Smartwatch VS fitness tracker: what’s best?

By Martin Driver 17 Sep 2018

While smartwatches and fitness trackers can do similar things, they each have their uses.

This guide takes you through the differences and helps you find out what’s best for you.

What’s the difference?


The main difference between smartwatches and fitness trackers is the information they give you:

Smartwatches show you information about your daily life on your wrist. You can see notifications from your phone, see emails, and check on social media.

Fitness trackers feed distance and exercise data into an app to give insight into your overall health and progress.



Smartwatches connect to your phone and let you know if a notification goes off on your phone.

You can read messages and emails, while some even allow you to reply and take calls from your wrist.

The benefit of wearing a smartwatch is that you can leave your phone in your pocket, bag, or even at home without missing important calls or updates.

They’re great for work or staying off your phone throughout the day.

A lot of smartwatches have a few fitness tracking features, such as route tracking or heartrate monitoring - if you want to see basic health information, they’re a great choice.

However, if you’re serious about sports or getting fit, a dedicated fitness tracker gives you a lot more detail and accuracy.

Smart fitness trackers


Smart fitness trackers are compact wearables that give you detailed information on your body at rest or when exercising.

You can see number steps taken, distance travelled, calories burnt, heart rate, and more.

There’s a fitness tracker for every level, whether you try to get to the gym a couple of times a week or train every day.

Rather than give you loads of detail on a screen, fitness trackers connect to your phone or computer and let you see progress, time, distance, and other info about your workout. You can use this to see your improvements and see how close you are to your goals.

They start much cheaper than smartwatches too.

Sport watches


Sports watches combine phone functionality and fitness tracking.

While they give you the best of both worlds, they’re larger than most fitness trackers so might be less comfortable for longer workouts.

If you want detailed fitness tracking with phone notifications but don’t want two devices, they’re a great choice.

Hopefully, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the difference between smartwatches and fitness trackers.

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