Fitbit and Apple are the two biggest players in the smartwatch industry. So, the majority of consumers will pick either a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. But what’s the difference between these two brands?
Whilst this might be half-true, I don’t think it’s a very helpful contrast to make, because both watches offer a range of features. Indeed, both watch brands can be considered hybrids, so I don’t think it’s fair to pigeonhole them as either a ‘smartwatch’ or a ‘fitness tracker’.
Apple usually has a one model fits all strategy with the Apple Watch 6 and the functionally scaled-down version – the Apple Watch SE. Apple has recently also announced the Apple Watch 7 which will have improved sensors and an edge-to-edge display that will support a full keyword. Most likely it will replace the Apple Watch 6.
On the other hand, Fitbit has a multi-model approach with different looks and designs and a slightly different appeal. Some models take the square form while others are bands. The Fitbit model range caters to women, men, and even kids with the Fitbit Ace. Fitbit buyers have a lot more decision-making when it comes to which Fitbit is right but the choice is varied and good.
What are the differences between a Fitbit and an Apple Watch?
If you’re feeling confused, then don’t worry. In this article, I’ll show you how Fitbits compare with Apple Watches in terms of cost, battery life, fitness tracking, and extra features. So, let’s begin!
1. Assistance and incident detection
Unfortunately, Fitbit is lacking when it comes to emergency SOS, assistance and incident detection features. You can look on the Fitbit forum and see plenty of users, worldwide, have been begging for things like fall detection and emergency SOS alerts that run off the device’s GPS.
Fitbit is now unable to provide such a function, no matter how valuable it may be, since the firm is focused on fitness and health rather than safety. Fitbit would have to grow to build a new division staffed with professional, trained operators to react to crises to equip devices with an alarm system, not to mention the myriad of permissions it would have to get in the first place.
Simply said, it lacks the essential infrastructure at this time. Another alternative is for the corporation to work with an established medical alert company to coordinate services, although this is not as simple as it may seem.
Fitbit does, on the other hand, offer several accessibility functions. Fitbraille, for example, is an app available in the Versa and Ionic. It allows blind and partially sighted persons to experience time in a novel and original way: there is no sound, and everything is just for you. It represents Braille letters with haptic stimulation and provides immediate access to Time and Step count.
For people who are visually impaired, the Amazon Alexa speech assistant on your watch can read out loud your steps, resting heart rate, sleep score, and a variety of other metrics. Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 users are affected.
Users have expressed their desire to adjust (raise) the text size on all Fitbit devices in several postings on the Fitbit forum, however, the official comment from the business is that this is “in planning.” If you’re having trouble seeing the screen, you may turn up the brightness.
If your Apple Watch 4 through 7 (including SE) detects a heavy fall while you’re wearing it, it taps you on the wrist, sounds an alarm, and displays an alert. By touching the Digital Crown, clicking Close in the upper left-hand corner, or tapping ‘I’m OK,’ you may call emergency services or dismiss the warning.
If your Apple Watch senses movement, it will wait for you to react to the alarm before contacting emergency personnel. Then, the watch will automatically make the call if it senses that you have been still for around a minute.
Also, the Apple Watch will send a message to your emergency contacts with your position when the conversation finishes, informing them that your watch detected a hard fall and dialled 911. Your emergency contacts are pulled from your Medical ID by your watch.
There are various emergency service numbers in certain nations and areas. The Watch will dial the number connected with ambulance services in these countries.
Apple devices, on the other hand, are incredibly inclusive. Specifically, Apple Watches have several functions that cater to the requirements of persons with various impairments.
For example, VoiceOver, zoom, bold text, a big watch face, transparency reduction, grayscale, motion reduction, on/off labels, mono audio, and a haptic engine with optional Prominent Haptic feedback are all included. As with other Apple devices, Watch is immediately usable; merely triple-click the Digital Crown to activate VoiceOver, or ask Siri to enable Zoom, then double-tap with two fingers to utilise the capability.
More recently, Apple released a breakthrough new accessibility function to help those with restricted mobility. Users with upper body limb differences can now utilise AssistiveTouch for watchOS to experience the advantages of the Apple Watch without ever touching the display or controls.
The Watch can detect tiny variations in muscle movement and tendon activity using built-in motion sensors such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, as well as the optical heart rate sensor and on-device machine learning. This allows users to navigate a cursor on the display using a series of hand gestures like pinching or clenching. Those with limb differences may use AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch to more easily accept incoming calls, manipulate an onscreen motion pointer, and access the Control and Notification Centers, and other features.
2. Heart rate tracking
Firstly, it should be said that both watches are very good at tracking heart rate (HR). Fitbit was the first company to offer continuous HR tracking on a wrist, so consider them trailblazers in this industry. Worth mentioning is the New Fitbit Sense which is a top model for health tracking.
