1. steeladonis's Avatar
    I tried using the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker and I, too, have had mixed results. As a step-counter, the accuracy is spot-on. As an example, my company recently purchased Fitbits for everyone and even though I didn't need one, I got one anyway (Fitbit Charge HR). The Fitbit turned out to be horrifically inaccurate with regards to steps (400 to 800 steps high) and after a week, I abandoned it.

    My issue with the Apple Watch was the heart rate monitor. Under normal activity (walking, sitting, climbing stairs, etc) the AW HRM seems to be pretty accurate. But during exercises - particularly when your wrist becomes sweaty, the AW HRM loses accuracy. So, as a solution, I went out and purchased a Polar Bluetooth cheststrap. The watch paired easily with the strap and worked great - for about 15 minutes. Then the watch stopped receiving HR data from the strap. The watch and strap was still paired, the watch just stopped showing HR data. This happened consistently. I blamed the watch because I got no such errors when I paired my strap directly to the HR sensor on the particular treadmill or elliptical machine that I happened to be using or two other iPhones as a test. In each of those cases, the BT cheststrap transmitted my heart rate consistently and accurately. That was about a year ago, so maybe things have improved.
    02-05-2016 02:43 PM
  2. eyecrispy's Avatar
    I tried using the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker and I, too, have had mixed results. As a step-counter, the accuracy is spot-on. As an example, my company recently purchased Fitbits for everyone and even though I didn't need one, I got one anyway (Fitbit Charge HR). The Fitbit turned out to be horrifically inaccurate with regards to steps (400 to 800 steps high) and after a week, I abandoned it.

    My issue with the Apple Watch was the heart rate monitor. Under normal activity (walking, sitting, climbing stairs, etc) the AW HRM seems to be pretty accurate. But during exercises - particularly when your wrist becomes sweaty, the AW HRM loses accuracy. So, as a solution, I went out and purchased a Polar Bluetooth cheststrap. The watch paired easily with the strap and worked great - for about 15 minutes. Then the watch stopped receiving HR data from the strap. The watch and strap was still paired, the watch just stopped showing HR data. This happened consistently. I blamed the watch because I got no such errors when I paired my strap directly to the HR sensor on the particular treadmill or elliptical machine that I happened to be using or two other iPhones as a test. In each of those cases, the BT cheststrap transmitted my heart rate consistently and accurately. That was about a year ago, so maybe things have improved.
    I did not notice inconsistencies with the HRM this morning when I was using my AW. That said, I've had my AW a measly 24 hours, so who knows what I'll experience moving forward.

    I will agree that the step counter is more accurate on the AW. Case in point - I am a jitterbug and my legs are constantly bouncing when I'm sitting. I know that my Fitbit will count steps if my hand is on my knee. I explicitly tried that with my AW this morning trying to see if it'll count false steps and it didn't count a single false steps after 3-4 minutes of bouncing. Pretty impressive.
    02-05-2016 03:22 PM
  3. terreos's Avatar
    Ok, here is what I got from my workout this morning. I wore my Fitbit Surge on my left wrist and my AW on my right wrist. Results were reasonably close. See pics and explanation below.

    First, I did Insanity Max 30 Friday Fight Round 1 video workout.

    https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...1197486dc4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...1cda5c71d9.jpg

    You can see that my Fitbit measured my calorie burn higher by 50 calories than the AW, and the AW measured my avg heart rate a bit higher than the Fitbit.

    Next, I ran 5K on my treadmill.

    https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...d6ae43c77d.jpg

    https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...8ff0877069.jpg

    You can see that estimated distance was off on both as was the pace, but more off on the AW. Avg heart rate was close. Fitbit said I burned 366 cal (not pictured) and AW said I burned 330 cal.

    I'd say that margin of error is acceptable between the two devices. I'll keep using both for a few more days to compare, but I was pretty happy with the results I saw on the AW.
    Thank you for sharing your findings. Found it very useful. Actually it's making me lean towards the Apple Watch again as my final choice.
    eyecrispy likes this.
    02-05-2016 04:27 PM
  4. terreos's Avatar
    I tried using the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker and I, too, have had mixed results. As a step-counter, the accuracy is spot-on. As an example, my company recently purchased Fitbits for everyone and even though I didn't need one, I got one anyway (Fitbit Charge HR). The Fitbit turned out to be horrifically inaccurate with regards to steps (400 to 800 steps high) and after a week, I abandoned it.

