One of the biggest questions at the moment in the health and fitness world is ‘should I get a fitness tracker or a smartwatch?’. In a marketplace that is saturated by fitness trackers already it’s very hard to pick the right one for your needs, let alone the added confusion that comes with throwing smartwatches into the equation as well.

Well, guys and girls this is where we come in to the rescue. The purpose of today’s post is to help you and guide you through what smartwatches are, what fitness trackers are, and where the differences between the two come in.

At the end of this guide you should be able to reach a decision on which type of gadget is best suited to your overall requirements.

What is a Smartwatch?

Firstly let’s draw our attention to Smartwatches, what are they? What can they do?

Smartwatches aren’t that new, it’s only with the release of Apple’s Watch that really propelled the awareness of such a device straight through the roof. Smartwatches are simply digital watches that do so much more, from running apps, changing audio tracks, viewing texts from your phone and answering calls.

Even though they do all this, they aren’t a standalone device because they still need to connect to your Smartphone in order to connect to the Internet. Not all smart watches are focused on fitness and health either, only a select number will let your track calories, and distance etc.

The second point to make is that Smartwatches are designed, built and targeted for those that want a stylish watch on their wrist, whether heading to business meetings, parties, or nights out with friends. They are sleek and attractive devices set to replace your normal watch, and are usually much more bulky and heavier than any typical fitness tracker.

Pros for Smartwatches
• They have a massive amount of features
• Sleek and stylish designs for any occasion
• Link up with your Smartphone

Cons for Smartwatches
• Too many features can confuse the user
• They aren’t s comfortable or durable as fitness trackers
• They need to be charged frequently

Fitness trackers are built, designed and targeted for one purpose in mind, and that’s to track fitness programs and cycles. So let’s just take a further look into fitness trackers below.

What is a Fitness Tracker?

A fitness tracker is designed solely for those that want to track and improve their fitness levels. These trackers will track fitness related metrics from distance, calories, heartbeat and even quality of sleep so you can analyse the data and results to better understand where you can make changes in your fitness plans.

Some fitness bands are also waterproof or at least water resistant which you won’t find on many smartwatches, however the design itself differs a lot from smartwatches.

A typical fitness tracker is designed for comfort in mind, so they are lightweight and usually made from rubber or plastic. You certainly won’t have any heavy metal bands weighing you down while you work out.

Some fitness bands don’t have a display screen either, these are usually the cheaper models which are designed to just pass data back to your Smartphone app for you to look at. Talking about cost, you will also notice that most fitness trackers are half the price of smartwatches as well, because they don’t need all the functionality that you would require with a watch.

Additionally, you will have multiple sensors with most fitness trackers that can even go so far as to track your blood flow.

Pros of Fitness Trackers
• Designed for health and fitness enthusiasts
• Comfortable to wear while working out
• Boasts plenty of features dedicated to tracking and monitoring
• Cost considerably less than a smartwatch

Cons of Fitness Trackers
• Not as many features as Smartwatches
• They don’t look as sleek as Smartwatches
• Only really beneficial to fitness enthusiasts


Which Should I Choose?

When it comes down to choosing between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker you really need to ask yourself one main question.

What will you are using it for on a primary basis?

Option 1

If you answer fitness, then you have already made you decision to go with a fitness tracker as these focus only on health and fitness so it makes sense for you to go for one of these. If you are struggling to find which tracker to go for then take a look at our last blog post on the top 5 fitness bands of 2015 which will further help you make an informed decision.

Option 2

If you want something that looks sleek and doesn’t really promote fitness heavily then a smartwatch would be better suited to you as these focus more on features outside of the fitness realm but do have some handy fitness apps that you can use.

Option 3

Wait just a minute thought as there is a third option that I haven’t spoken about yet. There is one fitness tracker in particular that is a cross between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, which goes by the name of the FitBit Surge.

Now, this particular fitness tracker will set you back a lot more money than a typical fitness tracker (you are looking in the same price bracket as the basic smartwatch category). However, the Surge will provide you with a lot of features present on a smartwatch and they do look sleek in design and a lot bulkier than your standard trackers.

If you are looking for a cross-breed style tracker then the Surge can track sleep, heart rate, steps, and calories, but it can also show caller ID, text notifications, GPS distance tracking and allows you to even control your music from the large LED display.

So, which option will you be falling into?