Fitbit Versa 4 vs Apple Watch SE: A Comparative Review

In the ever-evolving landscape of wearable technology, the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE stand out as prominent options for those seeking to combine fitness tracking with smart connectivity.

As someone who has extensively tested both devices, I’ve noted that each offers unique benefits tailored to different user preferences.

The Fitbit Versa 4 excels with its longer battery life and extensive exercise modes, making it a strong contender for serious fitness enthusiasts, especially those who are on Android and value longevity between charges.

The Apple Watch SE, on the other hand, shines with its seamless integration into the Apple ecosystem, offering a fluid user experience with the iOS software and a range of smart features that keep users connected.

I’ve observed that the high responsiveness, comprehensive health metrics, and the added safety features like fall detection make the SE a solid choice for iPhone users who prioritize a smartwatch that can serve as an extension of their smartphone.

Key Takeaways

  • Fitbit Versa 4 is optimized for long battery life and fitness tracking versatility.
  • Apple Watch SE provides an integrated experience with iOS and emergency safety features.
  • Both watches cater to different audiences, underlining the importance of user preference in choice.

Design and Build

When comparing the Apple Watch SE with the Fitbit Versa 4, I note clear differences in their design philosophy and construction. These choices impact not only the appearance but also the user experience in terms of comfort and durability.

Materials and Durability

Apple Watch SE

  • Body: Aluminum with Ion-X glass display
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters

Fitbit Versa 4

  • Body: Aluminum with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters

Both devices offer robust materials that are meant to withstand daily wear and tear. They share an aluminum body and have reputable glass technology protecting the display, ensuring scratch and impact resistance.

Size and Comfort

Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)

  • Dimensions: 44x38x10.7mm
  • Weight: Varies by band selection; Sport Band weighs 36.5g

Fitbit Versa 4

  • Dimensions: 40.5×36.3×12.3mm
  • Weight: Not specified, but known for lightweight design

The Apple Watch SE is slightly chunkier, with a thinner profile at 10.7mm compared to the Fitbit’s 12.3mm. Both are designed to be comfortable for all-day wear, but I have found the slimmer profile of the Apple Watch SE might be more comfortable for users with smaller wrists.

Aesthetic Variations

Apple Watch SE

  • Bands: Wide variety of official bands available; vast third-party market
  • Colors: Offered in three finishes

Fitbit Versa 4

  • Bands: Limited official selection but compatible with third-party bands
  • Colors: Multiple color options available

Each model offers a variety of aesthetic choices. With the Apple Watch SE, personalized expression is highly catered for with an extensive range of bands and finishes. Fitbit Versa 4, though with fewer official options, still provides the ability to Change bands and pick from several color choices. I find Apple’s ecosystem to be more comprehensive in terms of design offerings, which might appeal to users looking for more personalized accessories.

Display Features

In my thorough testing of both devices, I’ve noted key differences in their display features which set them apart.

Screen Size and Resolution

  • Apple Watch SE
    • Screen size: 1.78 inches
    • Resolution: 368 x 448 pixels
  • Fitbit Versa 4
    • Screen size: 1.58 inches
    • Resolution: 336 x 336 pixels

The Apple Watch SE boasts a larger OLED Retina display that offers a higher resolution than the Fitbit Versa 4, providing crisper visuals and more space for touch interactions. The Fitbit Versa 4, with its AMOLED display, delivers vibrant colors and sharp images, although it does so on a slightly smaller screen.

Always-On Display and Brightness

  • Apple Watch SE: Does not have an always-on display feature, but it has excellent brightness management which adapts swiftly to environmental lighting conditions.
  • Fitbit Versa 4: Equipped with an always-on display mode, allowing you to quickly glance at your watch face without the need to interact with the display, also with sufficient brightness that performs well outdoors.

My experience shows the always-on feature of the Fitbit Versa 4 is advantageous for constant, at-a-glance information but can take a toll on battery life. The Apple Watch SE, while lacking this feature, manages its Retina display effectively, ensuring that information is easily visible when you need it. Both watches handle blue light well, reducing eye strain during use.

Health and Fitness Tracking

In my experience testing both the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE, I’ve closely examined their array of health and fitness features to see how they stack up against each other.

