast.