Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Which Fitness Tracker is Better?

We tested these popular devices to help you pick the right one for your needs and budget

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Fitbit vs. Apple Watch

Courtesy of Fitbit and Best Buy / Photo Illustration by Zack Angeline for Verywell Fit

If you’re new to fitness tracking or hoping to upgrade your current device, you may be facing a common dilemma: Apple Watch or Fitbit? Both brands offer some of the most advanced, best-designed wearables on the market and the devices share many features, including daily health and activity tracking. However, they also have some key differences in terms of performance, design, and price.

To help you choose the right product for you, we’ve done the research and put multiple Fitbit and Apple Watch products through our testing regimen. We used the devices for a month at a time, evaluating them for comfort, ease of use, battery life, accuracy, and basic tracking features such as heart rate and step counts, as well as more advanced functionality. We paid special attention to whether a device was a good option for continuous tracking and if we considered it to be a good value.

The Main Takeaways

  • Lightweight, sleek design

  • Tracks heart rate, sleep, exercise, and more

  • GPS not included in all models

  • Options for every budget

  • Swimproof

  • Compatible with iOS and Android

  • No cellular options

  • Long battery life

Apple Watch
  • Some designs are bulky

  • Tracks heart rate, sleep, exercise, and more

  • Built-in GPS

  • Expensive

  • Swimproof

  • Requires iPhone for set-up and maximum functioning

  • Cellular add-on available or included

  • Battery life lacking compared to other smartwatches

Fitbit vs. Apple Watch Results

Winner: Fitbit

While both brands offer outstanding, high-quality wearables, Fitbit has more budget-friendly options, superior battery life, and better health and fitness tracking than the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch edges out the Fitbit in terms of accuracy, convenience, and extra features, but it may be too pricey for some users.

Keep reading for our in-depth comparison of Fitbit versus Apple Watch.


Average price: $60-$300

Who It’s For: Fitbit’s strength is its health and fitness tracking, so they’re geared toward people who prioritize in-depth stats and feedback. Their activity trackers are sleeker and more streamlined than sporty-looking smartwatches, making them a good choice for those who prefer discrete activity tracking. And if you don’t have an iPhone, a Fitbit is a better option, since they work with both Apple and Android devices.

Fitbit Sense 2 Specs

Battery Life: 6 days | Water-resistant: Yes, up to 50 meters |  Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Compatability: iOS, Android | Size: 1.57 x 0.47 x 1.57 inches

Apple Watch

Average price: $250-800

Who It’s For: Apple Watches are ideal for users who are willing to pay for an all-in-one smartwatch that accurately tracks activity, but also offers the convenience of iPhone functionality right on their wrist. If you already have an iPhone and are accustomed to the Apple ecosystem, you’ll likely be pleased with how seamlessly the Apple Watch integrates with your other devices and gives you access to features such as Apple Pay and Siri.

Apple Watch Series 8

apple watch


Apple Watch Series 8 Specs

Battery Life: 18 hours | Water-resistant: Yes, to 50 meters |  Heart Rate Tracking: Yes | Compatibility: iOS | Size: 11.65 x 2.99 x 1.45 inches

Fitness Tracking 

Winner: Fitbit

All versions of Apple Watches and Fitbits offer a wide range of fitness tracking, allowing users to monitor their activity minutes, steps, distance, calories burned, and more. The Apple Watch and Fitbit smartwatch options also track specific workout types, such as hiking, running, and bicycling (whether it's indoor cycling machines or exercise bikes), and then provide workout summaries.

Regardless of the model, Apple Watches come with built-in GPS, heart rate zone tracking, and automatic workout detection, making them a popular choice among athletes and fitness-minded people. The watches also feature the brand’s simple but effective activity rings that gamify movement and encourage you to complete daily move, stand, and exercise goals.

Although all Apple Watches come with robust features, the Fitbit brand is known for its best-in-class fitness and sleep tracking. Once you download the app onto your phone and sync your device, you can easily view and dig into all your health and fitness data. “The app even recommends certain workouts and meditations to you based on the data your tracker collects,” one of our Fibit testers said. “It's like having your own personal trainer.”

