Fitbit vs Apple Watch
Published by David Williams
As an engineer, David loves technical product comparison and analyzing the data to assess top products.
Table of Contents
In the world of fitness trackers, there are only two names that matter: Fitbit and Apple. The two smartwatch brands have been locked in a battle for supremacy for years, with each release seeming to one-up the other. They are both attractive arm candy with various advanced features that can help your fitness journey.
But which one is the better buy? This best smartwatch guide will compare Fitbit vs. Apple Watch features, design, prices, and more to help you make an informed decision.
Fitbit vs Apple Watch at a glance
The latest generation Apple Watch is the Series 7, released while the newest Fitbit is the Sense. Here’s how they compare:
|Fitbit Sense||Apple Watch 7|
|Weight (aluminum model)||45.9 grams||32.0g, 38.8g|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GLONASS, and GPS||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, QZSS, BeiDou and LTE and UMTS on cellular models|
|Voice assistant||Alexa or Google Assistant||Siri|
|Waterproof||Down to 50m||Down to 50m|
|Battery life||Up to 6 days||18 hours|
|Color options||Silver Stainless Steel, Sage Grey||Green, Red, Blue, Starlight, and Midnight|
|Mobile payments||Fitbit Pay||Apple Pay|
|Sensors||heart rate alerts, skin temperature sensor, EDA, heart rate alerts, ECG, and SpO2||SpO2, fall-detection, heart rate alerts, compass, ECG, always-on altimeter|
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Models and prices
Since its entry into the smartwatch industry six years ago, Apple has released four generations of Apple Watches. The brand has seen a course correction with each one, starting with app-focused devices to health and fitness gadgets. The models include:
- Apple Watch Series 3 is the first release, selling at $199
- Apple Watch Series SE is the second release, retailing at $279.
- Apple Watch 6 debuted in 2020, retailing at $279
- Apple Watch Series 7 is the current release and the newest, with a retail price of $3997 $399
All the Apple watches use the latest operating system, WatchOS 8. This OS introduced improved outdoor cycling features, new mindfulness tools, an updated photo app, and a pilates workout mode.
The Apple watch series 3 offers great points for iPhone users on a budget. It has a heat rate feature but an outdated design and a smaller screen. The SE is the mid-range budget option, with a newer style and a larger screen but no ECG features.
The next model is the Apple Watch Series 6, with all the bells and whistles, including an ECG and SpO2 sensor. It has many more health and well-being features than the previous versions, like blood oxygen monitoring tools. Also, it focuses on fitness, so if you are after a smartwatch to track your fitness journey, the 6 is a great option.
The newest release is the 7, which has an always-on altimeter and international emergency calling. It is the most expensive of the bunch but with good reasons. For example, it has smaller bezels on its face and a slightly large case than that of the Apple Watch Series 3 and 6.
On the other hand, Fitbit has had a longer time in the fitness tracker industry, so they have more models. The company debuted in 2009 but sold out to Google in 2020. They came in many versions to cater to different customers.
Fitbit smartwatches work not only with android devices but iOS, making them excellent for Android and iPhone users. Here is a rundown of their current models:
- Fitbit Versa 3: Has the best intelligent features retailing at $229.99
- Fitbit Sense: The latest version with the best heart health features selling at $299.95
- Fitbit Charge 4: Has the best exercise measuring tools and going for $149.95
- Fitbit Inspire 2: Has the most extended battery life retailing at $99.95
- Fitbit Charge 5: Has the best workout optimization features retailing at $179.95
- Fitbit Luxe: Excellent swim tracking going for $149.95–199.95
- Fitbit Ace 3: For kids going for $79.95
While there are many Fitbit models catering to everyone, the closest competitors to Apple Watches are the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Versa 3. However, that might change soon. The brand recently announced that it’s working on a new premium Fitbit powered by Wear OS, Google’s smartwatch operating system.
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Design
Both Apple Watch and Fitbit look great on your wrist. Neither feels bulky or uncomfortable, even when you’re working out.
The Apple Watch has a modern design, with a rectangular face and rounded edges. It also offers plenty of straps that add style and function to the watch. You may choose from silicone, sport, leather, or metal bands. Additionally, they come in indifferent colors, textures, and sizes to suit your taste.
You can also get the watch in different metals, including aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. Plus, there are special editions, like the Hermes and Nike+ models. It also has a digital crown that allows you to scroll through lists and apps without blocking the screen. And there’s a side button that gives you quick access to standard features, like your contacts and wallet.
Meanwhile, Fitbit Sense has a similar design to the Apple Watch. It also has an almost square face with rounded edges but without a digital crown. Arguably, the lack of this side button and the sleek lines make the Fitbit Sense look more stylish than the Apple Watch.
