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Fitbit Versa 4 vs Xiaomi S1 Active : Which Will You Choose

Fitbit’s Versa 4 and Xiaomi’s S1 Active are two different smartwatches that offer features that may be beneficial to the user, but ultimately it depends on the user’s preferences and needs for a smartwatch. The Versa 4 specializes in health and wellness features, while the S1 Active specializes in smart features. This comparison between the two watches is interesting because of their unique specialties.

In the end, based on my experience and testing I have the Versa 4 coming out on top winning 4-2. Both devices are almost like for like in comparison, however what the S1 Active lacks in is really reliable and consistent performance. I will explain the reasons why I feel that way in this article, however is a summary of my final results.

Smart FeaturesVersa 4
Health FeaturesVersa 4
Third Party AppsVersa 4
Workout Mode AbilityVersa 4
GPS TrackingXiaomi S1 Active
Battery LifeXiaomi S1 Active

After carefully reflecting on the final results, I do feel that this comparison is fair and impartial, and based on my extensive testing, it is a true representation of the two watches. I will go into more detail for each category. If you are new to my articles, I want to emphasize that I do not base my comparisons solely on specs, as there are many websites out there that do that. Instead, my comparison is based on my thorough experience and testing of the watches.

Smart Features : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

Fitbit Versa 4 : Find your phone feature can be handy

In terms of smart features, these two devices are both very impressive. According to my test results, the Fitbit Versa 4 was found to be highly reliable and consistent when using these features, which ultimately gave it the edge over the S1 Active. Though the final score between these two devices is close, they both have an advantage over the other in this category, which I will explain later on. Here’s a summary of my testing results in this category

LevelS1 ActiveVersa 4
Final Score10/1511/15

Fitbit Versa 4 Has The Advantage with These Features

One of the things that the Versa 4 has over the S1 Active is the ability to use contactless payment. Ever since Fitbit pay was superseded with Google pay in late 2022, the contactless payment feature has been very useful, and very reliable. Here in New Zealand, Apple pay, Garmin Pay and Google pay are the only ones that banks in New Zealand trust.

As for Xiaomi Pay, it’s very similar to Huawei Pay where you dont know for sure it’s available. I mean I can only speak from experience from New Zealand, but please check with your bank if they either support master card or Xiaomi pay before you buy the S1 Active Watch.

The last thing I would like to mention is the virtual assistant, Alexa. Both devices have the ability to access Alexa, however based on my tests and experience with the devices, the Versa 4 can initiate your requests a lot quicker than the S1 Active. I personally think its the language setting, as Alexa does not have a New Zealand english language setting, so Fitbit suggests tht I use American english, which works really well.

As for the S1 Active there isn’t a language setting, so there were occasions where I couldn’t get Alexa to respond or it timed out. So if the digital assistance like Alexa is important to you, then check the language setting of the Versa 4 before you buy.

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Xiaomi S1 Active Has The Advantage With These Features

Music control is fantastic to use with the S1 Active

Like I mentioned earlier than both devices are very strong in this category and one of the features that the Versa 4 does not have is the ability to control music. A music controller is a must for smart watch users, and the S1 Active has this capability to control music from your phone but it does not have the ability to store music on your watch. What’s also really great is the large screen that the S1 Active has, I mean most watch’s always look small on my arm but the large radial dial makes it fantastic to use and looks really good.

One other feature that the Versa 4 does not have is the ability to make a SOS call to your emergency contact. All you need to do is tap the sport button fast three times and it will make a call to your emergency contact. The only downside to this is that you have to have your phone nearby to do this, and it does not send a secondary text message to notify your emergency contact with GPS coordinates or fall detection in case you dont have the ability to press the sport button. Garmin, Apple, and Samsung all have this feature and they are the most reliable. I wont you to know this before you decide to buy the S1 Active.

S1 Active has a built in air pressure sensor

Lastly, it is worth noting that the S1 Active comes equipped with a built-in geomagnetic sensor, which means that the device is fitted with a magnetic compass. Additionally, the S1 Active is also equipped with a built-in air sensor that can detect changes in air pressure that are often indicative of impending weather changes. This feature can be particularly handy when hiking or camping.

These are only a quick summary of what features have the advantage over the other in terms of smart feature ability. If you want to know more about my testing and how I get my final testing scores check out my articles for more information.

Health Features : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

Fitbit Versa 4 : Reliable sleep tracking data, if you have a premium subscription

When it comes to health features, there was only one clear winner in this category and that is the Fitbit Versa 4. The Fitbit brand is one of the most trusted health brands on the market and it’s also the brand’s specialty. But it does come with a catch, and to access Fitbits best asset, you must have an active Fitbit premium subscription.

This is where the Versa 4 has the edge over the S1 Active in this category and that’s with a Fitbit premium subscription. Even without the premium subscription, the Versa 4 in my opinion has the better accuracy when it comes to heart rate tracking, stress management tools. Keep that in mind before you decide to buy the Versa 4.

Third Party App Ability : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

Timers : App that can be downloaded from the Fitbit Appstore

When it comes to third party app ability, both devcies dont really offer much. Only the Garmin, Apple or Galaxy watch devices tend to dominate the market in this field. As far as the Versa 4 and the S1 Active, both devices are ranked very low. Here is a summary of my results.

FeatureS1 ActiveVersa 4
Connection TypeBluetoothBluetooth
App Stores2/52/5
In Direct Ability0/52/5
Direct Ability1/52/5
Final Score3/156/15

As you can see there isn’t much between both devices, and with a two point advantage to the Versa 4 was due to the fact it was more reliable and consistent. I will quickly make a summary of each.

