Smartwatch and Fitness Tracker: What’s the Difference?


When it comes to wearable gadgets, we often hear the two terms “fitness tracker” and “smartwatch.” There are many similarities between these two types of devices, but there are some major differences. Which one is right for you?

That is a big question to answer. In many respects, choosing a device on your wrist is more difficult than choosing a smartphone. There are different options and the features are very different. We will try to help you decide the way.

What is a Fitness Tracker?


Let’s start with a fitness tracker. These devices have been used for a long time than smartwatches because they are simple in nature. This is the simplicity that is a key feature of fitness trackers compared to smartwatches.

Fitness trackers are focused devices. As the name implies, their main purpose is to track fitness. This includes everything from simple step tracking to advanced heart measurements and blood oxygen levels.

However, not all fitness trackers are created the same. For example, the Fitbit Inspire 2 can perform many of the basic fitness tracking features you’ll need for $ 100. For an additional $ 30, you’ll get the Fitbit Charge 5 with GPS, blood oxygen, ECG, color touch screen, and more.

“Fitness tracker” is a broad term, but the general concept is that these devices are designed to be used to track fitness-related things. There are many features to do that, but the goal is the same.

What is a smartwatch?

Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Joe Fedewa

Smartwatches have much in common with fitness trackers. Many smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, also focus on health and fitness. Almost all smartwatches are also fitness trackers, but not all fitness trackers are smartwatches.

Simply put, smartwatches more.. Apps, notifications, music controls, microphones for calls, speakers, NFC, mobile phone connections, GPS, touch screens. Some fitness trackers have some of these features, but any device with all of these features is considered a smartwatch.

A smartwatch can do more, but it’s not as focused an experience as a fitness tracker. Almost all smartwatches have some kind of fitness tracking capabilities, but they don’t have advanced features such as blood oxygen or ECG (some smartwatches do). Smartwatches may have more features overall, but they are more widespread.

Think of a smartwatch as a miniaturized version of your smartphone. This is a device intended to do a lot of things.

Related: How (and why) to track all activity on your Apple Watch

Which one should I buy?

Sleep tracking on Apple Watch

Now the big question is which device is right for you. Of course, it depends a lot on what you want to do with it, but there are also pricing to consider.

Reasons to Buy a Fitness Tracker

As explained above, fitness trackers are a more focused experience. If health and wellness are your top priorities, a dedicated fitness tracker may be better.

Fitness trackers are designed specifically for fitness tracking, so these features won’t be added later. In many cases, it has more accurate and advanced features than a smartwatch.

That focused approach also helps to make it more affordable. The most advanced Fitbit model costs only about $ 150. It’s easy to find fitness trackers in the $ 100 range or less.

Reasons to buy a smartwatch

Smartwatches are suitable if you are interested in more than fitness tracking. You may need a cellular connection that allows you to display rich notifications on your wrist, use some apps, and leave your phone at home.

The great thing about smartwatches is that you don’t necessarily have to give up on advanced fitness tracking capabilities. Garmin is one of the brands that makes smartwatches with excellent health and wellness features.

The Apple Watch also has some very impressive health features. In fact, if you need a smartwatch with great fitness, you’re unlikely to get the Apple Watch don’t Have To enjoy the benefits of a smartwatch, sacrifice accurate fitness tracking.

Of course, it is costly to eat with a cake. Garmin has smartwatches over $ 600. But that’s not standard. The Apple Watch will bring you back from about $ 200 to $ 400. Samsung Galaxy Watch is in the same range.

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