The smartwatch comes with an aluminum body and a stainless steel bezel. You can also buy it with a special Edition Horween leather strap that adds a touch of luxury. The straps are interchangeable, so you can always change them depending on your outfit or mood. However, they have a minimalistic design compared to that of Apple Watches.
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Smartwatch features
Of course, you need more than health tracking features in a smartwatch. You’ll want a device that can keep up with your busy lifestyle and help you stay connected even when you’re on the go.
The Apple Watch has many smartwatch features that make it a great addition to your everyday life. For starters, every model offers alarms, notifications, timers, Siri, and an expansive app store. The watch also supports NFC payments via Apple Pay.
Plus, the Apple Watch Series 7 model has LTE connectivity, so you can stay connected even when you’re away from your iPhone. And suppose you want to make phone calls and send text messages directly from your watch. In that case, you also have the option to pick one with cellular connectivity.
Meanwhile, the Fitbit sense has basic smartwatch features like notification mirroring, music control, and quick replies. You can also download apps from the Fitbit App Gallery. Unfortunately, the app selection is more limited than what’s available on the Apple Watches. (1)
Only a few selected Fitbit models can support NFC payments via Fitbit Pay. The latest Fitbit smartwatches have either Google Assistant or Alexa built-in. Unlike the Apple Watches, the Fitbit sense doesn’t offer LTE or Cellular abilities. (2)
Apple Fitness Plus vs. Fitbit Premium
Fitness tracking is one of the essential features of a smartwatch. After all, many people use these devices to help them reach their fitness goals.
The Apple Watch comes with fitness trackers called Fitness Plus. With this, you can choose from eleven workout types: yoga, cycling, dance, HIIT, rowing, and more. You can also access expert-led workouts tailored to your fitness level. (3)
These fitness classes are in stunning Hollywood-quality studios with various music to keep you motivated. Plus, Apple Watch users can get a monthly workout summary that tracks their progress over time. All this will set you back $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Meanwhile, the Fitbit sense comes with a fitness feature called Premium. It is more comprehensive than what the Apple Watch offers, as it tracks your workout progress and provides you with personalized insights.
It’s made possible by the Fitbit Coach, an AI-powered assistant that gives you real-time guidance and motivation. The Premium service also includes access to exclusive workout content, challenges, and competitions.
Fitbit Premium fitness tracking includes:
- Daily readiness score.
- Stress management score breakdown.
- Health metrics trends analysis for the last 90 days.
- Advanced skin temperature details.
You can also access sleep tracking, health and fitness statistics, blood glucose trends, and 200+ mindfulness sessions. All these go for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Apple Watch vs. Fitbit: Battery life
Apart from activity tracking, another essential feature of a smartwatch is its battery life. After all, you don’t want your device to die on you in the middle of the day.
The Apple Watch 7 battery can last up to 18 hours with mixed usage. That includes checking the time, receiving notifications, using apps, and working out. Since it has so many activities and features, it can’t last as long as the Fitbit smartwatch on a single charge.
Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense off six-day battery life with a minimum of 12-minute charge time to keep you going for a day. One thing to note about the battery life is that it will differ depending on how you use your watch.
Apple Watch vs. Fitbit: Fitness and health features
The Apple Watch and Fitbit sense offer a lot of fitness and health features. For example, both versions can monitor your steps, heart rate, calorie burning rate, sleep, and workouts. However, Fitbit models provide more in-depth sleep analysis, while Apple Watch focuses more on bedtime routines.
Beyond the basics, both devices have features that help users stay motivated and on track with their fitness goals. The Apple Watch has GPS tracking, perfect for runners and cyclists who want to track their progress and routes. It also has a barometric altimeter that tracks the number of stairs you’ve climbed. (4)
On the other hand, built-in GPS is only available on the Fitbit charge, Versa 3, and Sense, allowing you to track your pace, distance, and routes without bringing your phone.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately the best smartwatch for you will depend on your needs and preferences. For example, if you are an android user, the Apple Watch might not be the best choice. The same goes for your budget and the activities you like to do.
Of course, the two watches win in different areas, making it difficult to decide which is better. But if you consider all your personal needs, you should be able to make a decision.
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- Discover apps and Clock Faces for your Smartwatch. Discover apps and clock faces for your smartwatch | Fitbit App Gallery. (n.d.).
- Make hands-free purchases easily with Fitbit pay™. Fitbit Pay | Contactless Payments Technology. (n.d.).
- Apple Fitness+. Apple. (n.d.).
Altimeter. National Geographic Society. (n.d.).