Fitness Tracking Capabilities

Both smartwatches are proficient in tracking various forms of physical activity. The Fitbit Versa 4 excels with its fitness-oriented interface, offering a comprehensive suite of workouts and the ability to track real-time stats. The watch utilizes a gyroscope and an accelerometer to monitor movements accurately. My workouts, whether cardio sessions or strength training, were meticulously recorded, displaying detailed metrics about my performance and improvement over time.

The Apple Watch SE, on the other hand, leverages its robust Workout app to track everything from running to HIIT sessions. The device’s responsiveness to touch and swipes made it easy to navigate between different activity modes. I found the ‘Activity Rings’ feature motivational, pushing me to move more, stand up regularly, and exercise daily.

Health Monitoring Functions

As for health monitoring, the Apple Watch SE boasts a high-performance heart rate monitor, which I found reassuringly precise. It cleverly alerts me if my heart rate appears above or below certain thresholds. Additionally, the watch includes a noise app to monitor environmental sound levels, potentially protecting my hearing by suggesting I head to quieter surroundings if needed.

My time with the Fitbit Versa 4 revealed its solid focus on health with features like a menstrual cycle tracker that benefitted me by providing insightful data. What brought it a notch higher in my books was its skin temperature sensor that detects changes which might indicate fever or illness.

Sleep Tracking Features

Sleep tracking is a commonality where both devices shine, but with nuances. The Fitbit Versa 4 tracks sleep stages, and I could see my time in REM, light, and deep sleep, alongside scores for my overall sleep quality. This has allowed me to establish a better sleep routine by providing actionable insights.

Apple Watch SE, while offering sleep tracking, gives a more simplified overview of my sleep patterns. It tracks the duration of my sleep well, though lacking some of the depth found in the Fitbit’s data. Still, the integration with the Health app on my iPhone makes reviewing my sleep trends effortless and insightful.

Additional Sensors for Health

Diving deeper, both watches have unique sensors that enhance their health tracking capabilities. The Fitbit Versa 4 uses both an accelerometer and a heart rate monitor for its health features. However, my tests couldn’t find a temperature sensor in the Apple Watch SE, although it’s been rumored for future models.

In contrast, the Apple Watch SE, while lacking a dedicated skin temperature sensor, includes an impressive gyroscope, which helps with fall detection—a feature that could be life-saving in the event of an accident. While wearing this watch, it felt reassuring to know that in the case of a hard fall, the watch can automatically contact emergency services if I’m unresponsive.

Battery Performance

In my testing of the Fitbit Versa 4 and Apple Watch SE, battery life and charging capabilities were among the key elements I examined. Here’s how they stack up:

Battery Life Expectancy

The Fitbit Versa 4 typically offers a battery life that exceeds the Apple Watch SE. On a full charge, the Fitbit can last up to several days, which is substantial compared to the Apple Watch SE’s up to 18 hours. This longer battery life makes the Versa 4 an attractive option for those who prefer less frequent charging and longer periods of use.

  • Fitbit Versa 4: Up to 6+ days
  • Apple Watch SE: Up to 18 hours

Charging Time and Wireless Charging

When it comes to charging, the Apple Watch SE supports wireless charging, which I find to be a convenient feature, allowing for a simple drop-and-charge experience. The Fitbit Versa 4, to my knowledge, does not offer wireless charging, which means users must rely on a physical connection to power up the device.

Charging Times:

  • Fitbit Versa 4: Approximately 2 hours to full charge
  • Apple Watch SE: Roughly 2.5 hours to full charge

I’ve noted that the Apple Watch SE requires a little bit more time to charge fully, but the convenience of wireless charging could be a compelling factor for many.

Operating Systems and Compatibility

In my experience with both the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE, the operating systems and device compatibility are defining aspects of each product.

Compatibility with iOS and Android

Fitbit Versa 4:

  • iOS Compatibility: Fitbit Versa 4 pairs with devices running iOS, allowing iPhone users to receive notifications and sync data. The connection is stable, but some features may be limited compared to using a Fitbit with an Android.
  • Android Compatibility: Android users get the most out of Versa 4, including quick replies to messages and the ability to accept or reject calls from the wrist.

Apple Watch SE:

  • iOS Compatibility: Apple Watch SE, with watchOS 9, integrates seamlessly with iOS devices, providing a wide range of features including iMessage, calling, and Siri.
  • Android Compatibility: Currently, the Apple Watch SE does not support pairing with Android devices, limiting its use to those within the Apple ecosystem.

