Garmin Venu Sq vs Fitbit Versa 3: In-Depth Comparison Guide

When it comes to choosing a smartwatch, the market is bustling with options that cater to various preferences and needs.

Having extensively tested both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve found that they stand out in the crowded space of fitness wearables.

Both watches offer a mix of health tracking, smart notifications, and robust activity features, yet they appeal to slightly different users.

The Garmin Venu Sq boasts a sharp, square display and a suite of features that aim to satisfy outdoor enthusiasts and fitness buffs. On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 3 combines a sleek design with an emphasis on health and wellness tracking, offering detailed sleep analysis and a user-friendly interface.

Throughout my use, battery life has proven to be a critical aspect, with both devices offering substantial uptime, though with variations based on usage patterns.

Key Takeaways

  • Both smartwatches offer a comprehensive set of features tailored to health and fitness enthusiasts.
  • Differences in navigation features, battery life, and app ecosystems may influence the decision.
  • Considering the price, durability, and additional health features can determine the better value for an individual user.

Overview of Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3

In assessing the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve taken a close look at the brand reputation and design philosophy that distinguishes each model. The comparison sheds light on both the strengths and subtleties offered by these two prominent wearable brands in the fitness technology arena.

Brand Reputation

Garmin: I’ve observed that Garmin is well-regarded for its robust build quality and focus on fitness precision. The Garmin Venu Sq continues this reputation, offering reliable performance in activity tracking and health monitoring. Garmin tends to be favored by athletes and outdoor enthusiasts for its GPS accuracy and durability.

Fitbit: Fitbit, on the other hand, is synonymous with user-friendly wellness technology. My experience with the Fitbit Versa 3 reinforces its status as a device that expertly balances health features with smartwatch functionality. Fitbit’s extensive app ecosystem and social features make it a prominent choice for those seeking comprehensive health metrics integrated seamlessly into daily life.

Design Philosophy

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • Design: The Garmin Venu Sq showcases a practical square design with a bright color display. This design aligns with Garmin’s approach to creating versatile wearables that are robust enough for the gym and stylish for everyday wear.
  • Quality: The build quality is solid, and the tactile buttons combined with the touch interface allow for effortless navigation, even during rigorous activities.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • Design: In examining the Fitbit Versa 3, its refined and minimalistic aesthetic is notable. The smooth curves and comfortable band design emphasize Fitbit’s philosophy of wearability and ease of use.
  • Quality: The device feels premium on the wrist, with a build that reflects Fitbit’s commitment to quality. The intuitive interface of the Versa 3 is particularly impressive, facilitating quick interactions and at-a-glance stats.

Key Features Compared

In comparing the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3, I evaluate critical features such as display quality, health and fitness tracking precision, smartwatch functionalities, and the extent of their connectivity options.

Display and Resolution

  • Garmin Venu Sq: The display is a 1.3” (33.1 mm) liquid crystal touchscreen with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. While not OLED, the screen is clear and visible under various lighting conditions.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: This device boasts a 1.58″ OLED display, delivering a vivid visual experience with a higher resolution of 336 x 336 pixels, making it quite crisp and responsive.

Health and Fitness Tracking

  • Garmin Venu Sq:
    • Health Monitoring: Includes advanced sleep tracking with Pulse Ox, respiration tracking, and heart rate alerts.
    • Fitness Tracking: Supports a variety of sports apps and can monitor activities using the GPS, accelerometer, and even altitude changes with an altimeter.
  • Fitbit Versa 3:
    • Health Monitoring: Features an optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, and offers skin temperature sensor during sleep.
    • Fitness Tracking: Recognizes workouts automatically, tracks Active Zone Minutes, and provides users with detailed health and fitness data.

Smartwatch Functionalities

  • Garmin Venu Sq: Offers smart notifications, calendar, weather, and music controls. It lacks onboard music storage but allows for smartphone control.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Brings in extra with onboard music storage, smart notification management, and the ability to answer calls directly via a built-in speaker and microphone.

Connectivity and Compatibility

  • Garmin Venu Sq: This device utilizes Bluetooth, ANT+, and GPS, but lacks Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Offers a breadth of connectivity options including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC for contactless payments, and built-in GPS to map outdoor activities without the need for a phone.

Battery Life and Charging

When comparing the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, battery life and charging capabilities are key factors for users with active lifestyles.

