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Fitbit Sense vs. Apple Watch Series 7: A Detailed Comparison for Health and Tech Enthusiasts

The world of smartwatches has evolved rapidly in recent years, with two clear leaders emerging in the quest to create the ultimate wearable companion: Fitbit and Apple. Both companies have a strong track record of delivering innovative, feature-packed devices that not only help you stay connected but also provide valuable insights into your health and fitness. In this article, we‘ll take an in-depth look at the flagship offerings from each brand, the Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch Series 7, to see how they stack up and which one might be the best fit for your wrist.

Tale of the Tape

Before we dive into the details, let‘s quickly compare some key specs of these two smartwatches:

Spec Fitbit Sense Apple Watch Series 7
Starting Price $299 $399
Display 1.58" AMOLED, 336 x 336 pixels 1.9" (45mm) or 1.69" (41mm) Always-On Retina LTPO OLED, 484 x 396 pixels or 430 x 352 pixels
Battery Life 6+ days 18 hours
Storage 4GB 32GB
Processor N/A S7 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor
Sensors Optical heart rate, ECG, EDA, skin temperature, SpO2, gyroscope, altimeter, ambient light Optical heart rate, ECG, SpO2, gyroscope, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, ambient light
Water Resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM
Smart Features Alexa, Google Assistant, Fitbit Pay, notifications, Spotify control Siri, Apple Pay, App Store, notifications, Fitness+, Apple Music, Podcasts, Family Setup, Walkie-Talkie, Intercom, Maps, GymKit, unlock Mac/iPhone

As you can see, both smartwatches bring a lot to the table in terms of features and capabilities. Now let‘s take a closer look at how they compare in some key areas.

Design and Display: Style Meets Substance

The Apple Watch Series 7 and Fitbit Sense both feature sleek, modern designs that look great on your wrist whether you‘re dressing up or working out. The Series 7 has the more premium look and feel with its "iconic" rounded square case available in aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium finishes. The aluminum models come in five colors including Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED.

All Series 7 models feature a durable front crystal made of Apple‘s proprietary Ceramic Shield material which they claim is more crack-resistant than previous Apple Watches. The watch is also IP6X certified for dust resistance and water resistant up to 50 meters for swimming. The always-on Retina display is a standout feature, with nearly 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and up to 70% more brightness indoors.

The Fitbit Sense has a similarly sleek "squircle" design but with a more understated look owing to its aluminum case and silicone Infinity Band. It‘s available in Carbon/Graphite or Lunar White/Soft Gold color schemes. While it may not have the premium materials of the Apple Watch, the Sense still looks and feels great, especially considering its lower price point.

Like the Apple Watch, the Sense is water resistant up to 50 meters and features an AMOLED display that‘s bright and easy to read in any lighting conditions. The display is responsive and the user interface is easy to navigate via swipes and taps, although it lacks an always-on option like the Series 7 has.

Both watches allow you to customize the look of your device with a wide array of interchangeable bands. Fitbit offers their own first-party options like the breathable Sport band, fashionable Woven and Horween Leather bands, and stainless steel Mesh band. Apple has an even wider selection of OEM and third-party options thanks to its mature ecosystem of accessories.

Health and Wellness: Empowering You to Live Better

Where both the Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch Series 7 really shine is in their health and wellness features. The Sense is billed as an "advanced health smartwatch" and it lives up to that title with an impressive suite of sensors and tools to help you optimize your well-being.

In addition to standard smartwatch fare like heart rate tracking and activity/sleep monitoring, the Sense features an FDA-cleared ECG app for assessing your heart rhythm for signs of atrial fibrillation (AFIb). It also includes an on-wrist skin temperature sensor that can help you track changes in your body that may be associated with illness, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and more.

The Sense‘s EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor is a truly unique feature that measures tiny changes in your skin‘s conductivity as a way to track your body‘s physiological response to stress. By combining these readings with your heart rate variability, activity, and sleep data, the Sense generates a daily Stress Management Score to help you understand how well you‘re managing stress.

Other notable health features of the Fitbit Sense include guided breathing sessions, SpO2 blood oxygen monitoring, workout intensity maps, and menstrual cycle tracking. All of this data is beautifully visualized in the excellent Fitbit companion app which also offers a ton of useful guidance and insights to help you interpret your metrics and make healthy changes.

The Apple Watch Series 7 matches the Sense in terms of ECG and SpO2 monitoring but lacks a skin temperature sensor and EDA sensor for stress tracking. However, the Series 7 does offer fall detection and Emergency SOS for contacting emergency services and sharing your location in the event of an accident or injury.

The Apple Watch is also a highly capable fitness tracker with many of the same workout modes and metrics as the Sense. It has built-in GPS for tracking outdoor runs, bikes, and hikes without your phone, while the Sense relies on your phone‘s GPS for real-time pace and distance. Both watches automatically detect certain workouts too, so you‘ll get credit even if you forget to start an activity.

