Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Charge HR vs. Jawbone UP2 as a Fitness Tracker

edtorious

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 14, 2007
1,193
66
San Diego, California
I'm thinking of getting a fitness tracker between Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP2 but I'm seriously considering Apple Watch. To those who got the Apple Watch and got a Fitbit or Jawbone, did you ditch your fitness tracker for the Apple Watch or are you using both or do you still prefer your fitness tracker over the Apple Watch? Please advise. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

Planepics

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2015
138
16
Nevada
I will let you know as soon as my watch gets here, but that's one of the big reasons I bought it: the fitness stuff. I have a Fitbit now....and wasn't planning having both...
 

clemsonryan

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2015
24
2
Chelsea, AL
I had a Fitbit Charge and now the Apple Watch. I enjoyed having a Fitbit but never thought steps were accurate because it would count a lot while at work and not walking at all just because of arm movement. With the Apple Watch tied to the iPhone the steps and distance seem more accurate.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,195
922
I have the watch and the Up24. I did not stop wearing the Up band when I got my watch. I like the way Jawbone charts the steps over time, and I like the sleep tracking and smart nap functionality of the band. And as I've been wearing an Up band for two and half years now, it'd feel weird not to have it on.

If the watch had smart nap and sleep functionality, I might consider retiring my Up band.

ETA:
My AW counts a few more steps than my Up band, probably because I wear it on my dominant wrist. BUT, I wear my UP band in the shower, and don't wear my AW, so at the end of the day the steps are usually quite close in total count.
 

grenhall

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2011
240
18
Sweden
Ditched everything I had, Jawbone, Sony Smartband and Xiaomi MiBand. Except for tracking sleep. Xiaomi needs a charge every 35-40 days so that's strapped when I hit the sack. But for all other tracking the "fitness trackers" are extremely redundant.
 

baller1308

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2009
1,039
170
I've been wearing both to compare mainly just the steps so far. These are the numbers for the past few days, not including any fitness.

Apple: 4323/8186/5598
Fitbit : 5072/9542/5748

Looks like Fitbit is coming out ahead, more so on some days.
 

starbot

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2005
186
25
So.. how many steps do you take in the shower..?

I have the watch and the Up24. I did not stop wearing the Up band when I got my watch. I like the way Jawbone charts the steps over time, and I like the sleep tracking and smart nap functionality of the band. And as I've been wearing an Up band for two and half years now, it'd feel weird not to have it on.

If the watch had smart nap and sleep functionality, I might consider retiring my Up band.

ETA:
My AW counts a few more steps than my Up band, probably because I wear it on my dominant wrist. BUT, I wear my UP band in the shower, and don't wear my AW, so at the end of the day the steps are usually quite close in total count.
 

bruizjr

macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2010
6
0
I ditched my fitbit. I never found sleep tracking to be helpful. I still have my fitbit scale and use myfitnesspal to sync weight info to the health app. The combination of Apple Watch, myfitnesspal and fitbit Aria is pretty powerful and is probably my favorite feature of the Apple Watch.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
I'm thinking of getting a fitness tracker between Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP2 but I'm seriously considering Apple Watch. To those who got the Apple Watch and got a Fitbit or Jawbone, did you ditch your fitness tracker for the Apple Watch or are you using both or do you still prefer your fitness tracker over the Apple Watch? Please advise. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Got rid of my Fitbit Surge for the Apple Watch.
I seem to be getting more steps with the Apple Watch though, not sure if I've moved more since I got the watch or if the Fitbit missed steps. I feel like the Fitbit missed steps though as I've kept my routine the same. I much prefer the Apple Watch over anything else I've owned, it's best features for me are the health features and then you get so much more in a slick package.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,195
922
So.. how many steps do you take in the shower..?
It's shower + getting ready in the morning (I usually forget to put the watch on until I'm just about ready to go and am putting on my rings and such). I usually get about 500-800 steps in that time, according to my Up band.
 