Battery Performance

The Garmin Venu Sq boasts a robust battery life that I’ve found can last up to 6 days in smartwatch mode, which is impressive given its array of features. When GPS is utilized continuously, the device sustains up to 14 hours, making it a reliable choice during extended workouts or activities. In my experience, the Venu Sq does not have a solar battery feature.

The Fitbit Versa 3 similarly offers a significant battery life, running up to 6 days depending on usage. With the GPS active, the Versa 3’s battery endures about 12 hours, slightly less than the Garmin. Despite the slight difference, I’ve observed that for regular day-to-day use without constant GPS, it can last the full 6 days effortlessly. Both watches maintain performance over time without major declines in battery longevity.

Charging Options and Technology

Garmin Venu Sq charges through a proprietary connector that magnetically snaps to the back of the watch. The charge time from 0% to 100% takes approximately 2 hours. The Venu Sq does not support wireless charging, but it offers a power save mode to extend battery life during critical times. This mode can be quite effective when you’re far from a power source.

Fitbit Versa 3 introduces a magnetic charging cable which attaches to the back of the watch, similar in convenience to the Venu Sq. The Versa 3 also offers rapid charging capabilities, providing a full day’s charge in just 12 minutes. What impresses me the most is the addition of a higher-capacity battery without significantly increasing the size of the watch. However, the Fitbit Versa 3 lacks wireless charging, which could enhance the charging experience.

Durability and Resistance

In my experience with the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3, durability and resistance to the elements are key considerations for anyone leading an active lifestyle or looking for a long-lasting wearable.

Water and Dust Resistance

Both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3 boast substantial water resistance, making them suitable companions for swimming and exposure to the elements. I found the Venu Sq to offer water resistance up to 5 ATM, meaning it can withstand pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters. In contrast, the Versa 3 also offers an impressive water resistance, rated at 5 ATM. During testing, both devices performed well during swimming sessions, with no signs of water ingress.

  • Garmin Venu Sq
    • Water-Resistant: Up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
    • Dustproof: Yes
  • Fitbit Versa 3
    • Water-Resistant: Up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
    • Dustproof: Not specified

Both devices appear to be sealed efficiently to prevent dust from entering, but official dustproof ratings seem to be more clearly stated for the Garmin Venu Sq.

Screen Protection Features

The screen is one of the most vulnerable parts of any smartwatch, and both Garmin and Fitbit have taken measures to ensure the longevity of their displays. My use revealed that the Garmin Venu Sq is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is known for its scratch and damage resistance. Similarly, the Fitbit Versa 3’s display is also protected by the same Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and during my tests, I found it resisted everyday scratches and minor impacts effectively.

  • Garmin Venu Sq
    • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Fitbit Versa 3
    • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Regular exposure to keys, coins, and other potentially abrasive items did not leave noticeable marks on either device, affirming their resilience against common types of damage.

Navigation and Tracking

In my experience with both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve found that they offer distinct capabilities in terms of navigation and activity tracking. Understanding how these devices utilize GPS technology and track your activities is crucial for those who depend on accurate data for training or outdoor adventures.

Built-In GPS and Satellite Systems

The Garmin Venu Sq uses GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems, which I found particularly beneficial when I required more accurate location tracking in challenging environments. The inclusion of multiple satellite systems means that the Venu Sq can maintain a strong signal even in dense urban areas or under heavy tree cover. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Versa 3 also comes equipped with built-in GPS capabilities. During my runs, I noticed it locks onto GPS signals quickly and provides reliable route tracking. However, unlike the Garmin device, the Versa 3 does not support GLONASS or Galileo, which can sometimes result in less accuracy in those challenging conditions.

Activity and Route Tracking

Both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3 have proven to be competent activity trackers. Garmin’s device shines with its extensive range of activities and the ability to create custom workouts, which elevated my training sessions. The route tracking on the Venu Sq is impressively thorough, mapping out my journey with precision and offering breadcrumb trails for navigation back to the starting point. On the other hand, my experience with the Fitbit Versa 3’s activity tracking also met my expectations. It reliably captures essential data, such as distance and pace, and provides a map of the route post-workout. While it may not have the same depth of navigation features as the Venu Sq, the Versa 3’s route tracker is quite satisfactory for daily exercise routines.

Customization and Accessibility

In my experience with both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve noticed that customization and accessibility are important to users seeking to personalize their device experience. The levels of customization available with watch faces and design options, along with the accessibility features, set these smartwatches apart in their user experience.