One unique fitness feature of the Series 7 is Apple Fitness+, a subscription service that offers a library of guided video workouts synced to your watch. You can choose from a variety of workout types like HIIT, yoga, cycling, and dance, with new content added weekly. The Sense has some guided workouts in its app but nothing as extensive as Fitness+.

Activity tracking screens for Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch Series 7

When it comes to helping you reach your fitness goals and live a healthier life, both watches offer a comprehensive and engaging experience. The Sense has a slight edge in stress management and advanced health metrics, while the Series 7 offers tighter integration with iPhone and a more polished app experience.

Smartwatch Features: Staying Connected in Style

While health and fitness are major focus areas for the Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch Series 7, they also offer a range of smart features to help you stay connected and get more done throughout the day.

The Apple Watch is the clear leader here thanks to its mature watchOS platform and extensive third-party app ecosystem. With the Series 7, you can:

  • Take calls and reply to texts/emails directly from your wrist
  • View photos and listen to music/podcasts without your phone
  • Use Siri to check the weather, set reminders, control smart home devices, and more
  • Navigate with turn-by-turn directions using the built-in Maps app
  • Make contactless payments with Apple Pay
  • Unlock your iPhone/Mac and store digital keys in the Wallet app
  • Access a huge library of third-party apps via the built-in App Store

The cellular models (starting at $499) let you do almost everything the GPS models can without your iPhone nearby, including making calls, sending texts, streaming music, and using apps. This can be super convenient if you want to leave your phone behind during a workout.

Grid of Apple Watch app icons

The Fitbit Sense offers a more basic smartwatch experience but still includes essentials like notifications, Fitbit Pay, and some music controls. However, it has a much more limited selection of third-party apps and no cellular option. The Sense does let you take Bluetooth calls when your phone is nearby, but overall it‘s much more focused on health than communication or productivity.

That said, the Sense does have a few smart features the Apple Watch lacks, including built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support for voice queries and smart home control. It also offers the unique "Scan the QR code" feature which generates a QR code on your watch face that someone can scan with their phone camera to access your contact info.

Battery Life and Charging

One area where the Sense has a clear advantage over the Series 7 is battery life. While the Apple Watch is rated for up to 18 hours of use on a charge, the Sense can last over six days before needing to be topped up. This means you rarely have to take it off, which is great for 24/7 health tracking.

The Sense also charges slightly faster than the Series 7, going from 0-100% in around two hours compared to 2.5 hours for the Series 7. However, the Series 7 offers faster charging than previous Apple Watch models, providing 8 hours of sleep tracking from just an 8 minute charge.

Both watches use proprietary magnetic charging cables that snap onto the back of the watch. Neither one offers particularly fast charging by smartwatch standards, but the Sense‘s multi-day battery life means you can just set it and forget it, recharging about twice per week on average.

Price and Value

As we noted up top, the Fitbit Sense has a lower starting price of $299 compared to $399 for the Apple Watch Series 7. However, the Series 7 offers more configurations and price points to choose from:

  • Aluminum case with GPS: $399
  • Aluminum case with GPS + Cellular: $499
  • Stainless Steel case with GPS + Cellular: $699
  • Titanium case with GPS + Cellular: $799

The Fitbit Sense comes in just one configuration but is often available for less than its $299 MSRP. At the time of this writing, for example, you could pick up a Sense for just $199 from several major retailers.

So which watch offers the best overall value? That largely depends on your needs and budget. If you‘re looking for the most full-featured, premium smartwatch and you‘re already in the Apple ecosystem, the Series 7 is a great choice and well worth the extra cost over the Sense.

However, if you‘re primarily interested in health and fitness tracking and you want a smartwatch with better battery life at a lower price point, the Fitbit Sense is a compelling option. It offers many of the same core features as the Series 7 in a sleek, user-friendly package that costs significantly less.

The Bottom Line

The Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch Series 7 are two of the most advanced and capable smartwatches you can buy today. They both offer comprehensive health tracking, useful smart features, and attractive designs that look great on your wrist.

The Sense is the better choice if you want the most robust suite of health and wellness tools, including stress management, skin temperature tracking, and guided breathing sessions. It‘s also hard to beat if battery life is a top priority, as it can last almost a full week between charges.

The Series 7 is the way to go if you want the most polished, full-featured smartwatch experience to complement your iPhone. With its extensive app selection, cellular connectivity option, and tight integration with Apple‘s ecosystem, it‘s like having an iPhone on your wrist.

Choosing between these two excellent smartwatches ultimately comes down to your individual needs, budget, and which smartphone platform you prefer. But whether you spring for the flagship Fitbit Sense or the category-leading Apple Watch Series 7, you‘ll be getting one of the best health and wellness wearables on the market.