Right now if you were to ask someone to name 2 smartwatches the odds are they would say Apple Watch and Fitbit. It stands to reason as they are the two biggest brands out there right now. From a distance it is easy to mistake a Fitbit fitness tracker for an Apple Watch and of course the other way round too. For certain models the similarities between them are quite striking.
The question everyone wants to know is between a Fitbit and Apple Watch which is better? Because of the variety of models it isn’t a straightforward question to answer. It will very much depend on what you are looking for from your device. in general you should see the Apple Watch as primarily a smart watch with fitness tracking features (which are ever increasing) whereas a Fitbit is best considered as a fitness tracker with some smart watch capabilities. It is a subtle but important distinction.
In this article, we delve in to this a bit deeper by taking a look at various models of Fitbit and Apple Watch and analysing them head to head in a showdown.
Fitbit watches are popular for their ease of use, and convenience. They are never short of impressive features and functionalities. The mention of Apple spells quality, sophistication and class. Choosing between the two brands can be a daunting task. Both brands have been quite innovative with their watches. Some of the models of Fitbit and Apple watches are quite similar, making it difficult to call them apart.Different people prefer either a Fitbit or Apple watch for different reasons. This article will compare watches from both brands, to try and help you decide which one would be best suited for you. Apple watches are generally costlier than Fitbit watches.
Fitbit Versa vs. Apple Watch 4
In a lot of ways the Apple Watch Series 4 and Fitbit Versa are remarkably similar. They both have a square face, touchscreen display, ability to add apps and the ability to change straps. So why is the Apple watch markedly more expensive than the Fitbit Versa? Aside from the usual Apple price premium the answer lies in the fact that the Apple Watch Series 4 is a genuine smart watch whereas the Fitbit is a fitness tracker with some smart watch capabilities. It is important to keep this in mind when deciding on which choice is right for you.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch 4
|Apple Watch Series 4
|18 - 32 hours
|LTE version available
|300 songs or streaming from Deezer or Pandora
|Optical heart rate
As already noted the watch designs are very similar. Swapping the bands on the Versa can be a real struggle and requires some nifty dexterity. The Apple Watch however is much simpler.
The Fitbit watch feels a lot more comfortable to wear as compared to the Apple watch though. The Apple watch has a bulge at the bottom where the sensor is, and it digs into your skin when you tighten the straps.
Both watches have a very robust construction. They will last long and be able to withstand shock.
As far as design is concerned. The Fitbit Versa takes the day. You need a smartwatch that is comfortable to wear. One that will not distract you while you are working out.
Winner: Fitbit Versa
Health and Fitness Tracking
The main essence of having a smartwatch is to be able to conveniently track your fitness. How much convenience do the two watches offer as far as fitness tracking is concerned? The answer to that question might be the main determinant of which watch to get for many people.
Both watches can track critical fitness information. They can count steps, monitor your heart rate, count burnt calories, etc. The difference is in how easy it to access and interpret the information from each watch. The Versa can also integrate closely with Fitbit’s own Aria scales.
First, the Apple watch scores major points because it has GPS while the Fitbit watch doesn’t. With the Fitbit Versa, you will not be able to leave your phone behind, if you do a lot of outdoor activities. You need to ensure the watch is paired to the phone to ensure accurate readings.
The Fitbit Versa outshines the Apple Series 4 when it comes to guiding you through your workouts. The Versa can act as a personal coach or trainer. It will show you the routines and exact moves on the screen. The Apple watch can only provide cues on when to stop or start moving during exercise.
Both watches will consolidate all the critical data and make it available on the phone. With the Fitbit Versa, you can only access the information on the phone App. The Apple watch splits the information across the App on the watch, the Activity App, and the Health App on the phone. While it might be great to immediately access some data on the watch, scavenging across three different apps for your fitness data does not sound so great.
One interesting and unique feature of the Apple watch is the ability to display a map of your route, with a colour-coding system of how fast you were running at each point. Green means fast, yellow indicates moderate speed, while red is slow. This feature makes it a better option for runners that the Fitbit.The Apple watch also has some new and innovative heart rate tracking functionality in the digital crown.
