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Fitbit Charge 5 Vs Fitbit Versa 4: Which Will You Choose

So you are looking to buy a smart watch or band and you have settled on buying either a Fitbit Versa 4 or a Fitbit Charge 5 but not to sure on what to purchase? then I think this article would be of interest to you.

Both devices offer some thing different because the Versa series is the more high end product within the Fitbit brand. The Charge 5 is also packed with some great features and does compare well against the Versa 4. Then again it all comes down to individual preferences.

If you haven’t read any of my comparison articles, I dont dwell on providing comparisons based on specifications I. There are many websites out there that can provide this information. I like to compare devices from a unique angle by comparing each device into six different categories based on my user experience.

In the end the Versa 4 wins this comparison 3-1 including two draw. Im not surprised as the capacity of a smart watch is far greater than what a fitness band can offer which shows a lopsided result. However it does not mean that the Versa 4 is better than the Charge 5. It always comes down to personal preferences so continue reading this article and keeping that in mind.

Smart FeaturesVersa 4
Fitbit PremiumFitbit Charge 5
Third Party AppsVersa 4
Workout Mode AbilityDraw
GPS TrackingDraw
Battery LifeVersa 4

Smart Features : Winner Versa 4

If you are not familiar with the term smart features, it’s a term that I like to identify with a device that has the ability to assist you in your day to day activities and provide you with some level of automation. I think that this is key to provide a device that offers convenience and functionality in the areas you use it the most.

Fitbit isn’t really known for it’s smart feature ability, and I have provided a break down from different levels. This rating table is something that I have created to help you see how the device compares in the market as it is.

Looking at the rating table below, the Versa 4 wins this comparison 9-7. The 2 point gap is a true reflection how I see the devices as there is only a small margin and almost identical.

The Versa 4 offers everything that the Charge 5 has, with a few extra’s which is reason why I gave the Versa 4 the win. Both devices offer everything at a basic level.

  • Fitbit Charge 5
    • Intermediate Level : Contactless payment, Ability to lock out water, Ability to improve time management.
  • Fitbit Versa 4
    • Intermediate Level : Contactless payment, Ability to lock out water, Ability to improve time management.
    • Advanced Level : Ability to provide assistance (google, Alexa or Bixby), Ability to provide direction (similar to google maps, Petal maps)

Smart Feature Ability Comparison

LevelCharge 5Versa 4
  • Basic Level : Ability to find your watch, Ability to find your phone, Ability to set alarm or timer, Ability to reply to messages with preset messages, Do not disturb ability,
  • Intermediate Level : Ability to control music, Ability to contact emergency contact, Ability to answer phone calls, Ability to make phone calls, Contactless payment, Ability to lock out water, Ability to talk back to watch user, Ability to save battery life, Ability to improve time management.
  • Advanced Level : Live stream to devices, Ability to connect to smart devices, Ability to provide a magnetic compass, Ability to measure air pressure, Ability to use gestures to quick access features, Smart touch ability(interact with watch for disabled persons), Ability to provide assistance (google, Alexa or Bixby), Ability to provide direction (similar to google maps, Petal maps)
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Fitbit Premium : Winner Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to delivering the best experience for your health and well being, the Fitbit brand is very reliable. In fact Health and well being is the brands speciality as they have poured in so much time and effort into developing a device that’s not quite medical grade but useful enough to provide insight to your overall health.

Although the Versa 4 is the more higher end of the two devices, I have chosen the Charge 5 as the winner because it has some very advanced tools built in that’s identical to Fitbits flagship model the Sense series. The Charge 5, despite being less expensive, has features that are on par with those of the Sense series, which is Fitbit’s top-of-the-line model.

When it comes to the premium level features by Fitbit, both devices do offer the same level of performance. However there are two distinct differences that make Charge 5 the superior choice.