ParishYoung

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2008
644
5
Bristol, South West UK
I'm thinking of getting a fitness tracker between Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP2 but I'm seriously considering Apple Watch. To those who got the Apple Watch and got a Fitbit or Jawbone, did you ditch your fitness tracker for the Apple Watch or are you using both or do you still prefer your fitness tracker over the Apple Watch? Please advise. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Great question. Glad you asked.

I've been using the Jawbone UP24 for over a year now. And honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. Arguably it has the most accurate step count of all the trackers (quick Google search will verify) and the sleep tracker is nice. It's cool, you don't really need to do anything with it other than charge it and wear it. The charging is nice and quick - can easily fill up for 14 days continuous use (including sleep) in about a hour. So it does have a few pro's.

However it's not perfect.

1. If you've not tracked your activity before, it's a great start. For the reasons above. However it uses some really basic averages from American Health Association to determine your calorie burn. Again great if your starting, but it's not long using it that you want more detail and it just can't provide it. Making you want for another product.

2. Almost every time I've had a problem with the app crashing or simply not starting, it's been because they have released a software update. The app needs to be removed and re-downloaded, or you just don't open it for a day or two and they release a fix which auto installs (thank you iOS)

3. Their support is *****. They outsource it to god knows who and they don't understand your questions.

4. It doesn't play nicely with Apple's Health. It will input steps and hours slept. But they want your data for themselves so no Workouts, Active Calories or Resting Calories are included. There is an app in the AppStore that will fix this, but I had problems with that as well and I've ended up with about a month of days with 100,000+ steps.

5. The SMART COACH is actually a curated list of Blog Posts.

I've not used the FitBit as I wanted the Health integration and they have flat out refused to get involved with it.

Whichever one you get Activity Tracking is fascinating and usually it does't take much to increase your step count and being more active. But I don't think anything comes close to the Apple Watch at this stage.

if you're having trouble justifying the Apple Watch, here is how I did it (for the benefit of the Mrs):

1 x Activity Tracker (Jawbone UP24) = £129.99
1 x HR Monitor (Mio Alpha, uses same tech as Apple Watch) = £249.99
1 x Mid / High End Watch = £300
Total = £679.98

OR

1 x Apple Watch Sport = £339

OR

1 x Apple Watch Stainless Steel = £529


Hope this helps
 

makefunnyfaces

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2010
939
1
West Virginia
I have a Polar Loop. It's newer to the market. Similar to Fitbit, but you can add a HRM to it.

I haven't received my AW yet, but similar to others, a big plus for me was the fitness portion. I especially like that I can add my HRM. I love my Polar Loop, but I'm definitely going to ditch it once my watch comes in. There's no reason for me to switch between two watches when one can do it all.
 

alexcue

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2015
327
89
Los Angeles, CA
I actually use the Fitbit One, which is wearable on my body as opposed to my wrist. I find it much more accurate than the watch, but I also wear it 24/7 except for the shower, when the One gets charged.

At night I swap the AW and move the One to my wrist for sleep tracking. Personally, I like to compare the numbers but the Watch is always less. I just don't trust it for instance if I'm carrying something in that hand or pushing a cart. I think I'm being cheated for those steps.
 

dandrewk

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
473
87
San Rafael, California
I've been wearing both to compare mainly just the steps so far. These are the numbers for the past few days, not including any fitness.

Apple: 4323/8186/5598
Fitbit : 5072/9542/5748

Looks like Fitbit is coming out ahead, more so on some days.
I actually use the Fitbit One, which is wearable on my body as opposed to my wrist. I find it much more accurate than the watch, but I also wear it 24/7 except for the shower, when the One gets charged.
I have both, and both are accurate in counting steps. On long walks, the discrepancy is 1-2%.

However, there is a big difference in what is actually -logged- as steps. The FitBit logs all steps. The Apple Watch does not count "incidental" steps, i.e. small trips to the restroom, coffee machine etc. These add up during the day, and my FitBit One and AW daily counts are often different by 1k steps or more.

