use Apple Watch as fitness tracker or wait

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by fritzov, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. fritzov macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #1
    I've never been that interesting in the Apple Watch before but now when i am looking into getting a Fitness tracker the Apple Watch looks to be a great solution. I have 2 solutions to my problems, first getting the Apple Watch now and don't bother when ever the Apple Watch 2 get's release or get a cheaper wirstband for now and then get the Apple Watch 2 when it's out.

    What would u do?
     
  2. dooku77 macrumors member

    dooku77

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    #2
    I just purchased an aw and a fitbit charge HR. I wear the charge at work( I work in a prison) and the aw every chance I get off duty. There's never a good time on planning on getting an aw. Not to be rude, but if you wait to get an aw 2, then you might as well wait to get an aw 3. Buy an aw now and enjoy it and then sell it to find the 3 when that time comes. Hope that helps. Also the aw is a phenomenal fitness tracker.
     
  3. fritzov thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the answer. All other features aside would you say the Apple watch is a better fitness tracker than the Fitbit Charge?
     
  4. dooku77 macrumors member

    dooku77

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    Nov 24, 2014
    #4
    The Fitbit is a great fitness tracker and is super accurate, but that being said, I would choose the Apple Watch any day of the week over it for functionality alone. Since the aw isn't allowed at my facility, I chose the Fitbit as strictly a secondary device.
     
  5. exxxviii, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #5
    The AW may be one of the worst activity trackers on the market. Its strength are the three rings; otherwise it is an immature and incomplete product compared to its competitors. Apple's activity and fitness apps are very immature, and they do not even offer a web interface. You would be dependent on limited 3rd party apps if you want a holistic health and wellness view. Fitbit does all that in its sleep.
    Since it looks like you are new to activity tracking, you would not know what you are missing by getting the AW. So, I would recommend the AW for you. However, if you want the top of the market for activity tracking, then get a FB.
     
  6. fritzov thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #6
    at this time i am only looking to get a great and accurate fitness tracker so i am leaning at getting the Fitbit after all.
     
  7. meeebee, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

    meeebee macrumors member

    meeebee

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    Jan 23, 2016
    #7
    I would agree with the aw as an activity tracker. I've had several fitbit trackers and an UP24, and there is no equivalent to something like runkeeper with your running plan.

    Some of the things you'll miss with the aw are the online site, email updates and reminders, a community online that have the same device and can motivate you, and better statuses. However with a mobile app like I mentioned above, you can mitigate some of these shortcomings. You have to decide if those are valuable to you.

    See link for some additional pros/cons.
     
  8. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #8
    If you're into the social side of fitness tracking -- challenging your friends and family, posting on social media, etc -- the Fitbit is better.

    If not, go with the Watch. It's good enough. Measure your fitness with the tape, the size of your clothes, and your race results.
     
  9. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #9
    Great and accurate fitness tracker would be a Fitbit over the AW but I would recommend the Apple Watch because it does so much more and looks good on your arm. It will also improve with updates and developers doing more hopefully. :)

    But if all you want is fitness, then definitely the Fitbit. I couldn't care less for community and web based software. I love the rings and activity app and history of my workouts and achievements and some of the apps are now showing up. Never will have GPS on this version unless it comes in future specialty bands.

    Just my opinion.
     
  10. IphoneIssues macrumors 65816

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #10
    I second this. There's always something else coming out eventually. There's now a rumor that it might come out in September. Before, people said March. People might just be saying this because parts have not leaked yet. And if it's still that way, they'll probably just say "pushed back", as if it was actually planned to happen.

    The Apple Watch is an amazing piece of technology. Like me, you might find yourself completely satisfied with it and not caring about a 2nd version.

    Only reason I would get a Fitbit over the AW is if you're very serious about fitness, it's all you care about and you need closer to 100% accuracy. You should also look at what you're going to be doing and see if it will matter.

