Is Apple Watch Better than Fitbit? Apple vs Fitbit – A Mexican Stand-Off
Fitbit goes out of their way to avoid calling their products smartwatches. They call the Fitbit Surge a Super Watch and the newer Fitbit Blaze a Smart Fitness Watch. But for all intents and purposes these are smartwatches, albeit not as advanced as Apple Watch. While Apple Watch focuses on creating high-end advanced smartwatches, Fitbit’s focus is on fitness-oriented smartwatches. But is Apple Watch better than Fitbit?
When we compare the two brands, it is mostly on the basis of their fitness tracking capabilities. But since Fitbit products are also smartwatches, we will also compare basic non-fitness features between Apple Watch and Fitbit.
The following comparison is between Apple Watch and two popular Fitbit ‘smartwatches’; the Fitbit Surge and Fitbit Blaze. The focus will be on Fitbit Blaze and Apple Watch.
Of the three, Fitbit Blaze is the new kid on the block, having been released in January 2016. Apple Watch was released in April 2015 while Surge has been around since 2014.
Apple Watch price when reviewed: $399
Unlike other pieces of tech, wearables go on our bodies alongside clothes and accessories. Being stylish is thus a priority for wearable makers. Therefore, it is only fair that we consider how well the two brands perform in terms of design.
Here, the Apple Watch is an outright winner. Apple is known for its detail-oriented approach to design and this finesse easily shows in the Apple Watch.
Even thought the blocky rectangular design is starting to look outdated next to Samsung’s beautiful Gear S2 and S3, Apple Watch still has an unmistakable feeling of luxury.
As for Fitbit Surge and Blaze, their efforts to become stylish smartwatches can only be described as a flop. Both are thick and bulky. Surge has a boring grayscale display while Blaze has a face that resembles a stop sign.
This may sound a bit harsh but when it comes to wearables, the aesthetics are just as important as the function and features. At least, Fitbit gave buyers more customization options with Blaze.
Fitbit Blaze price when reviewed: $179
2. Heart Rate Tracking
A fitness tracker is never complete without a heart rate monitor. The heart rate reading is essential in calculating many other fitness metrics including intensity and calories burned.
Both Fitbit Surge and Blaze have heart rate monitors built into them. Blaze even displays heart rate zones, an important indicator of fitness and athletic performance. In addition to measuring your heart rate during workouts, Fitbit Blaze also keeps track of your heart rate throughout the day.
Apple Watch also has a built in heart rate sensor, located at the back of the watch.
Like Blaze, it has 24/7 heart rate tracking whether you are working out or laying still. Both make use of technology that improves measuring accuracy though Apple Watch comes out ahead when it comes to spot on accuracy.
In tests, its readings were no different from a dedicated heart rate monitor.
3. GPS Tracking
GPS is another essential in fitness tracking. It was therefore a big disappointment when Fitbit released Blaze without built-in GPS tracking, especially considering that it is a fitness-focused wearable.
The consolation was something Fitbit called ConnectedGPS that uses your phone’s GPS to track your runs or rides. That means lugging your phone around.
Apple Watch is just as disappointing in this area. Since it lacks an onboard GPS, you have to connect to your iPhone whenever you want to track your activities.
4. Activity Tracking
Surge, Fitbit and Blaze come with an array of extra sensors to track your workouts and activities throughout the day. Blaze comes with a gyro sensor, an altimeter and a 3-axis accelerometer.
This allows the smartwatch to track different types of sports and workouts from running to cycling to yoga. You can also use a number of compatible third party apps including Fitstar, Weight Watchers, Endomondo and Strava.
Apple too has a thriving activity tracking center with sensors similar to those of Fitbit Blaze. You can track numerous metrics including daily steps and connect to various third party health and fitness apps.
5. Connectivity and Notifications
Before we even say anything, Apple is the obvious winner here. It is the proper smartwatch while Blaze and Surge are fitness trackers with a few smartwatch features thrown in. Blaze can connect to your Smartphone or computer to upload data. It can also receive email, call, calendar and text notifications.
With Apple Watch, you get all kinds of notifications including those from third party apps.
6. Battery Life
Fitbit Blaze can last 5 days on a single charge while Fitbit Surge can go as long as 7 days. Apple Watch on the other hand will have trouble going beyond a full day, with a maximum of one and a half days on a full charge.
Is Apple Watch Better than Fitbit?
One last thing we need to mention before deciding whether Apple Watch is better than Fitbit is the price. While Blaze is just $200, the cheapest Apple Watch starts at around $280 although this might go down as the launch of Apple Watch 2 nears.
Blaze and Surge are good smartwatches. Blaze has especially made big improvements from Surge. But it is still hard to beat the design, quality and features of Apple Watch.
For us, Apple Watch is better than Fitbit.
What about you? Which among the two do you prefer? Leave your comments below.
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