The Fitbit Blaze was recently released in South Africa and we love it. But we also love the Apple Watch. We decided to help you if you’re in the smartwatch market and you’re unable to choose between the Fitbit Blaze and the Apple Watch.

Design

(We used the 38mm Apple Watch with Stainless Steal Case and a Milanese Loop strap for this comparison.)

The Apple Watch is a beautiful piece of tech. People notice it on your wrist and usually love it. It has a simple design, which still manages to stand out. Like most Apple products, the Apple Watch feels and looks like a premium product. The curved OLED screen meets perfectly with the body, creating one, seamless design, except for the watch button and the digital crown. If you’ve opted for the more expensive gold Apple Watches you’re really bought a beautiful time piece. On the back of the body you get the slight raise of the heart rate monitor and charging dock, which emits a green light when the heart rate monitor is engaged.

The Fitbit Blaze doesn’t feel as premium as the Apple Watch. The Fitbit Blaze’s body is made from a tough dark plastic. The modular design, where the device fits into a frame leaving open spaces, feels like a cheap attempt at giving the device a more pleasing and interesting design. It has three buttons instead of a digital, which makes it feel less like an actual watch than the Apple Watch. The Fitbit Blaze also has a heart rate monitor at the back which blinks green when monitoring your heart rate. It does feel like the Fitbit Blaze’s light is harsher than the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor light, which has more of a soft glow.

Winner: Apple Watch

Performance As A Smartwatch

When you pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone you’ll be able to carry certain phone features over to your Apple Watch, which allows you to:

  • Make and receive speaker calls;
  • Receive Messages and be able to reply to them with emojis, short saved messages or you can dictate a message via Siri;
  • It caries certain apps over like Instagram, Twitter and Mail, which have been simplified and adjusted to be used on the Apple Watch at glance;
  • One of our favourite features is the camera viewing option;
  • Notifications from WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. are pushed to the Apple Watch.

The Fitbit Blaze, as a smartwatch, is more simplified and you don’t have as many features available as the Apple Watch. Where it does beat the Apple Watch though, is the fact that you can pair it with both Android devices as well as iPhones.

Winner: Apple Watch

Performance As A Fitness Tracker

The Apple Watch is a pretty decent fitness and health device and does the usual thing fitness trackers do like track steps, the distance you’ve walked throughout the day and track exercises. However, it has no onboard GPS and needs your paired iPhone within Bluetooth range to perform GPS-requiring functions.

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker then you’ll want to seriously consider the Fitbit Blaze. It has been designed with fitness in mind and fits comfortably and securely on your wrist. It automatically tracks the steps you take, stairs you climb, heart rate and captures your sleep data. You can also track your exercises and get stats on your heart rate and progress mid-exercise. We love that the device tracks your heart rate all day long, providing you with useful health feedback on your resting heart rate and the most active times of day. We also found that the Fitbit Blaze’s heart rate monitor was more accurate compared with the Apple Watch’s heart rate readings.

Winner: Fitbit Blaze

Battery Life

The Apple Watch has a very average battery life and if you’re a heavy user you will need to charge it every day.

In terms of smartwatch battery life, you won’t get better than the Fitbit Blaze. During our review we used it heavily and it could easily go four days without needing to be charged.

Smartwatch

One thing to mention is that the Apple Watch does have a better charging mechanism than the Fitbit Blaze. The Apple Watch can just easily be popped onto the magnetic charging dock, where the Fitbit Blaze has to be clipped out of its encasing and then clipped into the charging dock and have a cover close over it.

Winner: Fitbit Blaze

Verdict

When you’re deciding on which smartwatch to buy, you need to ask yourself what you want from your new gadget.

If you’re looking for something that can do a bit of everything, with a stunningly sleek and premium design, then the Apple Watch is for you. Also, because the Apple Watch is restricted to pairing exclusively with the iPhone, if you don’t have an iPhone then an Apple Watch is probably not for you.

Smartchwatch

The Fitbit Blaze is more of a fitness tracker, and at a lower price, it’s also the cheaper option. It has a better battery life than the Apple Watch too. However, the Fitbit Blaze is not such a good-looking device than Apple Watch, which is a premium timepiece as well as functional.

It all therefore depends on what you want to do with your smartwatch and both devices would be good choices if they meet your needs.

You can pick up your own Apple Watch at the iStore and other major South African retails;

OR

You can pick up your own Fitbit Blaze at most major retailers, including iStore, Incredible Connection, Dion Wired, Makro, Dischem, Clicks, Sportsmans Warehouse, Totalsports, Cape Union Mart and Due South.