It is quite difficult to make a call between the two watches regarding their fitness tracking prowess. Each of the two watches has individual strengths that are quite impressive. It would boil down to the preferences of the user. For instance, if you are more an indoors exerciser, the Versa would work best for you. If you love to take a morning jog around the estate, the Apple watch will be perfect for you.
There is nothing as annoying as a gadget whose battery cannot last for a few hours. The Fitbit beats the Apple watch hands down when it comes to the battery life. If you are not listening to music, the Fitbit will give you five days of all-day workout. Charging the unit itself also happens pretty quick. Quite impressive!
The Apple watch cannot come anywhere close to that. Minimal use such as tracking and mirroring notifications will allow you a full day’s use only. If you happen to be using power intensive functionalities such as the GPS and LTE, it will only last for a couple of hours.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch 4 overall winner
Overall, the Fitbit Versa seems to be the better option in this case. It appears to be more comfortable and convenient to use. It is a bit cheaper as compared to the Apple Watch as well. Make no mistake, the Apple Watch Series 4 is still a very impressive smartwatch. There are circumstances in which you would prefer the Apple watch over the Fitbit one and it all comes down to personal preference.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch Series 3
You probably do not have the money to buy the latest models of the Fitbit and Apple watches. You could go for the earlier models as well. The Fitbit Versa and the Apple Series 3 were released in the same period. Their outward appearance is quite similar, and you could easily mistake them for each other. How do they compare under the hood though?
The Fitbit Versa is cheaper than the Apple Series 3. It goes for a little less than $200, while the Apple Series 3 will always be higher than $200. They both boast of a sleek and smooth finish, and swappable straps. You can rock them with straps in your favourite colour. Their respective features as outlined below will give you a better picture of how they compare against each other.
Both Fitbit and Apple have always put their best foot forward when it comes to the design and finish of their watches. Once again, swapping the straps of the Fitbit Versa is a bit of a headache, as compared to swapping those of the Apple Series 3.
The Fitbit Versa has the same overall square shape that’s featured on the Apple Series 3.
The Apple watch dwarfs the Versa with regard to screen resolution. While Apple’s 38mm screen has a resolution of 340×272, Versa screen has 280×180.
Both watches have a strong design. They are quite similar in the design, although the Apple Series 3 seems to rise above the Versa in a few aspects.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The health and fitness tracking capabilities of these watches determine which one is superior. Both watches can conveniently track essential fitness and exercise parameters. They will track your steps, heart rate, count calories burnt, and monitor sleep as well.
The Apple Series 3 will only track your fitness, only when you ask it to, unlike the Fitbit Versa, which will automatically detect when you start exercising and start tracking using the SmartTrack technology. Woe unto you if you forget to select a particular activity of the watch app of the Apple Series 3. Also, the Apple Series 3 will not track your heart rate continuously. It will only monitor the heart rate while you are exercising.
The Fitbit Versa will automatically detect which activity you are involved in, and start tracking the necessary parameters. It will also offer you on-screen workout suggestions. It’s like having a personal trainer beside you.
The Fitbit Versa does not have GPS. You will need to take your phone with you along your exercise route to ensure it tracks accurately. On the other hand, you can leave your iPhone behind, and the Apple Series 3 will accurately map out your route and record all your critical exercise data.
The Fitbit Versa seems to have an edge over the Apple Series 3 in this case. The performances of the two watches are still quite similar though. Personal preferences and circumstances might make one better for you than the other. Your choice of the two will still boil down to how best they can serve your requirements.
The Fitbit Versa promises you 4-days of fitness tracking on a single charge. It is a great option if you need to visit a place that is off the grid for a while. The Versa will keep going for days so long as you do not play music on it.
The battery life of the Apple Series 3 pales in comparison to that of the Fitbit Versa. Dues to the GPS and LTE functions, it uses a lot of power. You can change App settings, download more Apps or music, respond to messages, order a cab, or reserve a dinner table. All these functions are quite power-intensive, and you’ll be quite lucky if your Series 3 can keep running for a whole day.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch Series 3 overall winner
The fact that the Apple Series 3 watch allows you to interact with it is quite impressive. It makes it difficult to see the Fitbit Versa as a better watch, although it is much more convenient to use. The Series 3 is costlier than the Versa, but it is certainly worth the money that it costs.
