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Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular)
Fitbit Flex 2
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Apple Watch Series 5 vs Fitbit Flex 2

Analysis:

The Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) is an exemplary product and one of the very best Smart Watches at the $460 budget.

The Fitbit Flex 2, however, doesn't seem to have enough data available for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions. If you're considering Smart Watches in the $200 range, you might want to check out some other options.

The Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) has done great in quite a few roundups from some of the most highly trusted sources available, such as Wirecutter, PCmag, and TechGearLab, which perform high-quality in-depth testing. It got awarded the "Top Pick" title by Wirecutter, "Best for A Fitness-Focused Smartwatch" by PCmag, and "Best for iOS/iPhones" by TechGearLab in their respective roundups. Earning that much praise from such respected sources is undoubtedly an impressive accomplishment.

Moving on to the Fitbit Flex 2: it was loved by reviewers at Techradar and Tech Advisor - two reliable sources that conduct objective in-depth testing. In fact, it was their "Ranked 3 out of 15" and "Ranked 1 out of 9", respectively, pointing towards it being a Smart Watch worth considering.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Expert Reviews, Digitaltrends, TrustedReviews, Pocket-lint, Tom's Guide, CNET, Techradar, and Macworld, for example, preferred the Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular), while PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) got reviewed the highest by Expert Reviews - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Fitbit Flex 2 most impressed reviewers at Verywell Fit, which gave it a score of 9.4.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Smart Watches on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Smart Watches being 7.2 out of 10, whereas the Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) and Fitbit Flex 2 managed averages of 8.6 and 7.8 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) vs. Fitbit Flex 2 comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
PCmag
Wirecutter
TechGearLab
Tom's Guide
OutdoorGearLab
Techradar
Android Central
The Verge
CNET
Expert Reviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular)
$484
Fitbit Flex 2
$199
Highly recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Smartwatches for 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Mar 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, and Running Watches” 
Last updated: 9 Mar 2020
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Smartwatches of 2020” 
Last updated: 4 Feb 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best smartwatch 2020” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best swim watch 2020: what you should be wearing in the pool” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best smartwatch 2020: The best wearables for style, fitness and function” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Apple Watch Series 5 vs. Fitbit Versa 2: Best smartwatch to give as a gift” 
Last updated: 10 Dec 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Premium Pick
in “Best Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers with GPS in 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for iPhone users
in “Best smartwatch 2020: The best wearables for iPhone and Android” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Smartwatch
in “These are the best tech products of 2019” 
Last updated: 4 Nov 2019
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Apple Watches” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Apple Watches in 2020 (May Reviews)” 
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Apple Watch Is the Best Smartwatch for iPhone Owners” 
Last updated: 24 Oct 2019
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Fitness Trackers for 2020” 
Last updated: 22 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best medical alert smartwatches of 2020” 
Last updated: 26 Nov 2019
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Apple Fans
in “Best Smartwatch for Women in 2020” 
Last updated: 7 Apr 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best sports smartwatch
in “Best sports watch 2020: Track your training with the best sports watches” 
Last updated: 4 Mar 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Smartwatch
in “These are the best smart home products of 2019” 
Last updated: 4 Nov 2019
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Smartwatches” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for A Fitness-Focused Smartwatch
in “The Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: 22 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best smartwatch 2020: the top wearables you can buy today” 
Last updated: 30 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Premium Option
in “Best Fitness Smartwatches in 2020” 
Last updated: 21 Jan 2020
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for A Fitness-Focused Smartwatch
in “The Best Fitness Trackers for Running” 
Last updated: 22 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Apple Watch: the ultimate guide to pick your iPhone compatible smartwatch” 
Last updated: 6 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Premium Option
in “Best Smartwatches for Fitness in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 Jan 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Apple Watch money can buy
in “Best smartwatch for iPhone 2020: Apple Watch, Wear OS, Tizen and more” 
Last updated: 30 Apr 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #8 out of 10
in “Best running watches 2020: the perfect GPS companions for your workouts” 
Last updated: 10 Mar 2020
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best fitness tech gifts 2020” 
Last updated: 10 Dec 2019
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2020” 
Last updated: 2 days ago
The Spruce
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 18 Best Graduation Gifts of 2020” 
CNET
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “These are our favorite gifts for grads in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best swimming trackers for 2019” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #5 out of 10
in “Best Fitbit 2020: which is right for you?” 
Last updated: a month ago
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 9
in “Best Fitbit 2020: 9 awesome choices for avid and casual gym-goers” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “The best sleep tracker 2020” 
Last updated: 9 Jan 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Fitness Trackers” 
Last updated: a month ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Travel Accessories in 2020” 
Last updated: 7 Feb 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best tech gifts for college students” 
Last updated: 1 Dec 2017
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Holiday Gift Guide 2016: TechRadar’s best tech gifts you can actually afford” 
Last updated: 14 Nov 2016
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Android gifts under $100” 
Last updated: 8 Dec 2014

Key things to consider when buying Smart Watch

Our super simple Buying Guide

A smartwatch is a wearable computer in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches bring notifications, apps, voice control, fitness tracking, and more to your wrist. Although they vary in their features and designs, smartwatches generally help increase productivity and keep track of fitness and health data, like heart rate and sleep tracking.

