A fitness app is not too different from a fitness tracker. They both track how many steps you take, the distance covered and calories burned. Both do so using technologies like the accelerometer that measures orientation and acceleration force, and GPS that maps distance.

It is this awareness about calories burned that motivates people to strive harder. When you strap on a fitness band, you can just go about doing all your activities and leave the tracking to the band. This convenience is what lures people into buying them.

However, smartphone apps are just as efficient at counting calories as fitness bands; a study backs this up too.

This study published on the JAMA networks was conducted to examine that accuracy of 10 top-selling smartphone apps and devices by comparing their readings with those made by an observer who counted steps using a tally counter.

This study was conducted on 14 healthy adults who walked on the treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, repeating the exercise several times. Each of them had one pedometer and two accelerometers on their waistband, three fitness trackers on their wrists and an iPhone and Samsung phone in each of their pockets with three simultaneously running step-tracking apps.

The results of this trial indicated that smartphone readers were only slightly different from the observed step counts while fitness trackers differed more from observed counts.

This only goes to say that a smartphone app is quite reliable when counting calories. However, unlike a fitness tracker that stays strapped on your wrist, you have to consciously make an effort to keep your smartphone with you all the time so that it accurately tracks all your activities. Other than that, most fitness apps are free or come at a nominal price which makes it a much cheaper option than a band.

If your tracking basic activities and cardio workouts, an app can be just as useful as a band.

However, a fitness band has other features like optical heart-rate monitors that monitors heartbeat, galvanic skin response sensor that detects sweat, thermometers to track skin temperature and many more that leads to providing better health tracking when doing other kinds of workouts too. You won’t get such information via a smartphone and that’s why in many ways a fitness band is undoubtedly superior to an app.

So, the bottom line is that if you’re looking for something basic to track calories from cardio and other everyday activities, a smartphone app can be a cost-effective option. If you’re a fitness junkie, a fitness band can prove to be a lot more helpful.

If you’re looking for good fitness apps, check out: Accupedo [for Android, for iOS], Pedometer [for Android, for iOS]

If you’re looking for good fitness bands, check out: 5 Fitness Bands That Promise a Fitter You In 2016

Cover Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com

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