Q: “Hey Shana, Should I get a Fit Bit or an Apple Watch?”
A: I love it when tech and fitness collides! Having the exact data of how your body responds to a workout is geek-worthy material for sure. I innocently started out with a Fit Bit Charge 2 towards the beginning of my fitness journey, then “upgraded” to an Apple watch 4 a few months ago. Budget aside, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each device below!
Fit Bit – As my intro to the tech fitness world, I loved that this device would track data such my: heart rate, calories burned, steps walked, breathing and sleep quality. It made fitness interesting by gamifying certain milestones, like awarding you with badges for hiking to a certain altitude, and by building a social community that allows you to connect with friends/family to start fun challenges against one another, like who could get the most steps in a week. I loved that it reminded me to walk/stand throughout the day, and that it could seamlessly connect with other apps/hardware such as My Fitness Pal (for meal tracking) and the aria scale. Honestly, even though this model didn’t have all the bells and whistles as some of the others, it was more than enough for my concerns. The only reason I gave up on it was because of the interchangeable bands. Although fashionable, I found that these bands were not durable. I purchased and broke five bands before completely giving it up.
Apple Watch – Although this device costs almost twice as much as the Fit Bit, I found that I use it for the same basic functionalities as the Fit Bit. In fact, I have the more expensive cellular model which means that for an extra monthly cost of an additional cell phone line, you could leave your phone at home in lieu of the watch! Thinking of all the annoying times I’d have to physically hold my sweaty phone during my beach runs, the cellular mode was a selling point for me! (Yes, arm bands annoy me too).
However after 2-3 months of owning the device I cancelled its cellular capabilities; I hardly ever used it! I didn’t like how the watch would share data with my phone (as I was on a limited data plan) and I also found that using this feature would drain the battery life, SO FAST! I can still run without my phone, however I have to plan ahead to download the songs/podcasts I want to listen to before leaving the house. I can no longer answer calls and/or texts without my phone being nearby though.
The cheaper non-cellular version of this device can do everything the Fit Bit can do and more. In addition, I love that this watch can be customized to your needs via the apps you install and even the display of the watch face (to show the time, a photo of my dog, stats like my heart rate, and more). Additionally, it syncs up easily to all my other Apple devices. If you’ve ever seen the workout videos posted in my instastory, I use my watch to control my iphone’s camera to record myself! The Apple Watch’s bands are also interchangeable however so far I haven’t had a need to buy another. I have the rose gold nylon band.
Overall Thoughts: If budget is not an issue, the non-cellular version of the Apple Watch is the clear winner mostly because of the issues I had with Fit Bit’s interchangeable bands. Imagine looking down at your wrist to see that your watch is gone! Not cool. After the cost of buying band after band, if you’re lucky to not have lost the actual device itself, the cost comparison may even be a moot point.
However, in my absolute honest opinion, neither device is necessary! Save your money! Now that I have an Apple watch, I wear it mostly to tell the time and to check the weather or calendar, which are all things I can do on my phone. I still love that it reminds me to move after being sedentary for a bit, but you can set an alarm clock on your phone to do the same for a whole lot cheaper! The apps I love are also accessible from my phone. While interesting to see/track the numerical data of my daily movements, my approach to health and wellness could care less!
Gone are the days where I tracked every morsel in vs calorie out. Gone are the days where I became a slave to the scale too, allowing it to dictate my actions, thoughts and feelings about myself for the rest of the day/week. I am no longer driven by data or results. If anything, sometimes seeing the calories burned after a workout can be triggering, bad for my mental health, and is ultimately not important. So unless you’re on a rigid data/result-driven body building/bikini competition plan, I’d recommend that you save your money for another rainy day. Instead, focus on building healthy habits simply because they make you feel good, and no watch is required to do that!