Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: Which should you buy?

Apple Watch Series 7 Hero Underwater Apple
Apple Watch Series 7 Hero Underwater Apple (Image credit: Apple)

It's a choice between the Apple Watch Series 7 — the latest Apple Watch release and the Fitbit Charge 5 — Fitbit's most feature-heavy tracker. Choosing between these two is tough because they're two of the best fitness trackers to hit the market and offer advanced features to keep you motivated towards your health and fitness goals. Ultimately, the choice boils down to budget, operating system, and the features you prioritize.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: Features and specs

The Apple Watch Series 7 hosts some notable upgrades from its predecessor the Series 6. Plus, all the advanced features we loved about the Series 6 like advanced navigation, safety tracking, ECG, Sp02, and built-in cellular (optional). The Fitbit Charge 5 offers more advanced features than the already impressive Charge 4, like ECG, Sp02, and EDA scans. Which is for you? Let's break down the specs to see what sets them apart.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Apple Watch Series 7Fitbit Charge 5
Display typeRetina LTPO OLEDAMOLED
Display size1.8-inches (41mm) 1.9-inches (45mm)1.04-inches
Internal storage32GBNo
Media play, stream, and storageYesNo
Built-in cellularYes (optional)No
Voice command + smart assistantSiriNo
Safety trackingYesNo
Phone notificationsYesYes
Water-resistant (5ATM)YesYes
Swim trackingYesYes
Activity trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
Stress monitoringYesYes
SensorsAccelerometer, barometer/altimeter, heart rate monitor, compass, gyroscope, ambient light, pulse oximeter, ECG, thermometer3-axis accelerometer, pulse oximeter, thermometer, ambient light, multipurpose electrical sensors
Battery life18 hoursUp to 7 days
Fast chargingYesNo
CompatibilityiOSiOS and Android
Payment systemApple PayFitbit Pay
Companion appApple WatchFitbit
Customizable watch faceYesYes
Interchangeable bandsYesYes

You're only going to get smart tech with the Series 7. On top of all the health and fitness features we've come to know and love via Watch OS, the Apple Watch Series 7 features a larger, more advanced display, a new keyboard, improved durability, fast charging, and new customization options. All that advanced tech comes with a hefty price tag, as it is more than twice as much as the Charge 5.

The Fitbit Charge 5 hosts some new comprehensive health and fitness monitoring features like ECG, EDA scans, and Daily Readiness Scores, on top of Active Zone Minutes, workout intensity maps, and a built-in GPS, making it a killer value. If you're an Android user, the Charge 5 is your obvious choice because of its compatibility. Plus, it offers much longer battery life than the Series 7. Let's break things down further.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: The best Apple Watch yet

Apple Watch Series 7 Apple

Apple Watch Series 7 Apple (Image credit: Apple)

The Series 7 hosts some notable upgrades from its predecessor and key differences from the Charge 5. For starters, it features Apple Watch's largest, most advanced display yet — almost a full inch larger than the Charge 5's. The Series 7 has reduced the display borders to a mere 1.7mm, and the watch's shape has been refined. The case and display have softer, more rounded corners, creating a sleeker aesthetic. It's 70% brighter indoors and can fit 50% more text on-screen than Apple Watch Series 6.

The buttons have been redesigned and enlarged to compliment the new design of the display, and there are new ways to input text. The Series 7 features a brand new full keyboard that you can either tap or slide from letter to letter with QuickPath. There are also new watch faces designed specifically for Apple Watch Series 7 to compliment the new display.

Apple Watch Series 7 hosts an extra-large display, new keyboard, IPX certification, and fast charging.

Series 7 is the most durable Apple Watch yet. The watch face is made of Apple's most crack-resistant crystal, and it's the first Apple Watch to receive an IPX certification. You don't have to worry about wearing it in dusty environments. Plus, its advanced navigation and safety tracking features can pinpoint your location worldwide and alert local emergency services if you ever find yourself in a bind, making it the perfect companion for rugged adventurers.