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App stores: Both devices dont really offer to much, but you do have to search for it in it’s own app management store. The only apps you can download are the apps built by that brand and not from a third party. Which is why both devices deserves it’s 2 out of 5 rating in this field of testing.

Indirect ability : If you’re not familiar with the term, it means that your device can access a third app by giving the third party app permission to use Fitbit or the Xiaomi app when tracking. The Versa 4 was very reliable in this field and the Fitbit tracking data synchronizes with the third party app instantly when the activity tracking ended. As for the Xiaomi S1 Active, this did not happen and some times it will take at least two days for your data to be transferred through to the third party app. For that reason, I have given the S1 Active a 0 out of 5 because it’s inconsistency.

Direct Ability : If you are not familiar with the term, it means you have the ability to control a third party app from your watch. Unfortunately both devices cannot control a third party app on the watch but it can only control apps that are in their own app store built by them. None of the Apps that are available to you are useful, which is why both devices have a low score. The only real difference is that the Fitbit app preformed more consistently and reliable, whereas the S1 Active disconnected from my phone a lot, and I never really got to use the app I downloaded. Just too many bugs that needs to be looked into.

If third party app ability is something you want in a watch, both devices dont do very well at all, however the Versa 4 does well via the in direct method. This method is my preferred way to connect to third party apps and the Fitbit connection is casted wide across a large r group than Xiaomi.

Workout Mode Ability : Winner Fitbit Versa 4

Fitbit Versa 4 : Activity interface is very handy and it will give you an idea of you activity so far

When it comes to tracking your workouts, both devices are at best, basic level. Based on my testing and user experience, the final score was very close. Each device has an advantage over the other, but I will discuss those details a little later. Here is my testing results for workout mode ability.

CriteriaS1 ActiveVersa 4
SpecialitySmart AppsHealth
Basic Level5/55/5
Intermediate Level1/52/5
Advanced Level0/50/5
Final Score6/157/15

As you can see that the Fitbit Versa 4 has a one point advantage over the Xiaomi S1 Active when it comes to tracking your workouts. I will explain.

Ability to measure your training load : Unfortunately the S1 Active does not have a feature that does this but the Versa 4 does, which is the Daily Readiness Score. With this feature, it can take all of your activity data, sleep data and stress data, then calculate all of this into a training load score. If the score is high then your body is able to withstand high intensity workouts, but if it’s low then you need to do more less strenuous exercises like a brisk walk. A very useful feature when managing your activities and building good habits. The only catch is, that it’s a premium feature

GPS Tracking Activities : Both devices have the ability to use GPS tracking for your workouts, however the S1 Active takes the advantage for GPS tracking because of it’s superior accuracy. The Versa 4 GPS tracking in my experience hasn’t been the greatest. The Versa 4 can only connect to one satellite navigational system, whereas the S1 Active can connect to five different satellite navigational systems with dual band frequency for more added accuracy. In my line of testing, connecting to more satellite navigational systems helps improve your accuracy, and the S1 Active’s is very impressive which I will explain in detail in the next testing category.

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GPS Tracking : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

Xiaomi S1 Active : GPS tracking is very good and reliable

When it comes to GPS tracking, The S1 Active dominates this category in a very big way. I have tested many devices for GPS accuracy and the S1 active is one of the best that I have tested. Here is a summary of my results.

CriteriaS1 ActiveVersa 4
No of sensors51
Basic test5/51/5
Hard test1/51/5
Very hard test4/51/5
Final Score10/151/15

The nine point gap pretty much says it all about the Versa 4, scoring a 1 out of 5 in all the test’s that I have done. If you want to know more about my GPS testing and how I arrived with these results check out my GPS tracking articles for more information.

Battery Life : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

Xiaomi S1 Active : Trak your goals with a nice easy to read screen

This one was a very close to call as the out right winner in this category, as both devices ended up as a draw. Here is a look at my final results.

CriteriaS1 ActiveVersa 4
Battery economy without GPS2/52/5
GPS Battery Consumption rate per hour5/55/5
Final Score7/157/15

In order to declare a winner in this category, I will need compare the final testing results and in the end the Xiaomi S1 Active just nudges ahead to declare the winner let me explain in detail

Batter economy without GPS : This one was very close as both devices a almost like for like. In my testing regime in this category, a device is given a two star rating if the battery economy rate falls between 14% to 16%. The S1 Active got 14% and the Versa 4 got 15% battery economy per day. Which means the S1 Active wins this category by 1%.

GPS Battery consumption : Anyone that tracks there GPS location knows it’s a massive battery burner and both devices performed well in this category and got a 5 out of 5 star rating which is fantastic. In the finer detail, in my testing regime I would rate a device a 5 star if the device consumes less than 7% per hour when using GPS tracking. The S1 Active uses 5% of battery per hour, whereas the Versa 4 uses 7% per hour which gives the advantage to the S1 Active the win by 2%

If you want to know more about the way I go about testing the devices battery life, I have already done a full article for both devices so you can check how I arrived to my final results. Here are those articles for you to look at.

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about both devices and how they compare to each other. In the end the Fitbit versa 4 wins the comparison with a score of 4-2. After taking some time to reflect on the final score I do believe the rating is fair based on my testing and user experience so I am very happy with that.

Some of the area’s where I feel that the S1 Active came close to winning is the smart feature category and the workout mode ability. The issue with the Xiaomi S1 Active and smart features was that some of the features on offer did not performed consistently and reliably. There could be a whole lot of big fixes to deal with before it can be more stable. As for workout mode ability, both devices offer a very basic level of fitness tracking, I was very surprised that the S1 Active did not offer a real lot because a lot of people have rated the device highly for tracking workouts.

Lastly, I do apologise for the long article, I normally like to keep it short. But there was a lot of good things and bad things that you needed to be aware of before you buy either device. Once again, thank you for reading