Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Blaze

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by PaladinGuy, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. PaladinGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #1
    Haven't seen any discussion on here about this topic, so I thought I'd bring it up. I've been trying out the Fitibit Blaze since last Friday, and I'm trying to decide on whether I want to keep it and sell my Apple Watch or stay with the Apple Watch.

    Here's my thing. I'm actually seeing myself a lot less frustrated with the Blaze because it's simple and isn't trying to do a ton (resulting in smoother operation and less lag/glitches). It sticks with what it is good at and does it very well (I think this is the better approach and wish Apple had tried to do less well instead of more mediocre). The materials, quality and design are nowhere close to my SS Apple Watch. The Taptic Engine is much nicer on my Apple Watch. However, the software doesn't lag or have any glitches on the Blaze, I've found the heart rate sensor to be more consistent when I run and exercise, I like the longer battery life, like the software better because it analyzes data more, etc.

    Minus the battery life, I find that what I really want is the Apple Watch hardware with the Fitbit software! I know this is never happening, but it would be sweet. I'm just convinced that most people want wearables to do things in the background and quickly alert them about things coming up. I find that better, at least until the hardware catches up.

    My dilemma is that I know I'm not going to get much of anything for my 38mm Apple Watch, which also had a Milanese loop and classic buckle band. I got it on launch day. Financially, it seems like a bad call to sell it at such a loss when I might can make it work for my needs. On top of the loss is the cost of the Blaze.... Just can't seem to make up my mind.

    Anyone had a similar experience or thoughts? Looking for friendly input.
     
  2. ronanzj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #2
    Thank you for the feedback, and I have been struggling between AW and Blaze for a while. I love the native support on AW, but the battery life makes me wait. Blaze battery life looks good, but software isn't that nice. I only need an activity watch tracking my steps, heart rate and calories.

    I will wait until WWDC 2016 and hope apple will introduce new AW with improved battery life.
     
  3. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #3
    Truthfully, the Blaze software is pretty good. My only crack on it is that it's a little tedious and time consuming to set a timer because you have to swipe so much. I also would like to be able to tell it how long my exercise session will be and have it tell me progress, like my Apple Watch.

    It's far more focused on fitness and, as a result, I think it's better at it than Apple Watch. If you're looking primarily for the things you mentioned, I'd recommend the Blaze, particularly if comparing the Apple Watch Sport. With the SS Apple Watch, there's a BIG difference in build quality and materials.

    Id also highly doubt that the next version will have much better battery life. It just isn't ever a high priority for Apple. Also, most smartwatches have comparable battery life. Blaze is geared towards fitness.
     
  4. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #4
    Fitbit does one thing really well and if your main goal is fitness, it is probably the right choice. I think of the Apple Watch as a jack of all trades master of none or maybe a few. I love the Apple Watch because it does so much more than fitness. The HR is great for me and the apps I want are all very fast and the watch looks great. I can go from the pool to a suit and tie with the same watch look great.
     
  5. ronanzj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #5
    Thank you for the info. I mainly want to use it as my activity tracker, and I don't use notification at all because I can pull out the phone anytime. I had Garmin Bravo Tactix for 3 weeks and it was good because the battery life was around 3 weeks but the watch was just too big for me to wear 24/7.

    How is the battery life on Apple watch if I just use it as an activity tracker with HR on, and all notification off?
     
  6. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #6
    I can't stress enough that you really sound like you would benefit most from Fitbit. However, if you really want the Apple Watch, the battery life will depend a lot on the size you get, how long you exercise each day, how much you have the screen on, etc. I could maybe stretch 1.5 days out of my 38mm Apple Watch, if I don't exercise with it that day. That said, I end the day with somewhere in the 30% range. There's no way I can use it without a nightly or daily charge.
     
  7. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #7
    I think if Siri was more consistent on the watch and if the Apple activity software did more with my data to analyze it, I'd probably have an easier decision.
     
  8. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #8
    Well, I ate my words today. I thought the HR sensor was more reliable on the Fitbit Blaze, but it ended up majorly sketching out on me today during my exercise. Apparently, sweat completely screws it up. I did a harder workout, and it gave me either an extremely low reading or nothing. Guess the moral really that optical HR monitors just aren't very reliable. There are too many variables that can throw them off. I'm going to stick to my Apple Watch and get a Bluetooth chest strap.
     
  9. bambooshots macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #9
    If your main goal is fitness the Microsoft Band 2 is also really good.

    I'm after a time piece with quality materials and design and the Watch, while a bit bloated for other applications, does fine for that.
     
  10. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #10
    I have tried the Blaze and found it lacks any customization. For the size I choose to go back to my Fitbit Charge HR which does the same as the Blaze without the color screen. For pure fitness tracking the Fitbits offer more.

    I love my Apple watch but it is a compromise and the heart tracker on the Fitbit is superior over the watch but not by much.
     
  11. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2014
    #11
    The Microsoft band 2 would be great, if it didn't feel like you're wearing a shackle! Features are nice, but it's one of the worst designs, wearability-wise.
     
  12. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #12
    Yeah, I like all the data and analysis that the Fitbit app gives, but I like to gauge my workouts by using HR. So, I want it to be accurate. I do intervals often, which means I need to know what BPM I'm at. I just don't think optical HR sensors can detect fast changes like a chest strap.
     
