Fitness trackers are one of the hottest holiday gifts — and for good reason! They motivate, inspire, and can help incite massive physical (and mental) changes. Whether you’re trying to encourage more movement or help someone learn about their heart rate during exercise, a tracker can help.
I got the chance to compare my Apple Watch Series 2 and my Fitbit Charge 2 side by side, worn simultaneously (yes, I looked like a tool in my SoulCycle classes and on my runs and in my kettlebell class). Since trackers have been helping me on my fitness journey, I wanted to see what the user experience was like for each and what kind of data I could access after my workout. Let’s take a look.
If you’re worried about the look of your tracker, you have two great options to choose from. You either lean more toward the aesthetic of a traditional tracker/fitness band with the Fitbit Charge 2, or the digital watch styling of the Apple Watch. With both, you can choose the metal accent color (gold, silver, etc.) and change out the bands if you’d like to wear them every day beyond your workouts. Fitbit has a blush pink leather that I’m particularly fond of, and I may switch up my Apple Watch with a new color of silicone band if I get tired of the light gray.
General Features (of Note)
- HRM. Both trackers offer a heart rate monitor, which is ideal for data tracking and learning more about your body. It also provides a more accurate account of how many calories are burned per workout.
- Waterproof (or not). The Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof, the Fitbit Charge 2 is not. You will definitely have to take it off in your post-workout shower.
- Music Storage. Additionally, the latest Apple Watch has music storage capabilities, meaning you don’t have to bring your phone, and you can listen to your workout playlist — provided you have Bluetooth headphones.
Tracking Your Workout
The first time I used my Fitbit Charge 2, I had no idea how to start tracking my workouts — I was simply wearing it for step tracking and my heart rate. But when I wore it to SoulCycle, it somehow miraculously knew that I was doing a cycling workout from the moment I started — from there, it logged my heart rate every second of the way, and provided me with an in-depth analysis of my workout. Once the Fitbit synced with my phone, the app showed a workout logged as “Bike.”
I wrongfully assumed my Apple Watch Series 2 would do the same, and went into another SoulCycle class with…