Wrist based devices are the most common type of wearables today. While there are other forms like headphones, chest-straps etc, none are quite as widely used today as wrist-based options like smartwatches and fitness trackers. However, even within these two options for wrist-based wearables, there’s quite a difference that makes them suitable for very specific needs. So, if you’re interested in getting a wearable on your wrist, what should you pick when it's smartwatch vs fitness band? Read ahead to find out.



Smartwatch vs Fitness Band: Features

Let’s get the most important differentiator out of the way first. A fitness tracker is a highly focused device that can usually only track important health and fitness parameters. You’ll find one capable of tracking your step count, heart rate, sleep duration and even some specific workouts. Beyond this, most fitness trackers have limited capabilities like call and notification alerts, and maybe even GPS tracking in some of them.



On the other hand, smartwatches are as close to the smartphone experience as it can be on your wrist. Most leading smartwatches allow you install and remove apps that bring a world of functionality. Replying to messages, storing and playing music, even booking a cab are things smartwatches are known to do. Even their tracking functionalities can be more capable than most fitness trackers due to their ability to fit more sensors. How do they do that? It's all in the design.

Smartwatch vs Fitness Band: Design

The first difference you can spot when looking at a fitness tracker and a smartwatch is in their sizes. With their limited features and capabilities, fitness trackers are often small, sleek and almost like a bracelet on your wrist. They are designed to be as inconspicuous as possible. They usually have smaller screens and lower resolution displays.



Smartwatches are designed to replace the traditional watch; hence they’re designed to be prominent and eye-catching. With much bigger displays that are suitable for running the apps mentioned earlier, these devices are also heavier, often with a physical button(s) on the side. This also allows them to fit more sensors in there. However, all of this comes at a cost – that of the battery life.



Smartwatch vs Fitness Band: Battery Life

Everything comes at a price – and the feature rich smartwatch is no different. By running multiple full-scale watch apps as well as packing in more sensors, the smartwatch typically has a lower battery life than that of a fitness tracker. In addition to that, both smartwatches and fitness trackers often come with proprietary charging technology that doesn’t make the task easy and accessible. However, the no-nonsense fitness trackers can often last days and even weeks on a single charge, offering a less limited experience for those who find charging another device rather irksome.



Smartwatch vs Fitness Band: Which one should you pick?

In conclusion, the choice here is quite simple. If you’re looking for a focused way to just track your fitness parameters and want your wearable to be as lightweight and hassle-free as possible, then go with a fitness tracker. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more feature rich experience where your wearable doubles up almost as a second screen for your smartphone, then you need a smartwatch.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock, Canva

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