Update: December 1, 2020: We have updated this Fitbit Versa vs Ionic comparison with details on software updates and price changes. Also, now is a good time to let you know that Fitbit has launched many new smartwatches since the Versa and Ionic came out, so we’d definitely recommend you look at a newer Fitbit device instead of the original Versa or Ionic.

The full list of newer Fitbit devices can be found below, including links to our reviews.

There are plenty of great smartwatches and fitness trackers out there, and two popular offerings from Fitbit may have caught your attention. The Fitbit Versa and Ionic are two solid fitness watches that do a lot of things really well, so we’d understand if you weren’t completely sure about which one to buy. Today, putting these two Fitbit smartwatches head to head in our Fitbit Versa vs Ionic comparison.

Fitbit Versa vs Ionic: The differences

fitbit versa vs ionic

Left to right: Fitbit Versa vs Fitbit Ionic

The Fitbit Versa and Ionic are largely the same, though there are a few key differences you’ll want to know before making your decision.

For starters, despite launching only months apart from one another, the Versa and Ionic do not look very much alike. The Ionic is boxy, angular, and in my opinion not super stylish. It looks like a small computer strapped to your wrist instead of trying to look like a normal watch.

Also read: Fitbit Versa review | Fitbit Ionic review

The Versa has a much more approachable design. It’s thin — measuring just 11.2mm — and it’s smaller than the Ionic so it should fit more people’s wrists. I’m also a bigger fan of the squircle design of the Versa’s case, as opposed to the Ionic’s sharp angles. The Fitbit Versa 2 is even nicer looking.

fitbit versa vs ionic size

The Versa has a slightly larger display. It’s square, measuring 1.34 inches, and sports a 300 x 300 resolution. The Ionic’s rectangular display measures 1.42 inches and has a resolution of 348 x 250 pixels. Both displays are covered in Gorilla Glass 3, and both have ambient light sensors that allow for automatic brightness adjustment.

Another main under-the-hood difference is NFC support. All Ionic models come with an NFC chip, which means they’re all compatible with Fitbit’s contactless payment system, Fitbit Pay. All Versa models also have support for Fitbit Pay, unless you live in the US. If so, you’ll need to spring for the pricier special edition model to get Fitbit Pay support.

If you don’t want to jump through that hoop, the Fitbit Versa 2 has Fitbit Pay support built-in, as does the Fitbit Charge 4.

Further reading: The best Fitbit alternatives: Garmin, Samsung, and more

The last, and probably biggest deciding factor in this comparison is GPS connectivity. The Fitbit Ionic comes with built-in GPS, so it will be able to accurately track your distance metrics and pace while you’re out on a run. This makes the Ionic perfect for users who need the most accurate workout data possible.

The Versa does not come with an onboard GPS, so your distance metrics from running will only be estimates and not super accurate. It can piggyback off your phone’s GPS when it’s nearby (via connected GPS), but you’ll need to take it with you on your run for it to stay connected.

Fitbit Versa vs Ionic: The similarities

fitbit versa vs ionic

Under the hood, the Versa and Ionic are more similar than they are different.

Both are capable of tracking all the same activity metrics, aside from pace and GPS tracking on the Versa. They’ll both track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, heart rate, and your sleep. They’re both very accurate when it comes to step, calorie, and active minutes tracking.

Each device can track a number of different sport profiles too, including running, biking, treadmill exercising, weight training, swimming, hiking, and more. Neither device is capable of rep counting in weight lifting mode as of this writing, but we’re hoping Fitbit implements that in the future.

fitbit versa vs ionic

The Fitbit Versa and Ionic both run the latest version of Fitbit OS. That means you’ll be able to receive smartphone notifications, store music, and utilize the handy new Fitbit Today feature on both watches.

Fitbit OS is a light operating system, allowing both the Versa and Ionic to last around four days on a single charge. If you’re coming from a Wear OS or Apple Watch, this should be great to hear.

For a better idea as to what these devices offer, check out the Fitbit Versa vs Ionic specs table below:

 Fitbit VersaFitbit Ionic
Display1.34-inch touchscreen LCD
300 x 300 resolution
1:1 aspect ratio
1,000-nit maximum brightness
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
1.42-inch color LCD touchscreen
348 x 250 resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
BatterySmartwatch mode: 4+ days
Lithium-polymer battery
Smartwatch mode: 4+ days
GPS mode: 10 hours
Lithium-polymer battery
Memory4GB (2.5GB available for music storage)
Saves seven days of motion data, daily totals for 30 days
Saves seven days of motion data, daily totals for 30 days
MaterialsCase and buckle: aluminum
Strap: flexible, durable material similar to that used in many sports watches
Case and buckle: aluminum
Strap: flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches
Sensors and components3-axis accelerometer
3-axis gyroscope
Optical heart rate monitor
Ambient light sensor
Vibration motor
Wi-Fi antenna (802.11 b/g/n)
Connected GPS
NFC (special edition only in the U.S.)
3-axis accelerometer
3-axis gyroscope
Optical heart rate monitor
Ambient light sensor
Vibration motor
Wi-Fi antenna (802.11 b/g/n)
Water resistance5ATM5ATM
NotificationsCall, text, calendar, email, music control, and much moreCall, text, calendar, email, music control, and much more
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS, and WindowsAndroid, iOS, and Windows
DimensionsCase: .94 x .94 inches

Small: fits wrists 5.5 - 7.1 inches in circumference
Large: fits wrists 7.1 - 8.7 inches in circumference
Case: 1.15 x .83 inches

Large band: fits wrists 6.7 - 8.1 inches in circumference
Small band: fits wrists 5.5 - 6.7 inches in circumference
ColorsClassic: black band with black aluminum case / peach band with rose gold aluminum case / gray band with silver aluminum case

Special edition: charcoal woven band with graphite aluminum case / lavender woven band with rose gold aluminum case
blue gray / silver gray, slate blue / burnt orange, charcoal / smoke gray

Fitbit Versa vs Ionic: The verdict

fitbit versa vs ionic

Which is worth your hard-earned cash? Now that it’s 2020, we don’t really recommend you buy either of these devices. The Fitbit Versa 2 is a much better smartwatch than the original Versa, and the Fitbit Ionic is grown long in the tooth. We’d recommend checking out another GPS watch instead of the Ionic.

Thoughts? Which is the better device, the Fitbit Versa or Ionic?

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