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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Smartwatch Vs Fitness Tracker: What is the Difference?

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Smartwatches and fitness trackers are some of the best wearable technical accessories that improve your exercise routine.

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These devices can help you reach your fitness goals by following the steps and tracking your heart rate based on exclusive training logs and activity statistics. However, although they are often grouped, smartwatches and fitness trackers are not the same thing.

What is the difference between differentiating the two types of devices? And how do you pick the model that suits you best? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is a Smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a portable technological accessory that comes in the form of a typical wristwatch factor. However, its ability to synchronize and control smartphone functions is what makes the device smart.

As a result, smartwatches work much longer than time. Their exact specifications vary from brand to brand, but connected watches have extensive functionality that goes beyond simple activity tracking.

Most connected watches allow you to check notifications, read messages, view incoming calls, etc. Smartwatches often have physical features, such as step tracking and integrated heart rate monitoring.

However, these physical functions are not the primary function of the device. Different brands will favor sleep, exercise, and heart rate to various degrees. But it will also have a significant amount of other features that are not related to activity tracking.

Other characteristic features of high-end smartwatches include music app controls, text message response, voice memo recording, NFC payment proficiency, and phone call management features.

Some examples of smartwatches include the Apple Watch, the Huawei Watch GT, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and the Fitbit Versa.

What is a Fitness Tracker?

Physical activity tracking is a portable device that collects exercise and activity-related data for its users. These trackers can be found in various form factors, from bracelets to necklaces and clothing accessories.


Some fitness trackers do not have any interactive face or LED display. You can only display the data of these trackers via their associated smartphone application. These trackers are generally simple pedometers or sleep devices and have no functions, such as monitoring the heart rate.

Some physical activity trackers, such as the Bellabeat activity tracker or the Huawei Band 3e, have a removable central unit.

These are usually token sizes. Due to their petite size, you can move them between different accessories in the case, such as a buckle, bracelet, or necklace. Some trackers allow you to attach them to shoes or a belt discreetly.

The basic functionality of the fitness tracker is focused on tracking activities. As such, feature outside of this basic functionality is generally limited or completely absent. Advanced fitness trackers can include an LED display, specific activity tracking, a heart rate monitor, and vibration notifications for phone messages.

But they usually do not contain many applications, the ability to respond to signals, or the means to interact remotely with the phone. So, while fitness trackers sometimes have the shape of a wristwatch or bracelet, their essential function is crucial.

Some examples of fitness companions include the Fitbit Inspire range, the Huawei Band, and the Xiaomi Mi Band. Some of the minimalist fitness companions include Bellabeat Leaf Urban and the discontinuous brand Jawbone UP.

Smartwatches Vs. Fitness Tracker

While a smartwatch can work as a fitness tracker, a fitness tracker mainly focuses on tracking activities and nothing else.

Some more advanced trackers are available, which provide notifications and application functionality. But environmental monitoring condition remains the main objective.

On the other hand, the smartwatch offers a much more complete type of portable device. Some stand-alone smartwatches now have eSIM functionality, so they don’t have to be within the range of paired smartphones to be able to wear them.

The best smartphone for Apple and Android users Here are the best independent smartwatches that you can use without a phone for calls, text messages, music, and more. Smartwatches also come with multiple application controls, native functionality, and customization.


As a result, fitness trackers are generally less expensive than smartwatches. They are often lighter, more compact, and can have several form factors. Fitness trackers also have a longer battery life due to limited functionality.

On the other hand, smartwatches typically contain large LED screens the size of a wristwatch, have a unique form factor, and are often much more expensive than fellow workers.

They also closely mimic analog watches in terms of appearance, often including buttons that resemble the crown, winding, and buckle buttons that you locate on an analog watch.

Should I order a Smartwatch Or Fitness Tracker?

Regardless if a smartwatch or a fitness tracker is right for you depends on your needs and many other reasons.

Before making a decision, you need to ask a few questions, including:

  • What is your budget?
  • What will you mainly use the device for? (for example, exercise tracking or smartphone remote control)
  • How miniature do you want the device to be?
  • Can your exercises damage the larger screen?
  • How important are features like music navigation and answering calls?
  • How often are you ready to charge your device before you find it uncomfortable?

If you want to get a portable activity tracker for the least amount of money, you need to get a physical activity tracker. You may also need a fitness tracker if you are afraid of breaking the watch screen or bothered by a large watch on your wrist.

Even if you desire a device with a touch screen and a few extra features, you might want to consider a premium fitness tracker. However, this option is preferable if your main objective is to follow exercises and activities.

But if you want a lot of extra functionality in addition to tracking, and you don’t mind the higher form factor and additional cost, look for a smartwatch. Although smartwatches generally cost more than fitness, you can still find affordable smartwatches from many brands.

What to ask before purchasing a Smartwatch Or Fitness Tracker?

Now that you know the variation between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, you can decide which one is best for you. However, you need to ask yourself a few more questions before purchasing a portable device.

Whether you’re continually exercising or the data drives you, these are the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a Fitbit or other portable fitness device.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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