Software Updates and Ecosystem

Apple Watch SE with watchOS 9:

  • Software Updates: I’ve found that Apple’s updates are generally timely, enhancing features and security.
  • Ecosystem: The ecosystem of the SE is extensive, syncing effortlessly across other Apple devices and services.

Fitbit Versa 4 with Fitbit OS:

  • Software Updates: Fitbit provides updates that focus on fitness tracking and health monitoring improvements.
  • Ecosystem: The Versa 4 is part of the Google ecosystem following Google’s acquisition of Fitbit, offering Google Assistant and integration with Google services.

Smart Features

In my experience with both the Apple Watch SE and Fitbit Versa 4, I’ve observed a range of smart features that cater to different needs. Here’s a detailed look at how they perform in various smart capabilities.

Connectivity and Communications

Both watches support Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi, facilitating seamless connectivity with other devices and fast data transfer. The Apple Watch SE has an edge with the option for LTE connectivity, allowing for calls, texts, and data use without a phone nearby.

  • Bluetooth: Both have Bluetooth 5.0 support for reliable connectivity.
  • Wi-Fi: Allows for independence from a phone when connected to a network.
  • LTE (Apple Watch SE only): Adds the ability to stay connected even without a smartphone.

Mobile Payments and NFC

For making payments on the go, both smartwatches are equipped with NFC. The Apple Watch SE offers Apple Pay, and the Fitbit Versa 4 supports Fitbit Pay. I found that both payment systems are user-friendly, although Apple Pay is more widely accepted.

  • NFC: Integral for contactless payments directly from the watch.
  • Apple Pay: Available on the Apple Watch SE.
  • Fitbit Pay: Supported by Fitbit Versa 4.

Voice Assistance and Applications

Siri on Apple Watch SE is responsive and integrates well with the iOS ecosystem, while Fitbit Versa 4 offers compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa, which works effectively for voice commands.

  • Siri (Apple Watch SE): Tightly integrated with iOS devices.
  • Alexa (Fitbit Versa 4): Versatile for smart home control and information.

Applications are abundant on the SE through the App Store, lending greater versatility. The Fitbit ecosystem offers a smaller, but growing number of third-party apps focused mainly on health and fitness. Both provide rich notification support and options for messaging directly from the wrist.

Safety and Emergency Features

In my experience with both the Apple Watch SE and the Fitbit Versa 4, I’ve observed distinct differences in their safety and emergency features. These can be crucial considerations for users who value these aspects in a wearable device.

Emergency SOS

On the Apple Watch SE, an Emergency SOS feature is available, which can be a lifesaver in critical situations. By holding down the side button, the watch initiates a call to local emergency services and sends a message along with your location to your emergency contacts. This integration is seamless and gives an extra layer of security to the wearer. The Fitbit Versa 4, on the other hand, does not offer an Emergency SOS feature, which means users must rely on other means to reach out in the event of an emergency.

Fall and Crash Detection

Fall Detection is a standout feature of the Apple Watch SE that can detect if a user falls and then provides an option to contact emergency services if the user remains immobile. Crash Detection is not available on the Fitbit Versa 4; however, during my testing of the Apple Watch SE, it provided an additional safeguard by identifying car crashes and alerting emergency services. The Versa 4, while equipped with a broad range of health and fitness tracking capabilities, does not offer fall or crash detection as part of its feature set.

Pricing and Value

When it comes to choosing between the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE, price and the value you get for your money are key considerations. Let’s break down what each option costs and what is included in those costs.

Cost Comparison

Apple Watch SE 2:

  • Price Range: Approximately $250 – $300
  • Initial Cost Includes: Watch and basic functionalities, with no additional subscription required for core features.

Fitbit Versa 4:

  • Price Range: Approximately $200 – $250
  • Initial Cost Includes: Watch and basic functionalities; however, full access to Fitbit’s health and fitness suite may require a Fitbit Premium subscription.

From my testing, both the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE offer a range of health and fitness tracking features. The choice between the two may come down to whether you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem and whether you’re looking for specific health features exclusive to Fitbit.

Subscription Services and Extras

Fitbit Premium Subscription:

  • Costs: About $9.99 per month or $80 annually
  • Provides: Advanced health metrics, personalized insights, guided workouts and programs, and more.

The Apple Watch SE, while not requiring an additional subscription for core functionality, can still incur extra costs. This includes optional services such as Apple Fitness+ and additional Apple Watch bands or accessories, which are separate purchases.

