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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense (2021): Which Health-Focused Smartwatch Should You Buy?

Nowadays, smartwatches with a serious focus on personal health are in, and that’s evidenced by the Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense. Across the board, the two are similar, but there are a few key differences that’ll determine the overall experience you can get out of each one.

For one thing, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a lot more smart features with health tools that don’t really lag behind in comparison, but it’s the more expensive wearable of the two. Meanwhile, the Fitbit Sense boasts some of the most advanced health features in a wearable, such as its skin temperature sensor, and it has a longer battery life to boot.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 6Fitbit Sense
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
DisplayAlways-on OLED RetinaAlways-on AMOLED
CasingAluminum, stainless steel, titaniumAluminum and stainless steel
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Battery LifeUp to 18 hours6+ days or up to 12 hours in GPS mode
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, LTE (optional)Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
AltimeterAlways-onYes
Heart Rate SensorYesYes
Abnormal Heart Rate AlertsYesYes
Blood Oxygen AppYesYes
Electrocardiogram (ECG)YesYes
Electrodermal Activity (EDA)NoYes
Skin Temperature SensingNoYes
Stress TrackingNoYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Emergency FeaturesYesNo
Release DateSept. 18, 2020Sept. 25, 2020

Design and Accessories

Both smartwatches have an eye-catching yet clean design.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense Design and Accessories
Apple announced the new Solo Loop band alongside the Watch Series 6 (left), while Fitbit unwrapped the new Infinity Bands for the Sense (right).

The Apple Watch Series 6 retains its predecessor’s “squircle” face and 40 mm and 44 mm sizes but builds on the Series 5 with an always-on OLED that’s 2.5 times brighter for better visibility outdoors. The Fitbit Sense also has a squarish face with rounded corners made of aluminum and stainless steel, and it sports an always-on AMOLED that’s sharp and vibrant.

Alongside the Watch Series 6, Apple introduced a new band called Solo Loop as well. It’s made of silicone, and it doesn’t have any clasp or buckle, making for one seamless strap. There are a variety of colors and sizes in store, and there’s even a braided version available, so you likely won’t run out of personalization options.

On the other hand, Fitbit unveiled its new Infinity Bands for the Sense. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, these aren’t just comfortable but also flexible, and they feature a quick-release attachment that makes swapping them out a breeze.

There’s no clear winner on this front. Both have a sleek and polished design with the accessories to match, giving them the chops to fit right in in just about any situation, be it a formal event or a workout session outdoors.

Health and Fitness Tracking

The Fitbit Sense can provide you with more health metrics than the Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense Health and Fitness Tracking
Only the Fitbit Sense has EDA and a skin temperature sensor.

In terms of personal health, the features Apple crammed into the Watch Series 6 put it in direct competition with the Fitbit Sense in more ways than one. Particularly, its new blood oxygen sensor, which uses red, green, and infrared LED lights to measure your oxygen levels, a.k.a SpO2. A reading takes only 15 seconds, and it automatically captures measurements from time to time, even while you’re asleep. It has an electrocardiogram (ECG), sleep tracking, and alerts for abnormal heart rates as well.

The Fibit Sense also has all of those and then some. By that, we mean that it ups the ante with an electrocardiogram (EDA) for stress management and skin temperature sensor. In case it’s not obvious, the latter can come in handy since it can warn you of an oncoming fever or ovulation, for instance.

When it comes to fitness, the Apple Watch Series 6 is rolling out with new modes that watchOS 7 is expected to bring, including Dance and Core Training. On top of that, it has an always-on altimeter to give you real-time info on your elevation, which is geared toward the hikers among us. In the Fitbit Sense’s case, it has more than 20 preinstalled workout types to choose from, and the selection is extensive enough to cover all the typical exercises.

Both are rated to survive up to 50 meters of depth, and that means they’re swim-proof. It goes without saying that they can track your swims as well.

Additional Features

To no one’s surprise, both have the smarts for music, notifications, and conctactless payments.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense Other Features
Between the two, the Apple Watch Series 6 is smarter, coming with emergency SOS alerts and automatic fall detection.

The two have the usual smart features, including contactless payments, music, and notifications. To be clear, the Apple Watch Series 6 has Apple Pay and Apple Music, while the Fitbit Sense has Fitbit Pay, playback controls for Spotify, and offline support for Deezer and Pandora.

Now the Apple Watch Series 6 has the upper hand here. For starters, it’s the only one of the two that has optional LTE, meaning you can pretty much leave your phone at home when you’re, say, out for a run or something like that. Notably, it has emergency SOS and automatic fall detection, and on an interesting note, it has automatic handwashing detection.

Battery Life

You won’t have to charge the Fitbit Sense as often as the Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Fitbit Sense Battery Life
While the Apple Watch Series 6 (left) can only last for hours, the Fitbit Sense (right) can go for days on end.

When it comes to battery life, the Apple Watch Series 6 can’t hold a candle to the Fitbit Sense. At that, the former can last up to 18 hours, while the latter can go up to more than six days on a single charge or up to 12 hours in GPS mode.

The Sense features quick charging as well, and according to Fitbit, you can get enough juice to get you through an entire day in only 12 minutes.

Verdict

Each smartwatch is targeted at certain users.

Amazon product

To sum things up, the Fitbit Sense has a stronger focus on health, gaining the edge with its EDA and skin temperature sensor. That’s besides its longer battery life, of course. In contrast, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a balance of smart features and health tools, getting the advantage with emergency SOS alerts, automatic fall detection, and LTE support.

That said, choosing really depends on what you need here, but it can be boiled down in simpler terms: The Apple Watch Series 6 is better for iOS users because the experience will be more seamless, while the Fitbit Sense will better fit the bill for more health-conscious individuals because of its additional metrics.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Apple Watch Series 6 and Fitbit Sense?

The main differences are that the Watch Series 6 has emergency SOS alerts, automatic fall detection, and optional LTE, while the Sense has EDA and a skin temperature sensor. Both have the usual staples, such as ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, music, GPS, and contactless payment support, among other things.

📌 Which is better, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Fitbit Sense?

If you want a smarter wearable with a touch of health features, the Watch Series 6 is the better pick. However, if you want access to more health metrics such as skin temperature, the Sense is better.

📌 Is the Apple Watch Series 6 worth it?

Yes, the Watch Series 6 is a good buy. After all, it has a new blood oxygen sensor, native sleep tracking, emergency features, automatic fall detection, and optional LTE.

📌 Is the Fitbit Sense worth it?

Yes, you can’t go wrong in getting the Sense. It’s got pretty much all the bases covered, and takes things up a notch with its new EDA and skin temperature sensor to better keep track of your overall health.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.