I’ve walked more than 10,000 steps with the Apple Watch 9 and Fitbit Charge 6 — here’s which came out on top

A photo of the Apple Watch 9 and the Fitbit Charge 6
(Image credit: Future)

As a fitness editor, there’s nothing I love more than putting two popular fitness trackers to the test. Fans of the Tom’s Guide fitness pages will know I often look at the accuracy of two different watches, including popular brands like Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Google. This week, however, I decided to return to a previous test and compare the Apple Watch Series 9 with the Fitbit Charge 6. 


a photo of the Get Fit with TG logo

(Image credit: Future)

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Both watches came out last year and can track a lot more than just steps. Both can accurately record your heart rate, calories burned, hours of sleep, and more. 

That said, there are some huge differences between the two — while the Fitbit Charge 6 is one of the best Fitbit trackers and has Google Maps and Google Wallet for the first time, it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as the Apple Watch 9, which is like wearing an iPhone on your wrist. 

The Fitbit Charge 6 costs $159; the Apple Watch 9 costs more than double with a starting price of $399. You can read our Apple Watch 9 review, and our Fitbit Charge 6 review for more info.

I’d already put the Apple Watch 9 and Fitbit Charge 6 head-to-head, but decided to continue my testing to see if anything had changed, now that I’ve had more time with both watches on my wrist. Read on to find out what happened.

I walked 10,500 steps with the Apple Watch 9 and Fitbit Charge 6 — here’s which was more accurate 

To put the two trackers to the test, I strapped one to each wrist, grabbed my $7.99 tally counter tool (yes, the kind of thing a bouncer might use outside a nightclub), and got walking. I clicked each time I took a step, and when I got home, I downloaded the data from my Apple Watch 9 and Fitbit Charge 6. I completed three different walks, recording each one. 

While Fitbit makes it extremely easy to see exactly how many steps you’ve taken, I’ve learned from experience that Apple really doesn’t. Sure, you can see your daily total in the Fitness app, and you can find hourly step data in the Health app, but to make things a little less confusing, I downloaded the StepsApp Pedometer app on my Apple Watch. 

But which watch came out on top? Here are the differences from each walk: 

Walk 1

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Steps
Manual recording5,000
Apple Watch 94,942
Fitbit Charge 64,907

Walk 2

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Steps
Manual recording2,200
Apple Watch 92,145
Fitbit Charge 62,201

Walk 3

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Steps
Manual recording3,300
Apple Watch 93,268
Fitbit Charge 63,329


Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Steps
Manual recording `10,500
Apple Watch 910,355
Fitbit Charge 610,437

From these results, you could conclude that the Fitbit Charge 6 is slightly more accurate than the Apple Watch 9 when it comes to counting steps, but there’s really not an awful lot in it. In fact, there’s only a difference of 82 steps between the two devices.

Of course, it goes without saying that no fitness tracker will ever be 100% accurate — I’m 5-foot-2 and have quite a short stride. When I’m running, I often find I have a high cadence because of this. 

From a user point of view, I found the Apple Watch 9 much easier to navigate around on the walk. Even though it's bigger than the screen on the Fitbit Inspire 3, I still find the screen on the Charge 6 trickier to read on the move, and not quite as responsive. That said, the Apple Watch 9 is a much pricer smartwatch at more than double the cost of the Charge 6. 

If you’re looking for a January fitness challenge, walking 10,000 steps per day is a good place to start. It might seem like a huge number, but you can reach it by taking the stairs, not the elevator, getting off the subway a couple of stops early, or meeting a friend for a walk at lunch, not sitting in a coffee shop. There are a number of benefits of walking more, including losing weight, building muscle, and feeling less stressed. Here’s what 30-minutes of walking each day can do for your body, and what happened when I walked 10,000 steps per day for 90 days

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.