I recently acquired an Apple Watch. Yes, I’m using the term “acquired” as it was given to me by my stepdad after my mom talked him into it.
I’ve had my Fitbit Versa Lite smartwatch for about three years now and the Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker for less than a year. Last year, I also had the Fitbit Sense 2 for a couple of months up until the screen broke because I hit a reef when I got wiped out surfing (not a good idea). I couldn’t get it fixed because it wasn’t covered by the warranty.
I’ve been using the Versa Lite and the Charge 5 alternately but I prefer the latter because it has better health and fitness tracking capabilities. That and I can’t seem to maximize the Versa Lite’s functions – more on this later.
All watches were bought for me by my mom because, while I generally like splurging on myself, I’m still too cheap to buy myself a smartwatch. A couple of months ago, I’ve been dropping hints about how I wanted a new smartwatch and how a certain Fitbit model is on sale on Amazon.
When my mom finally got the hint, she suggested that I should just get my stepdad’s old Apple Watch instead. She said it only made sense because I’m in the Apple ecosystem and he’s not using his watch anyway.
It’s an Apple Watch Series 3 and he’s had it for over a year but he only used it for a month before it went into early retirement in one of his drawers.
I received the watch in a nearly pristine condition. The screen was 100% smooth. There were some small white stains on the strap, which isn’t an issue because they’re on the inside and I’ll be buying new straps anyway (to match my outfits).
At first, I thought it looked too big for my wrist since it’s in the size 42mm but I’ve gotten used to it. Plus, I can always switch to my smaller non-smartwatches if I wanted something a little dainty on special occasions.
Coming from someone who has been a Fitbit user for years, it was quite the transition to the Apple Watch and that’s what I’ll be telling you about.
Setting Up the New-Old Apple Watch
The setup was a bit of a challenge.
If you’re an Apple user, then you know how much of a pain it can be to transfer ownership of Apple devices. Resetting an Apple device to its factory settings is never enough and you have to disassociate the device from your Apple ID so that it can be used by someone else. And the same goes for the Apple Watch.
So when I got the watch, it still had my stepdad’s Apple ID. It still had his passcode on it. He did give me the passcode so I could use it but of course, I couldn’t set it up as mine because it’s virtually still his Apple Watch.
Now, here’s the problem. He bought the Apple Watch when he had the iPhone 12. He recently sold it and upgraded to the 14, so now, he can’t remove the Apple Watch from his old iPhone. But this can still be fixed.
He just needed to get on a computer, sign in to iCloud with his Apple ID, and remove the Apple Watch from his devices. But there was another problem: he doesn’t have a computer – at least not at that moment since he was on vacation with my mom.
Good thing he let me log in to his iCloud account and was fast enough to reply with the 6-digit code for the two-factor authentication.
Once I was in, I got to remove the Apple Watch from his devices in just a couple of seconds. After that, the whole set-up was a breeze. My iPhone automatically recognized the Apple Watch and I just had to let it do its thing.
So if you’re an Apple user looking to give away or sell their old devices, don’t forget to remove the device from your account. This is so the new owner can completely avoid the hiccups I’ve had.
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Features
When it comes to features, both the Fitbit and Apple Watch are almost on par with each other. Both offer comprehensive health and fitness tracking capabilities. Both can notify you of messages and calls. Both can have apps installed on them if you want more functionality.
So it all boils down to what ecosystem you’re in.
As an Apple user for about a decade now, owning an Apple Watch makes everything so easy. Once everything is set up properly, everything just syncs with no issues.
Sure, I can sync my Fitbit with my iPhone through the Fitbit app but this only applies to my health and fitness data. I also get notified on my Fitbit whenever I have incoming messages or phone calls, but that’s about it. I can’t send messages through my Fitbit watch unless I’m using an Android phone.
With the Apple Watch, I love how I can now control almost everything through it. I love how it lets me send text messages and emails. I love how I can do a lot with it based on what apps I install.
I won’t go into any more details about what you can do with an Apple Watch since you can read about them in the reviews.
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Compatibility
As an iPhone user, all my Fitbit watches, as well as my Apple Watch, are compatible with my phone.
