Wearable technology has become a part of our everyday lives. These gadgets help us stay on track from a health and wellness standpoint, keep us connected with the people we care about and the world around us, and serve a variety of other beneficial purposes all rolled into small, sleek and convenient designs.
If you’re thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, the options available to you may seem overwhelming. To make things a little bit easier, we’ve broken down the differences between fitness trackers and smartwatches so you can better determine which one is right for you.
What’s Your Goal?
The simplest way to determine whether a fitness tracker or a smartwatch would be the best fit for your needs is to figure out what you’d like to accomplish by wearing it. If you’re looking for an all-in-one device that lets you communicate and receive notifications, then a smartwatch is the way to go. If you’re really just focused on improving your health, a fitness tracker may be the better option.
Smartwatches enable you to view and respond to emails, calls, text messages and social media notifications right on your wrist. They’re basically a mobile phone you can wear.
Fitness trackers focus primarily on activity and wellness monitoring, such as tracking the number of steps you’ve taken, checking your heart rate and monitoring the number of calories you’ve burned. As such, these devices don’t have nearly as many bells and whistles as smart watches, a fact that is typically reflected in the price.
What’s Your Budget?
There are a wide variety of different makes and models of both fitness trackers as well as smart watches, and their price points vary widely as well. For instance, you can buy a basic fitness tracker for around $20. More expensive models may cost upwards of $250 or more. Prices of smartwatches can range anywhere from around $125 to upwards of $800 or more.
The difference in price amongst products of the same category typically reflects the number of features the device has, its design, its durability and the materials it’s made out of. It’s important to point out; however, that price isn’t necessarily indicative of performance. Many of the fitness trackers and smartwatches on the lower end of the price spectrum still do a great job. Conversely, the reviews of higher-priced devices demonstrate that paying more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product.
We always recommend doing your homework to determine the pros and cons of each device you’re considering. Read the reviews. Check out the comparisons. In the end, doing so will help you make a more informed and cost-effective decision.
Best of Both Worlds
The good news is, given the stiff competition in the wearable market, many developers are working toward combining the best features of each category into one device. For instance, Apple has done a great job of integrating fitness and activity tracking features into its smartwatch, enabling wearers to enjoy the best of both worlds without having to choose between different devices. Trends indicate that this will continue to be a priority for wearable companies in the near future, so stay tuned.
Choosing between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch doesn’t have to be a chore. You just have to understand what your needs and goals are as well as the differences between the two and how they match up to those needs and goals. The tips above should help in these areas.
What about you? Do you already own a smartwatch, fitness tracker or both? What advice would you give to someone who is trying to decide which option is best? Please share in the comments section below.