So, after over two years it was time to upgrade my Samsung Note 2. I decided to get the Note 5. As I discovered soon afterward, this phone comes with something called “S Health” was is supposed to track various things like oxygen saturation and heart rate. It also tracks steps and even cycling distance too. I already have a FitBit so I wondered how they would compare to each other. Keep reading and learn what I discovered
Samsung S Health
The S Health app is an interesting add-on to Samsung Galaxy phones. When I activated it and put it in my pocket – which is where my Fitbit was too – I noticed at the end of the day, it didn't quite line up with the distance that the FitBit was telling me I walked during the day. The S Health seemed to underestimate my distance.
I did like how my Note 5 vibrated when I reached my walking goal for the day, however, the FitBit consistently told me I walked more – sometimes 2,000 steps more during the day.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of how my Fitbit One and S Health compared to each other after using them both all day:
As you can see from the pictures above, the FitBit said I walked 511 steps more than Samsung S Health did. Who is right? I'm tempted to think the FitBit might be more accurate. I feel this way because making pedometers is what FitBit has been doing. Also, when Consumer Reports rated health trackers, FitBit was rated excellent in counting steps.
Samsung S Health Cycling App
The Samsung S Health program also has a cycling app which I activated just before I biked to the gym. To use the app, you have to press the cycling icon in the S Health program. Unless you turn it on, the cycling app won't track your cycling distance.
Interestingly the cycling app worked even when I was walking. In other words, it wasn't just tracking the time when I was on my bike.
So, I wondered what is the difference between S Health tracking my steps and the cycling app? Sure the cycling app tells me my distance and even shows me a map of where I biked to, but because it also worked when I was walking, I just wondered how accurate it was?
I did like how the S health had a music icon that can be easily accessed from the app. I played one song that came preinstalled with S Health, called “Over the Horizon,” which I enjoyed. I don't keep my music on my phone (I still like my iPod for that) but I'm sure you can listen to whatever you stored on the phone.
The Fit Bit
I like my fit bit and I have to admit It's a pretty durable device. My FitBit has not only survived my accidentally putting it in the washer and dryer, it's also came out unscathed when it fell out of my pocket, outside of the gym – and stayed in the elements for 2 days!
I was shocked nobody picked it up and equally surprised I was able to find it 2 days later!
There are many types of FitBits out there. Mine is by far, not the most expensive one. For example, does not track how far I biked and it has no GPS.It just tracks steps taken, stairs climbed and how long I sleep (I'm not sure I buy the sleep tracker though).
I just use it to track my steps. When it's in my pocket, it also records my leg movements when I'm biking too. Yes, some of those leg movements I'm sure are lumped into “stairs climbed” too, but I don't care too much about that. The FitBit works and that's all I need. Also see my review of how many steps per day we should take for more insights.
FitBit vs. Apple Health App
If you have an iPhone, you also have a built in activity app. Its a basic app that will record steps taken, flights of stairs climbed and even distance you cycle. In addition, you can add info on your nutrition, sleep and your “mindfulness” too.
I found the iPhone health app a little less advanced than either the Samsung Health app or Fit bit. Oh, it will get the job done; but I just felt the Samsung app was a bit more advanced with its features. This is a personal opinion.
I compared the Fitbit One to the IOS Health app on the I-phone. After a single day of use, FitBit said I had taken 10,264 steps. The I phone Health app had me taking 10,810 steps. So, either the Fit-bit One missed 546 steps or the IOS health app overestimated me by 546 steps. Who is right? I don't know. I'll leave it to you to decide if 500 or so steps is significant for you.
One draw back to all of these devices and apps is that they are so sensitivities when you are driving, they will all add some of your distance traveled to the steps you take per day.
On the other hand, an advantage to the Samsung and IOS apps is you don't have to specifically charge them as they run off your phones battery. For busy people this is a plus as its one less thing you have to think about.
So What's Better?
If you have S Health built into your Galaxy phone, I would encourage you to use it because it can provide good feedback on how far you are walking. A lack of physical activity is linked many diseases like diabetes to name just one.
Knowledge of your activity can spur you on to do more. The result is a healthier you. That said, I prefer the FitBit. It's simple to use, lightweight and a charge lasts over a week. I even get an email when the Fit Bit battery is running low too.