With exceptions of no-name brands and cheap knockoffs, smartwatches range from $100 on the low end and up to $2500 for the most premium devices. The price goes up significantly when looking at products made of luxury materials, or ones with a very specific use case. Most people will be satisfied with getting a mid-range smartwatch. An option that costs around $200 will typically offer all of the essential tracking and productivity features but may be missing some more premium ones, like cellular connectivity, NFC, or onboard music storage. For $500 you can get a fully-fledged smartwatch that will track a wide array of activities, have a large number of extra features, and will be made of high-quality materials. The high-end of the market is reserved for smartwatches that are aimed at fashion-conscious people who want their smartwatch to have premium looks, without offering any additional functionality over the more reasonably priced options.

The smartwatch market is evolving quickly, with products getting discontinued after two or three years and new flagships being released annually.

A few key players in the industry:

  • Apple enjoys the biggest share in the market and dominates it with their universally lauded, iPhone exclusive Apple Watch smartwatches. They feature great build quality, run on their well-developed wearOS, flawlessly integrate with the iOS ecosystem, and have a wide selection of applications.

  • Samsung mainly produces smartwatches for Android smartphones, but its wearables are also compatible with iPhones and Windows devices. The company's smartwatches run on Tizen OS, which has all of the essentials but lacks some popular apps.

  • Fitbit is known for its great lineup of fitness-focused smartwatches that come at a relatively low price. Fitbit built their own OS that's compatible with all types of smartphones.

  • Garmin offers smartwatches with advanced tracking functions and rugged build quality. The company is primarily focused on outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Xiaomi, in partnership with Huami, also produces good products and focuses on the budget end of the smartwatch market.

These are the most important specs to consider when buying a smartwatch:

  • iOS - This is arguably the most polished operating system for wearables currently available and Apple keeps constantly improving it by pushing regular updates to the OS. It only works properly when their Apple Watch is linked to an iPhone; Apple states that phones from other manufacturers aren't supported.

    WatchOS is the wearable operating system that's currently exclusively used by the Apple Watch. It's smooth, battery-friendly, has a large library of apps, and is well-connected to the iOS ecosystem.

  • Tizen - Tizen is a great OS choice for smartwatches because it's very battery-friendly and smooth to use. However, the current lack of apps and the inferior Bixby virtual assistant are considerable drawbacks to an otherwise good OS.

    Tizen is a custom operating system developed by Samsung. It's known for its versatility - it's used on smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, in-car entertainment systems, TVs, and other smart-home appliances.

  • Cellular - A cellular connection on a smartwatch allows you to do anything that requires data without having your phone nearby. That means that the watch can independently make calls, text, receive notifications, stream music, and more. However, it negatively affects battery life and usually comes at a premium - models that support a cellular connection are typically more expensive and incur extra costs in the form of monthly network operator fees.

  • GPS - Information from a smartwatch's GPS sensor is typically used to provide important workout metrics such as the distance covered, speed, and pace. There may be some small inaccuracies, but the error variation across different devices is typically insignificant for the majority of users.

    The Global Positioning System uses signals from satellites to determine the exact location using triangulation. GPS functionality in smartwatches is essential for certain sports, like cycling, running, golf, and swimming.

  • NFC - NFC in smartwatches lets you perform contactless payments, replacing credit or debit cards. The technology is convenient, fast, and adds versatility to the smartwatch.

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is a type of wireless data transfer that detects and enables other nearby devices to communicate with each other without internet connectivity.

    While you may struggle to find NFC functionality on older smartwatches, the majority of newer models come with an NFC chip.

  • Fitbit OS - This operating system was purpose-built for a more fitness-focused experience. It's optimized to be battery friendly and features an app store that's mainly populated by health and fitness applications. Fitbit doesn't have its own voice assistant and currently uses Amazon's Alexa.
    Fitbit OS is the operating system used by Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers.

  • Android - Wear OS is compatible with a wide selection of devices and can easily be synced with iPhones and Android smartphones alike. However, there are certain features that won't work with iPhones, such as iMessages, replying to messages through third-party apps like WhatsApp or Slack, and full integration with calendar and emails. Wear OS has a clean and simple user interface, Google Assistant integration, and a good amount of apps available on Google's Play Store. However, the OS can sometimes feel laggy and buggy; some apps can take a few seconds just to launch. Another major drawback of WearOS is its poor battery life - its competitors are delivering multiple days of battery life, whereas most Wear OS devices still need to be charged every night.

    Originally named Android Wear, Wear OS is Google’s Android-based operating system specifically designed for wearables and smartwatches. Because of its open platform, it's used by a variety of smartwatch manufacturers.

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