(Pocket-lint) - Fitbit's smartwatch collection includes two families and five models in total. The Fitbit Versa family has the Lite Edition, Versa 2 and the Versa 2 Special Edition, while the flagship Fitbit Ionic smartwatch offers a standard model and an Adidas Edition model.
The Versa 2 smartwatch is smaller, rounder and more compact than the Ionic, which is larger and chunkier. The Ionic also offers a few extra features. though Versa 2 models have built-in Alexa which the Ionic or Versa Lite Edition do not.
Fitbit Versa 2 vs Ionic: Price and which to buy?
- Versa Lite Edition: £149.99
- Versa 2: £199.99
- Versa 2 Special Edition: £219.99
- Ionic: £259.99
- Ionic Adidas Edition: £279.99
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 Versa and Ionic devices for a more informed decision.
There's a £130 difference in the price of the bottom Versa model and the top Ionic model. On paper, the biggest difference in functionality is that none of the Versa models have GPS. If you're the sort of person who is more interested in lifestyle tracking and spends most of the time working out in the gym, then the lack of GPS might not worry you.
Ionic has a chunkier design, but for the price you're getting more of a sports watch, with more data returned when you're tracking those outdoor activities. For runners it's an easy choice - Ionic is the one you want. For others, Versa is great device, especially the Versa 2 models with built-in Alexa voice control - something the Ionic or Versa Lite Edition do not offer.
- Versa 2 is slimmer and lighter
- All offer changeable straps
- All offer 50m water resistance
The Fitbit Versa models all share a similar design to each other, as do the Ionic models. The Versa smartwatches all have a softer profile than the Ionic devices, 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, which is more delicate in appearance - especially in the case of the Versa 2 models.
All the Versa devices and Ionic offer interchangeable straps. The straps on both ranges are easy to switch to change the style, with Fitbit keen on the idea of you switching the look of its watches around to suit any situation, from sporty to formal. There are a range of straps available on all devices.
All the Versa models have a one-button design and a touchscreen, offering a slightly different operation to the two Ionic models which have a three-button design and touchscreen. All models offer water resistance to 50m, so all are suitable for swimming, sweating or showering.
All the Versa devices and the Ionic devices have a metal body, offering a premium finish.
The Versa Lite Edition comes in four colour options, two of which feature colour-matched aluminium bodies to their straps, providing a more fun design. The Versa 2 comes in three colours including copper rose, while the Versa 2 Special Edition comes in two colours.
The Ionic comes in three colours for the stands model including gold. The Ionic Adidas Edition comes in one colour.
- Versa lacks GPS
- All feature Bluetooth
- All have a colour touch display
- Versa 2 models offer AMOLED over LCD
Central to both smartwatch families is the display, with Fitbit offering an interface that's loaded with colour and vibrancy. Rated at 1000 nits brightness - that's brighter than a lot of smartphones - it's ideally suited to cutting through reflections when you're outdoors. The 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.
While all have an accelerometer and gyroscope, none of the Fitbit Versa models have GPS. That means they 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.
As such, the Ionic is better suited to those running or riding outdoors who want accurate speed and distance data.
All models except the Versa Lite Edition have an altimeter, meaning they will offer elevation data.
The Ionic and Versa 2 models offer five days of use, which betters the Versa Lite Edition by a whole day. All watches perform pretty well compared to Apple Watch or Wear OS devices in terms of battery life, outlasting both.
Features and functions
- Fitbit OS
- Fitbit Pay (not on Versa Lite Edition)
- Bluetooth music (not on Versa Lite Edition)
- Built-in Alexa (only on Versa 2 models)
On the features front, the Versa and Ionic watches offer a similar set of functions, but the Versa 2 models both have built-in Amazon Alexa voice control on board which the Versa Lite Edition and Ionic models don't, and the Versa Lite Edition has a couple less other features too.
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 Versa 2, Versa 2 Special Edition or either of the Ionic models.
All smartwatches run on the same platform so you get a similar experience, though the Versa 2 introduces Spotify support, as well as a number of software feature like Sleep Score and Sleep Mode. The 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, but as we said above, the Ionic has that GPS to allow for more accurate distance and speed logging. The Ionic Adidas Edition also has Adidas on-screen workouts, while the standard Ionic, Versa 2 and Versa 2 Special Edition models have normal 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.