I have been a Fitbit user for many years. I started with the Ultra, then moved to the One and progressed to the Surge. Fitbit has built a wonderful platform and really has mastered the social aspect of fitness. Fitbit’s use of gamification is something that other companies should look at as a model.
About two months ago my wife and I decided to purchase Apple Watches. We considered waiting for Fitbit’s Blaze, but both wanted to try the Apple Watch.
I was missing the social aspects of Fibit, the challenges that are available and other gamification available. So last week I purchased a Fitbit Blaze and was going to sell my Apple Watch. My wife said she was staying with the Apple Watch.
After a few days with the Blaze I decided to stay with Apple Watch. I have noticed some very large variances in the accuracy of the Fitbit tracker. On a treadmill I am noticing 1/2 mile difference on a 2 mile walk. I noticed this on multiple times. I have found others that experience the discrepancies also. When I walk on a treadmill I move my hands just like walking outside. I do NOT hold on the treadmill handles. I have compared this with both the Apple Watch and Microsoft Band 2. Both do not have the same inaccuracies. This is a huge failing point on Fitbit, if you put the device in your pocket as is sometimes recommended it works out. But the devices have heart beat monitors so putting them in your pocket defeats the purpose of the heart beat monitor.
Another big difference I noticed between the Fitbit (both Surge and Blaze) and Apple Watch is comfort. I feel that the Apple Watch is much more comfortable on my wrist and doesn’t get in the way. The Fitbit devices have a clasp that seems to rub and the material is not as comfortable.
Something that I noticed about the Activity app on Apple Watch is how the goals are displayed. Three rings are provided: 1)Move, 2)Exercise, 3)Stand. Apple Watch does not set goals on steps, it does count your steps but concentrates on calories burned from fitness. This is actually harder to achieve than just your step counts. Also, the Exercise ring has a goal of 30 minutes daily. The 30 exercise minutes are tracked and the device learns how your exercise and pushes you to do more but giving you minutes for more difficult minutes. As an example, I do 40 minutes on the treadmill, this does NOT count as a full 40 minutes of exercise all the time. I have to have my heart rate at a certain point and it also learns my activity so it doesn’t count exercise minutes that I can do more easily. This sounds strange at first and frustrated me when I didn’t reach my goal, but it makes reaching this goal more challenging.
These are the two reasons that I am giving up on Fitbit and staying with Apple Watch. I would love to see Apple or a third party, even Fitbit add challenges and gamification to the Apple Watch. Even a paid app from Fitbit would be wonderful.
As I thought about which device to keep, I considered the above issues that I encountered as well as other features offered on each device. The app store on Apple Watch is full of many useful apps. I use Day One for journaling on a daily basis, this is only available on the Apple Watch. LoseIt has an Apple Watch app that lets me look at my calorie intake and nutrient summary from my wrist. With the price decrease on the Apple Watch it makes the it more affordable and with the additional features and accuracy of the activity tracker it increases the value.
I am curious if which device you prefer and why?