Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: comparison feature

With the Google acquisition well behind us, it seems it is business as usual at Fitbit. The company is pretty regular at dishing out new versions of its most popular devices and it continues to do so.

As we anticipate the launch of the first Pixel-branded smartwatch, Fitbit is making the wearables space headlines with a refresh of its smartwatch range. Sense 2 and Versa 4 were launched a few days ago along with Inspire 3. The three devices are available for pre-order now with shipping and wider retail availability beginning after mid September. You can check Amazon price and availability on these links (Sense 2, Versa 4).

This might be it from Fitbit for this year unless it makes a surprise unveiling in the next couple of months. It would not make sense to launch anything in November and December as we will be in the holiday shopping period.

If you are after a high-spec Fitbit, your best choice now is between Sense 2, Versa 4 and Charge 5. All three of these are very good options for someone after a health and fitness wearable. But which should you buy? Read on to find out.


Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: Hardware and design

Look & feel

Let’s start off with the two smartwatches. Most of the differences between Sense 2 and Versa 4 lie under the hood. Having said that, there are a few subtile ways to distinguish the two.

While both come with the same squarish design with curved edges, Sense 2 has aluminium and more premium metal parts in its chassis. This makes it about 5 grams heavier. As far as the display, it is exactly the same as the one you’ll find on Versa 4.

The company has managed to slim down the chasis by about 10% on both these smartwatches as compared to their predecessors. The weight is also down.

The Charge 5, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. It takes the form of a classic fitness band, ideal for someone who wants something more discreet on their wrist. The thing measures 36.78mm x 22.79mm and 11.2mm in depth.

The Charge 5 screen is a 1.04 inch AMOLED with 260 x 170 pixels in resolution. This means it is on par with the display that can be found on Sense 2 and Versa 4. They pack a 1.58 inch, 336 x 336 pixel resolution, AMOLED. Up to 1000 nits, it comes with Corning Glass 3 protection. Needless to say, this makes it pretty easy to read stats, even in the middle of a run. 

All three of these devices have the always-on option. But switching it on will eat into battery life so it is something to be aware of.

You navigate all three of these via the touchscreen and single button. Charge 5 has a haptic button on the left. Versa 4 and Sense 2 have a physical button on the right. This is an upgrade as compared to their predecessors which have a haptic button. A physical button is easier to operate as it is more responsive.

Under the hood

The more interesting differences are under the hood. This is the important stuff.

All three of these come with the standard gamut of Fitbit sensors. The long list includes a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, temperature sensor PulseOx, vibration motor and NFC chip for contactless payments. There’s also built-in GPS for smartphone-less tracking of outdoor exercise.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Unlike the other two Charge 5 is missing an altimeter for counting floors. We’re not sure why Fitbit has made this decision as it is a strange one. Apart from that, the fitness band has the exact same sensors as Sense. With one important difference. The EDA sensor is capable of around the clock readings. The one on Charge 5 is only on-demand.

Versa 4 is the one that packs less under the hood. It lacks the ECG sensor and electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor. This makes it a less serious health device. Fitbit refers to it as an “exercise-focused watch” and to Sense 2 as a “health watch”. To this end, Sense 2 has a metal frame around its display which is used to measure EDA responses on your skin.

As you’d expect from Fitbit, at 5 ATM, the trio has excellent water-resistance. The same can be said for battery life. Charge 5 is good for about a week on a single charge, and Sense 2 and Versa 4 a day less. This, of course, drops quite a bit with GPS switched on. Built-in sattelite connectivity can be found on all three of these devices.


Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: Technical specs

Fitbit Sense 2
Fitbit Versa 4
Fitbit Charge 5
Release date
August 2022
August 2022
August 2021
Material
Aluminium housing, metal parts, paired with silicone band
Aluminium housing paired with silicone band
Aluminium housing paired with silicone band
Display size
1.58 inch
1.58 inch
1.04 inches
Depth
11.2mm
11.2mm
11.2mm
Display type
AMOLED touchscreen (up to 1000 nits). Corning Glass 3 display.
AMOLED touchscreen (up to 1000 nits). Corning Glass 3 display.
AMOLED touchscreen
Screen resolution
336 x 336 pixels
336 x 336 pixels
260 x 170 pixels
Battery life
6+ days. Charge time (0-100%):2 hours. 12 minutes on charger tops it up for 24 hours.
6+ days. Charge time (0-100%):2 hours. 12 minutes on charger tops it up for 24 hours.
up to 7 days or up to 5 hours with GPS. Use of the always-on display and SpO2 features will require more frequent charging. 
Water-resistance
5 ATM
5 ATM
5 ATM
Weight
45 grams
40 grams
29 grams
Button
Physical
Physical
Haptic
Sensors
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, electrical sensor to measure skin conductance (cEDA), altimeter, SpO2 sensor, skin temperature sensor
Optical heart rate tracker, 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, SpO2, skin temperature sensor
Optical heart rate tracker,
multipurpose electrical sensors compatible with ECG app & EDA Scan app,
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, SpO2 sensor, skin temperature sensor
Microphone & speaker
Yes
Yes
No
Satellite connectivity
Built-in GPS/GLONASS
Built-in GPS/GLONASS
Built-in GPS/GLONASS
NFC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Music storage
Yes
Yes
No
RRP
$300
$230
$179

Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: Features

Fitness and health tracking

No point in delving too much on the fitness tracking abilities of these devices. Fitbit is a pioneer in the wearable tech space and has this side of things nailed down. Let’s just say, if you’re after something to track your activity and sleep around the clock any of these devices will suffice.

Built-in GPS

With the addition of built-in GPS/GLONASS, they are also more serious exercise trackers. It means you can leave your phone behind and still get detailed stats and maps of your outdoor runs and cycling adventures. The good thing is that Fitbit has allowed for the Connected GPS option. If you’re running low on battery, switch to this and your wearable will keep going longer.

Fitbit Sense 2
Fitbit Sense 2

The benefit of having Sense 2 or Versa 4 is that they have a larger display than Charge 5. This makes them a more user friendly workout tracker. Meaning, you are actually able to read the stats on the go, plus the screen can show more info at the same time.

Lots of health tech on-board

All three of these devices have some pretty sophisticated sensors on-board. This includes the ability to read skin temperature and blood oxygen levels. The bad news is you will need a premium subscription to access the metrics beyond the latest seven days. It runs at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year after the 3 month trial run expires.

The premium subscription also allows you to access raw heart rate variability (HRV) data. This is useful for fitness buffs as it gives them an insight into how stressed their body is. A low value as compared to your baseline is an indicator you should take it easy that day. Respiratory rate can be found as well.

Another metric that sits behind the pay-wall is something called the Daily Readiness Score. Fitbit introduced it with Charge 5 but it will also come to Versa 4 and Sense 2 as well as their predecessors. It takes into account the account your activity level over the past few days, HRV data and sleep info to let you know how fatigued you are. A glance at the reading (which ranges from 0 to 100), and you’ll be able to decide whether to exercise hard that day or take it easy. Fitbit also has activity recommendations which tap into this metric so can suggest appropriate exercises for you.

Sense 2 and Charge 5 go further than Versa 4

Moving on to Sense 2 and Charge 5 and we get some more goodies. They have the ability to measure your electrocardiogram. The Apple Watch has made headlines with its ECG sensor a couple of years ago but now other companies, such as Samsung and Withings, are getting in on the fun. To take a reading you’ll need to place your fingers on the corners of the case.

The other novelty is the stress score. It combines info from a number of sources including resting heart rate, HRV, temperature and more. This is put together with info from the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor (which reads moisture in the skin) into a single figure that ranges from zero to 100. The higher your score the less stressed you are.

Versa 4 can also dish out a stress figure. However, this it is simplified in the sense that it doesn’t rely on information from the EDA sensor.

Sense 2 is the best of the bunch when it comes to estimating how stressed you are. It comes with a Body Response sensor on-board that is capable of continuously monitoring electrodermal activity (cEDA). As mentioned above, these types of measurements are only available on demand on its predecessor and Charge 5. If Sense 2 determines you are under stress, it will provide suggestions on how to stay in a more chilled state.