Watch Faces and Design Customization

The Garmin Venu Sq offers a variety of watch faces that can be changed through the Garmin Connect app. I appreciate the ability to choose from a range of analog and digital designs, along with options to incorporate relevant health stats on the display. One stand-out feature is the always-on mode, which ensures vital information is visible at a glance, without needing to raise the wrist or tap the screen.

The Fitbit Versa 3, on the other hand, shines with its vibrant and diverse watch faces available in the Fitbit app. My experience with rotating through custom and downloadable faces was seamless, and I found the design customization to be slightly more intuitive than with the Garmin. Users can easily modify colors and what information is displayed, tailoring the look to their personal style.

Accessibility Features

I found that both devices are engineered with a range of users in mind, enhancing accessibility through consideration of various needs and preferences.

The Fitbit Versa 3’s smart alarm utilizes light sleep stages to wake users up gently, a feature I rate highly for starting the day in a more relaxed state. Additionally, the large, clear touch screen can be navigated with simple gestures, making it easy for individuals with motor challenges.

Contrastingly, Garmin Venu Sq offers a slightly different suite of accessibility features. The interface is straightforward, which aids users in quickly locating necessary functions. Although I did not find a smart alarm function as in the Fitbit, the screen has an optional always-on mode which can make it simpler for users to access time and key health data.

Additional Health Features

When comparing the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, it’s clear that both prioritize health and wellness. Each device offers comprehensive monitoring tools, although their focus varies slightly, catering to different user needs.

Wellness Monitoring

I found that the Garmin Venu Sq incorporates several wellness tracking features which are quite advanced. These include:

  • Sleep Quality: Provides detailed sleep tracking with Pulse Ox and respiration tracking.
  • Stress Tracking: Monitors stress levels throughout the day.

On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 3 offers:

  • Skin Temperature: Measures changes in skin temperature during sleep.
  • Wellness Reports: Generates detailed reports that can be used for wellness monitoring over time.

Specific Health Tracking

Both devices help in managing specific health aspects:

For menstrual cycle tracking, the Fitbit Versa 3 allows me to log symptoms and track cycles with precision. The Garmin Venu Sq does not fall short, offering similar menstrual cycle tracking capabilities, making either device suitable for anyone seeking to monitor reproductive health.

As for blood oxygen level, I appreciate how both devices feature an SpO2 sensor:

  • Fitbit Versa 3: Includes an SpO2 clock face to report overnight blood oxygen levels.
  • Garmin Venu Sq: Monitors blood oxygen saturation levels during the day and while sleeping.

Fitness and Health Sensors

Both smartwatches excel in fitness and health sensors, such as:

  • Optical Heart Rate Sensor: Each watch provides constant heart rate monitoring with high accuracy.
  • Cadence Sensor: While not a built-in feature, the ability to pair with an external cadence sensor is available with both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3.

However, the Garmin Venu Sq offered me more connectivity options with external sensors for a comprehensive fitness setup.

Price and Value

In my experience, the price of a smartwatch is a crucial factor in the decision-making process, and understanding the value provided for that price is equally important. Let’s break down the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3 in terms of their price points and the value they offer.

Price Comparison

  • Garmin Venu Sq
    • Standard Model: From $199.99
    • Music Edition: Slightly higher price due to music storage capability
  • Fitbit Versa 3
    • Typically retails from under $230

When comparing the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3, it’s evident that both watches are priced competitively. The Venu Sq presents a slightly lower entry price, particularly for its standard model, which doesn’t include music storage.

Value for Money

  • Garmin Venu Sq: Offers comprehensive health and fitness features, such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, and blood oxygen tracking. The Music Edition adds value for those who prioritize having their playlist on their wrist.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Known for its robust health ecosystem, it guarantees quality fitness tracking, includes built-in GPS, and supports Alexa and Google Assistant, enhancing its utility.

Both watches deliver extensive features that support a range of fitness goals. In my time with them, I’ve found that the slightly higher price of the Versa 3 can be justified by its additional smart features like voice assistant support and the larger display.

Premium Subscription Benefits

  • Garmin Connect: While Garmin offers a vast amount of data for free, its premium subscription adds on advanced workouts, personalized coaching, and more in-depth insights into health data.
  • Fitbit Premium: For a monthly fee, Fitbit Premium users gain access to exclusive workouts, detailed health insights, and personalized wellness reports.

The premium services for both Garmin and Fitbit enhance the experience significantly, providing more detailed analytics and coaching tailored to individualized fitness goals. My personal evaluation of these services confirmed that they can be pivotal in achieving specific health and fitness objectives.