Firstly is that the Charge 5 has a the edge when it comes to managing your stress levels. Both devices have a stress management tool but what makes the Charge 5 the winner is the built in EDA sensor. EDA stands for electro-dermal activity and is an electrical sensor that is able to detect the electrical activity of your skin. It’s a very advanced tool because how we react to stress causes a real change in our body’s electrical activity, like sweat or heart rate.

Secondly, the Charge 5 device includes Afib detection and Afib notification built into the device. I have read many threads on Reddit that state that many users have used it and it comes across from different perspectives. Depending on your health condition, some users found it to be useful while others have found that it did not quite meet their expectations. Fitbit’s devices are not meant to replace a doctor’s advice but it is a very good tool for you to have a better understanding of your health.

Third Party Apps : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

When it comes to third party apps Fitbit does not really offer too much in my opinion. It’s nothing quite like what the Apple Watch or the Galaxy Watch range can offer, and I will explain the gap between these brands in a different article.

As far as third party app ability there are two distinct methods that you can use to interact with the Fitbit devices. I will explain these methods in the following section.

In Direct Method

The In direct method is where you can connect your Fitbit health data with a third party app. When you allow permissions for the third party app to connect with your Fitbit data, it forms a partnership where you can share data between the two apps. Both devices have this ability so if you have a premium subscription with a third party app, check if you can integrate your Fitbit device with that app.

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Direct Method

This method is where you download the app directly off the Fitbit app store and download it into your Fitbit account, then synchronise to your watch. There isnt too many apps available to use in this method, but the Versa 4 has a few extra apps that you can use which is why I have declared it the winner in this category.

Workout Mode Ability : Draw

When it comes to tracking your workouts, historically the Fitbit brand never really offered anything that’s advanced that would be tailor made for a athlete. Since the Fitbit brand is about Health and wellness, there focus is being more active rather than high performance sport, which is excellent for a new beginer.

The only real difference when it comes to tracking your workouts is that the Versa 4 offers 20 more workout modes than the Charge 5. In my mind in doesn’t quite get the win because the user doesn’t get a real advantage from it which is why I have given this category a draw.

Anyway I finish off with this category by presenting you with some interesting information that i have gathered and how it compares in the market.

Workout Mode Ability Comparison

Activity LevelCharge 5Versa 4
Beginner Level5 out of 55 out of 5
Intermediate Level2 out of 52 out of 5
Advanced Levelzero out of 5zero out of 5
  • Basic Level : Calorie counting, have various workout modes available to track, heartrate tracking, step counting, duration of workout, heart rate variation recording, ability to connect to third party apps (directly or indirectly), auto detection workout.
  • Intermediate Level : Ability to determine your fitness level, ability to measure training load/intensity, GPS Tracking, ability to improve cadence, AI coach feature
  • Advanced Level : Ability to connect to motion sensors, ability to prepare you for a race, Ability to provide advanced analytics (similar to Polar flow, Garmin Connect), ability to provide specialist features to improve performance. Advanced auto detection (automatically change workout modes based on your motion)
RankBrandWatch SeriesSpecialtyScore
1GarminForerunner 55Multi Sport15
2PolarPacerMulti Sport15
3AppleWatch 7, 8 UltraWell Rounded15
4PolarIgnite 3Fitness15
5Huawei GT3 PROWell Rounded13
6HuaweiGT3Well Rounded12
7Huawei Watch Fit 2Well Rounded12
8HuaweiBand 7Well Rounded9
9SamsungGalaxy Watch 6 ClassicSmart apps8
10SamsungGalaxy Watch 4, 5, 5 ProSmart apps8
11FitbitVersa 4, Charge 5, Inspire 3Health7
12XiaomiS1 ActiveSmart apps6
Workout Mode Ability Ranking : Maximum score is 15 3 brands that I know hit the 15 mark rating. Coro and Amazfit watch’s could reach the 15 point mark, but I havent placed them on the list because I have not personally tested them.

