When it comes to wearable tech designed for your wrist, there are two obvious categories: fitness trackers and smartwatches. The line between the two can sometimes get a little fuzzy, so let’s investigate what you can do with each so you can decide which is the best fit for you.
What is a fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers (or activity trackers) come in many forms but most tend to be a slim, lightweight bracelet or wrist-band design. The main purpose of a fitness tracker is to monitor your health using different types of sensors that track movement and heart rate. Some of the main functions of fitness trackers are:
- Track step count and help you hit your targets
- Track distance, whether you’re walking, running or cycling
- Monitor sleep patterns to help you improve the quality of your sleep
- Display notifications from your smartphone like messages, emails and calls.
The display on most fitness trackers is generally smaller than a more traditional watch face but, with many offering touch-screen controls, they’re simple to navigate. And the chic, lightweight design can make them far more appealing to the everyday wearer.
Most fitness trackers, including Fitbit, also come with a partner app for your phone to display all your data in simple charts and graphs.
What is a smartwatch?
While most smartwatches offer the same functions as a fitness tracker (like step counters and sleep trackers), they often come with additional features. While the main goal of a fitness tracker is to monitor your health, a smartwatch could be thought of as an extension of your phone, with communication being the main function.
As with fitness trackers, there’s a wide range of smartwatches on the market. And depending on how high up the spectrum you want to go, an equally impressive range of features.
What about sports watches?
- Send messages from your watch
- Browse the internet
- Make contactless payments
- Store music and connect to headphones via Bluetooth
Sports watches are a subset of the smartwatch category but they offer more specialised features designed around running, cycling, swimming, etc. And they usually have a slightly larger display so you can see all your stats on one screen at a glance without having to strain your eyes.
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Article was originally published by our partners at Currys PC World