But Charge 5 is missing an altimeter for floor count

As mentioned above, Charge 5 is missing one fitness feature that can be found on Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4. For some reason, it doesn’t have an altimeter for counting floors climbed. This is not a big deal as the metric can be inaccurate at the best of times. But for those of us that are used to having a floor count it is an annoyance.

Fitbit Sense 2
Fitbit Versa 4
Fitbit Charge 5
Altimeter
Yes
Yes
No
ECG readings
Yes
No
Yes
EDA stress readings
Continuous
No
On-demand

Smart functionality

As far as non-fitness functions Versa 4 and Sense 2 are the clear winner over Charge 5. Not surprising as they are smartwatches, not fitness bands. What’s common across the range are notifications, the ability to accept or reject calls, and contactless payments via the NFC chip.

However, Versa 4 and Sense 2 have a wide choice of apps you can install, in addition to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant functionality and the ability to send voice replies. Finally, they also provide access to music streaming services. Charge 5 owners will need to take comfort in the knowledge they have Spotify control.

It is also worth mentioning that Sense 2 and Versa 4 come with a slightly tweaked operating system as compared to their predecessors. You now get customisable tiles which you can use to start exercises, see weather and do other nifty stuff. It is a visual overhaul. Plus Google Maps and Google Pay with Google Wallet are expected to arrive in the weeks/months ahead, along with on-wrist Bluetooth calls.


Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: The bottom line

If you’re after a fitness band, Charge 5 is one of the best options out there. It tracks a wealth of stats, has decent water resistance and battery life, along with a functional design which now comes with a beautiful colour display. The ECG and EDA sensors make it a serious health device.

Versa 4 and Sense 2 are for those that are after a smartwatch experience. They have the benefit of a larger display and additional functionality such as Google Assistant & Alexa, access to various music streaming services and more.

Sense 2 will set you back an extra $70 over Versa 4. For that you get EDA and ECG sensors. These will provide you with a more in-depth look at your health. You also get this tech on the Charge 5 but will not have an altimeter for floor counts an EDA sensor capable of continuous measurements.

It all really depends on what you are after. If you want an exercise tracking device Versa 4 presents itself as a decent option (check Amazon price/availability). Sense 2 (Check Amazon price/availability) will pique the interest of those after all the health tracking bells and whistles. Fitness band lovers won’t go wrong with Charge 5 (Amazon link). It is also the least expensive option of the three.

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13 thoughts on “Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Charge 5: comparison feature

  • Excellent article and comparison. Extremely helpful.

    Reply
    • Great review! Ease my confused mind .

      Reply
    • I’ve been looking everywhere for this detailed comparison. Thanks so much!

      Reply
  • Thank you for excellent article and comparison information. It helps with making a decision on which to purchase.

    Reply
  • Very helpful comparison, thank you!

    Reply
  • Good info and to the point, very helpful in laying out the differences. Thank you

    Reply
  • Great great article.

    Clear outlay of the benefits.

    Reply
  • Anyone knows if Fitbit changer 5 is coming out..

    Reply
  • Thank you so much for this comparison article. It is very helpful. I was debating between the Versa 3 and the Charge 5, but they each had something I wanted that wasn’t available int the other. I did not know about the Sense and it seems to have what the other 2 lacked individually. This article really helped me decide. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Thanks! 🙂

      Reply
  • Thanks for these detailed comparisons. The charts are especially helpful!

    I do wish you’d talked about build quality in terms of a problem some Fitbits have: the connectors for the band are plastic and break off, rendering the device unwearable.

    Finally, I’m pretty sure “electrodiagram” is not a thing. Did you mean “electrocardiogram”?

    Reply
    • Yes, thanks for the correction. Regarding build – Charge 5 is not out yet so until then difficult to comment on that aspect.

      Reply
  • A few more specifics on what features are standard and what is behind the firewall would be helpful, but a useful article. Thank you

    Reply

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