    I consider myself pretty serious about fitness, because I've been going to the gym, several times a week, for over a year now. I've had a few workouts with the watch. For one, I love having my workouts viewable on the watch. A negative is, from what I've used, the watch doesn't seem good at counting reps while lifting weights. I've done a few hour-long elliptical cardio workouts and the watch ends up behind by about 200 calories, compared to the machine's counter. When it came to running, the watch was within 10 calories of the treadmill. Still, with it's limitations there, I've seen a lot of testimonials where many people were motivated to wear the thing and use it's fitness capabilities enough to the point where they were able to lose well over 40 pounds.

    Then you've got to think about whether you'd use the other features of the watch. Mine is a PDA that taps me on the wrist when thing need to be done, plus news + weather updates and a remote control for the phone.

    If absolutely all you care about is fitness and would never use any of that other stuff, then you know what to dbuy.
     
  11. matt9013 macrumors 6502

    matt9013

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    Oct 27, 2013
    #11
    I would recommend you either get a Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Blaze or Garmin Vivoactive. Blaze is the newest Fitbit device that comes out in March with a color touch screen. $200. The rest are also fantastic fitness trackers.

    AW is a very bad fitness tracker and if fitness tracking is your main goal stay away from AW. Maybe the AW2 will be better but I doubt it will beat Fitbit or Garmin.
     
  12. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #12
    Any fitness tracker without GPS is NOT accurate, and that includes all Fitbit's except the Surge. The Apple Watch uses the GPS in the phone, and it is still not that accurate. I do not know if a NON-GPS Fitbit can use the GPS in the phone.
     
  13. matt9013 macrumors 6502

    matt9013

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    #13
    Fitbit's can use the GPS from your phone. The Surge is the only one with GPS built in but the rest can use the phone's GPS.
     
  14. bcalvanese macrumors newbie

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    Jan 23, 2016
    #14
    I have a few high end fitness watches. A Garmin fenix3, Polar V800, and Garmin vivoactive. I have also owned a fitbit Surge, and Charge HR.

    Although they may be more advanced for fitness, I like the simplicity of the Apple Watch better, and it seems to be much more accurate as well. The issue that someone mentioned about counting reps while lifting weights is shared by all devices that read your heart rate optically. The muscles constrict the blood flow and throw the optical reading off. The apple watch can sync with blue tooth heart rate monitors for those types of workouts, so that would eliminate that problem.

    I power walk every day and compared the heart rate of the apple watch with my Polar V800 chest strap heart rate monitor during a walk, and both were within 1 beat of each other.

    The thing that sets the apple watch apart is that you have to do 3 things to make your daily goal instead of just getting so many steps in. You have to meet your calorie goal, your exercise goal, and your stand goal to meet your total daily goal. That IMO is better fitness tracking than just how many steps you take in a day.

    There are also a few fitness apps that will work with it, and I am sure a lot more to come.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2016 ---
    If you do the calibration with the apple watch it is extremely accurate. Search Consumer Reports for the testing they did on the apple watch compared to several fitness trackers.
     
  15. IphoneIssues macrumors 65816

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #15

    I was wondering about that. I just couldn't speak on the other fitness trackers. It was just strange that the app had a setting that counted your reps live, but it doesn't work.
     
  16. matt9013 macrumors 6502

    matt9013

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    Oct 27, 2013
    #16
    The Fitbit has a goal for each of those. Getting 10,000 steps or however many you want is just one goal Fitbit has you achieve. You still need to meet the goals for miles, calories, floors and water intake to meet every signal goal for the day. Not just steps.

    Not sure how Garmin does goals though.
     
  17. OTACORB, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016

    OTACORB macrumors 6502a

    OTACORB

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Central, Louisiana
    #17
    I tried the Garmin and Fitbit, but for some reasons those just never motivated me like the AW. Maybe it's because the AW is connected to my iPhone and does so many other things. Nonetheless I calibrated my AW and compared it and I find on most of the fitness tracking that it's required to do for me it does a good job. Basically speed walking, cycling and just general exercise. I think the AW sort of feels like it's part of my daily life because it is tied to my iPhone, whereas these others are not. I also do not care about socializing about my fitness or challenging family members or friends. Now this isn't to say the AW doesn't have its quirks. I know before I take off on a nice walk or cycling trip. I always make sure the bottom of my watch is clean because it will cause the heart rate to be off. Overall though it's very accurate when compared to my treadmill or inside bike when I used those because of bad weather. Bottom line is none of them are perfect.
     