Nevertheless, Apple’s HR tracking technology is now mostly superior, especially when you look at the 6 Series. Their sophisticated watches can detect the first signs of atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). Indeed, that’s why we should celebrate the Apple Watch as a health tracker (not just a smartwatch).
3. Activity and fitness tracking
Both watches perform highly in this category, though Fitbit may just have the edge. This is because some Fitbits offer on-screen workouts, and these are great for keeping you motivated.
Nevertheless, both watches offer automatic activity detection – which makes fitness tracking so much more convenient. As a result, either watch would make a great activity/fitness tracker.
4. Female health tracking
Both Fitbit and Apple offer female health-tracking features. Although they were late adding this feature compared to competitors like Garmin, at least it’s here to stay now.
For Apple users, it’s simple to map your menstrual cycle with iOS 13 or later, so those who menstruate can get a clearer overview of their health. A menstrual cycle can be tracked via the Health app on an iPhone or directly on the wrist through the Cycle Tracking app on an Apple Watch 6. It’s possible to set up notifications for when to expect your next cycle or fertile window.
As for Fitbit, Track your time in the Fitbit app to learn about your average period duration, predicted fertile window, ovulation, and other important stats. Continue to record and check your cycles to get more precise estimates, and track information about your cycle and get a better understanding of menstrual trends.
So, if menstrual/female health tracking is important to you, investing in an Apple watch may be worth it. In fact, all Apple technology will have this feature, so you may even consider switching to an Apple handset. The integration of the two is where Apple excels v.s. Fitbit and is a true advantage and is true to the claim that the Apple Watch is an extension of your iPhone.
5. Cost (and value for money)
You probably don’t need me to tell you that Apple Watches are expensive! (Although there are places you can find cheap or used Apple watches). Bought new, the latest Apple Watch 6 is around 3 times vs the price of the Fitbit Charge 5. With the introduction of Fitbit Sense and Luxe, this is no longer the case. Worth mentioning is the Fitbit Versa 3 also gives Apple a good fight for the money.
With Apple, you are partly paying for the brand. But, at the same time, the watch is packed full of features, so you are getting a lot for your money. If you want to get the newest and greatest – head for the Apple Watch 6. For the budget-conscious, have a look at the new Apple Watch SE.
However, you won’t be getting value for money if you’re paying for features you don’t use. So, for some people, Fitbits do offer better value for money.
6. Battery life
When it comes to battery life, Fitbits are far superior (see table below). In fact, one of the biggest complaints about the Apple Watch is its battery life, averaging around 17 hours. Battery life is indeed the weakness of the Apple Watch vs Fitbit.
7. Style and design
One of the positive things about Fitbits is that they are lighter, thinner, and smaller than most other smartwatches (including the Apple Watch). They also offer a choice of square or a bracelet/band style. As a result, this makes them ideal smartwatches for girls.
However, their futuristic design can make them unsuitable for some formal settings. If you want a Fitbit you can wear to any occasion, then consider the Fitbit Versa 3 or Fitbit charge 5. The Fitbit Luxe changes that in some respects. Apple has many more band options, some are more formal – see one of our most recommended Pitaka bands or choose from many band options for men here.
8. Smart/tech features
When compared to Fitbits, Apple watches can be considered more hi-tech. For example:
- Both watches allow you to receive phone calls and texts, but the Apple Watch lets you reply to texts.
- In addition, the Apple Watch provides you with a personal assistant, Siri Unfortunately, Fitbits do not offer this feature, however, they do offer compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, which Apple doesn’t.
- Also, there are 20,000+ apps available to download on Apple Watch. In contrast, Fitbit offers around 150+ (though you’re limited to a max of 39 available on. any device at one time). Apple Watch is the king of Apps when compared to Fitbit or any other smartwatch for that matter.
So, if you like having the most up-to-date technology, then the Apple Watch may be for you.
How does each Fitbit compare to the Apple Watch?
So, we’ve explored the main similarities and differences between Apple and Fitbit, but there is more than one type of Fitbit. In fact, they range in price from around $80 to $300. If you’re unsure how these all compare then read on. Below, I compare the four most popular Fitbits with the most recent Apple Watch SE.
|Fitbit Versa 3||Fitbit Sense||Fitbit Charge 5||Apple Watch SE|
|Battery||6+ days||6+ days||7+ days||1+ day|
|Heartrate||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes + Atrial fibrillation|
|Music||Stores Music||Stores Music||No||Streams Apple music|
|Compat.||IOS & Android||IOS & Android||IOS & Android||IOS|
Should I buy a Fitbit or Apple Watch?
