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  • Writer's pictureSubir Biswas

Difference between Smartwatch and Fitness Tracker | Tech-Knowledge

Every one of us nowadays uses a different wearable device, and we set a fitness goal, and to achieve them, we make changes in our daily lives. It can be going for a workout at the gym or a walk or jogging or controlling the food habits. But what can help to track that what is the intake and how many calories we burned out? Hence, a fitness tracker entered into everyday life. But when it comes to a wearable device that you strap to your wrist round the clock, there are two main categories.

  1. Fitness Trackers

  2. Smartwatches

What is a fitness tracker?

A fitness tracker is a device that uses sensors to track your orientation, movement, rotation, and most crucial heart rate. The device collects data through optical and different sensors and converts it into steps, calories, and general activities you perform throughout the day.

These Fitness Trackers come in all shapes and sizes but most tend to be a slim, lightweight bracelet or wrist-band design. Some of the most common features of fitness trackers are:

  1. Monitoring heart rate

  2. Monitoring breathing

  3. Monitoring altitude

  4. Record calories burnt

  5. Sleep quality monitoring

  6. Small Display Screen

  7. Silent alarm

  8. Smart like your phone

Monitoring Heart Rate

The heart rate monitoring feature is found in almost every fitness band these days. It gives you clear insights into your daily routine and workouts. Some of the latest fitness bands such as the Fitbit, Huawei, and Garmin provide accurate details on every single activity you perform.

Monitoring Breathing

Some fitness bands help you stay calm, healthy and more focused on what you do. Every session of breathing in and out allows your body to function effectively. We tend to ignore good, deep breathing bands such as fitness trackers from Garmin and Fitbit measure beat-to-beat variations from your recorded heart rate, helping determine a comfortable breathing rate.

Monitoring Altitude

Some fitness trackers even have a sensor named, "altimeter" which measures your altitude, thereby tracking the number of flights of stairs you've climbed.

Record Calories Burnt

Depending on how hard you work out through the day, you get a measure of calories burned. The more calories you burn, it is beneficial in maintaining vital body functions. This is also a quicker and easier way to maintain your weight. Fitness trackers from Fitbit, Huawei, and Garmin are good examples of fitness bands that help track the efforts you put to burn calories.

Sleep Quaity Moniroting

Sleep quality has direct effects on your mood and health. Several fitness trackers monitor your sleep duration and quality. Some of the new offerings have a sleep tracking feature, which records how much you sleep and it even lets you review sleep stages. This enables you to schedule your sleep timings and get you back on track.

Small Display Screen

The display on most fitness trackers is usually smaller than a typical watch face. But with most offering touch-screen controls, they’re super-easy to navigate. Plus, the sleek, slim and lightweight design makes them comfortable to wear every day.

Silent alarm

The alarm in the tracker reminds you about a range of things such as completing the number of steps, drinking enough water, standing, walking, sleeping at the right time and much more. But, none of us likes spoiling our sleep with loud and noisy alarm tones. Few fitness trackers are coming with the buzzing alarm feature. With the help of this feature, your tracker will wake you with a quiet vibration instead of buzzy tones.

Smart like your phone

An increasing number of fitness trackers can do a lot more. Most fitness trackers also come with an accompanying app for your phone, which displays all your stats in charts and graphs. Besides just tracking walking and running, there are several other activities like hiking, biking, and yoga that a fitness band can follow. In addition, It can show the notifications that arrived on your phone. Things like messages, emails and phone calls etc. With a fitness tracker on, you want to keep up your fitness goals on track. This is because research said a regular reminder boosts your motivation levels. A fitness tracker lets you record your exercise statistics. It generates detailed infographics and reports back to the mobile phone applications which help you to look at how far you have come.

What is a smartwatch?

While most smartwatches offer the same functions as those you’ll find on a fitness tracker, you can do even more amazing things with them. The main goal of a fitness tracker is to monitor your health, but a smartwatch is more of an extension to your smartphone. So communication and visualisation are important parts of them.