  18. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    Dec 15, 2013
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    New York
    #18
    Honestly how many people are dying to have a web interface for their activity rings? I feel you say even as if a web interface is the absolute best way to view your activity information.

    I think Fitbit really only needs a website for the data because people can switch platforms with it. Because Apple Watch will only be on iOS doesn't it make sense to keep the health data only on iOS as well?
     
  19. OTACORB macrumors 6502a

    OTACORB

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    Central, Louisiana
    #19
    Agreed and to me it's just so much more convenient to just review it from my iPhone 6s plus.
     
  20. bcalvanese macrumors newbie

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    Jan 23, 2016
    #20
    Good points.

    How many places do you need to view the same data.

    There is a downside to having a web service too. 2 or 3 (maybe 4) times since I've owned Garmin devices, the web service went down for at least a full day. This caused all Garmin devices not even to be able to sync to their phones because that depended on the web service. It rendered every ones devices pretty much useless for that time. Sure you could navigate the device to view it, but that was a real inconvenience.

    Which brings me to another point about the apple watch. The apple watch is a million times easier to read the screen than all the other fitness trackers that I have owned.
     
  21. scaramoosh macrumors 6502

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    Nov 30, 2014
    #21
    I've found the Apple Watch to be rather useless as a fitness tracker.

    For one you need your phone with you to get things like GPS and the barometer.... who wants to carry their phone in their pocket during a workout?

    Also though it's not accurate, the heart rate sensor is always totally off, the only time it seems to even work is when you're not doing anything... forget about getting up to date reads, it just cannot do it and will bounce between 60BPM to 170BPM all the time.

    I just found myself never using it as you cannot trust the data. However this is the problem with all trackers, they all give different results, which ones do you listen to?
     
  22. bcalvanese macrumors newbie

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    Jan 23, 2016
    #22
    At first I thought about the bringing your phone on workouts thing, but then I realized, I always bring my phone on my power walks because it's always a good idea to have your phone with you. Then I thought, A GPS needs power to work, so why waste battery on a watch and a phone when it can just use the phones GPS? Now I think it's actually better that it uses the phones GPS.

    As far as the heart rate monitor goes, you must have a defective unit, are wearing it over a tattoo, or are not wearing it properly , because I tested it against a Polar H7 chest strap heart rate monitor, and they either matched exactly or were within 1 beat of each other. Consumer report also tested it against the Polar H7 and found it to be very accurate. In fact every test I found on YouTube found the heart rate monitor to be very accurate. The only time it is not accurate is during resistance type exercises. This is because when you tighten your grip while lifting, it restricts blood flow and throws off the optical sensor. This is a common problem with every optical heart rate monitor on the market, and not just the apple watch. You can pair the apple watch directly with a chest strap heart rate monitor too.
     
  23. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #23
    The web UI is important because it is simply better for greater flexibility for visualizing, analyzing, and entering data. Every other product has a three-tier app stack-- the device for capture and simple data presentation; the mobile app for basic data viewing and aggregation; and the web app for advanced analysis, entry, and integration.

    To the point about Health data on the web versus iOS, wouldn't it be great to be able to see your health data on your iPad? I know I would. But that is impossible with Apple's architecture. And if you ever need to rebuild your phone as a new device, you lose all of your health data.
     
  24. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #24
    Totally agree, the AW is not the one to go for.
     
  25. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #25
    I have another semantic distinction to throw in here... I distinguish activity trackers and fitness tools into two independent product categories. Activity trackers are devices and software platforms optimized to collect step data and organize that along with weight, calorie intake, and other activities to present your overall health and wellness and track toward goals. Fitness devices are optimized to measure performance in specific athletic activities like running, cycling, swimming, etc. there is some crossover, but the important functions of each are very different.

    So, first is to decide which of these two categories is most important. Then to decide how important it is overall. The AW offers both natively and with some 3rd party apps. But none of them are as good as competing optimized products.
     

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