(Pocket-lint) - Fitbit's smartwatch collection includes three families and several models. There is the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Ionic and the Fitbit Versa family, which offers the Lite Edition, Versa 2, and the latest Versa 3.

Both the Sense and Versa families are smaller, rounder and more compact than the Ionic, which is larger and chunkier. Features vary between all the models though, with some offering built-in GPS, some offering voice assistants and some offering NFC for payments.

Here is how the Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, Versa 2 and Versa 3 models compare to the Fitbit Sense and Fibit Ionic to help you pick the right Fitbit smartwatch for you.

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Fitbit Sense vs Versa vs Ionic: Price and which to buy?

  • Versa Lite Edition: £149.99 / $159.95 / €159.95
  • Versa 2: £199.99 / $199.95 / €199.95
  • Versa 3: £199.99 / £229 / €229.95
  • Ionic: £259.99 / $249.95 / €269.95
  • Sense: £299.99 / $329 / €329.95

We're putting the price and brief conclusion at the top of this feature to give you a quick, short summary but you can keep reading if you want to know all the differences between the Sense, Versa and Ionic devices for a more informed decision.

There's a £150/$150/€150 difference in the price of the bottom Versa model and the flagship Fitbit Sense. On paper, the biggest difference in functionality is that the Sense comes packed full of sensors - hence the name - including an EDA sensor for stress management, skin temperature sensor, the ability to take an ECG and Fitbit's latest heart rate sensor. It also has Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, a built-in speaker for calls and it offers built in GPS.

Out of the Versa family, only the Versa 3 has built-in GPS and a speaker. It also offers Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, alongside Fitbit's latest heart rate technology but a few of the Sense's other sensors are missing.

The Versa 2 meanwhile, has Amazon Alexa (no Google) but only connected GPS and the Versa Lite Edition offers neither voice assistants but has connected GPS too and retains the slim, stylish design for a lower price.

Ionic has a chunkier design, but its design resembles more of a sports watch and it's more masculine. It has built-in GPS, NFC for payments through Fitbit Pay and there's heart rate tracking, but there's no extra sensors or features like ECG. There's also no voice assistants.

Design

  • Versa and Sense slimmer and lighter
  • All offer changeable straps
  • All offer 50m water resistance

The Fitbit Sense and Versa models all share a similar design to each other, while the Ionic has a very different look.

The Sense and Versa smartwatches have a softer profile than the Ionic, with a back that's more rounded compared to the Ionic's more angular body. The Ionic is also a little larger and bulkier than the Versa and Sense, which are more delicate in appearance.

All the devices offer interchangeable straps and the straps on all ranges are easy to switch to change the style. There are a range of straps available to buy separately on all devices.

The Sense and all the Versa models have a one-button design and a touchscreen, offering a slightly different operation to the Ionic model that has a three-button design and touchscreen. All models offer water resistance to 50m, so all are suitable for swimming, sweating or showering.

All Fitbit smartwatches have a metal body, offering a premium finish.

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Hardware specs

  • Built-in GPS (Sense, Versa 3, Ionic only)
  • All feature Bluetooth
  • All have a colour touch display
  • Voice assistants (Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2 only)

Central to both smartwatch families is the display, with Fitbit offering an interface that's loaded with colour and vibrancy. The Sense, Versa 3 and Versa 2 models offer an AMOLED display, while the Ionic and Versa Lite Edition have LCD screens.

Connectivity is similar too: all these devices offer Bluetooth for connection to your smartphone or headphones and they also offer an optical heart rate monitor on the back, though the Sense and Versa 3 have second generation heart rate technology.

While all have an accelerometer and gyroscope, only the Sense, Ionic and Fitbit Versa 3 of the Fitbit Versa models has built-in GPS. That means the Versa 2 and Lite Edition won't accurately log your location and track your distance on their own - you'll have to connect the Versa 2 devices or Versa Lite Edition to your smartphone to get any location data.

All models except the Versa Lite Edition have an altimeter, meaning they will offer elevation data.

The Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 have a six day battery life, while the Ionic and Versa 2 offer five days of use, bettering the Versa Lite Edition by a whole day.

Features and functions

  • Fitbit OS
  • Fitbit Pay (not on Versa Lite Edition)
  • Bluetooth music (not on Versa Lite Edition)
  • Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant (only on Versa 3 and Sense models)

On the features front, the Sense has the most to offer, followed by the Versa 3. The Sense has the ability to take an ECG (pending approval), an EDA sensor to monitor stress, a skin temperature sensor and Pure Pulse 2.0 heart rate tracking. The Versa 3 only has Pure Pulse 2.0 heart rate tracking from the Sense's list mentioned here.

The Versa 2 and Ionic offer a similar set of functions to each other - none of the sensors mentioned above but they do have Pure Pulse heart rate tracking - and the Versa Lite Edition still offers plenty but fewer features than the others.  

The Sense and Versa 3 models both have built-in Amazon Alexa voice control on board and Google Assistant, with a built in speaker to hear responses. The Versa 2 offers Alexa only but no built in speaker and the Versa Lite Edition and Ionic models don't have any voice assistants.

All devices offer Fitbit Pay, except for the Versa Lite Edition, allowing for contactless payment (through supported banks).

All, except Versa Lite Edition, also offer Bluetooth connections to headphones. That means you can have smartphone-free music when you're exercising, with the ability to sync tracks to your watch, if you have the Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Versa 2 Special Edition or the Ionic. The Sense, Versa 3 and Versa 2 have Spotify and Deezer support, as well as Pandora in the US.

All smartwatches run on the same platform so you get a similar experience, and they all connect to the Fitbit app delivering many of the same software features like Sleep Score, though the Sense and Versa 3 add some extra features. The Sense, Versa 3, and Versa 2 models also have an Always On display mode which the Versa Lite Edition and Ionic models don't.

All Fitbit smartwatches offer tracking of activities and plenty of other features like a range of exercise modes, reminders to move, smartphone notifications and sleep tracking, but as we said above, the Sense, Versa 3 and Ionic have built-in GPS to allow for more accurate distance and speed logging.

The Ionic, Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2 and Versa 2 Special Edition models have on-screen workouts. The Versa Lite Edition misses out on on-screen workouts along with the music storage, Fitbit Pay and the altimeter as we mentioned earlier.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.