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If youre in the market for something nice to wear on your wrist, your two main options are a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. The question is which do you should go for?
The following guideline provides some basic considerations to help you make an informed decision. In the guideline, we visual appeal at the capabilities of every device, key differences, pros and cons of every, and how to make a decision.
Some background; what is it and what does it do?
A smartwatch is a portable device worn on the wrist like a traditional watch. However, unlike traditional watches, they've got smartphone features such as touchscreens and support apps. Some smartwatches can also report your heart price and other vital signs.
Smartwatches perform several functions which have made them popular among consumers. At a bare minimum, the watch will display time and date as well as your messages and calls. Most smartwatches will also display notifications from your smartphone.
Beyond that, smartwatches are capable of the following:
Answering messages by voice: A smartwatch makes it probably to answer you messages without taking the phone out of your pocket. This is especially true for smartwatches running on Googles Android Wear operating system. Most of the big wearable device brands along side Motorola and LG run on this OS. When a message comes in, simply lift your wrist and speak to the watch to reply.
A range of applications: Both Android and Apple smartwatches give users access to a lot of apps. For instance, the Apple Watch will launch the Uber app and even airplane apps, allowing you to hail a cab or book a flight from your wrist. Most Android smartwatches also support the Uber app as well as apps for several digital retail stores.
Fitness tracking: While not specifically designed for this, the best smartwatches also make it probably to track various fitness metrics. If youre an athlete, for instance, youll be able to track your sprints. Additionally, youll find a heart price monitor and pedometer to help you track workouts.
A fitness tracker is another wearable device that resembles a smartwatch. Like smartwatches, they are also worn on the wrist, and some even display date and time like traditional watches. However, their primary purpose is to track vital body signs such as heart price, body temperature, and the pace at which youre walking or running to help you stay healthy at all times.
In a nutshell, the following are a few of the tasks you can accomplish with your fitness tracker;
Heart price monitoring: Fitness devices use two methods to track the price at which your heart is thrashing. The first and highest normal method is using an Optical Heart Rate Monitor (HRM). It a progressed process yet the truth is, light is shined on the skin, and the perfusion of blood measured. The 2nd method is bio-impedance sensors. These sensors measure how well the body resists the move of current. A special formula is then used to translate the resistance to heart beats per minute.
Temperature sensing: Measuring your body temperature while youre engaged in some physical activity is another feature supplied by highest fitness trackers. If youre an athlete, this metric should help you to decide the best recovery time between intense workouts. Also, if you see drops and spikes in your temperatures, you can visit the doctor straight away for a checkup.
Stress/mood reading: This sounds strange, yet yes, highest of the progressed fitness trackers can also read moods and determine if you might be stressed. To do this, they use what is understood as a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensor which measures electrical conductance of the skin to locate out if youre relaxed, breathing deeply, stressed, and so on. This can be ideal for americans with phobias, PTSD, and stress problems.
Acceleration measurement: Acceleration is just that, the price at which your pace is changing. Fitness trackers are equipped with sophisticated acceleration sensors which will detect even the slightest movements. Some of these accelerometers even come with gyroscopes to measure orientation and rotation.
GPS sensing: Finally, highest fitness trackers have Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors to tell you exactly in which you are inside the neighborhood. This can prove instead useful if you enjoy running and hiking. After hiking for a few hours, if you feel lost, you just need to check your fitness tracker to see in which you are and which major roads are close by.
Key differences to keep in mind
After summarizing the capabilities and functions of both devices, lets now turn to what makes them totally different from one another. These differences should help you figure out which between the two would be the best pick for your straight away needs.
There are four main differences to concentrate on;
A smartwatch is more like an extension of your smartphone. It is designed to help you communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. You can send texts, make calls, and share content on social media.
Fitness trackers, on the opposite hand, are designed to help americans track vital health signs. They help wearers track their heart rates, temperature, acceleration, and so on. They might perform other functions, yet tracking is their primary concern.
Differences in design
Regarding design, smartwatches are large and more noticeable while fitness trackers are slimmer and cuter. That, however, does not mean that all smartwatches are large compared to fitness trackers.
Its also notable that smartwatches have a lot more internal storage space and processing power compared to fitness trackers.
Fitness trackers do not have native app support
As already mentioned, with the smartwatch, you can sync the complete lot with your smartphone. This way, you can access highest of your smartphone apps on the smartwatch and vice versa.
Fitness trackers do not have native app support and for that reason cannot be perfectly synced with a smartphone. Dont get this wrong. You can still pair your fitness tracker with your smartphone. But, you cannot install apps on the device.
Price differences – Smartwatches are more costly
The explanation for this is obvious even the best fitness devices dont have the same features supplied on smartwatches. Also, fitness devices are mostly made from rubber and plastic whereas smartwatches are made from durable steel or metal. This alone would tell you that smartwatches are designed to last longer.
Whats more, fitness trackers are just bands, whereas smartwatches have a watch face and a band. That stated, you can still find reasonably cheap smartwatches out there if you visual appeal carefully.
Pros and Cons of Smartwatches vs. Fitness trackers
The following are a few of the advantages and shortcomings of every option.
Receive and respond to notifications
Voice Assistance capabilities
No need to pull out your phone
Dedicated fitness features
Plethora of features
The fee tag
Can be bulky
Poor battery life
Not many options to pick from
Excellent battery life
Mostly reasonably cheap
Many good brands to pick from
Many stylish options
Limited interactive capabilities
One size fits all approach to tracking
Making a decision
After taking into consideration all this information, it should was a bit easier to decide whether its a smartwatch or fitness tracker that you want.
In general, make sure to get a smartwatch if youre taking a look for much more from your wearable than simply tracking your fitness progress. This makes smartwatches a decent pick for americans who wish to use their wearable to simply accept text, reply emails, accept calendar alerts, and the opposite communication functions.
Fitness trackers, meanwhile, are recommendable if you specifically intend to use your wearable to track your health metrics. This makes the devices a enormously perfect choice for americans who love to exercise, as long as you are not curious about answering calls and replying texts while working out.
If youre still struggling to pick between the two, there are a few ways out. For instance, why not go for a device that offers the best of both worlds? There is an increasing number of fitness trackers that provide more progressed notifications and smartwatches with built-in tracking capabilities such as the Cronovo smartwatch shown underneath.
In general, smartwatches that run on Android Wear 2.0 are will give you a taste of both worlds. The OS packs a host of new features and lets you add apps directly on your smartwatch. Better still, you dont need your smartphone nearby for the smartwatch to work! To put it simply, you could use this device as a fitness tracker without losing out on much.