    My issue with the Apple Watch was the heart rate monitor. Under normal activity (walking, sitting, climbing stairs, etc) the AW HRM seems to be pretty accurate. But during exercises - particularly when your wrist becomes sweaty, the AW HRM loses accuracy. So, as a solution, I went out and purchased a Polar Bluetooth cheststrap. The watch paired easily with the strap and worked great - for about 15 minutes. Then the watch stopped receiving HR data from the strap. The watch and strap was still paired, the watch just stopped showing HR data. This happened consistently. I blamed the watch because I got no such errors when I paired my strap directly to the HR sensor on the particular treadmill or elliptical machine that I happened to be using or two other iPhones as a test. In each of those cases, the BT cheststrap transmitted my heart rate consistently and accurately. That was about a year ago, so maybe things have improved.
    That's odd. If I go with the Apple Watch I'll have to look into a chest strap like you have. Have you tried using it again recently?
    02-05-2016 04:29 PM
  5. zachpenguin's Avatar
    I use my Apple Watch for fitness tracking almost every day. Love it way more then my FitBit. Like all wrist worn monitors though, you need to take into account that excessive arm movement is going to mess with the heart rate data. I do a lot of HIIT training with lots of burpees, punches, and etc. The AW will almost always lose the heart rate signal. I haven't tried pairing it with my Polar HR strap, but may to see if there is a difference. Other than that and the lack of workout options in the AW workout app, I am very happy with mine during my training.
    02-05-2016 08:51 PM
  6. eyecrispy's Avatar
    Thank you for sharing your findings. Found it very useful. Actually it's making me lean towards the Apple Watch again as my final choice.
    You gotta get what's right for you. I'm still not totally sold on the AW, to be honest. But I had to try it bc I got a great deal on this and had the itch to buy a new gadget. I'll keep testing the different workout features and report anything interesting.
    02-05-2016 10:33 PM
  7. CrzyP's Avatar
    I think I made up my mind. I'm gonna go with the Garmin Forerunner 235 HRM bundle. It just seems more like what I'm looking for in a fitness (running) oriented watch. I'll will be delaying my purchase until March.
    02-07-2016 01:03 AM
  8. ankush93's Avatar
    Good one
    02-07-2016 01:08 AM
  9. jayzero76's Avatar
    buy a cheap fitness band and put it on at night. thats what i did and worked good.
    02-07-2016 10:19 AM
  10. circlez's Avatar
    Glad I found this thread. I've been looking heavily at the Garmin Forerunner 235 for a running watch. I'm on the fence between the Garmin and the AW. I like the look, GPS, limited smart watch features, and battery life of the Garmin. I like the better integration of the Apple Watch with my iPhone. Decisions...
    If you're looking for a serious workout or running watch get a Garmin. The Apple Watch doesn't quite cut it yet.
    02-07-2016 11:01 AM
  11. duncanator's Avatar
    I have owned both and as far as fitness tracking is concerned, I have got to say that the MS Band 2 is pretty good. I do indoor running then weightlifting and it's great. When selecting a workout, you can choose several types of which there is a selection for Weightlifting. I also use it for my treadmill run and love how it works. The apple watch probably is ok for running outside, but it was worthless to me for tracking my workouts. Also, it fits well under my workout gloves. Perhaps the biggest complaint I have regarding the MS Band 2, and it's a big one, is that they have big battery problems where the battery just dies and decides it's dead. I've gone through 2 bands in 4 months, but at least they get replaced. When it works though, it's great Sigh.

    The Apple Watch is great for activities like walking around and is pretty comfortable to wear. I especially like the notifications and the ability to respond to messages using Siri.
    02-11-2016 05:44 PM
  12. eyecrispy's Avatar
    I have owned both and as far as fitness tracking is concerned, I have got to say that the MS Band 2 is pretty good. I do indoor running then weightlifting and it's great. When selecting a workout, you can choose several types of which there is a selection for Weightlifting. I also use it for my treadmill run and love how it works. The apple watch probably is ok for running outside, but it was worthless to me for tracking my workouts. Also, it fits well under my workout gloves. Perhaps the biggest complaint I have regarding the MS Band 2, and it's a big one, is that they have big battery problems where the battery just dies and decides it's dead. I've gone through 2 bands in 4 months, but at least they get replaced. When it works though, it's great Sigh.

