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Fitbit Charge 2 Vs Apple Watch 3: How Exactly Do They Compare?


Fitbit Charge 2 and Apple Watch 3 aren’t as prime anymore, but they’re still some of the best developments from wearable elites.

Developed with style, comfort, and performance in mind, the two models have since their debut set the stage for more refined fitness trackers and smartwatches. 

But how do they compare against each other? Should you get the Apple Watch Series 3 instead of Fitbit Charge 2? Or should your choice be the other way round?

Well, in this Fitbit Charge 2 vs Apple Watch 3 guide, we look at how the two devices compare, making it easier for you to decide which brand to choose.

Fitbit Charge 2 Vs Apple Watch 3 Comparison Chart

The Apple Watch Ultra and Fitbit Charge 5 are the current headline heaters in the fitness trackers and smartwatch niches.

But even then, Fitbit Charge 2 and Apple Watch Series 3 are still worth a mention.

Below is a table that summarizes how they compare:

 Fitbit Charge 2Apple Watch Series 3
 fitbit charge 2apple watch 3
Device  TypeFitness trackerSmartwatch and fitness tracker
Fitness TrackingAll-day activities with heart rate sensor includedFitness tracker with a built-in optical heart rate sensor
GPSConnected GPSBuilt-in GPS system
WaterproofUp to 5 ATMUp to 5 ATM
CompatibilitySyncs with 200+ iOS and Android devicesOnly works with iPhone devices
Battery LifeUp to 5 days on full chargeUp to 18 hours on full charge
StorageNot included8 GB storage
PriceCheck Latest PriceCheck Latest Price

Fitbit Charge 2 Vs Apple Watch 3: Differences and Similarities Explained

Apple Watch Series 3 and Fitbit 2 are good choices based on your consumer needs, and you usually choose just one.

If you’re up for a simple fitness tracker for all-day activity tracking, the Fitbit Charge 2 is what you need.

But if you need a model that allows you to see beyond how you stand, move, and exercise, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the deal for you.

Design and Display

Apple Watch Series 3 has the typical Apple design of a square screen with smooth edges flowing into the hand straps that gently wrap around the wrist.

It incorporate a larger screen, which offers a better display and faster response when swiping from one metric to the next.

Despite the large screen, the Apple Watch 3 is lightweight enough to wear for long hours. So you don’t have to worry about the device being too heavy to cause significant stress on your arm.

The Fitbit Charge 2 has a different look with a small screen blends into the overall band-like appearance.

The slim Fitbit 2 screen is challenging to scroll and view, and the black and white OLED display might not appeal to everyone, particularly when working out outdoors.  

In a way, the small screen and the occasional delayed loading on the display makes Fitbit Charge 2 hard to navigate through different metrics and exercises.

Water Protection

A smartwatch or fitness tracker designed to track health and physical activities can be handy if it gives you the possibility of water workouts.

I only need to swim up to 1.5 meters deep for about 20 minutes to determine whether a smartwatch or fitness tracker is as waterproof as it claims to be.

To be abundantly clear, there’s no such thing as a truly waterproof fitness tracker or smartwatch. In fact, the IP ratings make it clear to which depth these devices can go in water before they become toast.

Ideally, Fitbit and Apple market their wearable devices as water-resistant, and Charge 2 and Apple Watch 3 can stand up to water albeit at varying degree.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is water-resistant up to 50 meters. While 5 ATM is a rating based on simulation, it means the device can stand up to the water pressure in a swimming pool as deep as 164 feet. 

On the other hand, the Fitbit Charge 2 is only rain, sweat, and shower proof. Immerse it in a swimming pool even for 5 minutes and it soaks to death.

Health and Physical Activities

Apple Watch 3 has an interesting approach that shows three Rings on the screen, tracking the activities you set according to the objectives.

Charge 2 also tracks your workouts, and you can access the details by clicking a few times on the screen.

