Both the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Apple Watch Series 5 are great smartwatches, but which one takes the cake?
Generally, Fitbit is known for its great fitness-tracking capabilities, while Apple is known for its incredible integration of technology, and the two watches are no exception to their standards.
Accordingly, if you’re wondering who wins in the battle of Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5, the answer lies in whether you want a fitness tracker or a smartwatch, respectively.
If you’re still not sure or can’t decide which features you need more, read on, and you’ll be able to make up your mind by the end of the article.
Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5 Comparison
Fitbit Charge 3
Apple Watch Series 5
|Display Size||0.72-in.||1.5 or 1.7-in.|
|Water-Resistance||165 feet||165 feet|
|Battery Life||7 days||18 hours|
Fitbit Charge 3 Overview
- Lightweight case
- Simplistic design
- Great battery life
- Touchscreen display
- Interchangeable straps
- Not fully compatible with iOS
- No built-in GPS
- Heart rate isn’t the most accurate
- Touchscreen can be slightly unresponsive
The Fitbit Charge 3’s sleek design puts it on another level, it has a lot of amazing features that we will know later. However, it is safe to know that it is one of the best smartwatches out there.
Apple Watch Series 5 Overview
- Stylish design
- Incredible combination of smart and fitness features
- Helpful health features
- Always-on display
- Useful compass
- Cellular model can act as a temporary replacement for your phone
- Doesn’t have major changes over the Series 4
- Doesn’t come with native sleep-tracking
- Poor battery life
We do not need to say a lot about this one. The Apple Watch Series 5 is a high-end option, for customers who are ready to bust out their big guns. it has an always-on retina display that will always catch your attention with its vivid colors and details.
Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5 – Short Answer:
It’s hard to pick a winner in this competition, but it depends on what you’re more focused on.
If you want a device that’ll provide you with basic activity tracking and some smart features without breaking the bank, you should go for the Fitbit Charge 3. On the other hand, if you’ve got some money to spare and want top-notch smart features, you’ll find none better than the Apple Watch Series 5.
Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5 – Full Comparison:
1. Design and Display
The Charge 3 comes with a trimmed down aluminum case to make it more compact and sleeker. It also flaunts a concave black design that makes it look even thinner than the typical smartwatch.
It’s available in both a leather and silicone band, which means you can wear it on different occasions. It doesn’t suit formal wear though, that would be pushing the limit.
Unlike its predecessor, the Charge 3 doesn’t have physical buttons but uses an inductive button with haptic feedback. This button acts as a “back” button that you can press to get to the previous screen or the home one. Other navigation can be done through the touchscreen, which is around 0.72-inches. It has a 100 x 150-pixel resolution OLED grayscale display, which isn’t anything fancy but does the job.
The Series 5, alternatively, comes with the usual haptic feedback and the Digital Crown that you can use to zoom in and out of the app screen.
At only an ounce, the Charge 3 is pretty lightweight, so wearing it all day is no trouble. Although its classic silicone band is a bit uncomfortable, the good news is that it’s interchangeable, and there are plenty of great ones available. What’s more, the bands are pretty easy to swap out, all it takes is just a simple press of a button.
The Charge 3 switches the buttons for a nice 0.8-inch touchscreen and an inductive button that serves as a back and home button. And though we love how it makes everything easier and faster, it might be unresponsive sometimes.
In the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 5 is pretty similar to its predecessor, the Series 4, except with a couple of upgrades that make it faster and enhance its performance.
It’s available in two sizes: the 44mm case size or a slightly smaller 40mm, both of which are quite lightweight at around 1.27 ounces. You wouldn’t really feel the watch on your wrist, although it’s not as inconspicuous as the Charge 3.
It flaunts a 1.57-inch or 1.78-inch LTPO OLED Retina display with force touch and a resolution of either 324 x 394 pixels or 368 x 448 pixels.
The Series 5 comes with a Sport Band and a delicate yet durable case. Even if you get the aluminum model, which is the cheapest, you’ll still get an exceptionally high-quality device. Like the Charge 3, it also gives you interchangeable straps.
A huge difference that sets the Series 5 apart is its always-on display. Although it may not seem like that big of a deal, it does enable you to check the time at a quick glance that feels more convenient.
Winner: Apple Watch Series 5.
2. Fitness and Health Features
With the Charge 3, you’ll get basic metrics like time, step count, and resting heart rate, depending on the clock face you choose from the Fitbit app. The app also allows you to customize the information that you see.
