Fitbit’s finest goes head to head with the Apple Watch as we work out which fitness tracker reigns supreme in 2022.
The Apple Watch has been one of the world’s most popular fitness trackers for years, but Fitbit’s latest Sense offers a more premium experience than the company’s prior efforts.
That puts the two in a closer (although not identical) price bracket, and there’s a lot to like about each. Still, there can be only one winner, and so we’ve pitted the Apple Watch Series 7 against the Fitbit Sense in a battle for health tracking dominance.
While the Apple Watch is, as you’d imagine, much better if you already own an iPhone, Fitbit Sense is a compelling alternative that works well with iOS as well, meaning it’s the closest contest we’ve had yet.
Apple Watch Series 7 is available in two versions: with a 41mm screen or a 45mm option. Fitbit Sense, on the other hand, is only available in a rounded-square 40.55mm.
At first glance, the two don’t look noticeably different, with both offering a good-looking outer chassis and a bright, clear OLED display capable of displaying color content. The Apple Watch offers much thinner bezels, though.
Look a little closer, though, and the Apple Watch is a little thicker, and incorporates a digital crown to allow for menu scrolling and additional controls, while the Fitbit Sense has a touch-sensitive side button.
The Fitbit Sense has a clear edge here, coming in at $299 – $100 cheaper than the cheapest Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch starts at $399, but you’ll need to spend $30 extra to get the 45mm screen and can spend more for a cellular option. Wondering if you need one? Be sure to check out our guide.
The Apple Watch also comes in a variety of case materials, with Titanium models starting at a whopping $799.
Both offer premium memberships, too, with Fitbit Premium costing $9.99 a month ($79.99 per year) and Apple Fitness Plus costing the same. Both offer additional workouts and metrics.
While they look similar, both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Fitbit Sense offer impressively varied features.
That’s because, at a core level, both are standalone devices with very different functions. The Fitbit Sense is a fitness tracker, and a very good one, but the Apple Watch is closer to a fully-fledged ecosystem.
To that end, Apple’s option offers an App Store for installing third-party apps and the option to use a cellular connection on some models. With the Fitbit Sense, what you see is what you get – you can’t install Spotify on it, for example.
You can change watch faces on each, but Apple lets you switch widgets (called Complications) around, whereas Fitbit’s are locked to each watch face. The Apple Watch can make calls and send messages (and even has a full QWERTY keyboard), while the Fitbit can show you your notifications but you’ll need your phone handy to action them.
One big difference is onboard storage, too. The Apple Watch has 32GB of storage, meaning you can download playlists, podcasts, or apps to fill it up. Meanwhile, Fitbit Sense’s storage is solely for tracking your health data.
Both options feature portable ECG and heart rate alerts for low and high heart rates, as well as blood oxygen monitoring.
Fitbit Sense is the winner here though, because it can monitor skin temperature – helping identify incoming infections even while you’re asleep.
Speaking of sleep, the Apple Watch Series 7 can track your sleep, but the Fitbit Sense does a much better job because of its better battery life (more on that in a moment).
Fitbit Sense also offers an EDA sensor for electrodermal activity. It’s a bit of a modern marvel, really, analyzing the sweat on the palm of your hand to determine the level of stress you’re under. It’s very impressive, and pairs with other data points to point out where things may be tough in your day.
It’s here that the Fitbit Sense really stretches its legs ahead of the Apple Watch. While the Apple Watch can technically do a lot more than the Fitbit Sense by virtue of all of its additional features and installable apps, it’ll run out of juice after 18 hours – less if you’re using it regularly.
On the other hand, the Fitbit Sense can last up to six days depending on how often you’re using it to run scans and check data.
That means, as we alluded to earlier, that the Fitbit Sense is a much more reliable sleep tracker because you don’t need to charge it before bed.
Both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Fitbit Sense are excellent products, but when it comes to the best fitness tracker we’d have to opt for the Fitbit Sense. It’s not only cheaper, but it also offers significantly better battery life and additional sensors.
With that said, it’s not a smartwatch in the traditional sense, and the Apple Watch Series 7 still holds the crown for that subcategory, thanks to its ever-expanding repertoire of apps and options like cellular connectivity.
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