Smartwatch or fitness tracker: These are the differences

Updated: 07.11.2021 – 11:16
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The big comparison
Smartwatch or fitness tracker? These are the biggest differences!


Photo: Getty Images / Mikolette

Get yourself trained: Smartwatches or fitness trackers are ideal companions for a wide range of training sessions.

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are trendy. But where are the differences? Here you can read why not everyone needs a smartwatch right away.

Germany is obsessed with fitness. The so-called wearables are most likely not entirely innocent. Smartwatches and fitness trackers have long been a must-have for sports enthusiasts when jogging, exercising or swimming. The devices count steps, calculate calorie consumption and have other health-related data collection.


However, anyone who is buying a wearable is asking themselves: What is the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker? When looking at the price, one can make initial assumptions: Because a smartwatch is priced much higher, which makes it appear superior in the beginning. However, it is interesting why a fitness tracker is sufficient in most cases. We reveal everything you’re about the differences between smartwatches and fitness trackers need to know.


Smartwatch or fitness tracker: completely different in terms of design


One thing in common: Both devices are worn on the wrist. The look of a smartwatch and a fitness tracker could not be more different. A smartwatch is an intelligent watch that confusingly resembles a digital or analog watch. The wrist is adorned with a large touch screen that can be operated intuitively with the fingers.

A fitness tracker, on the other hand, usually has an elongated, narrow display and can only be controlled moderately well with the fingers. However, this has a big effect on battery performance. The advantage of a fitness tracker is that it lasts incredibly long. A smartwatch, on the other hand, burns the battery much faster. If you are unlucky, you need to recharge your smartwatch every night.

What can a smartwatch do?


A rule of thumb says: A smartwatch is an extension of the smartphone. It enables telephony and SMS as well as chat and the like on the wrist. Synced to your smartphone, you can play music and even read your emails on your smartwatch. In addition, a smartwatch often has common trackers such as sleep analysis, heart rate monitor, pedometer and Co.


Top models like the best-selling Apple Watch Series 7 can even measure the ECG value. The special thing about the Apple Watch: It has a retina display that is always on. This means: The watch goes through like a digital watch and permanently displays the time on the wrist. It looks stylish and replaces a full-fledged watch. There are other good smartwatches from Huawei or Samsung in smart designs.



What can a fitness tracker do?


As the name suggests, the main focus of a fitness tracker is on fitness. The fitness watch registers training values ​​such as calories burned, steps, but also health data such as heart rate, heart rate and stress level. In most cases, there are no features such as telephony and messenger services.


One of the best rated models is the Fitbit Charge 4. After more than 54,000 reviews, the fitness tracker has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Highlights are a battery life of up to seven days and recording of sleep phases. Recently, users with the fitness tracker can even reply to messages on the tracker once the smartphone is in sync with it. The fitness tracker comes suspiciously close to a smartwatch.



Pros and cons: smartwatch vs. fitness tracker


smartwatch fitness tracker

+ acts as a smartphone complement

Appearance of a digital clock

+ can be customized with apps

+ Messenger services can be used

+ Telephony and SMS with SIM card use

+ View photos from your mobile phone

+ Sensors for data collection of fitness and health

– low battery life

– high price

+ Focus on collecting exercise and health data

+ simple, narrow design

+ offers in-depth analyzes (eg sleep index)

+ cheap price

+ high battery life

+ new models with features like Smartwatch

– No GPS and other useful features

– can not be customized

– It is not possible to use a SIM card


Which device is right for me?


Whether it’s a smartwatch or a fitness tracker: both wearables have pros and cons. The biggest difference is crystal clear in their appearance, their price and the range of features. However, these must be weighed up and vary from model to model. However, if you want more than just training with a watch, you should take a closer look at a smartwatch.


A fitness tracker is recommended for anyone who knows that they primarily want to use the device in the gym or during workouts. The cost savings are worth it.


Also interesting: Why everyone just loves hula hoops. If you want to take it a little more leisurely, you can start with the yoga exercises for beginners.


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