Smartwatch Ecosystem

In my experience with both the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve observed that each offers a distinct ecosystem that enhances the user experience in various ways, from app compatibility to ancillary services.

App Compatibility and Ecosystem

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • Connect IQ Store: Access to a range of Garmin and third-party applications.
  • Health and Fitness Apps: Comprehensive suite including fitness tracking, wellness monitoring, and training assistance.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • Fitbit App Gallery: A selection of apps for fitness, finance, social media, and more.
  • Comprehensive Health Tracking: Focus on holistic health metrics tracked through Fitbit’s ecosystem, with emphasis on sleep, stress, and activity.

Compatibility with Other Devices

Both the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 excel in seamless integration with a variety of devices:

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • Broad compatibility with Android and iOS smartphones for notifications and smart features.
  • Garmin Connect: Syncs well with a range of Garmin devices, offering a unified experience across the ecosystem.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • Compatibility with both Android and iOS, although some features like quick replies to messages are Android-exclusive.
  • Can integrate with many health and fitness platforms, expanding its tracking capabilities beyond the wrist.

Available Services

Regarding services such as mobile payments and music, here’s what I’ve found:

Mobile Payments:

  • Garmin Venu Sq: Supports Garmin Pay, allowing for contactless payments with participating banks.
  • Fitbit Versa 3: Fitbit Pay is available for convenient on-the-go payments without needing a wallet.

Smart Features:

  • Both devices deliver smartphone notifications directly to the wrist.
  • Both offer music control, with the Garmin Venu Sq also providing offline playlist support for specific music services.

Through meticulous testing, I’ve noted that while each smartwatch presents their unique propositions, the experiences are built on robust ecosystems, with app libraries and services tailored to support an active, connected lifestyle.

User Experience

In comparing the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve scrutinized the ins and outs of their user experience, focusing on how intuitive and satisfying each device feels to use on a daily basis.

Ease of Use

User Interface: The Fitbit Versa 3 offers a smooth, touch-sensitive display that allows for seamless navigation through the various health and fitness features it houses. I found its interface to be highly intuitive, making it easy to access and understand its functionalities. In contrast, while the Garmin Venu Sq also supports a touch interface complemented by physical buttons, it prioritizes fitness metrics and might present a slight learning curve if you’re new to Garmin’s ecosystem.

  • Garmin Venu Sq:
    • Touchscreen supported by two physical buttons
    • Robust focus on fitness data
  • Fitbit Versa 3:
    • Entirely touch-based interface
    • Streamlined navigation

Usability: During my use, the Fitbit Versa 3 impressed with its on-board GPS and the handy addition of a microphone and speaker that enable voice commands and quick call responses directly from the wrist. The Garmin Venu Sq, after some acclimation, proved itself as a powerful tool for those looking to delve into detailed workout analytics and on-watch GPS mapping.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Browsing through customer reviews solidified my impressions. Owners of the Versa 3 often praise its user-friendly interface and the seamless integration with the Fitbit app ecosystem. The Venu Sq users commended its meticulous attention to fitness details and customization options, which offered a more tailored experience for serious athletes.

  • Fitbit Versa 3 Reviews:
    • High Marks: Intuitive interface, comprehensive Fitbit app support
    • Critiques: Some notice occasional syncing hiccups
  • Garmin Venu Sq Reviews:
    • High Marks: Detailed fitness tracking, customizable data screens
    • Critiques: Some users find it less intuitive than competitors

Both devices receive commendations for their responsive touchscreens, but it’s clear from direct usage and external feedback that each caters to slightly different user needs, with the Fitbit Versa 3 winning on general usability and the Garmin Venu Sq standing out in specialized fitness use.

Technical Specifications

In my extensive testing of the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I focused on the particulars of their hardware, displays, and sensor capabilities.

Hardware Quality

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • Weight: Light and comfortable on the wrist.
  • Build: Durable and robust, suitable for active users.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • Weight: Comparable to the Venu Sq, barely noticeable during daily wear.
  • Build: Premium feel with attention to detail, enhancing the user experience.

Display and Screen Specifications

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • Type: LCD
  • Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
  • Always-on Mode: Yes, facilitating easy access to data.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • Type: OLED, providing vibrant colors and deep blacks.
  • Resolution: 336 x 336 pixels, leading to sharper images and text.
  • Always-on Mode: Available, though it impacts battery life.

