AW Series 2 vs. Fitbit Charge 2

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by SoonerChris, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. SoonerChris macrumors member

    SoonerChris

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #1
    So my wife currently has the 1st gen Fitbit Charge HR. I'm thinking about getting an AW Series 2 as I passed on the 1st gen. I was thinking of getting her an AW Series 2 as well.

    Can anyone comment on the AW vs. the Charge HR or Charge 2?
     
  2. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #2
    Well... they are totally different devices. Purely from an activity tracking perspective, both collect the same data in the same way. Fitbit crushes AW from the point of view of a holistic activity tracking platform. AW crushes FB from the perspective of a flexible smart wearable device.

    Fitbit Strengths:
    • Fitbit is vastly superior when it comes to organizing and presenting the data back to you on the mobile apps and web apps (Apple does not offer a web app).
    • Fitbit does HR analysis and sleep tracking. You can do these on an AW, but it takes 3rd party apps, so it is clunkier than the Fitbit.
    • Fitbit's battery also lasts forever compared to the AW, so it makes it a little more user friendly as a daily activity tracking wearable.
    • Fitbit costs a fraction of an AW.
    • Massive user base with a strong social network and challenge feature set.
    AW Strengths:
    • All of the intelligent smart watch stuff that Fitbit cannot do (Apple Pay, He Siri, apps, custom watch faces, complications, etc.)
    • AW does notifications better and offers responses on some.
    • AW is far more water resistant-- FB can have a short lifespan (1-2 years) in a high-sweat environment.
     
  3. profets macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #3
    I know several people who have and use the Charge HR and love it, but its a very different type of product. Yes, it measure steps and tracks HR, but it's a device that's meant to be worn and not really ever interacted with. I guess it really depends on the type of device you'd like.
     
  4. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #4
    I have my new recommendation: Get Both.

    I caved and bought a Charge 2 to wear alongside my AW. The Charge will be my 24/7 activity tracker and adds sleep and HR tracking. The thing I really like about the FB is that it gives the best unified portal for all my activity (I have my Garmin workouts feeding into FB). I really like the AW for Apple Pay, notifications, Dark Sky, and a few other apps.

    Trackers.jpg
     
  5. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Do you have a camera embedded in your contacts?! :)
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #6
    It was a careful balancing act with the phone hanging off the edge of a table and using the timer. I looked like a total dork. I am glad no one else saw me. Just kidding. I am a spy with a cool spy camera.
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    I have been using the Charge 2 for over a week now and own two AW1.

    My Charge 2 is every bit as good as my Charge HR. Both are accurate in both steps and HR.

    What I like best about the Charge 2 is the screen is much larger. What I do not like is the small font on things like the HR are SMALLER!!!! WTF! Seems like Fitbit just can not get it right! Still love the device and prefer it over my AW as it never looses HR while running. Both of my Apple Watches lose HR all the time no matter how I wear them. The Charge 2 can be so loose it over my wrist bone and does not miss a beat!
     
  8. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #8
    Worth adding, the Apple Watch can be used with the Fitbit app.
     
  9. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #9
    So far, MobileTracker is not available on the iPhone 7. That is part of the reason I just went ahead and got the Charge 2. I had been using MobileTracker for about a year with FB, and it was OK. It had a few limitations that annoyed me, but I lived with them.

    My "Vastly Superior" comment applies to the holistic FB platform and all the data it can collect and present from a more advanced tracker like the Charge. This is beyond the scope of the limited MobileTracker feature.
     
  10. RodThePlod macrumors 6502a

    RodThePlod

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Thanks for the info in this thread! I bought my wife a Fitbit Charge HR last Christmas which she likes, but it's started falling apart already! (Well - the plastic surround to the micro USB port has disappeared, even after me super-gluing it in when it came off initially. And the screen has a chunk in the corner missing! Maybe she's just a bit too rough with it - but I'm not that impressed with the build quality).

    Anyhow I said to her that I'd upgrade her to the AW Series 1 this Christmas, but I'm just a bit concerned about the apps that she uses with the Fitbit (I know one is called MyFitnessPal, but I think she also uses one to track what she eats which also works with the Fitbit) as they all seem to feed info back into the Fitbit web portal and it all looks pretty good/useful - shame there is nothing similar for the AW.

    So what I'm after are you guy's suggestions for Apps and things that I recommend she download and use with the Apple Watch that will give her similar functionality to the Fitbit with MyFitnessPal, etc.

    She uses the Fitbit and related apps to:
    • Track her steps and her gym activity
    • Track her dietary intake
    She doesn't use it to track her sleep.

    I'm kindof hoping that even though the AW will be lacking in some areas when compared to the Fitbit, the other areas where it excels at will be enough of a trade of for her not to miss them too much...

