Fitness tracking is nothing new; in fact, the first wearables were introduced back in 1965 with very limited functionality. But thanks to modern technology, wearable technology has matured significantly in recent years, and three players are immersed in the space: Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin, all of which want to be your fitness tracker, despite their drastically diverse origins. So, let's have a look at this fascinating struggle.
The Apple Watch is a behemoth that took the world by storm.
Every new Apple product has its critics. This was also true with the Apple Watch. Some of the arguments, on the other hand, were well-founded. When it was first released in 2015, Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of Tag Heuer, said: "In 80 years, will you be able to fix it? It won't function anymore, so no."
Apple, on the other hand, had its eyes set on the future, not the past. Despite the fact that many people were enthusiastic about the concept, the launch was not without flaws. To begin with, it wasn't inexpensive. The price varied from £249 to £369, with special editions costing much more.
In addition, several apps were sluggish, and notifications were frequently lost. As a result, users were unable to access their messages and emails. However, iOS users adored the watch. And the numbers back it up. The first quarter of Apple Watch sales accounted for 75% of all smartwatch sales worldwide. But in the next five years, Apple has refined their watch to the point that it is considered a benchmark for smartwatches and timepieces in general. The Apple Watch outsold the whole Swiss watchmaker sector with no signs of slowing down.
Apple has introduced several fitness and health tracking features in its Apple Watch, which complements its health app, which is always accessible and easy to use. Apple's sensors always had the reputation of being accurate, and subscription-based features like FitnessPlus only reinforce Apple's willingness to compete in this space.
However, it also has some caveats; Apple Watch is expensive and is not always geared toward fitness. Many of its features are geo-locked and not available in the UK.
Garmin is the military brat who put the Apple Watch to the test.
Gary Burrell and Min Kao created Garmin, which was formerly known as ProNav. Both had prior military electronics experience, particularly in radio and avionics. Outside of the military, Burrett and Kao thought that GPS had many applications. So, in 1986, they quit their jobs after raising $4 million and formed ProNav.
In 2003, Garmin released the Forerunner, which allowed users to measure important fitness metrics such as heart rate, distance, and calories. Yes, it was large, and the battery life was limited. However, it was one of the first gadgets designed specifically for athletes. Triathletes and long-distance runners praised the gadgets for their cutting-edge GPS technology. The next natural step was smartwatches. However, their objective was to serve not just sporting demands but also everyday capabilities like email, messaging, and others.
Every two years, Garmin releases a new product, continually upgrading and adding new features. While the Apple Watch was designed for the general public, Garmin produced tough goods for outdoor enthusiasts.
Fitbit is a young, modest, yet determined fitness startup.
Fitbit, founded in 2007, is the new kid on the block, and its founders, James Park and Eric Friedman had virtually little experience to show for it in order to persuade investors.
Their concept was to create a little gadget that would tell the user how many steps they had taken, how many calories they had burned, and how far they had travelled. It's worth noting that their mockup was rudimentary: they just had a wooden box and some wiring to work with. They did, however, believe in their brand, and now Fitbit has become a household name. They hoped for 50 preorders in an early sales pitch and ended up with 2,000.
Fitbit added a strap and a digital clock two years later. There was even phone service, but neither message nor email was available. Fitbit was preoccupied with one aim in particular: health. Their heartbeat monitors were so good that they were included in Mayo Clinic investigations.
Furthermore, both founders were big fans of data, and the more, the better. Fitbit even intended to utilize it in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. However, because of this focus, their devices were too rudimentary to be classified as smartwatches.
Apple Watch vs. Fitbit vs. Garmin, which is best for you?
Apple is obviously a much bigger player when up against Garmin and Fitbit, but that doesn't mean it is a clear winner. Apple is notorious for keeping its ecosystem locked, so apple watches are not compatible with android smartphones. So if you need an all-around smartwatch that has style and flayer and do not mind getting into the Apple ecosystem, the Apple Watch will be your best option. But an apple watch usually comes in different variants (44mm and 40mm) and materials, so make informed decisions when choosing which variants to get.
If durability is on top of your priority list and you need a sturdy smartwatch that performs just as well as a fitness tracker, you may consider picking a Garmin.
If both fitness and affordability rank high on your priority list, Fitbit will be an excellent choice for you. It has a ton of features dedicated to tracking your health and fitness, and it costs significantly less than the other two on our list.
Finally, a smartwatch may be an excellent tool for individuals interested in fitness and activity. However, even when we don't want to, it might be another method for us to stay connected. Smartwatches have also become a fashion staple, and how they look and feel on your wrist may just be as important as their functionality. So consider these factors when making your decisions.