Sensor Technology and Accuracy

Garmin Venu Sq:

  • GPS: Integrated, precise tracking during outdoor activities.
  • Accuracy: Reliable readings across various workout types.

Fitbit Versa 3:

  • GPS: Built-in, offering accurate distance and route mapping.
  • Accuracy: Consistently dependable, especially in heart rate monitoring.

Security and Safety Features

When examining the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I paid particular attention to their security and safety capabilities, focusing on emergency features and data privacy. It’s crucial to understand how these devices function in critical scenarios and how they manage your personal information.

Emergency Features

Garmin Venu Sq: My testing revealed that the Garmin Venu Sq is equipped with incident detection during select activities, which sends your real-time location to emergency contacts if a potential incident is detected. This could be lifesaving in case of an accident or if you’re in distress.

Fitbit Versa 3: The Fitbit Versa 3 does not offer a built-in incident detection feature, but it does provide other safety features like the ability to quickly access your phone’s emergency dialing feature directly from the wrist.

Data Privacy and Security

Garmin Venu Sq: Garmin’s Connect app, which pairs with the Venu Sq, follows standard encryption protocols to keep your data secure. I always value these measures, as they ensure my health and workout data remain private.

Fitbit Versa 3: Fitbit, now a Google company, also emphasizes data security. My experience with the Versa 3 suggests that Fitbit’s app employs strong encryption and security practices, and it allows you to manage data-sharing settings with ease, providing a sense of control over my personal data.

Competitive Comparison

In assessing the Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve scrutinized their functionalities across various metrics and compared their performance against other prevalent brands and within specific sporting contexts.

Against Other Brands

When comparing these fitness trackers to others on the market, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, the differences become clear. The Garmin Venu Sq and Fitbit Versa 3 are distinct in their approach to health and activity tracking. Both of these devices offer comprehensive health and fitness tracking features. However, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 LTE Stainless Steel also stands out with its own set of robust capabilities such as LTE connectivity which neither the Garmin nor the Fitbit models offer.

  • Display and Design:
    • Garmin Venu Sq: 1.3″ display
    • Fitbit Versa 3: Larger display size at 1.58″
    • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2: Includes a digital rotating bezel, which enhances navigation
  • Health Features:
    • Both the Garmin and Fitbit offer heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and menstrual health tracking.
    • Garmin Venu Sq: Respiration tracking and Pulse Ox
    • Fitbit Versa 3: Can answer calls and supports Wi-Fi

Sport-Specific Comparisons

Whether it’s for everyday workouts or specialized training, a sports watch needs to deliver accurate data. I’ve closely examined the multi-sport mode capabilities and sport-specific features across these fitness trackers.

  • Multi-Sport Mode:
    • Garmin Venu Sq: It excels in versatility with multiple sport profiles, which is essential for triathletes and multi-sport athletes.
    • Fitbit Versa 3: While offering a range of exercise modes, it’s not as detailed as Garmin for multi-sport tracking.

Considering individual sports, the Fitbit Versa 3 provides a user-friendly interface that’s beneficial for those who exercise with a mix of gym-based workouts and running. The Garmin Venu Sq, on the other hand, offers more advanced metrics, which can be critical for performance athletes who require in-depth data to optimize their training.


After thoroughly testing the Garmin Venu Sq and the Fitbit Versa 3, I’ve found that each brand offers unique advantages that cater to different preferences and needs.

The Garmin Venu Sq impresses with its outdoor readability and robust fitness tracking options, particularly for those with a focus on running and cycling. Its battery life serves well for extended activities, and the interface is quite intuitive once you get familiar with it.

On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 3 stands out with its more comprehensive health monitoring features. The on-board GPS, the inclusion of a microphone and speaker for calls, and Wi-Fi connectivity add convenience. It also has a slightly larger screen which makes for a more user-friendly experience, especially when interacting with smartphone notifications.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Design and Comfort: Both models sport a comfortable design suitable for all-day wear. However, the Versa 3’s larger screen may add to a slightly better user experience in terms of readability.
  • Fitness Tracking: Garmin tends to offer more detailed data for workouts, making it a go-to for enthusiasts.
  • Smart Features: Fitbit excels with its smartwatch capabilities, including voice assistants and the ability to take calls from your wrist.

In essence, both devices are reputable choices from trusted brands in the fitness tracking industry. Your selection will largely depend on whether you prioritize advanced fitness metrics (Garmin Venu Sq) or a blend of health features with smartwatch functionality (Fitbit Versa 3).


  • 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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