Just like fitness trackers, there is a huge range of smartwatches available with lots of useful features. The additional features available on the smartwatches are listed below.

  1. Big Displays to Match your style

  2. Sending text messages or making voice calls.

  3. Access to apps

  4. Track your well-being goals

  5. Making contactless payments

  6. Storing music and connecting to headphones via Bluetooth

  7. Location and Geofencing

Big Displays to Match your style

Usually, the display is big and contains more information with visual effects that can guide to performing an exercise. You don’t need to sacrifice style for the brilliant features available in smartwatches. It's built with a stainless-steel or titanium case. And you can customise the watch face to suit your style, – whether that’s an AR emoji or just a classic watch face and many more. Even can modify the watch strap depending on the situation and weather.

Sending Text Messages or Making Voice Calls

Modern smartwatches are launched with a microphone so that you can take a call and talk directly from your wrist. Anyway, you can connect the headphone with your watch for the same as well. Even you can share the same number between your phone and smartwatch and go anywhere without the phone for basic calling and text messages or even for internet browsing or social media update. All are available on your wrist for your convenience.

Access to apps

The first thing people tend to do with a new phone or tablet is to head to the relevant app store and download their favourite apps. Is it not good if the same feature available directly on your watch! You can do the same with the latest smartwatches. Not all smartwatch has this facility, but if you are fascinated about this you can find it in Samsung or Apple. The watch OS provides fast access to all your favourite apps. So, you get your apps on tap – right on your wrist.

Track your Well-Being Goals

We always want to do a little better with our goals. Whether it is financial or health. But experts said that without keeping track of them it’s too easy to miss your goals. Hence, it is very important to keep a track of your health and where better to have everything you need to reach your goals than on your wrist? And whether you’re in the gym or getting active in the great outdoors – there are hundreds of different exercises that can be tracked on the smartwatches and the history data will be logged in the corresponding mobile app or even in the cloud. These can be used to track the changes over time. This is your ultimate personal tracker.

Making contactless payments

Nowadays we are used to paying by phone (of course you need NFC for that feature). It's far better once you get used to paying with your watch! It’s a game-changer. You’ll never need to rummage through your wallet again, it’s just a matter of tapping your watch, thanks to the power of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay or even more available with different companies. It’s never been more convenient to grab and go!

Storing music and connecting to headphones via Bluetooth

You are doing exercise at the gym and can't hold your phone near you. No problem, connect your watch with your phone and stream the music directly from the smartwatch.

You don't like the gym! running or doing exercise outdoor! can't carry the phone. Don't worry. Smartwatches are available with 4 to 16GB of memory to store your favourite soundtracks and beat your previous records at exercise. And there’s no need to worry about running out of just as the long-lasting battery lets you go further between charges.

Location and Geofencing

This is a very crucial feature of the smartwatch. Normally, fitness trackers also have GPS nowadays but due to the display, it can't show the route and the MAP on its screen. But the smartwatch is far better in this case. You can even preset your zone and the watch will alarm when you are out of that area. Garmin did many experiments on this area in their watches.

Other related questions.

Are fitness trackers useful?

The simple answer is "Yes". If the requirement is to get fit and track your calorie burn data then a fitness tracker is the best option. There are multiple companies making fitness trackers. All are not that good based on the quality or accuracy. However, in the end, it depends on the budget. Fitbit and Garmin are very popular based on accuracy in this section. Huawei, Xiaomi, and Amazfit are also doing better in this section.

Which is a better smartwatch or a fitness tracker?

This is a personal perception. But from my point of view, if you are looking for only monitoring of your health, go for a fitness tracker or fitness band. But if you want a stylish watch along with health monitoring, there are many more smartwatches that are ready for you from Apple to Lifebee.

Can a smartwatch be used as a tracker?

Yes, of course. A smartwatch has all those features a fitness tracker has except its small size. In general, people usese the smartwatch for 24 hours. Due to its form factor, it is easy to keep on the wrist 24 hours. But smartwatches are bigger than fitness trackers, but you can do even more than the fitness tracker.

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