When the Apple Watch debuted in 2015, it was expensive, limited, and sold primarily as luxury goods. If you need a fitness tracker, Fitbit was already on people’s wrists at that time, along with a variety of other devices focused on step counting, heart rate measurement, and more.
What is the difference in 7 years? Today, Apple Watch 7 and Fitbit Sense are the flagship products of both companies, and now seem like a great opportunity to compete with each other. So which premium fitness tracker / smartwatch dominates them all? Not surprisingly, the answers are mixed.
Which one you buy depends on what you’re looking for in your phone, smartwatch or fitness tracker, and whether you’re replacing your smartphone or expanding its capabilities. What is the conclusion? If you already own an iPhone and want to combine productivity with general fitness, get Apple Watch 7. Fitbit Sense is for people who need in-depth health and fitness data and aren’t relentlessly tied to Apple’s ecosystem.
|Weight (aluminum model)||32.0g, 38.8g||45.9 grams|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou, LTE, and cellular model UMTS||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, GLONASS|
|waterproof||Up to 50 meters||Up to 50 meters|
|Voice assistant||Siri||Alexa or Google Assistant|
|Battery life||18 hours||Up to 6 days|
|Mobile payment||Apple Pay||Fitbit Pay|
|Color options||Midnight, starlight, green, blue, red||Sage gray, silver stainless steel|
|sensor||ECG, SpO2, heart rate alert, fall detection, compass, always on altimeter||ECG, heart rate alert, EDA, skin temperature sensor, heart rate alert, SpO2|
Design and comfort
Both Fitbit and Apple Watch are handsome devices. They each looked great on my wrist, and I consider myself a hardcore Apple faction, but I admit I liked Fitbit’s sleek lines and lack of side buttons. .. However, it was a bit heavier at 45.9 grams compared to the 38.8 grams of the 45mm aluminum Apple Watch 7. However, neither felt bulky or awkward. The Sense silicone band wasn’t as smooth or comfortable as the standard Apple Watch loop band, but if you don’t like what’s included, you can swap the bands on both devices.
I decided to wear both at once, one on each wrist. Either will look good in a more dressy or formal setting while the partner is teasing me about it. I find it comfortable in the gym and in the Met Gala.
But what makes the Apple Watch really shine is its screen. Both have a very sharp and bright AMOLED display, but the Apple Watch is about 20% larger than the Fitbit Sense screen.
TL; DR: Despite the large screen of the Apple Watch, the edge of Sense is slight.
Health tracking and sensors
This is the heart of the problem, isn’t it? Both devices pack many sensors in a small space. Both measure electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen, heart rate, and are equipped with an altimeter, gyroscope, and accelerometer. The Apple Watch has a compass, while the Sense has a skin electrical activity (EDA) sensor and skin temperature monitoring. EDA is used to measure changes in the electrical conductivity of the skin. This is related to the amount of stress I feel. This is always a lot, thanks to the editor’s deadline.
With Sense’s EDA scan, you sit quietly for two minutes while covering the screen. I’ve been wearing this for a week and I just don’t get a stress score so I don’t know how useful an EDA scan will be. Apple also has something soothing called mindfulness, but you don’t have to worry about measurements. It’s just a clock app to encourage you to slow down and take a deep breath from time to time. Frankly, I found it more convenient than emphasizing my stress level.
We also found that the two devices did not match well, even when used in the same activity. After a leisurely hike last week, the measurements on the two devices were very different. According to Sense, I walked 1.44 miles in 1 hour and 19 minutes, with an average heart rate of 122 BPM and a calorie burn of 620 calories. However, the Apple Watch counted 1 hour and 18 minutes of training time and 1.32 miles of distance. It also consumed only 361 calories with an average heart rate of 132 BPM. There is a problem with these different results because we don’t know who to believe.
When it comes to tracking your goals, both devices provide a way to do that. The Apple Watch has a famous ring that fills up when you stand up and move around. In other words, if you close the ring, you can live another day. (Joke! Apple isn’t that powerful … not yet.) Sense monitors what’s called activity zone minutes. It tracks the amount of time you spend in fat burning, aerobic exercise, or the peak zones of your heart as you work out weekly.
TL; DR: Both track the same data, but more or less Fitbit’s health data is top notch, so you can get a slight advantage. However, many flaws in Apple Watch can be handled by third-party apps.