Fitbit also offers a much wider range of options that cater to different needs and preferences. For instance, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is ideal for those who want a basic fitness tracker, while the Sense 2 is a more advanced, sports-oriented smartwatch that has GPS, on-screen workouts, in-depth stats, and feedback based on your workouts and recovery. If you go the Fitbit route, you’re more likely to get a device that works for your specific fitness routine and goals.

Fitbit Charge 5

Verywell Fit / Courtesy Michael Navarro


Winner: Apple Watch 

Fitbits and Apple Watches both do a stellar job of measuring heart rate through the device’s sensors, and the technology keeps improving with each new model. They're also fairly equivalent when it comes to activity tracking accuracy. Two of our Fitbit testers, who tested the Inspire 3 and Charge 5, noted that some of the data for step count and calorie burn was slightly inflated but, overall, the fitness stats and especially sleep data were very accurate. The Apple Watches we tested also had spot-on stats for activity and sleep.

What really sets the devices apart in terms of accuracy is GPS, which tracks distance, routes, and pace. All Apple Watches come with GPS and the distance tracking during our testing was very precise. The latest model, the Ultra, uses two frequencies for GPS, which reduces the risk of dropped signals and delivers extremely reliable, consistent data. On the other hand, not all Fitbits have built-in GPS, so make sure to read the fine print if this is a feature you want in a tracker.

Apple Watch Ultra

Verywell Fit / Courtesy Donna Freydkin

Ease of Setup

Winner: Tie

All the Apple Watches and Fitbits we tested were straightforward to set up, and the process for all the devices is actually fairly similar. Although the watches usually come partially charged, they need to be at 100 percent before getting started. Next, you simply pair the device to your phone and then follow a series of prompts on the watch.

When testing both Apple Watches and Fitbits, we sometimes faced inevitable delays in the setup process, such as having to first download updates. But, generally, you can be up and running with a Fitbit or Apple Watch within a few minutes.

Ease of Use

Winner: Apple 

Apple Watches and Fitbits are both known for being user-friendly, even for those who are new to fitness tracking. However, the Apple Watch’s design and user interface are a bit more intuitive and simple, putting it a notch above Fitbit in terms of ease of use. In our testing of Fitbit devices, we sometimes had trouble with the touchscreen functionality and buttons, both of which sometimes need really hard jabs to use.

The display on all Apple Watches is big, bright, and clear, even when you’re on the move. On the flip side, some of the Fitbit wearables have tiny screens that can be tough to read in some lighting. “I like to be able to read my stats without squinting, and it just wasn’t possible with the Fitbit Inspire‘s tiny screen,” our tester said. If you’re leaning toward a Fitbit, be sure to check the screen’s dimensions, since there’s quite a bit of variation.

Apple Watch Ultra

Verywell Fit / Courtesy Donna Freydkin

Design and Comfort

Winner: Fitbit

Fitbit gets the edge for overall design and comfort because they have a more diverse line-up of offerings that cater to different sizes and preferences. While Fitbit’s smartwatches, including the Sense 2 and Versa 4, have a similar design to the Apple Watch, the brand’s slimmer activity bands are more comfortable and less obtrusive for working out.

One of our testers noted that the Fitbit Charge 5 felt so comfortable that he barely felt like he had it on. “I can do workouts in Crossfit, like power cleans, pull-ups, snatches, and handstands without it getting in my way,” he said. “This is something that I struggled with wearing the Apple Watch, as it always activated emergency mode and affected the quality of my workouts.”

After using the Apple Watch Ultra for a month, our tester said it’s “really heavy and feels very clunky.” Even the sleeker Series 7 or 8 models are not as streamlined as some of Fitbit’s options.

Generally, the included silicone Fitbit bands are more comfortable for continuous use than the Apple ones. However, both Apple Watch and Fitbit devices feature interchangeable bands, so you can swap them out for your preferred choice. 


Winner: Fitbit

Apple Watches only work with the iPhone lineup, so you’re basically out of luck if you have an Android. Fitbit, on the other hand, is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones, giving them the advantage for this category.