Overall, the Apple Series 3 is a better watch to have, although you will be confined to the Apple ecosystem. You will have to deal with short a short battery life as well. The watch allows you to do a lot more than the Fitbit Versa will.
As far as health and fitness tracking is concerned. The Fitbit Versa will offer a more convenient experience, although you have to always carry your phone with you. You’ll be assured your fitness data is being tracked at all times with the Fitbit Versa.
Fitbit Ionic vs Apple Watch 4
The Ionic and Apple Watch Series 4 are at the top of the range offerings so might not be suitable if you are price sensitive and it may be worth considering the Fitbit Versa. It’s a different story if you like the latest tech.
Both devices are waterproof up to 50m and provide the ability to keep tabs on your swimming. You could say that the Ionic was Fitbit’s first move away from pure fitness trackers into the realm of smart watches.It works with both Android and iOS, onboard GPS, music on the device and contactless payment ability.
Only compatible with iOS the Apple Watch has a speedier processor than its predecessor, onboard GPS, music capabilities and the possibility to make phone calls straight from your wrist. As a result is much more expensive than the Ionic.
Overall, the experience with Apple is typically more seamless. It is easier to transfer music to the deice, deal with notifications and install 3rd party apps. Fitbit has a lot of the same capabilities but they are no where near as sophisticated and generally tend to work better with Android
Looks wise the Ionic is all jaunty angles. It probably won’t win any awards for design but it isn’t terrible either. To a certain extent you can customise it in one of three styles and with the addition of accessories including custom interchangeable straps. The display is 36mm (1.42inches) providing 348 x 250 pixel resolution.
As we’ve come to expect from Apple it’s all about the design and the Apple Watch 4 has some really good looks. It is available in Ionic is angular and slim. As with lots of Apple products all about the design. It’s even available in 2 sizes
- 40mm with a resolution of 394 x 324 pixels
- 44 mm with a resolution of 448 x 368 pixels
Winner: Apple Watch Series 4
Health and Fitness Tracking
As a rule Fitbit is generally much better at fitness tracking than Apple. For how long? With every release the Apple watch is gaining more and more sophisticated health and fitness tracking functionality. The arrival of WatchOS5.x has really pushed the boundaries on the Apple watches workout capabilities. There have also been other innovations such as the ability to perform ECG tracking and fall detection and improved integration with GymKit compatible fitness equipment.
With all their years of making fitness trackers Fitbit probably edge it as far as fitness tracking goes. Their app works well and provides all the data in a nicely laid out fashion. Tracking different types of workout and sleep tracking are easily possible. Fitbit are putting a lot of stock in their sleep tracking functionality aided by the longer battery life. Number of steps, distance covered and calories burned are easily obtained in the Fitbit dashboard.
Whilst there have been some improvements in the Apple Watch’s battery life it still has a long way to go to match the Ionic. In typical use the Apple device will last 2 days with the Ionic racking up an impressive 5 days.
Winner: Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Ionic vs Apple Watch 4 overall winner
Fitbit Charge 3 vs Apple Watch
The Charge 3 is the result of Fitbit adding some of its smart watch like functionality to its most popular product line. In some ways this is an unfair comparison as I would still see the Charge 3 as a fitness tracker and the Apple is a bona-fide smart watch.
The waterproof Charge 3 offers sleep tracking, long battery life, automatic multi sport tracking and notifications at a relatively affordable price. The only downside is that the notifications only work with Android and you can’t have music on the device itself.
The Apple Watch Series 4 pips the Charge 3 with the following capabilities:- onboard gps, color screen, onboard music storage and it works with Apple Health. As we’ve seen with a lot of these showdowns all this comes at a price.
Just as a general point both the Charge 3 and Apple Watch come with their own manufacturers. It would be a great move if they could move to one universal charger. This would reduce e-waste and also make it much more likely you would be able to find a charger when your tracker is flat.