    The Apple Watch is great for activities like walking around and is pretty comfortable to wear. I especially like the notifications and the ability to respond to messages using Siri.
    Thanks for your input! I had the first MS Band and just could not get used to the terribly uncomfortable form factor. It was good for tracking workouts and pretty reliable for notifications. Battery was a big issue back then as well. Surprised they haven't addressed it. I've been out on numerous outdoor runs when my MS Band should have been fine on battery and it would suddenly tell me to it was low and I needed to plug in right away to avoid losing data and I'd have to high tail it back home.

    Apple Watch has been ok tracking workouts, but they need to support more than cardio workouts (ie, weight lifting). I've been using the "Other" category for a lot of my Insanity workouts. It seems to be tracking just fine. Would be nice if I could go in and edit the workout name from Other to something more specific after the fact. I am pretty sure the MS Band let me do that.
    02-11-2016 06:18 PM
  13. CrzyP's Avatar
    I have owned both and as far as fitness tracking is concerned, I have got to say that the MS Band 2 is pretty good. I do indoor running then weightlifting and it's great. When selecting a workout, you can choose several types of which there is a selection for Weightlifting. I also use it for my treadmill run and love how it works. The apple watch probably is ok for running outside, but it was worthless to me for tracking my workouts. Also, it fits well under my workout gloves. Perhaps the biggest complaint I have regarding the MS Band 2, and it's a big one, is that they have big battery problems where the battery just dies and decides it's dead. I've gone through 2 bands in 4 months, but at least they get replaced. When it works though, it's great Sigh.

    The Apple Watch is great for activities like walking around and is pretty comfortable to wear. I especially like the notifications and the ability to respond to messages using Siri.
    The MS Band 2 had caught my attention too. I just haven't done much research on it because it is missing HealthKit integration. I'm sure it connects to other services, but I'm not sure which ones. The Garmin connects to Strava, Nike + Running, MFP, and HealthKit. As weak as Nike + is, I still use it for the social and gamification stuff. It's a fun to compete with my friends and helps me stay motivated.

    Edit: I just saw that the MS B2 supports Strava and MFP. As lame as it sounds, no Nike may be a deal breaker.
    Last edited by CrzyP; 02-12-2016 at 10:29 PM.
    02-12-2016 05:48 PM
  14. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    To the extent this is helpful, I've been using the AW since May, the Garmin 235 since Thanksgiving (replacing a Garmin 620) and have borrowed the fenix 3 (non HR) for the past couple of weeks. I work my Garmin 620 as a daily watch before getting the AW, and then the AW daily before getting the 235.

    For me, the AW is a good smartwatch but a mediocre running watch. The Garmin 235 is a really good running watch, but just decent smartwatch. If there was some way to switch off between wearing the two and have running/cycling, steps and sleep data all consolidated that would be ideal, but as it is I wear my 235 24/7 and have used my AW a handful of times since getting the Garmin. The fenix 3 screen and features are really compelling, but it's too large and heavy to wear 24/7 (for me). I've also tried wearing both the AW and the 235 during my runs (6 days a week) and the AW for the remainder of the day, but I just don't want to run with two watches.

    Garmin Connect works fine for me. There have been a couple of bugs with calorie calculations and total mileage covered for the day, but by and large it's been solid for me. It also have the social component, which I use for my online running group.

    Hope that's helpful. Happy to answer any other questions.
    02-12-2016 07:56 PM
  15. eyecrispy's Avatar
    To the extent this is helpful, I've been using the AW since May, the Garmin 235 since Thanksgiving (replacing a Garmin 620) and have borrowed the fenix 3 (non HR) for the past couple of weeks. I work my Garmin 620 as a daily watch before getting the AW, and then the AW daily before getting the 235.