Unlike the Charge 5, the Series 7 offers fast charging. It has a new fast-charging USB-C cable that can take it from 0 to 80% in 45 minutes. Eight minutes of charging is enough for eight hours of sleep tracking. This helps compensate for Series 7's relatively short battery life of 18 hours.

You're also only going to be able to voice command and access Siri with the Series 7. It's the only wearable of the two that hosts media play, stream, storage, and customizable apps. Other perks of owning the Series 7 include opting into the optional built-in cellular system. This ensures that you'll always stay connected. You can make calls, send texts, answer emails, or check voicemails wherever you are.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: Fitbit's most advanced tracker

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle (Image credit: Fitbit)

The Fitbit Charge 5 is Fitbit's most advanced tracker by far. It builds on the already impressive features of its predecessor Charge 4, with new offerings like ECG monitoring. Keep tabs on your heart health with a compatible ECG app that assesses your heart for any rhythm irregularities. It will store results to share with your doctor if necessary.

It features EDA scans. The Charge 5 allows you to use the on-wrist EDA scan app to detect electrodermal activity or tiny changes in your skin's sweat level. This indicates your body's physical response to stress. Daily stress management scores show you how exercise, mindfulness, and sleep affect your stress levels so you can track and manage stress over time.

Fitbit Charge 5 offers new EDA, ECG, and Daily Readiness Scores for more comprehensive health and fitness monitoring.

The Charge 5 delivers a Daily Readiness Score that helps optimize your body's energy. It will show you whether you're ready for a strenuous workout, need to take it easy, or must prioritize recovery. This score is based on your exercise, sleep, and heart rate variability. It does require a Fitbit Premium membership, but your Charge 5 comes with six months of Premium (for new members only), so you have ample time to try it out.

It's outfitted with built-in GPS, Active Zone Minutes, and workout intensity maps. Active Zone Minutes will help you get the most out of your workouts by guiding you towards your target heart rate zones. Then, you can view your workout routes and heart rate variability in your workout intensity maps in the Fitbit app.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: Compatibility, customization, and battery

Apple Watch Series 7 Colors Press

Apple Watch Series 7 Colors Press (Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to compatibility, the Apple Watch Series 7 is only compatible with iOS, while the Fitbit Charge 5 is compatible with both iOS and Android. This makes the Charge 5 the definite choice for Android users.

The Series 7 and the Charge 5 host interchangeable bands and customizable watch faces. Apple Watch Series 7 has the Charge 5 beat in options. It comes in more colors, more materials, and offers more watch face choices. New colors for the Series 7 include midnight, starlight, green, blue, and (PRODUCT) RED. The Fitbit Charge 5 comes in three colors: black, lunar white, and steel blue.

If we're talking battery life, Charge 5 comes out way ahead. It offers up to seven days of battery depending on usage, which far outshines Apple Watch Series 7's 18 hours. Remember; if you operate either wearable in GPS, music, or Wi-Fi mode a lot, it will drain the battery much faster than basic watch mode.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: Which should you buy?

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle (Image credit: Fitbit)

If you have the budget for it, the Apple Watch Series 7 can do everything the Fitbit Charge 5 can do, and then some. You're going to get comprehensive health and fitness monitoring on top of smart technology, making it the more all-encompassing purchase.

If you don't need smart features and are looking for advanced health and fitness monitoring at a great value, Fitbit Charge 5 is an excellent choice. It offers exciting new features and impressive battery life. At the end of the day, both wearables will keep you on the right track to health. The choice comes down to budget and the features you need most.

Nicolette Roux

Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. She's been hooked on Apple products since she got the very first iPhone in 2007 and made the switch from PC to Mac in 2008 after inadvertently dousing her laptop with a hefty dose of water. A dedicated creative, Nicolette has had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the industry throughout her career, and enjoys writing about all things: Apple, health, fitness, audio, and home. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette specializes in tech pertaining to the field. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.