Apple watch

Fitbit vs Apple Watch: Which is better?

Which is the best fitness tracker: Fitbit vs Apple Watch? This is a tricky question, made more difficult by the fact that there are several models available from each company.

Previously, Apple Watches looked more like “smart” wearables, capable of multi-tasking, while Fitbits functioned more like traditional step counters. Now the best Fitbits have flashy features like Fitbit pay, so the division isn’t so clear cut.

We’ve broken down the key differences in this article. But if you’re looking to buy a brand new wearable for your workouts, we recommend checking out our guide to the best fitness trackers.

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Models

Charge 5 and Apple Watch 7

Fitbit Sense (Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
  • Fitbit models come in a range of sizes
  • The Apple Watch series tends to be big and bulky

There’s a huge range of Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches available from Fitbit, from the new sports-focused Fitbit Charge 5 to Fitbit Sense. Apple only has four models – the 3, SE, 6 and the new Apple Watch Series 7.

While all models in Apple’s lineup have the same boxy, chunky look, you’ll find that some of the Fitbit models (like the Charge 5, above) are thin and small, while others (like the Sense) have a larger square. clock-shaped dials.

Laptop analyst Leo Gebbie of Connected devices told Live Science that historically Fitbit and Apple have targeted different areas of the fitness industry.

“The Apple Watch was positioned as an exclusive premium device offering a powerful user interface and third-party app support, while Fitbit offered a range of more affordable fitness trackers and smartwatches backed by a well-branded brand. established,” he said.

“However, Apple has diversified its offering over time, driving down the price curve of older Watch models to directly compete with Fitbit smartwatches. The Series 3 is the entry-level Apple Watch that is available at $199 $, which is half the price of its flagship model.”

One of the main differences between Fitbit and Apple Watch is the latter’s tight optimization with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. You need an iPhone to activate the watch, and it’s integrated with Apple’s other devices and services to provide a great user experience. In contrast, Fitbit devices are compatible with all smartphones and simply require the Fitbit smartphone app to connect, making them easily accessible.

Fitbit vs Apple Watch: Smartwatch Features

Apple Watch 7 vs. Fitbit Sense

Apple Watch Series 7 (Image credit: Lloyd Coombes)
  • Fitbit now has smartwatch-style features
  • Apple still leads the way with music downloads and app availability

Overall, Apple has more smartwatch features to brag about.

Apple Watch has notifications, alarms, timers, Siri, and a massive app store. In contrast, Fitbit offers basic services such as notification mirroring and a smaller app offering. You can use your watch to make payments through Apple Pay, while only a few Fitbit models allow payment through Fitbit Pay.

Apple Watch even has some models with cellular capabilities, which means you can accept calls and texts from your wrist, without your iPhone.

The companies also have slightly different approaches to music: with Apple, you can download albums to your watch from Apple Music and Spotify. On Fitbit, the only way to download music is through Deezer or Pandora.

That’s not a big deal if you prefer storing music on your phone, but it does give Apple the edge in this category.

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Workouts

Apple Watch Series 7 performance

Apple Watch SE faces (Image credit: Apple)
  • Fitbit doesn’t have GPS in all trackers
  • Both brands offer training platforms

Fitbit and Apple Watch can track workouts, but depending on the device, they will do so in very different ways, Gebbie said.

“For example, any device from either company can detect when a user is active and record metrics such as heart rate and calories burned for later review. these are specific forms of exercise, there are some differences.

“If you want to go for a run, you’ll be best served by a wearable with GPS on board to get the most accurate tracking of your movement. All Apple Watches include this, but all Fitbits don’t.”

Owning an Apple Watch gives you access to Fitness+Hundreds of instructor-led at-home workouts including HIIT, yoga, and spinning on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (but requires an additional subscription).

You can also take workout classes from Fitbit, but only if you subscribe to Fitbit Premium.

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Features

Fitbit Sense app on phone

(Image credit: Fitbit)
  • Similar features on higher end models
  • Fitbit Sense has a stress tracking EDA sensor

Apple Watch and Fitbit models come with health and fitness features to monitor heart rate, steps, calories burned, sleep, and workouts.

All Apple Watches have built-in GPS, while some Fitbits don’t. Likewise, some (but not all) Fitbit models and Apple Watch have blood oxygen tracking capabilities. The high-end Fitbits with GPS and the Apple Watch Series 7 both do this, while the Watch SE and 3 don’t. The Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch 7 have ECG readings, allowing you to monitor heart health.

Gebbie also points out that “the high-end Fitbit Sense smartwatch contains new sensors, which are less common in the wearable device landscape, such as an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that analyzes a wearer’s sweat levels to check for signs of stress.”

Both brands offer motivational prompts in different forms. Below you can see the Apple Ring system, which encourages you to move around during the day, while Fitbit has an Active Zone Minutes program (which recommends 150 minutes a week spent in your target heart rate zone).

Apple Watch Ring System

(Image credit: Apple)

You can also use your Fitbit or Apple Watch to improve your mental health. The Apple Watch has a built-in breathing app, while the Fitbit Sense has an electrodermal sensor (EDA) to track your stress levels. It works by measuring your hands sweating, which can be a marker of stress. The Fitbit app also includes mediation tools.

One of our favorite features on Apple Watch is that if you start a workout but forget to log it, you’ll get a prompt asking if you want to enable tracking.

Even more impressive, the new Apple 7 uses specialized AI software to recognize the type of movement you are making. For example, rather than just tracking that you’re dancing, it can distinguish that you’re dancing Bhangra – and give a more accurate calorie count accordingly.

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Design

Apple Watch SE faces

Apple Watch SE faces (Image credit: Apple)
  • Both brands allow you to change the “look” of the product
  • Slimmer designs that are easier to wear for sleep tracking

With its square design, the Apple Watch has hardly changed since its launch in 2015. The Series 7 has the largest and most resistant screen to date (41 mm x 45 mm).

The Fitbit started out as an activity band type design and many of its models stay true to that aesthetic. The Inspire 2, Charge 5 and Luxe models are all slim trackers, while the Versa 3 and Sense have a larger square face.

Apple and Fitbit watches are thin and can be customized by changing straps or watch faces.

Which look you prefer is up to you, although in our experience slimmer models are easier to wear overnight, so they might be better for sleep tracking.

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Battery life

Fitbit vs Apple Watch: Which is better?  image shows Apple Watch 6 and headphones

Apple Watch 6 (Image credit: Amazon)
  • Fitbit offers superior battery life
  • Apple Watches need to be charged every day

When it comes to battery life, Fitbit wins hands down, Gebbie said. “The Apple Watch has an 18-hour battery life, which means you need to charge it every day, whereas many Fitbit trackers and watches can go days or even weeks without charging.

“This simplicity and reliability appeals to many users, and our research at Connected devices has always found battery life to be extremely important to customers.

“However, the Apple Watch offers a more refined user experience than even high-end Fitbit smartwatches, with a more advanced operating system and broader suite of services.

“This means that the watch is something of a Swiss army knife and aims to reduce the dependency of users on their smartphone by providing a powerful experience on the wrist.”

Fitbit versus Apple Watch: the verdict

The question of which device is better: Fitbit vs. Apple Watch really comes down to what you want from your wearable.

“People who want to spend less money and have a simple fitness and health tracker will be better served with a Fitbit fitness tracker, while those who want a high-end smartwatch that can do it all should look into the Apple Watch – as long as you own an iPhone,” Gebbie said.

But, with an array of offerings from both companies, it’s all about matching the features and sensors you want with the price you’re willing to pay.