By Thomas Maranian

As Black Friday fast approaches, one of the most sold products will be wearable technology. Because of this, you may want to find out ahead of time whether the Apple Watch or the Fitbit is right for you. Just recently, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 3, and Fitbit released the Fitbit Ionic. That being said, you can expect stock of both to run out fairly quickly in stores once the big day arrives. You don’t want to be stuck trying to make up your mind on that day.

Let’s start with pricing. The Ionic is selling at a set price of $299 while the Series 3 has various different models starting at $329. Furthermore, there are different sized screens and bands for the Series 3 which can affect the pricing, but for now, we will stay on topic with what you actually get out of these watches. For relatively the same price, both are going to impress the user without any doubt. The question remains: what particularly are you looking for in a watch?

The design of both watches is relatively the same. They have square-like screens that are fully customizable according to your liking. The Series 3 offers more choices for the band colors and type, and has options optimized for fighting off sweat when you are working out. The Nike Plus version of the Series 3 offers a more workout friendly experience, similar to the Fitbit. For those who just can’t get away from Apple products, and want a workout friendly watch, choose the Nike Plus edition.

Apple’s edition is more focused on acting as a smartwatch to support your iPhone. If you decide to buy the Series 3 with cellular connectivity, it basically puts your phone on your wrist. You can leave your house without the need to carry a phone. You will be able to answer phone calls, reply to texts, and see just about every other notification you need. Fitbit does not offer the ability to answer texts or calls due to the fact that there is no microphone in their devices, but you are still able to see notifications. This is something they may strive to incorporate in future editions.

On the other hand, Fitbit is definitely oriented as a fitness watch. The Fitbit does have a lot more options when it comes to tracking workouts than its competition. Apple seems to be lacking some very popular activities for workouts as compared to the Fitbit. Some claim the Fitbit also is more accurate in its calorie burning count. No matter which you choose, both also have built in GPS monitoring, built-in heart rate monitoring, and the ability to track your sleep. Fitbit is able to be used not only with iPhone, but with Samsung, and just about any other smartphone out there. Apple Watches are made specifically to work with iOS devices alone.

In terms of features and benefits, both offer smartphone apps that allow you to track things including but not limited to caloric intake, water intake, sleeping patterns, workouts, steps taken throughout the day, and resting and active heartrate. There are many similarities amongst these two watches. The latest models of both are water resistant up to 50 meters and may be used in swimming pools. Additionally, only the Apple Watch is able to go in the ocean, so this may either be a plus or a setback towards which you are aiming towards. If you tend to go on a lot of vacations, and love the beach, the Apple Watch is more user-friendly for that. However, don’t expect these watches to be fully waterproof. Apple does say that their watch should not be used in extreme activities such as scuba diving and water skiing.

And now, both watches offer their own payment method in select stores (Fitbit Pay and Apple Pay). Instead of having to carry around your wallet on a morning run to a convenience store, just strap on your Fitbit or Apple Watch. Having to carry around a phone, wallet, and keys can be annoying enough as it is. This way, you will not have to worry about keeping an eye on your wallet, just on your watch!

Now the next big issue (as with any technological device) is battery life. This might be a huge game changer. Apple rates the Series 3 with an 18-hour battery life, but some users claim theirs have lasted up to two days, or longer. And of course, this varies with the model you choose, especially if the LTE version is what you decide to buy. While this does not seem enticing, it is definitely an improvement from their previous generation watches. The Ionic is more than double what Apple claims the battery life is for the Series 3. You can get over four days of battery out of Ionic. That is one powerful battery, and it is primarily due to the lack of applications you are able to use.

A cool feature of the Fitbit is that it offers silent alarms to wake you up in the morning, or to remind you to do things throughout the day. Instead of hearing an annoying and loud alarm every morning, the Fitbit gives you the option to alert you with a vibration on your wrist to avoid any unnecessary noise in the morning. With the Apple Watch, you are able to access the same alarms as you can on the iPhone, only now you won’t have to reach for your phone in the morning to turn it off. It will be right on your wrist for convenience. Both companies are all about convenience, they just have their own way of incorporating it.

So overall, the Apple Watch Series 3 definitely stands out as a stylish smartwatch with a lot more features, while the Fitbit is more oriented towards only fitness. Both are meant to improve your overall lifestyle, so, at the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Do you want to pay the extra buck for less battery life but more features, or do you wish to save a few dollars

and focus more on tracking nutrition? The deals are a go in exactly 15 days. Just remember they may sell out fast. Many are probably going to be camping out a day in advance for their new wrist companion. Secure your spot in line to ensure you get what you want!

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