All variants come packing the S4 processor that has been found in tests to be able to perform as well as an iPhone 6S.
walkie talkie feature
As previously mentioned, the Charge 3 is the latest model in the Charge series. In comparison with older model it is not a massive departure and you can see its lineage. Changing from stainless steel to aluminum case has helped shave a couple of grams weight. The screen now takes up a much bigger proportion of the watch face giving a 39.8 mm OLED display which is noticeably clearer and has true touch screen functionality. You also gain the capability of changing the bands
Similar to the Charge 3 you can clearly see that this is an Apple Watch. The differences from the earlier versions are more subtle. The Series 4 comes in steel or aluminum variants and either a 40 millimeters or 44 millimeters watch face. In common, with the Charge 3 Apple have gone for making the OLED display bigger than the previous model.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The Apple Watch offers two main fitness apps: Activity, which is all about health, movement, wellness and your daily routine; and Workout App, which tracks running, cycling and walking. All this data is collected on your iPhone via the Activity app, although you can get a more holistic view of their health by using the Health app on your iPhone, which integrates data from multiple sources, not only the Watch.
Previous Apple Watches used photoplethysmography, or PPG, to track users’ pulse by converting light from two green LEDs into an electrical current which tracked the amount of blood flowing through your wrist. EKG is much more powerful, and can measure minuscule electrical changes on the skin caused by the heart muscle expanding and contracting with electrodes. Doctors use this tech.
Spo2 sensor for sleep apnea – link to sleep apnea article here
Apple watch fall detection will give alert if you fall over and don’t get up
In common with most Fitbit’s the sleep tracking is what gives the charge 3 its competitive edge. based on good battery life and good algorithms
Apple watch has 2 fitness apps activity and workout
The Apple Watch 4 is available in two different models: GPS or GPS and Cellular. The GPS is a little bit more affordable, while the Cellular model gives you access to your text messages, calls, Apple Music, exclusive apps, and gives you the ability to be phone-free.
Women can track their menstrual cycle, visualize fertile windows, and get easy access to medical reading material, while also having access to a community support forum. These features are partially included in Apple’s product but seem to be tacked on, while Fitbit has made it a point to make them front and center.
The Charge 3 lives up to its name and is advertised to have a 7-day battery life, blowing the Series 4 out of the water in that aspect..Benefitting from the lack of advanced power sucking features such as GPS and the ability to make phone calls from the watch means that the Charge 3 packs a punch when it comes to battery life. Chiming in at an impressive 7 days of life from one charge. The Apple watch is closer to 18 hours but bear in mind it is a true smart watch
Fitbit Charge 3 vs Apple Watch overall winner
in some ways like comparing apples with pears. one is a full blown smartwatch. probably comes down to how you quantify how much you will get out of the features.
It is hard to pick a clear winner as both are excellent at what they do but in different ways. As with many of these things it comes down to personal choice and your preference of ecosystem. apple watch at the pricier end of the spectrum advantage of extra battery life is you can wear it in bed and benefit from sleep tracking. better app store provision. what apps in fitbit store for charge 3. apple watch good for outdoor swimming
Make a list of the reasons you are getting this product and what you are going to be using it for. Examine and evaluate both of these products line by line and feature by feature and examine what you will get out of both of them. Maybe link to video of review
When you check off the reasons in your list, find out which of the products is going to fulfil your needs more than the other. You also have to examine how much you can afford to spend on this product and what you can get readily and what kind of deal you can get on it.
The two comparisons above should put you in a better position to make a call between Fitbit and Apple watches. Both brands of watches have some impressive features and functionalities. There many similarities make it difficult to call them apart, but they all have a couple of individual strengths that can help you decide.
As already mentioned, your specific requirements will decide which of the two brands of watches is best for you. Apple watches generally allow you to interact with them, rather than just track and read parameters. As exciting as that is, you have to grapple with the short battery life, and limited options regarding the gadgets you can connect your phone too.
Both brands have quality watches that can serve you optimally. Take time to carefully explore what you need the watch for, so that you are in a position to make the right choice. Overall, Apple watches are best for outdoor exercising, while Fitbit watches are great for indoor exercising.
Fitbit and Apple will continue to produce smartwatches. Each new model comes with some improvements or cool new features. The Apple Series 4 is Apple’s latest model. It is a very exciting and resourceful smartwatch to have. The Fitbit Versa is still Fitbit’s latest release. It is comparable to the Apple Series 3. We’ll just to wait and see what cool features Fitbit will come up with in their next release.