Apple Watch Series 8 Vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Which Smartwatch Should You Buy?

Apple Watch Series 8 Vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Which Smartwatch Should You Buy?
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Deciding between Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2? The two smartwatches were released around the same time, introducing updates to the premium Apple Watch and Fitbit Sense product lines.

The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, while the Fitbit Sense 2 starts at $299. Price isn't the only difference between the two best smartwatches we've tested this year. Fitness tracking, performance features, and battery life vary widely, so you might need some help finding what's right for you.

We tested the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Fitbit Sense 2 and, based on a device comparison, we can tell you which one you should buy. Here's what the Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2 look like.

Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2: Comparison of features

Apple Watch Series 8 Meaning of Fitbit 2
starting price $399 $299
cut it 41mm, 45mm 40.5mm
Screen size/resolution 1.9 inch, 484 x 396 pixels (45mm) 1.58 inch, 336x336 pixels
Mobile option Yes No
Waterproof up to 50 meters up to 50 meters
the screen is always on Yes Yes
voice assistant Siri Alexa, Google Assistant
Battery life 18 hours 6 days
Mobile payments Yes (Apple Pay) Yes (Fitbit Pay)
color choice Midnight, Silver, Starlight and Red objects Black, silver, gold
special feature ECG, SpO2, heart rate alarm, fall detector, compass, always-on altimeter, skin temperature reader ECG, cEDA, skin temperature sensor, heart rate signal, SpO2

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Fitbit Sense 2: Prices and configurations

Price can be the difference between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Fitbit Sense 2 for most people. The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for the 41mm and goes up to $429 for the 45mm. The mobile mount for both sizes costs an extra $100, with an additional cost for the stainless steel case material.

The Fitbit Sense 2 costs $299 and doesn't have an LTE option. It comes in one size and port configuration, and three color options: black, silver, and gold.

For those looking to save money on their next smartwatch, we're always checking out the best Apple Watch deals and the best Fitbit deals. Check the latest discounts before buying.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Fitbit Sense 2: Design

The Apple Watch Series 8 and the Fitbit Sense 2 don't have very different designs, unlike the round Google Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, both of which are rectangular. Sense 2 is 10% thinner and 15% lighter than the previous generation. Fitbit Sense and we can feel the difference. In our experience testing smartwatches, only the Apple Watch sat as comfortably and comfortably on our wrists as the Sense 2.

The Apple Watch Series 8 retains the Digital Crown and prominent side buttons, while the Fitbit Sense 2 switches from a capacitive touch pad to a single physical button. Controlling both watches requires a combination of touchscreen and button controls.

In addition to a variety of color options, Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2 can be customized with interchangeable bands. The best Apple Watch bands and some of the Fitbit Sense bands we tested come in a variety of materials, from sporty silicone to embossed leather.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Fitbit Sense 2: Fitness Tracking

Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2 have built-in GPS, so you don't need to have your phone handy to track runs or other outdoor adventures. If you enjoy running or cycling outdoors, you might want to check out the best GPS watches or the best running watches we've tested, but you can still find accurate GPS tracking with the models we compare here.

When it comes to tracking your fitness goals, this smartwatch takes a different approach. Apple Watch colored rings set daily limits, while Fitbit Activity Zone Minutes tracks the time you spend in your fat burn, cardio or peak heart rate zone while exercising each week. The Fitbit Daily Fitness Assessment also tracks your recovery needs, though this feature is exclusive to Fitbit Premium and costs $80 a year or $9.99 a month. For the same price, an Apple Watch subscription includes Apple Fitness Plus, which offers premium workout apps for several popular modalities.

Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2 can count your steps, read your SpO2 and encourage you to move. Each also has an FDA-approved ECG sensor that can alert the wearer if they have atrial fibrillation (AFib), a life-threatening condition in which the heart beats fast and irregularly. Likewise, both devices have heart rate sensors, which can be used for a number of things other than fitness. Think: dream tracking. Fitbit's sleep tracking metrics are more comprehensive than Apple's, but the Apple Watch slightly surpasses watchOS 9's sleep cycle data.

Each of these watches has a skin temperature sensor but has a different function. The skin temperature sensor in the Apple Watch Series 8 is primarily used to track menstruation and predict ovulation cycles. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Versa 2 uses skin temperature data as part of its continuous measurement of electro-cutaneous activity. cEDA is a feature that detects changes in your mood or stress level and prompts you to write down how you feel. The apps you may need most often can play a big role in your decision to buy a smartwatch.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Fitbit Sense 2: Smartwatch Specs

Apple Watch Series 8 is generally a better smartwatch than Sense. Like all top Apple Watch models, the Series 8 receives annual software updates. It currently runs on watchOS 9, which includes new work features, custom watchOS 9 watch faces, and a medication tracking app.

Apple Watch Series 8 supports the best Apple Watch apps, both native and third-party. Fitbit Sense 2 doesn't support third-party apps at all, which is a step down from the previous Sense. You can only download new watch faces, although this feature is also built into the Apple Watch.

Both watches also feature NFC mobile payments, which is useful if you're running around without a wallet and want to carry a bottle of water with you. The Apple Watch uses Apple Pay, while the Sense 2 uses Fitbit Pay (but will soon support Google Pay).

Notification mirroring and the ability to receive calls are available on both watches, although the Apple Watch can only receive calls from a specific mobile phone or iPhone number, while the Sense 2 can only receive and archive calls from any of the best Android phones. Then, the important difference: The Apple Watch Series 8 only works with iPhones (unless you're using Family Setup), while the Fitbit Sense 2 is compatible with iPhones and Android phones.

When it comes to voice assistants, it's Siri vs. Alexa. As you'd expect, the Apple Watch has Siri built-in and the Fitbit Sense has Alexa. You can use voice assistants to ask questions, start conversations, or control the best smart home devices (if applicable).

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Fitbit Sense 2: Battery life

The battery life of Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Sense 2 is incredible. The Fitbit Sense benefits from an incredible 6 days of battery life, far surpassing the 18 hours of the Apple Watch 7. You'll need to charge your Apple Watch most days, while the Sense easily survives a weekend trip without charge additional.

However, the Apple Watch Series 8 can last longer thanks to the new Apple Watch Low Power Mode. If you want a durable Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Ultra lasts nearly 48 hours (up to 60 hours in sleep mode). Obviously, the biggest difference between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra is the price.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Fitbit Sense 2: Which Should You Get?

While the Fitbit Sense 2 tops the list for price and battery life, the Apple Watch Series 8 wins when it comes to smartwatch features. Additionally, the health sensors and fitness tracking features of Apple Watch and Fitbit are more closely connected than ever, and the Apple Watch is finally catching up.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is the better choice for most people because it has more powerful tools like LTE connectivity, third-party apps, and yearly software updates. However, an iPhone is required to use it, while Fitbit Sense works with Android and iOS devices. However, if you're more into step counting, stress tracking, and sleep tracking, the Sense 2 might make more sense for you .

If you're looking for a similar option for less money, check out the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE (2022). Starting at just $249, the Apple Watch SE (2022) could be a great deal for your wallet; However, the Fitbit Sense 2 and Apple Watch Series 8 lack the health sensors that make them great smartwatches.

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