Even with all this information, choosing between top brands like Apple or Fitbit can be difficult. Let alone choose between different Fitbit or Apple models! Do keep on reading for a quick comparison between the top models of each brand.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant on the table below.
|Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm)||Amazon||View Offer|
|Apple Watch SE||eBay||View Offer|
|Apple Watch SE||Apple||View Offer|
|Apple Watch SE||Target||View Offer|
It must be noted that the Fitbit Charge 5 is extremely impressive and can be a great choice to make. It unites all of Fitbit’s best features. Truly, it’s a great all-rounder. You have everything from contactless payments, heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, stress response tracking and sleep monitoring. It has got a clean and simple interface. Even first-time users will find their way around quickly. The Fitbit Luxe however is also another great option. Its biometric properties are enhanced and it is a great health tracker. Unlike the Fitbit Charge 5, it does not have GPS tracking. If you are more of a gym bunny than a runner this might be the one for you! As well as this, it stays charged much longer than the Apple Watches.
How about Apple?
If you decide to go with Apple, it is worth considering the Apple Watch 6 or 7. If you are already an owner of Apple devices this choice is logical. Both watches will elevate the utility of your iPhone. The Apple Watch Series 7 is the newest release and boasts some great features. It is the only Apple watch with a full keyboard. This allows you to type out text messages as you would on your phone. Naturally, it also has all the other great features of Apple Watches. It has a larger display however and takes less time to charge than the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple SE. If you choose the Apple Watch Series 7, you will need to pick between colorful aluminum variants or steel variants.
What about the Apple Watch SE?
The Apple Watch SE offers a more accessible smartwatch from the tech giant, but this watch isn’t just a “cheaper” version. The Apple Watch SE still holds an impressive range of features and trackers that are far superior to the initial Apple Watch models.
With a sleek design and a comfortable strap, the Apple Watch SE is perfect for daily use. This watch has the ability to make phone calls receive messages, and it can receive notifications too – thanks to watchOS. The watch also includes an always-on display, accelerometer, altimeters, pedometer, and emergency SOS features. The watch is missing high-tech health trackers like EGC monitors and SpO2 sensors, so if you’re after these explore different Apple Watch models.
Should you choose the Fitbit Sense?
The Sense is a good-looking smartwatch. With a minimal design and clear display, this option is designed for those who want to be able to track their workouts or fitness throughout the day.
Unlike the Apple watch SE, the Sense does include an ECG feature that users can track their heart rate on. This is a great tool for any fitness fanatics that want to get in-depth data from their day-to-day activity. The watch also features GPS tracking, wellbeing apps, a lightweight feel, and a comfortable strap.
Compare prices and choose your favorite supplier from this list:
|Fitbit Sense||Amazon||View offer|
|Fitbit Sense||eBay||View offer|
|Fitbit Sense||Fitbit||View offer|
|Fitbit Sense||Target||View offer|
Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 5?
The Fitbit Charge 5 is a 2021 release that fans are loving. But, is it worth investing in this fitness tracker?
Retailing from $129.95, this watch option allows users to keep on top of their health and fitness while still using smartwatch features. This is a cheaper option than the Apple Watch 7, so if you want a lower-budget watch this is a great choice. The Charge 5 is perfect for anyone who wants an affordable smartwatch with advanced features.
With health trackers like SpO2, heart rate variability, and skin temperature variation too, this watch is up there with some of the most advanced fitness trackers on the market. This watch also has the ability to show your real-time pace when running and distance traveled too. These features are ideal for anyone that loves to get out and about. Users also have the option to use calories burned, heart rate trackers, and active zone minutes too.
The watch also features Daily Readiness Scores that let you know when it’s time to rest and time to work out – no need to take risks anymore! You can also take advantage of the built-in stress monitors and mindfulness tools to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health too.
When you purchase the Fitbit Charge 5 you also receive a 6-month premium membership that comes with advanced analytics, personalized insights, and more guided programs to keep you active and motivated too. The Fitbit membership is a popular bonus that entices customers to commit to a fitness tracker instead of a standard smartwatch.
If your lifestyle is fitness-oriented and you want a timepiece that’s designed to compliment your activity this watch may be the one for you.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant on the table below.
|Fitbit Charge 5||Amazon||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 5||eBay||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 4||eBay||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 5||Fitbit||View Offer|
Which brand is more popular?
It’s hard to say which brand is more popular with consumers. Apple is an internationally successful brand, but so is Fitbit too now. Arguably, Apple is the more famous/popular brand, but when it comes to buying a watch that suits your needs you shouldn’t be buying the most popular one! Especially if you want a sports-based watch, as Fitbit watches are more suited to those who want a fitness tracker at a lower price.
Still, undecided comparing Fitbit vs Apple? We have a helpful guide for choosing a smartwatch. If you do your research well and know the things you are looking for in a smart fitness tracker, you won’t be disappointed with either Apple or Fitbit as they are both great smartwatch brands.
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Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.