That being said, Apple Watch still gets major compatibility points for how well it works with the iPhone, letting you use apps, send texts, take calls, and listen to music or podcasts directly from your wrist.

Fitbit Inspire 3

Verywell Fit / Courtesy Sarah Felbin

Battery Life

Winner: Fitbit

Without a doubt, Fitbit is the clear winner in terms of battery life. One of the biggest complaints about the Apple Watch is that it requires frequent charging, with the Series 8 and SE models only lasting about 18 hours. Although the new Apple Watch Ultra has double the battery life of previous versions, Fitbit devices still go a lot longer on a single charge, with most lasting about 6-7 days. 


Winner: Apple Watch

While earlier Fitbits were water-resistant or sweatproof but not fully waterproof, their more recent devices—including the Fitbit Sense 2 and the Fitbit Versa 4—are swim-proof and capable of tracking swim workouts. Similarly, the latest Apple watches, such as the Series 8, SE, and Ultra, are safe to wear in the pool.

While most of the devices are comparable in waterproofing, the Ultra takes the brand over the top. As Apple’s most durable, rugged smartwatch, it’s swim-proof, can withstand recreational diving to 40 meters, and is a best-in-class option for water sports.

Extra Features 

Winner: Apple Watch

Apple definitely has more extra features than Fitbit, which makes sense, given the higher average price. In addition to health and activity tracking, every Apple Watch model offers notifications, alarms, timers, an expansive app store, phone calls, music, text, Siri, and much more.

Plus, the Apple Watch Ultra comes with a breadth of safety features, including a built-in compass, a siren, and crash and fall detection. For swimmers and divers, it also has a depth gauge, which activates automatically when you submerge, and a water temperature sensor.

Every Apple Watch model has built-in, very accurate GPS, a must-have feature for some runners, hikers, and cyclists who want to measure their routes. Some Fitbits, such as the Charge 5, Sense 2, and Versa 4, have GPS included, but not all do.

What You Can Expect to Pay

Fitbits range in price from $60 to $300, so there’s likely a suitable option for every budget.

A basic activity tracker, such as the Fibit Inspire 3, records stats such as steps, distance, and calories burned and costs between $60 and $100. The brand’s more advanced devices, such as the Charge 5, also track things like sleep data and heart rate and are typically priced between $130 and $150. Finally, Fitbit smartwatches, such as the Sense 2, provide all of those fitness tracking capabilities plus special features, such as GPS, call and text alerts, and on-screen workouts, and range from $200 to $300. 

Apple doesn’t have as diverse a line-up as Fitbit and their watches have more extra features, so that’s reflected in the price range. The Apple Watch SE is the least expensive option at about $250, while the Series 8 runs about $400. Of course, those prices increase if you add cellular connectivity. On the high end, the Apple Watch Ultra right now sells for $799 and comes with cellular included.

Is it better to buy an Apple Watch or a Fitbit?  

Choosing a Fitbit or an Apple Watch really depends on your preferences, goals, and budget. Fitbit offers a wider variety of products in terms of price and features, so you’re more likely to find a device that feels tailored to your needs. Their wearables also have better battery life, offer more robust health and fitness tracking (especially for sleep data), and are a bit less expensive compared to Apple Watches. Plus, Fitbit products sync with both Apple and Android devices, so they’re definitely a better option for those with Android phones. 

However, if you have an iPhone, you may prefer the Apple Watch since it integrates seamlessly with it, allowing you to use all your favorite apps, listen to music or podcasts, text and call from your wrist, and much more. And, since you can get cellular connectivity with an Apple Watch, you have the option of leaving your phone at home. If you prefer an all-in-one smartwatch that helps you stay productive and informed, the Apple Watch may be a good fit. 

Fitbit Charge 5

Verywell Fit / Courtesy Michael Navarro

Why Trust Verywell Fit 

Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, is a contributing writer for Verywell Fit with more than 20 years of experience writing and editing health and fitness content and product recommendations. As a certified personal trainer, running coach, and avid runner, she has used many sports watches, fitness trackers, and smartwatches over the years. She likes devices that provide in-depth, reliable stats and can be comfortably worn all day.