The Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense are top smartwatches that can help keep an eye on your fitness levels and act as a phone alternative on your wrist. Both also have an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG — Apple uses ECG) app, track workouts, sleep and blood oxygen levels, but they’re different in the way they go about doing these things. To help you decide which is right for you, I’ve compared them on everything from fitness tracking to battery life and overall performance.
If you have an Android phone, the Fitbit is your only option, but both work with iOS devices, making the decision trickier if you have an iPhone. After two weeks of wearing these watches, I can tell you that there is no one-size-fits-all option. If you want the best overall smartwatch, with seamless fitness tracking and safety features, get the $399 (£379, AU$599) Apple Watch. If you want the most robust sleep tracking, temperature sensor and the best battery life, get the $329 (£299, AU$499) Fitbit Sense.
The latest Apple Watch has a robust set of fitness tracking features, an FDA-cleared ECG, blood oxygen tracking and all the responsiveness you could want from a smartwatch. It’s also the better option if you need built-in LTE to use your watch without your iPhone nearby.
The Fitbit Sense also offers an FDA-cleared ECG, strong sleep tracking, a temperature sensor and a stress tracking sensor. Unlike the Apple Watch, it also works with Android, has plenty of third-party watch faces to choose from, and offers the better battery life of the two watches.
Both are comfortable to wear, with familiar designs
The Series 6 looks like every other Apple Watch that has come before it, with a square face available in two sizes (either 40 or 44mm) plus a digital crown and side button. The Sense looks like a higher-end Versa and comes in just one 40mm size with a stainless steel rim around the square face, but instead of a physical button, it has an indentation on the side that vibrates when pressed and can be used to control the screen. While the Fitbit is physically larger than the 40mm Apple Watch, the actual screen size is only a hair bigger than the Apple Watch because of the bezels. The Apple Watch also has bezels around the screen, although they’re slimmer than those on the Sense.
Each watch has a color, always-on screen that’s easy to see in broad daylight, although I found the Apple Watch takes the edge for overall brightness when glancing down at my wrist during an outdoor workout.
The Sense has many more watch faces to choose from than the Apple Watch, including third-party ones. However, you can further customize some Apple Watch faces to include complications, which are similar to shortcuts: They can display