Fitbit vs. Apple Watch for Counting Steps: And The Winner Is…

by James A. Martin on April 30, 2015

in Apple Watch Fitness Tracking

Long-time Fitbit junkies beware: Apple Watch doesn’t prominently display your steps. Nor does the watch do a particularly good job of counting them, at least not in my early experience.

To see your step total on the watch, you open the Activity app (the one with the three colored rings). Scroll down with the Digital Crown or your finger until you see your total step count, listed under ‘Active Calories.’

Apple Watch vs Fitbit for steps

Alternatively, you can open the Activity app on your iPhone and scroll to the bottom to view your steps.

Neither is a huge hassle. But if you’re used to simply glancing at a Fitbit to see your steps, it will take getting used to.

Fitbit vs Apple Watch step counting pedometer
A bigger concern is the Apple Watch’s accuracy in counting steps. By late afternoon today, my Fitbit One tells me I’ve walked 9,054 steps, while the Apple Watch is only crediting me with 7,316. That’s a difference of 1,738 steps, which nearly equals one mile.

As of this moment, I’ve only used an Apple Watch for 24 hours. And it’s supposed to learn your stride over time to become more accurate. So it will be interesting to see if my steps on Apple Watch eventually catch up with my Fitbit steps.

You could argue that Fitbit’s step counting isn’t 100 percent accurate, either. But these aren’t scientific devices; they’re consumer devices. And Fitbit’s steps have come pretty close to my old-school Sportline pedometer.

At any rate, until further notice, I’m keeping a Fitbit One in my pocket.

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