In my experience with both devices, the Fitbit Versa 4 when paired with Fitbit Premium, offers a more comprehensive health and fitness package. This is something to consider if you’re weighing the overall value beyond the upfront cost. Conversely, the Apple Watch SE provides a more holistic integration with other Apple devices and services, which may be beneficial if you’re already using Apple products.

User Experience

In my comparison of the Fitbit Versa 4 and Apple Watch SE, I’ve considered the intricacies of their user interfaces, customization options, and the support provided by their respective communities to provide a comprehensive view of the user experience.

Ease of Use and Interface

The Apple Watch SE excels with its Intuitive Interface, largely due to the Digital Crown and touch input which make navigation seamless. The screen size is ample, which complements the touch interface, making interactions comfortable. On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 4 offers a more straightforward touch interface that’s easy to get used to, even for those new to smartwatches.

Customization and Accessibility

Customization is a significant part of the user experience, and here both watches shine with multiple options. Apple Watch SE allows changing of bands and has watch faces that can display a lot of information at a glance. Fit Boost’s interface on the Versa 4 is also highly customizable, with a variety of clock faces and the ability to switch bands for a more personal touch.

Community and Support

Both Fitbit and Apple boast strong communities, but Apple’s support structure is notably robust. Fitbit’s community is highly engaged, with many users participating in challenges. The sensors and health tracking capabilities of both devices are frequently discussed topics within these communities, serving as a testament to their reliability.

Comparison Summary

In my experience with the Fitbit Versa 4 and Apple Watch SE, I’ve found that each device brings its own set of advantages to the table. Both are capable smartwatches with a focus on health and fitness tracking, yet they cater to different user preferences and needs.

Standout Advantages for Each Device

Fitbit Versa 4:

  • Price: Typically more affordable with a starting price slightly lower than the Apple Watch SE.
  • Battery Life: Capable of lasting longer on a single charge compared to the Apple Watch SE.
  • Built-in GPS: Offers independence from the phone for tracking outdoor activities.
  • Exercise Modes: Over 40 exercise modes make it versatile for fitness enthusiasts.

Apple Watch SE:

  • Screen Size: Features a larger display, which is 12.66% bigger.
  • Resolution: Higher screen resolution (368 x 448px) gives a clearer display.
  • Ecosystem Integration: Works seamlessly with iPhone and other Apple services.
  • Wireless Charging & Fall Detection: Offers wireless charging and has fall detection for added safety.

Choosing Between Fitbit Versa 4 and Apple Watch SE

When it comes to choosing between the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE, several factors come into play. If you’re deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem and value seamless connectivity with your iPhone, the Apple Watch SE is the better choice. Its larger display and resolution also make for a more engaging user experience.

On the other hand, if you prioritize battery life and a more wallet-friendly price while still getting robust fitness tracking features, the Fitbit Versa 4 is a strong contender. Its extensive exercise modes, along with its own GPS, make it an ideal standalone fitness companion for those who are often on the move without their phone.

Final Thoughts

In my experience, both the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE have proved themselves as capable smartwatches, each with their own set of strengths that cater to different preferences and needs. The Fitbit Versa 4 is in my view a fitness tracker that provides an extensive battery life, a comfortable design for everyday wear, and detailed health insights that are especially useful for those dedicated to fitness routines.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch SE integrates more seamlessly with iOS devices, offering a larger screen and wireless charging—which I find particularly convenient. It also features fall detection, which adds an extra layer of security for users who might value this.

When considering value for money, the decision between these devices may come down to brand preference or the specific features one might prioritize. Both watches target a similar price range, so my recommendation hinges on the ecosystem you’re already invested in—iOS users may lean towards the Apple Watch SE for its tight integration with other Apple products, while users looking for a dedicated fitness tracker with strong battery life might opt for the Fitbit Versa 4.

From a neutral standpoint, I must say that neither device significantly outshines the other—it truly depends on what you, as the user, are looking to get out of your smartwatch or fitness tracker. Whether it’s for everyday use, fitness tracking, or as a supplementary device for your smartphone, both the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Apple Watch SE are strong contenders in the current market.


  • Matthew

    Meet Matthew, a wearable tech & fitness enthusiast passionate about transforming health through innovative devices. With an engineering background and a love for fitness, Matthew shares in-depth reviews, tips, and news on the latest wearable tech to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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