Bluetooth or XBEE? Does it really matter?

Bluetooth and XBEE. They are both radios that broadcast data. How different can they be?

I have Bluetooth in my car for my phone. My earbuds work on Bluetooth. Isn't Bluetooth best?

For your earbuds and your car, Bluetooth is far and away the best solution for those applications. For industrial applications, Bluetooth may have an advantage in some situations, while XBEE holds the advantage in others. To complicate the issue, when discussing Bluetooth, which version of Bluetooth are you discussing? Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Bluetooth Mesh may all be Bluetooth, but each iteration has advantages and disadvantages. You can think of those Bluetooth iterations as separate and distinct. 

There are XBEE radios and there is an XBEE protocol. That said, there are differences with XBEE radios. Just because a device is using an XBEE radio and broadcasts on the channels that XBEE uses within the 2.4 GHz range, 

There are plenty of excellent technical explanations of Bluetooth and XBEE. Our purpose here is to provide a simple analysis of the differences and how those differences impact industrial applications of wireless tools and controllers.