Fitbit watches are compatible with both iOS and Android through the Fitbit app. It works great on iPhones but as I’ve mentioned before, some features will only be available to Android users. This means that if you have a Fitbit watch, you can easily switch phones between different brands and not have to worry about compatibility.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch can only be set up if you have an iPhone. You can’t even use an iPad. So if you have an Apple Watch and an iPhone and you’re planning to change phones, you can’t buy an Android and expect it to work with your watch.
However, there’s one thing I thought I’d mention regarding compatibility.
I don’t have Apple AirPods and I thought this might be an issue when I want to control Spotify from my Apple Watch, but it wasn’t.
I have the Lenovo LP40 Pro TWS Earbuds, which were said to be a “dupe” for the AirPods because again, I can’t be bothered buying high-end devices. And surprisingly, I can still control Spotify through my Apple Watch even when I’m listening with the Lenovo earbuds because it’s connected to my iPhone. So I’m kind of happy with it.
What I Don’t Like About the Apple Watch
I’ll be blunt about it – the battery life of the Apple Watch is horrible. At least compared to what I was used to. My Fitbit Versa Lite can easily last for up to 4 days and my Fitbit Charge 5 can last for about a week.
So whenever I go on short trips (4 days or less), I simply charge either of them up to 100% and I don’t even bother bringing the cord with me. Yes, the cord doesn’t take up a lot of space but still, it’s one less thing to worry about when packing.
Meanwhile, I have to charge the Apple Watch every night. Aside from the fact that I find this annoying, it also means that I can’t track my sleep activity. And for someone who always has problems sleeping, this is quite a bummer.
A solution I’ve come up with is to use my Apple Watch during the day and use the Fitbit Charge 5 whenever I go to sleep. However, it’s kind of a hassle to have to keep switching watches.
Another thing that I don’t like about the Apple Watch is that its health and fitness tracking isn’t that comprehensive. Yes, it can track my movement, workouts, activities, heart rate, how much time I spent laying down or standing up, and my monthly cycle, but it’s not as comprehensive as that of my Fitbit watches.
Of course, I have to keep in mind that Fitbit started as a company that manufactures fitness trackers so I don’t think anyone can beat them in that department.
Also, for some reason, I can’t get it to display how many steps I’ve taken in a day. I’ve checked Apple’s forums, and there’s really no way to have it displayed on my Apple Watch face, which is another bummer.
Fitbit vs. Apple Watch: Is One Really Better Than the Other?
Now, this is a tough question. I can’t say whether Fitbit watches or Apple watches are better because it ultimately depends on your preferences and how you use your smartwatch.
If you want a watch with comprehensive health and fitness tracking, then get a Fitbit. It will work whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone. However, some of its features, like replying to messages, only work with Android phones. This means you can’t maximize Fitbit’s functionalities if you’re an iPhone user.
I think that no brand can beat Fitbit’s health and tracking capabilities, and they deserve a lot of recognition for that.
If you’re an Apple user who wants everything to connect seamlessly with their watch, then it would benefit you more to get an Apple Watch. It’s as simple as that. It still has excellent health and fitness tracking capabilities but it’s not as comprehensive as the ones on Fitbit watches.
All things considered, I still love my new-old Apple Watch.
When I first found out that my stepdad agreed to give me his Apple Watch, I thought about selling my Fitbit Versa Lite and Charge 5 because I figured I’d have no use for them.
But since having the Apple Watch for a few weeks now and learning about its pros and cons, I changed my mind.
I’m still selling my Versa Lite but keeping my Charge 5. I still think that it’s the best and most comprehensive health and fitness tracker out there, and I don’t think I can let go of it that easily.
Now I just have to work out a system for using both the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Charge 5. It makes a lot of sense to use the Apple Watch as my primary watch since I’m in the Apple ecosystem but sadly, its battery life is terrible.
The Charge 5 would be an excellent secondary watch since I really can’t go on a day without wearing any watch on my left wrist. Maybe it’s because I’m used to wearing watches all the time since I was a kid and I feel naked without a watch – even if it’s just a regular one.
So if someone asks me if I really need two watches – in this case, yes, I do!
Eva is a content writer and digital creator who's passionate about traveling, photography, and fitness. When she's not writing or traveling, she enjoys watching movies on Netflix and playing Sims 4 and Animal Crossing. She also dabbles in graphic design and video editing.