  13. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #13
    I agree and have used a Polar strap before and they are instant in changes where the wrist HR devices kinda round things off when moving quickly up or down in HR. No doubt they are more accurate
     
  14. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #14
    It's really a shame because it's undoubtedly more comfortable to not wear a chest strap. Maybe one day optical HR monitoring will get there. It just bothers me too much when something gives me inaccurate data. Wrong BPM data messes up the other data, as well. That's what annoys me with the Blaze now. The calorie algorithms will be off if the BPM data is lower than it should be. I did a hard exercise yesterday. At one point, the Blaze jumped to 180bpm from 140s. Then it went back to the 130s-140s. I know my average BPM was not in the 140s!
     
  15. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #15
    Try a Scosche Rhythm+. It is optical but fits on your forearm. It is accurate and comfortable.

    I suspect that the problem is wrist-based optical, not optical in general. The Rhythm+ is as good as my chest strap.
     
  16. canvasback13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #16
    I would use a fitbit if you want the social aspect. The apple watch tracks activity well. You can add something like Pedometer+ as a complication and add steps to a custom watch face.

    Battery life was my biggest concern. I have now had the watch foor a month and never had my charge go below 20% on a single day. That even includes some days getting up at 3:30, and not back on a charger till 10. charging at night isn't a big deal.
     
  17. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2014
    #17
    I've read good things about the Scosche Rhythm+. I actually think I'd rather do a chest strap, personally, if I have to use a separate device. That's the bummer to me about wrist based Optical HRMs. I would love to not have to carry around a strap and a watch. I hope the technology eventually gets better. For now, I just ordered a Wahoo Tickr to pair with my Apple Watch during exercise.
     
  18. chanerz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #18
    I came from Fitbit Blaze to Apple watch. The Blaze has great battery but a lot of problems regarding the watch. I follow their forums as well and a lot of people are having problem with their Blaze.
    Cons:
    Only 4 clock face
    No seconds on their clock face
    Wrist wake up is buggy
    inaccurate steps and miles
    touch swipe doesn't work very well
    the connected gps is buggy as well

    When I run, I pair my Apple watch with Scosche Rhythm + for more accurate HR data
     
  19. sean000, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016

    sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #19
    I used a Fitbit One for a year and a half. I never liked the fitness band look (which is why I had the Fitbit made to wear on a belt or in a pocket). The Blaze is the first Fitbit I wouldn't mind wearing since it looks like an Apple Watch, but it just doesn't offer the features and customization of the Apple Watch. I have no issues with the Apple Watch heart rate sensor, but it seems like some have better luck with one or the other. That's a lower priority for me anyway. I'm more interesed in the apps and more robust notifications that the Apple Watch offers.

    Fitbit definitely offers some compelling reasons to choose the Blaze if fitness tracking is your primary objective. The Fitbit app isn't perfect, but it is simpler than the multi-app Apple approach. Then there is the Fitbit social network. I never used that feature, but I could see it being a big deal for some. Of course Apple Watch users can tap into the social networks for apps like Strava, but that won't help you if your friends and family are all participating in Fitbit's network.

    If you want the best of both worlds you can always wear an Apple Watch and keep a Fitbit One in your pocket. I did that for about six months just to get a comparison between the two. The metrics were really close, and I eventually stopped using my Fitbit for anything beyond sleep tracking.

    In your case it doesn't sound like the Apple Watch adds as much value for you as it does for me. Will it cost you to switch if you can't sell the Apple Watch for as you'd like? Yes, but if the Blaze is really the better watch for you how much does that really matter?

    Sean
     
  20. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #20
    To me the Blaze is a rather simple device when compared to the Apple Watch. The Blaze is specialized for the fitness aspects while the watch is aimed to do much more.
     
  21. PaladinGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #21
    Yep. I ended up returning my Blaze yesterday. Since fitness is the primary purpose of the device, the HRM absolutely needs to be dependable. As soon as it started flaking out on me, I knew it wasn't going to work for me. It did really well the first couple times because I wasn't sweating as much.

    If the HRM was more consistent, I'd say that it's a decent device for the price point.
     
  22. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #22
    Yep, it looks like the HRM struggled during workouts in dcrainmaker's review. To me, that rates it a fail, until they fix it.
     
  23. Cycling Asia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    #23
    I had a fitbit surge prior to my apple watch and I too had major failures of the heart rate sensor on the fitbit as soon as I started to sweat. The advice was to either tighten, or loosen, or shift it up my arm or down to my wrist. None of this helped. I have had no such issues with the apple watch. (Plus I have a freely available SDK available to me with the apple watch so I could write myself a better fitness app if I so desire)
     
  24. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #24
    I like what Fitbit is doing in terms of fitness and social, but after using my Apple Watch for a year I can't change myself (truly enjoy using and wearing it).

    But if fitness is your primary or only goal I would look at Fitbit. They do quite a good job with the app and all the info they collect and summarize. And the social part is such a nice feature. I've seen a group of friends get so competitive all the time, always looks like fun.
     
  25. ronanzj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    #25
    I had Fitbit Blaze for 3 days and returned this afternoon. For activity tracking, the heart rate was almost the same as the elliptical machine, maybe 2 bpm difference. However, the rubber band gave me serious rash on my wrist, so I had to return it and got an apple watch with nylon strap. I had rubber band watch before, like sunnto, Tissot T-touch and didn't get any rash at all from these rubber bands, so I did feel a little bit weird.

    On my new apple watch, I turn off all the notifications to mainly use it as my activity tracker, but I notice apple watch doesn't have native sleep analysis and always on HR sensor.
     

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