The Apple Watch made its bones as a smartwatch before Apple decided to focus on its health features. So it’s not surprising that the Apple Watch has great smartwatch features.
One of the reasons is that it only works on the iPhone, so the functionality between the two is perfectly complementary. With the Apple Watch, you can do almost everything you can with your iPhone. Do you make or receive calls? check. Do you want to send and receive messages? check. Do you want to download many apps? Do you want to display a map or photo on your wrist? Do you control your home? Check, check, check check.
Sense, on the other hand, cannot provide that level of integration with the iPhone. However, it works on Android devices, which is a big plus for those who aren’t part of the Apple ecosystem. You can make and receive calls via your Android phone, but its messaging is basic and consists primarily of routine responses. Apple wants you to buy an Apple Watch and is blocking the integration of such third parties with its very popular messaging service, so you can’t send messages through your iPhone.
The Fitbit app store is also a bit thin, with some of the apps available. We also take a more practical approach to gatekeeping. This is a problem for almost all app stores except Apple. It’s not surprising that Apple’s products are much more robust. Watches, iPhones, iPads, and Macs all share some code in their operating system, and one company governs them all. Fitbit’s Sense doesn’t have the processor capabilities to run complex apps, and it doesn’t have the integration capabilities Apple can offer.
TL; DR: Apple Watch, I will hand over.
This is easy. You can use your Apple Watch for about 18 hours on a single charge and Fitbit Sense for 6 days. end. Both devices use wireless charging and can be fully charged in about an hour.
TL; DR: Fitbit, no contest.
One of the great touches Sense offers is the daily preparation score. It tracks whether the body needs to recover after training or exercise. Apple Watch doesn’t yet have this feature, even though Reddit fans are begging for a rest day while the ring is closed. (I don’t think anyone is slack in Cupertino.)
However, the Daily Readiness Score is only available to Fitbit Premium members and costs $ 9.99 per month or $ 79.99 per year. In addition to your readiness score, sleep tracking, stress and mindfulness management, deeper analysis of your data, and guided workouts are also available.
Apple also offers health services with the same pricing structure as Fitbit ($ 9.99 / month or $ 79.99 / year) and is called Fitness +. Includes numerous fitness classes that you can watch on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, requirement Apple Watch to use. We also offer guided “walking time” and “running time” activities on the watch. Walking guides usually feature interviews with guests such as comedian Hasan Minaji and Martin Luther King, CEO of the Junior Nonviolent Social Transformation Center, Bernice A. King. Each running guide focuses on the city and offers music and coaching tips from Fitness + trainers.
Sure, it’s not fun to pay more to the company every month after spending hundreds of dollars on a product, but that’s the world we live in today.
TL; DR: It’s hard to say, but both premium services are very different. If you need detailed data analysis, use Fitbit. Apple’s classes are better and more fun.
Apple always costs more. It’s like a law of nature or something, in which case you’ll pay Sense ($ 299, but $ 100 for the Apple Watch 7 base model ($ 399 for the 41mm model, $ 429 for the 45mm model)). .. It currently sells for a minimum of $ 219. Choosing the cellular version will cost your Apple Watch even more and add an additional $ 100. You can talk at that extra charge, but if you know you can make and receive calls and process messages, it’s nice to be able to leave the house without a phone call.
TL; DR: Fitbit, but Watch’s additional cellular features are certainly useful.
If you’re comparing two health trackers, it’s a Fitbit win. But that’s not the case. We’re comparing Sense, a highly capable health and fitness tracker with several smartwatch features, to the Apple Watch, a gold standard smartwatch that also tracks health and fitness very well. This is not a simple comparison, as which one you buy depends on what you want to do with your device.
If you are not an iPhone user, you need to get Sense. It’s an easy choice. It’s cheaper, looks better, and has better health and fitness tracking. You will not regret it.
If you’re investing heavily in the Apple ecosystem (for example, if you own an iPhone, Mac, or iPad and subscribe to all of Apple’s services), it’s your Apple Watch. Again, that’s an easy choice. Get your Apple Watch 7 and don’t look back.
It’s not so deeply rooted in Cupertino’s products, it’s a bit more complicated if you just have an iPhone and are primarily using Google or Amazon’s online services. The Apple Watch pairs well with your phone, but if all you need is health and fitness tracking, Sense is more valuable. But if in many situations you need a full-fledged smartwatch to replace the iPhone, the Apple Watch is probably a better choice, despite its higher price.