Fitness tracker or smartwatch?

Find the perfect wearable

They’re both connected devices you wear on your wrist. So what’s the difference? Scroll down to find out what they do.

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Truly mobile tech

If you’re thinking of buying a wearable, then it’s important to work out whether you want a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. So we’ve got a breakdown of what they do and which ones we’d recommend, to help you figure it out. 

All about wearable tech

So, what’s a smartwatch?

You wear a smartwatch on your wrist, just like a normal watch. But it can do loads more than just tell the time. In fact, a smartwatch is more like a tiny smartphone than a watch. It can send texts, emails and social media notifications straight to your wrist, and even give you directions to your meeting. Just like a smartphone, you can customise your smartwatch to suit your lifestyle by downloading apps. So you can catch up on the news, play games or listen to music on the go. You can even switch up the style of some smartwatches – like the Pebble Steel, which has changeable straps and faces. But bear in mind that different smartwatches will have different features, and you’ll probably need to connect it to your smartphone for many of the features to work.

And what’s a fitness tracker?

A fitness tracker does what it says on the tin. It helps you keep an eye on your health and fitness by tracking your steps, monitoring your workouts and keeping you motivated. Fitness trackers tend to have fewer features than smartwatches, but they’re more effective if you’re mostly concerned about your health. For example, the Fitbit Alta HR lets you check your heart rate, see how many calories you’ve burned and understand your sleep quality. And you can get fitness trackers that suit a certain kind of sport or goal. The Fitbit Ionic is swim-proof, so it’s perfect for tracking your laps in the pool. 

Which smartwatch should I get?

So you’ve decided that you want a smartwatch – but which one is right for you? Well, when it comes to features, there’s not much that can beat the Samsung Gear S2. You can sync up to 300 songs from your smartphone and listen to them anywhere. You can pay for your coffee with a flick of your wrist. And you can download all sorts of apps to tailor the Gear S2 to your lifestyle. You can even change the face design when you feel like mixing things up. If you want to make a fashion statement, try the Pebble Steel. You can change the straps and faces to match your outfit, so it makes a stylish accessory as well as a smartwatch.

Which fitness tracker is right for me?

If you’re after a fitness tracker that’s packed with features, then the Fitbit Ionic is the one for you. It gives you on-screen guidance that’s personal to you, so you can make the most of your workout. You can store up to 300 songs and listen to them via Bluetooth headphones, to keep you motivated. It’ll keep track of your daily calorie burn and give you insight into how you’re sleeping. And you don’t even have to worry about running low on battery at the end of the day. It lasts for up to four days between charges, so it’s ideal for busy weeks.

How about a budget-friendly smartwatch?

Pebble Original is the perfect option if you’re keeping an eye on the purse strings. It’s a great value smartwatch with plenty of features and a long-lasting battery. It supports a whole range of apps, so you can hail a ride with Uber, get recommendations from Trip Advisor, make a payment through PayPal and more. And it’s even water resistant up to 50 metres, so you don’t have to take it off when you’re going for a swim.

Can I get a fitness tracker that offers great value?

Looking for a fitness tracker that won’t do too much damage to your bank balance? Check out the Fitbit Alta HR. It’s Fitbit’s slimmest design yet, so it’s convenient to wear – and you can even switch up the design with interchangeable bands. It’s got all the functionality you’d expect from a fitness tracker, like tracking your steps, reminding you to keep active and sending smartphone notifications to your wrist. And you can even start competitions with your family and friends on the Fitbit app to keep you motivated.

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Products featured in this article

Fitbit Ionic

Get real-time guidance as you exercise and track your laps while you’re swimming. Find out more about the Fitbit Ionic.

Samsung Gear S2

Sync up to 300 songs and download your favourite apps. Find out more about the Samsung Gear S2.

Fitbit Alta HR

Track your workouts, sleep and heart rate. And keep your look fresh, with interchangeable straps. Find out more about the Fitbit Alta HR.

Pebble Original

Download your favourite apps and use it for days without charging. Find out more about the Pebble Original.

Pebble Steel

Customise your look, with changeable straps and faces. Find out more about the Pebble Steel.