I don't know the threshold the AW uses before the steps are logged, but my guess is around 100 steps.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,195
922
1. If you've not tracked your activity before, it's a great start. For the reasons above. However it uses some really basic averages from American Health Association to determine your calorie burn. Again great if your starting, but it's not long using it that you want more detail and it just can't provide it. Making you want for another product.

2. Almost every time Jawbone I've had a problem with the app crashing or simply not starting, it's been because they have released a software update. The app needs to be removed and re-downloaded, or you just don't open it for a day or two and they release a fix which auto installs (thank you iOS)

3. Their support is *****. They outsource it to god knows who and they don't understand your questions.

4. It doesn't play nicely with Apple's Health.
I can confirm all of this as my experience with the Up. Their support used to be excellent but it's gone downhill significantly in the last year. I haven't tried the 3rd party app to get data into Health, but the Up app has completely stopped sending any data so...I may check out that app to see if I can get my sleep data into Health.

The app updates are a big issue. You can, of course, not autoinstall the updates to the app. But I'd be nice if Jawbone would get its act together and stop creating bogus updates.

The curated blog posts were a thing before the Smart Coach was announced, so...not sure what's up with that.

----------

The Apple Watch does not count "incidental" steps, i.e. small trips to the restroom, coffee machine etc. These add up during the day, and my FitBit One and AW daily counts are often different by 1k steps or more.
Have you actually verified that this is true? Mine seems to have no trouble counting the steps for these activities.
 

qpid360

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2009
453
25
Pasadena, CA
Do not get an Up. I'm on my umpteenth replacement and it failed again. Their customer service is horrible. If you look through their message boards, you'll find PLENTY of upset customers.
 

ParishYoung

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2008
644
5
Bristol, South West UK
I can confirm all of this as my experience with the Up. Their support used to be excellent but it's gone downhill significantly in the last year. I haven't tried the 3rd party app to get data into Health, but the Up app has completely stopped sending any data so...I may check out that app to see if I can get my sleep data into Health.
Have you got the Health settings configured to both Read and Write - I found that made a difference although did create a new problem....

Because the apps is constantly reading from Health and Health updates from the M7 (M8?) it grossly over estimates your step count. So you'll get a notification saying you've done like 14,000 steps today, but when you open the app and sync, your UP24 inserts the correct steps and your step count drops to where it should be. but you still have the reward for the 14,000 steps.

It's crap. I cannot wait to stop using it. (But I may keep it as I don't have an alternative for sleep tracking...yet)
 
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iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
590
183
Cheshire, UK
I've been wearing both to compare mainly just the steps so far. These are the numbers for the past few days, not including any fitness.

Apple: 4323/8186/5598
Fitbit : 5072/9542/5748

Looks like Fitbit is coming out ahead, more so on some days.
I ditched my Fitbit One when they didn't show support for the Health App, also relegated the Aria to a guest bedroom and bought a Withings Ox and a Smart Body scale.

I ditched the Ox when the watch turned up. For me the convenience is a plus and if it's under reporting and I'm still hitting goals then I'm happy.

I could still use more exercise I know and none of these devices are perfect.
 

ParishYoung

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2008
644
5
Bristol, South West UK
I ditched my Fitbit One when they didn't show support for the Health App, also relegated the Aria to a guest bedroom and bought a Withings Ox and a Smart Body scale.

I ditched the Ox when the watch turned up. For me the convenience is a plus and if it's under reporting and I'm still hitting goals then I'm happy.

I could still use more exercise I know and none of these devices are perfect.
I don't have my watch yet, but I read on iMore that there is a way to configure the watch to be more accurate. All it takes is a quick walk around the block. Maybe that will help with the accuracy. Although I'd be inclined to think the FitBit was wrong.

Like you said though, the accuracy isn't really a problem on any Activity Tracker. What's important is you consistently hitting the same amount or more in a day.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,195
922
Have you got the Health settings configured to both Read and Write - I found that made a difference although did create a new problem....

Because the apps is constantly reading from Health and Health updates from the M7 (M8?) it grossly over estimates your step count. So you'll get a notification saying you've done like 14,000 steps today, but when you open the app and sync, your UP24 inserts the correct steps and your step count drops to where it should be. but you still have the reward for the 14,000 steps.