The difference is that Apple Watch 3 can retain the three Rings continuously to keep you informed without necessarily scrolling and clicking.

Fitbit Charge 2 allows you to start tracking a physical activity by long pressing the side button if the automatic option does not trigger on time.

Besides, the SmartTrack feature is crucial for your tracking if you do not want to interact with Fitbit Charge 2 when cycling, running, or jogging.

Apple Watch Series 3 tracks your activities using an in-built app, and most actions will trigger automatic monitoring.

Moreover, the Series 3 offers an extra advantage because you can get the benefits of tracking using fitness apps like Strava and Runkeeper when running and cycling indoors and outdoors.

GPS Integration

Fitbit Charge 2 requires you to piggyback your smartphone device using Connected GPS to ensure the data you generate in physical activity goes on record.

The problem with connected GPS is that it can challenge your mobility and ability to exercise freely because some smartphones are heavy and large.

Apple Watch 3 includes a built-in GPs system, allowing you to track distance accurately as well as map your routes from your wrist if you ever have to.

With your iPhone sitting at home, it means less weight on your body and thus the convenience to exercise as much as you want.

VO2 Max

From where I sit, nothing makes a fitness tracker and a smartwatch worth its salt like its ability to tell you how much oxygen your body consumes as you exercise.

I first learned about the VO2 Max feature in Garmin. Surprisingly, even Fitbit and Apple have this integrated in their wearable devices.

The Apple Watch Series 3 uses sub-maximal predictions to record your VO2 Max based on your heart rate during workouts such as walks, runs, and hikes.

To be clear, the Apple Watch 3 and later only give you an estimate of the data. And you don’t necessarily have to reach peak heart rate to get an estimate.

The Fitbit Charge 2 compensates for the lack of GPS with the VO2 Max, only it refers to the metric as cardio fitness score.

Battery Life

The two devices boast of bringing advanced health-tracking features on your wrist and additional options that were once only available on smartphone apps.

However, it’s unlikely you’ll get the most from a fitness tracker or smartwatch if it doesn’t have a decent battery runtime per single charge.

So how does Apple Watch 3 stack up against Fitbit Charge 2 when it comes to battery life?

Well, the Apple Watch Series 3 has earns a lower score for battery life because it can barely go for a full day on a single full charge. In real-time testing, the average runtime for this smartwatch is not more than 18 hours. 

On the other hand, Fitbit Charge 2 guarantees roughly five days of battery life with the connected GPS system off. That means continuous data tracking for about a week without worrying about the fitness tracker going off.

But the difference is obvious.

Apple Watch 3 is smartwatch packed with a ton of premium features that easily drain battery. Turning off some of these features may deny you the luxury of getting the most out of the smartwatch, but it’s one of the ways to extend Apple Watch battery life.

Fitbit Charge 2 is just but a standard fitness tracker without any smart feature. And given that you see most of the metrics only from the mobile app, you can expect the battery to last longer.


Notifications on your wearable device should keep you updated and possibly allow you to communicate effectively.

Fitbit Charge 2 will enable you to view trackers and message notifications without giving you the option to reply to them.

Apple Watch Series 3 lets you read, respond, or dismiss notifications from various supported apps such as Twitter and Facebook.

Each device has unique designs to display notifications on health and tracking activities, and you will benefit from timely indications of your calorie burn, schedules, and communication.


The Apple Watch Series 3 is significantly more expensive than Fitbit Charge 2, and the money is associated with extra features and capabilities.

You will get the Charge 2 for about $150, while Series 3 will cost you $220 or thereabout.

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Final Thoughts 

They both belong in the wearable category. But Fitbit Charge 2 and Apple Watch 3 are completely different in terms of performance.

If you just want a device to track all-day activities, you should go for the Fitbit Charge 2.

However, if you’re interested in a device that tracks fitness as well as incorporates additional smartwatch features and brings them to your wrist, the Apple Watch 3 is a good deal to consider. 

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Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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