Head to Head: Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Blaze

PHOTO: A Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker is displayed during an event in Las Vegas, Jan. 5, 2016 and an Apple Watch is seen in New York on Sept. 9, 2015.PlayGetty Images
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Choose the right smartwatch for your needs and it could become an integral part of your everyday life. Choose the wrong one and it may end up buried in a desk drawer.

At Apple's iPhone SE launch event this week, CEO Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch is the "best-selling" smartwatch in the world and said the company is immediately slashing the starting price of the Apple Watch by $50, to $299.

Apple has set the bar in the battle of the stylish smartwatches but faces a formidable opponent from the Fitbit Blaze, a slightly more budget-friendly wearable device that packs many (but not all) of the same features.

Fitbit's smartwatch made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and was released this month. Here's a look at how the two watches stack up head to head.

The Basics

The Fitbit Blaze is aimed at style-conscious consumers who want to track the usual fitness metrics but also want other capabilities, such as reading text messages, viewing their calendar and controlling the music on a paired smartphone.

The Apple Watch is designed to "be an essential part of who you are," according to Apple's website. It has all of the usual fitness tracking and can keep you on track for your appointments, advise you when you may need an umbrella or show you a text message from a friend, among other features.


The Fitbit Blaze retails for $199.95. With its latest price cut, the Apple Watch Sport starts at $299.

Apple offers watches in three models: the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and the high-end Apple Watch Edition.


Both wearables offer changeable bands, including higher-end options that allow both devices to transform from something you'd wear at the gym into a device that can easily be styled with business attire.

The option seems to be a winning one for Apple -- Tim Cook said as many as one-third of Apple Watch owners change their bands on a regular basis. At the iPhone event on Monday, Apple introduced a new lineup of bands made from woven nylon, new colors for the Apple Watch Sport and a space black version of its higher-end Milanese loop.

Fitbit's options range from "classic" bands in colors including black, plum and blue to a variety of leather bands and a stainless steel band retaining for $129.95.


To charge the Fitbit Blaze, pop the screen out from the band, insert the device into a charging cradle and plug it into a USB port. Apple's process is more seamless, allowing users attach a magnetic charging cable to the back of the Apple Watch to gain power from either an outlet or a USB port.

Fitbit Blaze's Winning Feature

Where Fitbit comes out on top is battery life. The Blaze can go as much as five days without needing to charge, whereas the Apple Watch has a battery life of around 18 hours, according to Apple. Bear in mind, how you use your watch and the available features will have an effect on its battery.

While the Blaze won't have the rich app ecosystem Apple Watch owners enjoy, the wearable costs about $100 less than the Apple Watch Sport, making it ideal for people who are just looking for a stylish wearable offering fitness and daily communication capabilities.

Apple Watch's Winning Feature

The Apple Watch stands out because of its rich ecosystem of apps and the flow of new ones becoming available. Developers have created new experiences for the wrist, allowing users to do everything from ordering an Uber to checking Twitter to controlling their Internet-connected home.

Bottom Line

The Fitbit Blaze is ideal for someone looking for a fitness tracker and a basic personal assistant that doesn't require nightly charging. If budget isn't an issue -- and you're looking for a wearable to fully integrate into your routine -- then the Apple Watch may be the way to go.