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Reaching your fitness goals can be made a lot easier with a smartwatch like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. These innovative wearable devices provide a wide range of features and tools designed to help you monitor your health and fitness, such as heart rate monitoring, step tracking, calorie counting, and sleep analysis.
However, since both have so many great features, how can you possibly know which one is the best pick for you? That’s why I’m going to help you choose by reviewing some of each watch’s pros and cons.
What are you using your smartwatch for?
This is the first and most question to ask yourself because it will help you narrow down exactly which watch will work best for you. Are you just looking for activity tracking? Are you hoping to use the watch as a lifeline? Do you just want an additional way to stay connected? These are some things to think about before rushing out and buying a smartwatch.
There are multiple models of both Fitbit and the Apple Watch, and they’re not all created equally. Newer models of the Fitbit seem to be steering away from smartwatch features that aren’t aligned with fitness, while the Apple Watch has introduced life-saving features in their latest models for serious athletes.
Overall features both watches have in common
- Both allow you to answer calls and texts directly from your wrist, so you can stay connected even when you don’t have your phone right next to you
- Each watch also has a super easy and straightforward setup
- Each watch gives a series of prompts to answer and you will have it up and running within minutes
- Both watches have lots of great fitness features, such as allowing you to track your heart rate, the amount of sleep you’re getting, your steps, and more
Both options are also sweat-proof and swim-proof, so you can even use them when you’re doing your water exercises
- (Pro) Has way more advanced features like a built-in compass, crash and fall detection, a super accurate GPS, and more
- (Con) While the Apple Watch might have more features, its design isn’t quite as sleek as the Fitbit
- (Con) A bit heavier and clunkier than the Fitbit, so it may take more getting used to in the beginning than the Fitbit would
- (Pro) Comes in different sizes (trackers and smartwatches)and have a nice sleek design, making them super lightweight to the point where you’ll barely notice it on your wrist while you’re working out
- (Pro) Has a large community of users, which can be motivating if you’re looking to connect with other people who are also focused on fitness
- (Con) May not be as accurate as a medical device for tracking certain health parameters, such as heart rate or sleep patterns
Winner: Apple Watch
- (Pro) If you already own other Apple products, such as an iPhone or iPad, the Apple Watch can seamlessly integrate with them, making it even more convenient to use
- (Con) Only compatible with other Apple devices like the iPhone, which makes it pretty much useless to anyone with an Android phone
- (Pro) When it comes to which watch is compatible with more devices, Fitbit is the victor
- (Pro) Is compatible with any smartphone, whether you have an iPhone or an Android
- (Con) Does not have the same level of integration with other apps and services as the Apple Watch
- (Pro) Range of sensors that allow it to track various aspects of fitness, including heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, and more.
- (Pro) Part of the larger Apple ecosystem, which includes the Health app on your iPhone – this can make it easier to track your overall fitness progress
- (Pro) Includes an accurate heart rate sensor that can help you track your heart rate during exercise
- (Pro) Built-in workout tracking for a variety of activities, including running, swimming, cycling, and more
- (Pro) A unique feature called “activity rings” helps you track your daily movement and encourage you to be more active
- (Pro) Built-in GPS, which means you can track your workouts without needing to bring your phone along with you
- (Pro) Designed to work with Apple Fitness+. You can access Apple Fitness+ on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and your Apple Watch will automatically track your workout metrics like heart rate, calories burned, and more. Apple Fitness+ provides guided workout videos led by professional trainers, and the service is available on a subscription basis. New subscribers get 1 month free, and then it costs $9.99 per month.
- (Con) Some users may find that the selection of third-party fitness apps is more limited than other smartwatches
- (Pro) Many Fitbit devices include accurate heart rate monitoring, which can help you track your workouts and overall fitness level
- (Pro) Some Fitbit devices can automatically recognize when you’re exercising, which means you don’t need to manually start a workout each time
- (Pro) The tracker on Fitbit can collect your data and then recommend certain workouts and meditations to you based on where you’re at
- (Con) Fitbit devices may not have as many built-in workout tracking options as the Apple Watch, which means you may need to manually track some activities
- (Con) Many Fitbit devices do not have built-in GPS, which means depending on the model, you may need to bring your phone along if you want to track your workouts accurately
Winner: Apple Watch
- (Con) Relatively short battery life compared to other smartwatches, which means you may need to charge it frequently if you use it for fitness tracking
- (Con) While the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE models need to be charged every 18 hours
- (Con) Battery life is slightly better on the Apple Watch Ultra model, however, it still can’t compete with the battery longevity of Fitbit
- (Pro) Fitbit is the clear winner when it comes to which watch has the better battery life
- (Pro) The battery on most Fitbits can last you about 6 to 7 days
- (Pro) While the cost of a newer Apple watch is likely to be more than the Fitbit, the Apple Watch Pro models are typically designed to last longer than the standard models.
- (Con) Much pricier because they have more features than Fitbit does. The SE model starts at $249, and the Apple Watch Ultra costs $799, so you’ll certainly have to budget more if you want to buy an Apple Watch
- (Pro) Cheaper than the Apple Watch, with models starting at $149 and varying in price depending on the model you buy
- (Con) The pricier smartwatch models can be found for as high as $300
Even though the Fitbit comes out as the winner in 3 categories, my top pick personally is the Apple Watch. However, you may want to consider the Fitbit if you’re not an Apple user and you are looking for a sleek design and a larger community of fitness-focused users. Both watches are excellent choices, so it’s really just about what you think will be the best fit for your health, lifestyle, and budget.
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