Are a Fitbit or an Apple Watch more accurate?

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Matthew M. White
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Smartwatches and fitness trackers have a lot in common. Nowadays you can buy a smartwatch with lots of health features or a fitness tracker with different apps. While this means the products have a lot more to offer, it does make choosing between them more difficult.

Fitbit and Apple Watch are both household names in the smartwatch world. If you're looking for a new fitness tracker, you want to make sure you're buying a product that will show accurate and precise results.



In this article, we'll dig deeper into the world of fitness tracking and whether Fitbit or Apple Watch are more accurate in specific circumstances. With our help, you will be able to make an informed decision on what best suits your needs.

Is a Fitbit or Apple Watch more accurate for tracking steps?

You don't have to be a professional athlete to track your fitness. Many people find that step counting has helped them become more active and made their walks more enjoyable. By reaching a goal, people have a sense of accomplishment, which drives them to try even harder.

So, it's no surprise that it's one of the core functions of Fitbit and Apple Watch. But the question is, which is more accurate?

Apple Watch focuses more on calorie burning and movement when measuring your steps. There's a good reason for that: you can easily take 10 steps throughout the day by walking slowly. But when you take 000 steps faster and uphill, you burn a lot more calories. In this regard, the Apple Watch calorie count has the edge over the steps.


On the other hand, Fitbit focuses on the actual steps you take during the day. Additionally, Fitbit lets you view your step count as you walk. This way you can determine if the results are correct.


Unlike a Fitbit, an Apple Watch does not have a built-in step counting feature on the Apple Watch Face. This means you can't just look at your wrist and see your step count. Many users find this option a deal breaker and opt for Fitbit or another brand that allows this feature.

According to many users, Fitbit is more accurate in counting steps. As it allows you to view them while walking, it is more reliable and user-friendly. Of course, Apple Watch is still good, especially when you calibrate it. The difference is whether you care more about the actual number of steps or calories burned and general activity throughout the day.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that these devices are not 100% accurate. Both can have false positives and record steps when you're not walking. Indeed, the devices count the steps according to your movement. For example, your watch can record steps when you are driving or sitting. Additionally, many users suggest that the accuracy also depends on whether or not you wear the watch on your dominant hand.

Winner: FitBit

Is a Fitbit or Apple Watch more accurate for counting calories burned?

Fitbit and Apple Watch can calculate the number of calories you burn throughout the day.

Fitbit uses your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and activity to calculate how many calories you've burned. You can set your own goals in this regard, which is handy if your focus is on weight loss.


Apple Watch also uses your BMR to count calories burned. Like Fitbit, Apple lets you enter personal information such as gender, weight, and height to calculate how many calories you should burn on average. The design of the Apple Watch has three rings, one of which is the recommended number of calories you should burn daily. Of course, you can always adjust the calorie goal.


The crucial difference between the two is in the calories they save. Fitbit starts measuring your calories at midnight and displays the total calories burned. This means the calories you burn while sleeping and resting will also be included in the total number.

Unlike Fitbit, Apple makes a distinction between "active calories" and "resting calories". The ring that records calories, the Move ring, only measures active calories.

It can be good and bad at the same time. Some users like to track the number of calories they burn only during exercise and don't care about those burned during rest. On the other hand, some users want to see the total calories burned throughout the day.

Both are accurate in measuring calories, but the thing is, Fitbit will log more calories. This is only because it also records calories "at rest". Which one you choose depends solely on the calories you want to track, which is why there's no clear winner in this category.

Winner: A tie

Is a Fitbit or Apple Watch more accurate for tracking heart rate?

Both brands use photoplethysmography (PPG) to track your heart rate, so let's explain that a bit further.


When your heart beats, your capillaries contract and expand due to changes in blood volume. Both devices feature a green LED light that flashes hundreds of times per second and records these blood volume changes, keeping track of your heart rate. The devices then analyze this data and provide a specific number of heartbeats per minute.


Fitbit detects three heart rate zones: peak, cardio, and fat burn, which are based on your maximum heart rate. The peak zone is when you are at 80-100% of your highest heart rate during the most intense parts of your workouts. The cardio zone is 70-84% of your maximum heart rate, while the fat-burning zone is about 50-69% of your maximum heart rate. On top of that, Fitbit lets you customize which HR zones you want to track.

With Fitbit, you can also record your resting heart rate or the number of heartbeats when you're still for an extended period of time. The best time to measure this is in the morning or after 30 minutes of inactivity.

As mentioned, Apple Watch uses the same technology to measure your heart rate, with slight differences. Unlike Fitbit which provides heart rate updates every five seconds, Apple Watch does so at intervals that vary based on your activity level. Of course, you can still access the heart rate feature and measure it when needed.

The exception is when using the Workout app. In this case, Apple Watch constantly measures your heart rate and continues to do so for three minutes after you finish your workout to record the recovery rate.

Apple Watch also records your resting heart rate. You can enable heart rate notifications which will alert you if deviations occur throughout the day.

Both devices provide relatively accurate readings, but many users prefer Apple Watch. It is more sensitive to high and low heart rate irregularities, even when you are not exercising.

Newer models of both brands can record an electrocardiogram (EKG or EKG). It is a measurement of the electrical signals coming from your heart that can establish irregularities. Running an ECG test on both devices is simple and the results can be extremely helpful.

While both devices can help you understand your average resting and exercising heart rate, they aren't 100% accurate. If you feel unwell or suspect heart problems, it is essential to see a doctor.

The Battle of the Titans

Both Fitbit and Apple Watch are well-known products that offer a lot of fitness tracking features. Although not 100% accurate, they provide detailed insight into your daily physical activity and overall health. Additionally, the devices store the data, so you can review it and track your progress at any time.

Apple Watch is a good choice if you want a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. If you're only focused on fitness tracking, you should go with Fitbit.

Do you wear fitness trackers? Which brand do you think is the most accurate for fitness tracking? Tell us in the comments section below.

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