Apple Watch vs. Fitbit is a common problem for first-time users who use portable devices. Buy Apple’s extremely popular smartwatch or go for one of Fitbit’s fitness trackers?
These brands make some of the best smartwatches on the market. Attractive to the arm, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense offer advanced health monitoring features in lightweight, round, square designs.
While our smartwatch buying guide breaks down all the different factors to consider while shopping, you may be wondering more specifically whether Apple Watch vs. Fitbit is right for you. If so, here’s everything you need to know about the two brands, from the models on offer to the unique health monitoring features.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Design
Apple Watch design has hardly changed in the six years since the original model put smartwatches practically on the map. The squirrel shape is extremely recognizable, although not very fashionable. Instead, the Apple Watch looks technological, like a computer on your wrist, not a jewel, even if you opt for the $ 1,229 Hermès edition.
Recently, Fitbit has focused on smartwatch and activity band designs for the head. The new Fitbit Luxe band has a metallic finish, while the Fitbit Sense smartwatch opted for sleek capacitive touch controls over protruding physical buttons.
Still, many of the Fitbit models look just as sporty as the Apple Watch, especially the Charge 4 and Inspire 2. Since the activity bands are thinner and less intrusive than smartwatches, we could argue that they are more beneficial.
The best Apple Watch bands range from Hermes double loop leather straps to the elastic Solo Loop. Fitbit straps are usually silicone, although the Fitbit Luxe is compatible with an attractive metal chain from the jewelry company Gorjana.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: features
Of course, you may want your wearable device to do more than just monitor your health. Each Apple Watch model offers notifications, alarms, timers, an extensive app store, Siri, and more. Fitbit also offers basic features such as mirroring notifications, although the app store is less impressive than Apple’s. All Apple Watches also support NFC payments via Apple Pay, while only a few Fitbit models support NFC payments via Fitbit Pay.
Fitbit’s latest smartwatches also use Alexa or Google Assistant instead of Siri, while none of the brand’s activity bands offer voice control.
Fitbit also doesn’t offer LTE or cellular capabilities. If you’re interested in a smartwatch that can autonomously accept calls and texts from your phone, consider the Apple Watch with cellular, which starts at $ 499 for the Apple Watch 6 and $ 329 for the Apple Watch SE.
In either case, you need an iPhone to set up your Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is not compatible with Android smartphones. Fitbit works well with iOS and Android phones, but only select Fitbits configured with an Android phone can be used to answer calls from your wrist.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: battery life
The Apple Watch doesn’t win awards for battery life. At best, we’ve found the Apple Watch 6 to last 24 hours free of charge, but with the help of GPS, activity tracking, and display settings, it gets closer to Apple’s estimated 18 hours. While the Series 3 and SE don’t offer an always-on display, the battery life is comparable. These models have older chips with worse battery efficiency than the 6 series S6 chip.
The Charge 4 has a battery life of up to 4 days and the Inspire 2 has a battery life of up to 10 days.
Apple Watch or Fitbit: Fitness and Health Features
Both the Apple Watch and Fitbit models include a host of fitness and health features. All versions of these wearable devices can track your heart rate, steps, calories burned, workouts, and sleep. When it comes to sleep, Fitbit offers deeper sleep cycle analysis, while Apple Watch focuses more on establishing a bedtime routine and a daily sleep goal.
In addition to these benchmark metrics, you’ll want to check out the specifications of each device you buy. For starters, all Apple Watches have GPS on board, but not all Fitbits have it. Only Charge 4, Versa 3, and Sense can track your routes without depending on your phone.
Likewise, not all Apple Watch and Fitbit models offer blood oxygen (SpO2) measurements. Fitbit’s with GPS and the Apple Watch 6 has built-in pulse oximeters. The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 3 don’t. Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch 6 also have ECG measurements.
When it comes to personal activity tracking, Fitbits and Apple Watch use different motivation guidelines. Apple Watch rings encourage you to complete your movement, standing, and exercise goals by being an active game every day. Fitbit plays a longer game and uses Active Zone Minutes to recommend 150 minutes per week in target heart rate zones. In addition to your physical health, you may want your smartwatch or fitness tracker to help you with your mental health. While the Apple Watch has a built-in breathing app, Fitbit trackers have a stress management advantage. Fitbit Sense even uses an EDA sensor to quantify how stressed you are, while the Fitbit app offers meditation tools and other practical advice.