You can also check health stats like calories burned, female health tracking, and active minutes from the personal dashboard. And if you swipe to the left on the display, the tracker presents you with modes such as exercise, relax, timer, weather, settings, and alarm. If you swipe down, you can view all notifications.
The Charge 3 comes with a built-in heart rate sensor that’s pretty accurate, especially when it comes to measuring resting heart rate. And while heart-rate monitoring isn’t available on the Series 5, it does notify you if your heart rate rises above or falls below your healthy average.
Apart from tracking and measuring heart rate, the Charge 3 comes with an SP02 sensor that measures the level of oxygen in your blood. This makes sleep monitoring more accurate and gives you more insight into your health status. The sleep monitoring shows you different stages, including light, deep, and REM sleep, and indicates how much time you’ve spent awake.
This latter feature isn’t available on the Series 5, so if you’re concerned with your sleep quality, you should stick to the Charge 3.
The Charge 3 is water-resistant up to 165 feet and has a swim mode that allows you to track distance lapsed and laps, which enhances the quality of your swimming exercise.
It also comes with a goal tracking feature that enables you to set specific goals, like a two-mile run, after which you get notified with the device vibrating. There are 15 different types of exercises that you can set goals and metrics for, like calories or time. And to keep you active throughout the day, the Charge 3 notifies you if you haven’t taken 250 steps every hour.
Moreover, the Charge 3 comes with an auto-stop feature that automatically pauses exercise mode until you start running again in the case that you stop at a traffic light or anything similar.
Like most Fitbit devices, the Charge doesn’t come with built-in GPS, but you can pair it with your smartphone to get location information during runs as well as track distance. In this area, the Series 5 takes the cake as it comes with built-in GPS.
What the Apple Watch Series 5 has to add is its popular fitness tracking rings that give you the motivation to move more and integrate activity into your day.
While it doesn’t have an SP02 sensor, it comes with VO2 max data that shows you the maximum amount of oxygen in your blood, and consequently indicates how athletic you are.
With the Series 5, you’ll get info regarding your steps, calories, hourly movement, relaxation, hours spent standing, and workout tracking for many activities, including biking, yoga, elliptical training, and swimming as it’s water-resistant up to 165 feet.
Moreover, a nice health addition is the Noise app that notifies you when you’re in a loud environment as being exposed to loud noises for a long time could damage your hearing.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 3.
3. Smart Features
Although it doesn’t have that much to offer in terms of smart features, the Charge 3 offers some good basic options. These include receiving smartphone notifications, accepting and rejecting calls, viewing calendar alerts, and replying to text messages. However, the last feature is only available if you pair your device with an Android smartphone.
There’s no support for music connectivity, but possible software updates can bring music controls for third-party music apps.
If you want to enjoy online payments using Fitbit Pay, you can opt for the Special Edition of the Charge 3. Of course, the Apple Watch Series 5 gives you this ability as a standard, so it’s the winner here.
Needless to say, the Series 5 provides you with all the smart features that the Charge 3 has to offer with the addition of NFC payments and a built-in compass that increases the accuracy of its positioning and helps you navigate. It also comes in an LTE version that enables you to completely leave your phone behind as the watch comes with on-board music storage.
Winner: Apple Watch Series 5.
4. Battery Life
When it comes to wearable devices, Fitbit has given us some of the longest battery lives, and the Charge 3 is no exception. You’ll be able to receive notifications, track workouts, and activities, and still enjoy its functionality for around seven days.
This is the complete opposite of the Apple Watch Series 5’s 18-hour battery life that is hugely disappointing. I guess this is one of the reasons sleep-tracking is only available through third-party apps. I mean, the only time you can recharge your watch would be as you sleep, which means you wouldn’t be able to wear it during.
Winner: Fitbit Charge 3.
Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5: Final Thoughts
It’s not that tough to decide on which of these devices is better for you, it’s as simple as choosing between an orange and an apple. Pun intended.
If you’ve got some money to spend and want to get top-notch smart features with amazing integration of technology, you should opt for the Apple Watch Series 5. It puts a lot of focus on being a smartwatch with several helpful fitness-tracking features.
However, its battery life is one of the biggest drawbacks. You’ll have to recharge it on a daily basis as you sleep, and if you really work it during the day, it might not last until you get back home.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a wearable that really focuses on health and fitness features, you should opt for the Charge 3. It has a beast of a battery life that enables it to function throughout the week.
It’s not half as high-tech as the Series 5, and definitely doesn’t compete with it when it comes to looks, but it does have a sleek design and great performance. It’s a great choice for a practical person.