Update 2020: The Apple Watch continues to grow through each new generation of hardware and software, while Fitbit left Blaze behind with new devices including the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Versa 2. While Fitbit and Apple aren’t exactly competing with like-for-like products, Google stepping up to buy Fitbit may mean future battles, despite catering to slightly different markets. Most would agree that Fitbit devices are still mostly a fitness tracker, with some features that offer smart functionality, while the Apple Watch is mostly about smart features, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also take care of your fitness tracking needs.
We’ve retained this original article looking at which device is the right fit for your wrist, but bear in mind it was first written back in late 2016, as wrist-based hardware and software were making early steps in the remarkable journey forwards.
Design and build quality
There is no question about it. Apple is known for its design prowess and the Apple Watch doesn’t fail to impress. It is as stylish as smart watches can get and will be recognized from a good distance. The Apple Watch comes with a sleek metal design and sleek screen, along with a plethora of options for straps; from sporty to classy.
On the other hand, the Fitbit Blaze is not quite up to par in terms of looks. Don’t get us wrong, This is one of Fitbit’s best-looking smart watches, but it won’t be as sleek as Apple’s product. All you need to do to realize this is take a look at that bezel, which becomes even bigger thanks to the metal frame. We can’t deny it is the closest we have seen Fitbit get to the Apple Watch design, though.
One would imagine Fitbit also does better building resistant products, as they focus on activity trackers, which more often get wet and exposed to the elements. This is simply not true. The Fitbit Blaze is tested for 1 ATM, which means it can handle sweat, rain and the usual accidental dunk. But don’t even think about taking it for a dive.
The Apple Watch is water resistant up to 50 meters. Now, that is pretty deep! The company even managed to keep the device secure without sealing the speaker. The unit lets water in, then pushes it back out using sound vibrations.
There is one thing the Fitbit Blaze has some of you may like – its ability to quickly swap straps. The actual unit can be removed from the frame and straps easily. Alternatively, it may take a minute or two to change straps on the Apple Watch.
There is no question about it – those who want a more powerful and functional smart watch will have to go with the Apple Watch. The truth is the color display and power on the Fitbit Blaze is a bit of a waste. The unit can handle call, text and calendar alerts, as well as a few other notifications from apps like Gmail and Facebook. We also can’t forget music controls. But most of the time you can’t really do anything other than see what is going on. And the device doesn’t even have a microphone, speaker, WiFi or NFC.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch has support from a plethora of apps, giving it the ability to interact with content and media directly from the watch. For example, you are not limited to seeing who is messaging you; most times you can also reply.
The Fitbit Blaze is mostly an activity tracker, making us assume it would take this round easily… but it really doesn’t. Yes, the Blaze does beat the Apple Watch in terms of activity tracking, but not by much. Let’s take a look at the health features in each.
|Apple Watch Series 2||Fitbit Blaze|
|Heart rate monitor||Yes, optical||Yes, optical|
|Battery life||Up to 18 hours||Up to 5 days|
|Colors||Too many to list here||Black/Silver, Blue/Silver, Plum/Silver, Black/Gunmetal, Slim Pink/Gold|
|Water resistance||5 ATM|
Up to 50 meters
ISO standard 22810:2010
|Compatibility||iOS||Android, iOS, Windows|
|Display||38mm: 1.3-inch OLED, 340ppi|
42mm: 1.5-inch OLED, 390ppi
|1.25-inch LCD, 240ppi|
The Fitbit may have an altimeter and better handling of its data, but the truth is almost everything it can do can also be accomplished with the Apple Watch. If not with stock apps, you can download third-party services that will take care of business.
Not to mention the fact that the Fitbit Blaze has no integrated GPS. This means you are forced to carry your phone with you in order to keep track of location.
Don’t have an iPhone? Your decision just got easier. The Apple Watch will work with nothing other than iOS. All while Fitbit supports Android, iOS and Windows devices.
Here is one section Apple has no way of competing with Fitbit. You can get a full day out of the Apple Watch, but with an 18-hour estimated battery life, it’s still necessary to charge once a day. The Fitbit Blaze has an estimated battery life of up to 5 days!
This is why the Fitbit Blaze is a better choice to those who care about sleep tracking. You don’t need to take the watch off for multiple days, until you need a quick power-up.
We believe the Apple Watch is, overall, a better device. It can do almost everything the Fitbit Blaze takes care of. Apple has better support for apps, more functions, almost every activity tracking feature and even a more resistant body. But maybe you prefer to have the altimeter, battery life, better sleep tracking and easily switchable bands on the Fitbit Blaze.
The main factor to consider is price. The Apple Watch starts at $269, while the Fitbit Blaze costs $199.95. Is the Apple Watch’s advantages worth $70 to you? Maybe… maybe not. After all, the Fitbit Blaze might be more than enough for your specific needs.
But tell us, guys – which smart watch would you rather have? Which wins the Apple Watch vs Fitbit Blaze comparison for you? Let us know your views in the comments below!