    For me, the AW is a good smartwatch but a mediocre running watch. The Garmin 235 is a really good running watch, but just decent smartwatch. If there was some way to switch off between wearing the two and have running/cycling, steps and sleep data all consolidated that would be ideal, but as it is I wear my 235 24/7 and have used my AW a handful of times since getting the Garmin. The fenix 3 screen and features are really compelling, but it's too large and heavy to wear 24/7 (for me). I've also tried wearing both the AW and the 235 during my runs (6 days a week) and the AW for the remainder of the day, but I just don't want to run with two watches.

    Garmin Connect works fine for me. There have been a couple of bugs with calorie calculations and total mileage covered for the day, but by and large it's been solid for me. It also have the social component, which I use for my online running group.

    Hope that's helpful. Happy to answer any other questions.
    I've noticed that folks who like the Garmins really like them. My hardcore Tri friends especially.

    I'm an avid runner and fitness buff in general but have never used a "real" fitness device -- mostly bc they're all huge and ugly. I've stuck with the more recreational devices like the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and Fitbit Surge. They've all been ok, except the Fuelband was too gimmicky. I love the Surge for functionality but hate the form factor. It is so ugly and clunky. I'm glad I have the AW to play with. Like I said, it's an ok fitness device -- really no worse than the other recreational devices I've used with the exception of battery life. But it fits my itty bitty wrist better and looks worlds better. Ultimately, I don't know what I'll use but suspect I'll part with my Surge and use the AW full time and clip my Fitbit One on as well so I can stay connected with my Fitbit friends.
    02-12-2016 08:53 PM
  16. CrzyP's Avatar
    ^^ I've been rocking a Fitbit One for the last couple of years. I agree that pretty much every design Fitbit puts out is just plain ugly!
    eyecrispy likes this.
    02-12-2016 11:14 PM
  17. eyecrispy's Avatar
    ^^ I've been rocking a Fitbit One for the last couple of years. I agree that pretty much every design Fitbit puts out is just plain ugly!
    Lol. Their new one looks a lot nicer. And the Fitbit One is fine. But that Surge is just atrocious. That said, a lot of the fitness devices are unattractive.
    02-12-2016 11:32 PM
  18. duncanator's Avatar
    Thanks for your input! I had the first MS Band and just could not get used to the terribly uncomfortable form factor. It was good for tracking workouts and pretty reliable for notifications. Battery was a big issue back then as well. Surprised they haven't addressed it. I've been out on numerous outdoor runs when my MS Band should have been fine on battery and it would suddenly tell me to it was low and I needed to plug in right away to avoid losing data and I'd have to high tail it back home.

    Apple Watch has been ok tracking workouts, but they need to support more than cardio workouts (ie, weight lifting). I've been using the "Other" category for a lot of my Insanity workouts. It seems to be tracking just fine. Would be nice if I could go in and edit the workout name from Other to something more specific after the fact. I am pretty sure the MS Band let me do that.
    Yeah, I have an MS Band 1 and it is more of a handcuff than anything else. The Band 2 was much better and actually was able to track weightlifting (a selected option), but the problem I had with my 2 Band 2's was not battery life, but with the actual battery dying and have no power once off the charger. I've done some searching and I've discovered that it is a problem with the actual battery. Because of that, I'm not going to try a third Band 2.

    I too have been looking at the Garmin Forerunner 235 but I realize that I worked out for a decade without a fitness watch and I might not really need one. My body tells me when I did a good workout and when I look at the data, I don't really do much with it. Because of this, I might just get an Apple Watch again to use it for messages and phone call notifications. I know there is speculation that a new AW might be coming soon, but my issues are more related to the software and not hardware. I don't run outside so no GPS is not a problem for me.

    One more thing, MS updated their Health app today which provides a GPS power save mode which will give you longer battery life when on longer runs and bike rides.
    02-19-2016 05:37 PM
  19. Trees's Avatar
    I recently connected Endomondo to the Health app, and now the activities that I record in Endomondo directly populate the Health app Dashboard (Endomondo needs to be set as an app in Heath\Sources, and Endomondo needs to connect to Health in the Connect & Share setting).

    Looks fairly accurate. Went for a 6.09 mile MTB ride this morning, and can now see that same distance along with a spike in Active Energy in the Health app Dashboard.
    02-21-2016 04:01 PM
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