It's crap. I cannot wait to stop using it. (But I may keep it as I don't have an alternative for sleep tracking...yet)
I don't know how it was set up originally, but it worked, and then one day it just stopped working (possibly because I had to uninstall and reinstall the Up app because the app stopped working, LOL - I've had to do that a bunch of times). So now I have to set to only write data to Health (and only sleep data). I'll try read and write (still only sleep data) to see if that works.

Thanks for the tip!
 

ParishYoung

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2008
644
5
Bristol, South West UK
I don't know how it was set up originally, but it worked, and then one day it just stopped working (possibly because I had to uninstall and reinstall the Up app because the app stopped working, LOL - I've had to do that a bunch of times). So now I have to set to only write data to Health (and only sleep data). I'll try read and write (still only sleep data) to see if that works.

Thanks for the tip!
I just checked in my Jawbone app, and Health Data has disabled itself (again), but still shows active in Health.

They should have stopped at Headset and Speakers.
 

co.ag.2005

macrumors 68020
Jun 17, 2009
2,339
1,742
Fort Worth, TX
I had a FitBit Charge HR before the Apple Watch.

I prefer the Apple Watch for my workouts and I feel like heart rate is more accurate with the Apple Watch.

I do boot camp workouts 3-4 days a week and my FitBit Charge HR (when worn at the appropriate tightness and position on my arm per FitBit) would show "--" for my heart rate during intense periods of my workout. I think my sweat interfered with the FitBit too much. Plus, I think I rarely saw my HR go above 120 with my FitBit (when looking at post workout stats).

On the Apple Watch, I love the ability to just look down and see my current HR without having to hit a button. and I haven't once seen the HR missing. And looking at my HR data after workout, the highs and lows seem to match what they'd actually be doing during a workout of this intensity.

Overall, I far prefer the way the Apple Watch tracks activity and steps vs the FitBit. I do miss the sleep tracking of my FitBit, but I hope this will be added in the future. And I will say, the rings on the Activity App do motivate me more than just hitting my steps goal on my FitBit.
 

dandrewk

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2010
473
87
San Rafael, California
Have you actually verified that this is true? Mine seems to have no trouble counting the steps for these activities.
Repeatedly. Both myself and others here - if you walk a few steps, the AW won't count those. And really, it shouldn't since the goal here is fitness, not how many times you get up to answer the phone.

Note - once over this magical threshold, -all- the steps are counted, including the ones leading up to the threshold.

I am slowly weaning myself away from step counts (e.g. 10k/day) and paying more attention to the Move goal. It seems a far more accurate way to measure real activity on any given day.
 
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SpEe1113

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2015
117
42
Florida
I'm thinking of getting a fitness tracker between Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP2 but I'm seriously considering Apple Watch. To those who got the Apple Watch and got a Fitbit or Jawbone, did you ditch your fitness tracker for the Apple Watch or are you using both or do you still prefer your fitness tracker over the Apple Watch? Please advise. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Most recently, I had the Jawbone UP24 just before getting the Watch and the Nike Fuelband previously. I think the Apple Watch blows the competition away by light years. It would be pointless to use both, I ditched the UP band for 2 reasons; 1) Although their app is good, I found sleep tracking to be inaccurate/useless and it doesn't do HR, and 2) As many others have, mine broke after 2 months of use. I only bought it to hold me over until the watch came.

Bottom line, the watch is a much more functional device than the others, is going to play better with iPhone than anything else, and will only improve and get better. I'll flat out say it, get the Apple Watch, don't waste your money on any of they others...they're all shaking in their boots anyway because of the watch! Fitbit admitted it publicly!
 

acctman

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2012
1,169
730
Georgia
I've been wearing both to compare mainly just the steps so far. These are the numbers for the past few days, not including any fitness.

Apple: 4323/8186/5598
Fitbit : 5072/9542/5748

Looks like Fitbit is coming out ahead, more so on some days.
are you wearing both on the same arm? your dominate arm will move a lot more than the other one.
 
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