    I've already converted her over to Mac OS with her MacBook, and iOS with the iPad and iPhone. And I'm hoping that things like auto login to her Macbook will seal the deal ;)
     
  11. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #11
    Ok, thanks for elaborating. I just learned last week that I could use the Fitbit app without a Fitbit (I have a 6 Plus). Never had one but I know quite a few people who do so I was excited to learn I could participate in challenges with them. Now I Just have to wait for my AW2 to arrive... :(
     
  12. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Fitbit has a beyond excellent exchange policy. I had a Fitbit blaze and I started seeing condensation under the screen. I wrote them an email with a picture. They asked for some info like where I bought it and when and my address and sent me a brand new one. They didn't even want the old one back. I sold the old one (stating the issue it had in the listing) for $80... not bad.
     
  13. bmac4 macrumors 601

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #13
    I am not sure what you are talking about with AW not having a web app. What do you consider a web app that the Fitbit has? You have bother the stock Apple health app on iOS and the activity app on your iPhone.
     
  14. exxxviii, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #14
    Ummmm: fitbit.com

    It is an holistic web-based portal to all of your activity, sleep, HR, fitness, calorie intake, etc. data with more advanced visualizations and reporting. It has screens to enter manage all of the above. It is the equivalent of Garmin's Connect web site. Apple has none of this, so we are limited to the mobile app's on the phone's small screen for data viewing. Apple's activity tracking apps are the most limited platform in the entire activity tracking marketplace.
     
  15. bmac4 macrumors 601

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #15
    Ok so it has the very detailed info. Seems to be if you are needing that level of detail, you might need a Garmin watch. The Fitbit is a activity tracker, walking and maybe a run. Do you really need that much detail for tracking your steps and how much sleep you got? If you are person that is really involved in fitness, Fitbit is not the device for that. When I had a Fitbit, and most of the people I know that have Fitbits never look at the web app. The app on the iPhone is plenty of info. The Fitbit has its limits for tracking.
     
  16. rdavis41 macrumors regular

    rdavis41

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #16
    Other thing I'd add regarding the Charge 2 is that it is very hard to read in the sunlight. Apple Watch Series 2 improved their game drastically in terms of visibility in sunlight this time around. I have no problem reading the screen during a walk or workout in the sunlight.

    For me personally the separation comes in terms of actionable notifications. I've had it many times where the fact I could simply tap on my watch a simple "no" response to a text at the time was convenient. Necessary, absolutely not, convenient, you bet. That and Waterproofing. If fitbit can put together a fully waterproof tracker with heart rate at their mid range price point they will have a serious contender to Apple Watch.
     
  17. midloman macrumors regular

    midloman

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Midllothian, VA
    #17
    I think she'd be just fine with the AW.

    It's true that Apple doesn't have a portal like the Fitbit website that can be accessed on any PC. That's the one thing I wish Apple would build, but no go so far.

    The Activity app and Health App on the phone serve as substitutes, albeit substitutes that can't be seen on a 15 inch monitor. The activity app shows calorie burn, exercise minutes, and stand hours. You can also see the step count in the app. You can see this information both on the phone and the watch.

    Workouts will show up in both places. Apple's app doesn't do much if detailed HR info is what she needs, but there are other apps (Heartwatch, Exercise Pulse) that will show that info on the phone (graphically). One thing to keep in mind is that Apple tracks activity and that is the focus, Fitbit seems to base most things on steps. Since a lot of my activities aren't step based, this works out better for me.

    As far as MyFitnessPal goes, it works beautifully with Apple Health. All info from the Activity app shows up in Apple Health. The MyFitnessPal calorie counts for each day show up as well. Steps and exercise workout calories feed over to MyFitnessPal from the Health app seamlessly, just like Fitbit does. This works great for me.

    What she'll get that she doesn't have now are the apps, notifications, Apple Pay, etc. Some folks say they don't want that -- I sometimes think it's because they never had them that work as well as they do on the Watch. I had Fitbits (One, Flex, Surge), and in my opinion the AW beats all of them. It's more stylish, has more functionality, and handles the fitness aspect just fine. And the bands (notice, that's plural) don't break.

    If she'a a serious athlete or triathlete or something, then maybe a Garmin may be better (had one of those too, VivoActive). For me, the fitness capabilities and links to MyFitnessPal, Withings, and any number of fitness apps handles my fitness tracking just fine. The apps, notifications, Apple Pay, workout tracking apps (Gymaholic!) make it the best fit for me. The new OS has done wonders.

    Just my two cents.
     
  18. exxxviii, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #18
    The point is that the other trackers provide a complete platform capable of managing all of your activity and related data in an integrated platform. Apple is not there yet. Even the Apple mobile apps are immature compared to the others. Sure, you can get to some of your activity data in the Apple world, but even that can be disjointed if you are moving between the Activity app and the Health App. If viewing and understanding data and seeing trends and relationships is important to someone, then Fitbit is vastly superior to Apple in that area.
     
  19. RodThePlod macrumors 6502a

    RodThePlod

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Thanks again, everyone, for the super-useful info contained in this thread. I feel so much more comfortable with the idea of migrating her over to an AW.

    I just had a look at the iOS 10 'Health' app and can see that Apple have tried to simplify it - I always found the earlier versions of that app not very accessible or friendly to use, so at least they're moving in the right direction.

    What I plan on doing now is downloading MyFitnessPal and a couple others and using them with Health on my iPhone and AW just to get a handle on how these all work together.
     

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