I n the past, there has been a clear divide between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. A fitness tracker is a band with sensors that relay data to your smartphone, while a smartwatch has a screen that is essentially an extension of your smartphone, a wrist-bound device that allows you to check texts, emails and even social media. Over the last few years, however, the two devices have converged.
Fitness trackers became more complicated, adopting screens and even the ability to show smartphone notifications, while smartwatches really leaned into the fitness side of things. The main difference between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch is the list of features and smart abilities. A smartwatch is generally going to have all of the same fitness tracking abilities as a fitness tracker and then some; for instance, most smartwatches have heart rate sensors and built-in GPS for more accurate health tracking, along with coaching and specific workout-tracking, which only the most advanced fitness trackers have.
Smartwatches also have more advanced smart features, too, like music control and built-in Bluetooth (to connect to wireless headphones), built-in mics for calls and voice assistant.They also come in cellular models, which allows them to operate fully independently from a smartphone. Again, some of the more advanced fitness trackers can have some of these smart features and capabilities, but generally, most fitness trackers are way less versatile. The one feature that most feature fitness trackers have is battery life. Because smartwatches have large bright displays and are way more demanding in terms of power, they also generally have worse battery life.
The Final Verdict:
Fitness trackers are definitely smaller than smartwatches, and that is arguably the biggest appeal for them. A lot of people don’t like wearing watches because they’re big and bulky, but they still want something to track their steps and tell them how many calories they burned — that’s exactly what a fitness tracker is good at. So now’s the time for you to take your pick!