If you’ve been eyeing a smartwatch for a long while, chances are that you’ve heard of both Fitbit and Apple when it comes to producing great wearable devices. While both of them aim to serve the same purpose, their design philosophies and functionality as a whole are quite different.
With that said though, we’ve concocted the ultimate guide on everything you need to know about a Fitbit and an Apple Watch alongside the distinct advantages and disadvantages you’d get to experience from choosing either of the two brands.
Fitbit and Apple Watch – Quick History
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, having an idea of where both of these brands started off in terms of their overall roots is of pivotal importance.
For starters, the Apple Watch was a culmination of the world moving towards wearables. With chips getting stronger and stronger with an internet connection being all that one needed to stay on top of things, the original Apple Watch started off as a companion for the iPhone. In essence, you could track your notifications and get some basic health tracking done throughout the way as well.
With more iterations, the Apple Watch turned into a symbol of luxury and practicality at the same time. With cheaper variants like the SE bringing in most of the function with not a lot of expense, watches like the Hermes Edition ensured there was a module of extravagance still wrapped into the brand. Besides that though, the fitness tracking and overall functionality of the watch turned it into a much more alluring package.
In contrary to popular opinion, Fitbit actually started 8 years before the release of the Apple Watch. With the brand not being backed by a huge corporation, it had a rough start to its name right from the get-go.
For most of the brand’s history, it focused on fitness trackers rather than complete smartwatches. In fact, the brand was arguably slow to react to the advent of smartwatches and kept on pushing products that relied more on tracking your health rather than being smart in nature.
However, the company faced a series of ups and downs but ultimately succeeded in cementing itself as one of the go-to names when it came to an accurate fitness tracker. However, with brands like Xiaomi releasing products like the Mi Band at a fraction of the price, the future of Fitbit felt stale at best by the end of the decade.
In more recent news, Google has purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion and is using the brand to enter the wearable space with a bang.
Quick Purchasing Guide – Apple Watch vs Fitbit
Now that we’ve gone through a quick history lesson, chances are that you don’t want to dive into the nitty-gritty of things but instead want a quick look at the prime differences between each brand.
While it is hard to bifurcate many of the Apple Watches with Fitbits, we feel that there are a few features that each brand has in their devices that the other simply doesn’t, here’s a quick look:
|Mental Health Sensor
|High Battery Life (2+ Days)
With this table above, it’s quite clear that if you wanted – say LTE on your smart wearable, you have nowhere to turn out to than the Apple Watch. On the other hand, if you wanted a battery that lasted more than a few days, then, a Fitbit is your only choice.
However, there are a lot of differences between the two brands besides just a few features mentioned above. But, if you were keen on any of the features mentioned above, you are stuck between one of these two brands.
Oh and also an important factor – if you have an Android device Apple Watch isn’t really an option.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Fitness Tracking
If tracking your fitness is your whole shebang, you might immediately think of the Fitbit as the best option. It has Fit in its name, right? How can an Apple Watch even compete?! Well, it’s a bit more complicated than just simple nomenclature.
For starters – if you wanted a basic fitness tracker, a device that did nothing more than just relaying notifications and providing you with information about your health, the number of steps you’ve walked, your heart rate, and so on, you’ll have to settle for a Fitbit device since Apple only makes watches.
However, if you are planning to take things up a notch, that’s where we truly get to see some competition. As we’ve covered earlier, the Apple Watch is scary accurate when it comes to tracking your steps. However, the Fitbit is no slouch either. In fact, a Fitbit was one of the smart wearables tested medically to check for its accuracy.
But, with the advent of the latest Apple Watch Series 7 and their smart usage of data through the Health application, the Fitbit comes close, but just can’t seem to compete with the juggernaut in a few metrics. For example, you are bound to find a lot more data like your gait, walking patterns, and a cleaner interface when it comes to the interface on the Apple Watch.
Therefore, while Fitbit puts up a good fight, there simply is a lot more present in terms of Fitness Tracking on the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Compatibility
We’d be ignorant if we don’t recognize Apple’s stout adamance on trying to keep the Apple Watch confined to their ecosystem. While we get the power of exclusivity, it simply doesn’t help the market excel in any manner.
Why’s that? Well, despite the poor performance of Android smartwatches especially 2-3 years ago, there simply wasn’t enough competition in the space for the smartwatches to improve. It was only with the introduction of Wear OS that we saw some resemblance of de-monopolization.
Regardless, the Fitbit has companion applications that operate well on both iOS and Android. While they can’t compete to Apple’s level of integration – that’s not really Fitbit’s fault as its Apple which shuns away developers from accessing more intricate APIs citing security and privacy concerns as their primary objection.