GPS Tracking : Draw

When it comes to GPS tracking accuracy, Fitbit devices have never done to well. I have owned many Fitbit devices over the years and it’s almost an expectation everytime a new generation watch is released by Fitbit.

For the bet experience, it is better to use your phones GPS rather than Fitbits GPS for a more accurate tracking, which is why I have declared the GPS category a draw because GPS tracking is not a strong suit for the Charge 5 or the Versa 4.

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Both of these devices require some time to connect to a satellite and it can take up to 2-3 minutes to connect. If you fail to do this, your GPS tracking will be inaccurate. If you lose connection for 2-3 minutes, the GPS tracking will be turned off. I have an example below that shows the difference between the actual track and the GPS tracking from the Versa 4.

I have drawn my planned route onto the Fitbit tracking map above as the black dotted line. The red line is the GPS tracking from the Versa 4 device. The Charge 5 is about the same so please be aware of that.

I do have a full break down of the GPS tracking accuracy for both devices, so if you want to know more about that, you can see my test results in my articles. I have also done a updated GPS accuracy test for the Charge 5 and the result has become the same. Feel free to check those articles out.

Battery Life : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

When it comes to battery life, the Fitbit devices always do very well. Which is something that you can expect from a Fitbit device. I like to think that the reason for this is because Fitbit really offer the basic stuff and nothing to advanced which are typically your massive battery drainers.

When we look at the ratings for the Charge 5 and Versa 4 in terms of their smart feature ability, we can see that they only score a 7 out of 15. On the other hand, the Galaxy watch has a much higher rating of 14 out of 15. This highlights the fact that while Fitbit devices may not be as advanced, they do make up for in better battery life. Not having all the bells and whistles can have its advantages.

In the end the Versa 4 takes out the battery life category but by only just the win is very close. I judge battery life in two different ways, GPS battery consumption rate per hour, and typical use without GPS tracking, then combine the two different measures to form a overall battery life capacity.

My Typical Usage Per Day

  • 60-70 minutes of strength training (Morning)
  • 60-70 minutes of GPS tracking (running/ hiking)
  • Up to 100 screen activations (AOD always on display)
  • Up to 20 messages viewed
  • All day heart rate tracking
  • Sleep tracking 6-7 hours per night

Comparison Without GPS Tracking

FeatureCharge 5Versa 4
Battery Consumption Rate Without GPS Tracking15% Per Day15% Per Day
No of days without GPS tracking6 days6 days

Comparison With 1 Hour of GPS Tracking

GPS battery consumption rate are complete opposites. The Versa 4 has a 5 star rating that’s right up there with some of the best devices such as the Garmin Forerunner series or the Galaxy Watch Pro. On the other hand the Charge 5 has a 1 star rating and is the lowest rating I have given to any device that I have tested.

FeatureCharge 5Versa 4
1 hour of GPS Tracking20% Per hour7% Per hour

GPS Battery Consumption Rate Rating Table

No of StarsGPS Battery Consumption Rate
5Up to 7% per hour
48% to 12% per hour
313 to 15% per hour
216 to 19% per hour
120 % or more

Overall Battery Capacity

When Combining the results this is the overall picture. The Versa 4 is 38% more efficient than the Charge 5 based on my typical usage with 1 hour of GPS tracking

FeatureCharge 5Versa 4
No of Days Without GPS Tracking*66
Battery Consumption Rate Without GPS Tracking15% Per Day15% Per Day
GPS Battery Consumption Rate20% per hour7% per hour
Battery consumption rate with 1 hour GPS tracking35% per day22% per day
No of Days With 1 hour of GPS tracking per day*2.5 days4 days
Battery life test ends once device used up 90% of it’s battery life

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot I this article. I like to think that the Charge 5 has still many things to offer in comparison the the new Versa 4.

I hope also that if you do decide to buy either device, I still think you will get the benefits but you must always consider what you want from the device before hand. Fitbit’s specialty is health and well being, so please keep that in mind that each smart watch brand has it’s own specific place in the market. Thank you