Differences Between Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches
January 17, 2023
As I write more for the blog, I feel like I am giving more information about myself in each article. As an example, you already know that I am a woman, Latina and today you find out that: I am sedentary and I do not wear watches.
But wait Juliana (oh now you know something else about me!) How would we know this? Well, first because I just wrote it and second because of the topic we are going to discuss today, Fitness Trackers. While I was looking for an inspirational muse and reading the topic, I was thinking isn’t it the same as a smartwatch? why would I buy different devices? isn’t one more complete than the other? Anyway, a whole mental chaos, I did not know how to start but even worse I did not even understand … so the only way was to look for more information.
And so, we arrived not only to the introduction of the article but also to my already well-known modus operandi. Where I use the blog to answer my own doubts, learn a little more and in return I give you all this information in one place.
So, we firstly will start with the definitions:
What Is a Smartwatch?
A smartwatch is remarkably like a normal watch, the difference is that it is not mechanical. That is, instead of gears that turn the time hands, a smart watch has a processor and a touch screen for the watch face. Unlike regular watches, smartwatches can tell a wearer more than just the time.
Do not assume that smartwatches are just digital extensions for smartphones. These wearable devices offer features not normally found on smartphones. They can be excellent GPS trackers compared to the mapping apps found on your phone. In addition, they can collect data on how far you walk, your pace, how long you have been sleeping and even your heart rate. (This is where for me they are identical to the Fitness Tracker and even better because it offers other features already described).
So, What Is a Fitness Tracker?
Fitness trackers or smart bands are highly specialized in the functionality they offer compared to smartwatches. Although like smartwatches, fitness trackers can be synchronized with apps downloaded to your phone. However, fitness trackers are designed with a particular goal in mind: monitoring your health.
It is usually equipped with a variety of tools to monitor your sleep, heart rate, distance traveled, time traveled, pace and more. In addition, fitness trackers have smaller screens and have a slim construction compared to smartwatches. Plus, they tend to be sweat resistant as well. They should be worn when you exercise in the gym or outdoors. Therefore, you can expect more specialized functions than what smartwatches offer.
Finally! The Differences
Even though the devices look and function very similarly, there are notable differences between them. These can be summarized immediately as: smartwatches are designed for communication, while fitness trackers are designed for monitoring and data collection.
Let us start with that the two devices can also differ in how they are built. Smartwatches come in assorted sizes and shapes. You can buy a smartwatch that looks like a classic wristwatch or one with a more modern style. Fitness trackers don’t offer many style options. Most are sport slim profiles, making them easy to wear for extended periods of time.
Smartwatches have health monitoring apps and various tracking capabilities for fitness purposes. But these are in addition to the main function which is communication. While fitness trackers, on the other hand, are not designed with communication in mind. Users may receive notifications on some devices, but these features are not the most prominent in a fitness tracker.
The primary function of a smartwatch is to facilitate communication. You can use a smartwatch to read emails, text messages, or at least receive notifications just by looking at your wrist. Even if they are equipped with SIM cards, they also allow users to make phone calls.
Compared to smartwatches, fitness trackers come with additional features to monitor health and location. Fitness trackers from major brands such as Garmin have high-end GPS tools that are usually only found in smartwatches.