Therefore, the Fitbit clearly takes the cake on Apple when it comes to providing compatible products that work on both iOS and Android.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Style
While Fitbit has put in some strides over the years, especially with the release of the Versa 3, it is hard to compete against the Apple Watch when it comes to purely aesthetics. While fashion and beauty is still subjective matter, there’s no denying that Apple has put in a lot more work into trying to make their watches look more attractive.
Due to the sheer volume of Apple Watches sold, you’ll be able to find a plethora of different watchbands that suit your taste. From premium, bands made up of leather, to sporty rubber options and even bands made up of various intricate materials, the Fitbit, while having a great selection simply can’t compete.
Besides that though, Apple’s collaboration with brands like Hermes and Nike has led the Watch to rise up in price, but also, rise up in overall appeal too. Nowadays, it isn’t very uncommon for a renowned celebrity to be sporting an Apple Watch. However, you probably won’t be seeing a lot of influencers strapping on a Versa 2 as a fashion statement any time soon.
So, for all intents and purposes, we feel like the Apple Watch hones better style than the Fitbit. This remains especially true with the release of the Series 7, a watch that is almost bezel-less and brings with it the same level of customization that you’d expect from any new iteration.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Battery Life
As mentioned earlier, the Fitbit absolutely decimates the Apple Watch when it comes to battery life. In fact, the Apple Watch has one of the worst battery life figures out of any modern smartwatch even when compared to brands like Samsung and Amazfit.
We’re not even talking about fitness trackers from Fitbit’s end here though, full-fledged smartwatches like the Sense and Versa 3 report over 6 days of battery life which absolutely stomps Apple’s meager 1-day battery life with their fitness trackers exceeding the 1-2 week mark.
In essence, there’s no comparison between the battery life of an Apple Watch against any Fitbit product. The Fitbit is the clear winner in this regard.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Price
As of writing this, flagship models from Apple and Fitbit have a price difference of about $100 favoring Fitbit. However, there are a few factors that need to be taken into account in order to clarify things.
|Apple Watch Series SE
|Apple Watch Series 3
|Apple Watch Series 7
|Fitbit Versa 2
|Fitbit Charge 5
Now, let’s take a look at pricing and compare it to the features offered by each device. To keep things consistent, we’ll be using the Apple Watch Series SE and the Fitbit Sense as they have the least amount of price difference between them.
Apple Watch SE vs Fitbit Sense
|Apple Watch Series SE
|Always On Display
|Gyro, Heartrate, ECG, EDA, Blood Oxygen, Light, GPS, Altimeter, Skin Temperature
|Gyro, Heartrate, Altimeter, GPS, Compass
|Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, NFC
|Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC (Optional)
|Google Assistant / Custom
|Fitbit OS 5.1
All in all, if you compare the prices of both products, you won’t find a lot of differences in terms of features. However, one point worth noting is that the SE is Apple’s entry-level / budget category while the Fitbit Sense is their top-of-the-line flagship.
Therefore, we’re expected to always see a fresher design on the Fitbit, alongside more proprietary innovative features coming in while the SE, while reasonable, won’t have all of the bells and whistle a Series 7 has.
So, in terms of pricing, the Fitbit definitely has an edge over the Apple Watch. However, whether you are okay with paying the Apple tax considering the Series 7 compared to the Fitbit Sense has a lot more features – is up to you.
Apple Watch vs Fitbit: Support
An often ignored category, support remains a vital indicator in identifying whether a company will be bringing in useful updates and features as the needs of customers evolve over time. Here, Apple truly reigns supreme.
Even the Series 3, released in 2017 still supports Apple’s latest, watchOS 8. While it runs a bit slow, it definitely is usable. The Fitbit though, on the other hand, isn’t really known for constantly updating their watches. Plus, don’t expect groundbreaking new features being added to the Fitbit after it has been released.
Fitbit’s Gallery has about 150-200 applications to download, while the Apple Watch has a jaw-dropping 20,000 options available. So, in terms of the number of applications you can download, the Apple Watch reigns supreme over the Fitbit or as compared to any watch for that matter.
Final Verdict – Apple Watch vs Fitbit
Let’s first take a quick look at all the points we’ve discussed and which brand reigns supreme:
Taking a look at the factors we’ve mentioned above – an Apple Watch ends up taking the cake but by only a slim margin. Ultimately, if you were looking for just Battery Life or Compatibility, a Fitbit would be the obvious pick.
However, if we take into account the number of different features an Apple Watch provides and how it has cemented itself into the smartwatch space in just a short period of time, it’s clear that the Apple Watch has certainly taken precedence over the Fitbit in a number of different ways.
I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.