Tracking your progress is important

Fitness trackers and smartwatches are two types of wearable technology that have become increasingly popular in recent years. They both offer different benefits, but which one should you choose?

Are there any noticeable differences? Is one better than the other overall? How about for your specific goals? Let’s discuss.

Fitness Trackers vs. Smartwatches

There are (obviously) some major differences between the two. One only tracks what you are doing, while the other can make phone calls, surf the web, and play music.

While the latter seems like the better option because it does more, choosing one over the other honestly really depends on your goal, standards, and expectations of the tool.


When it comes to Smartwatches vs Fitness trackers, Fitness trackers are generally less expensive than smartwatches, but they also have fewer features. For example, most fitness trackers don’t have built-in GPS or heart rate sensors and can’t display notifications from your phone. They’re designed to be worn all day long (or at least during workouts) so you can keep track of your steps, calories burned, distance traveled and other health information throughout the day.

Most fitness trackers last about five days on a single charge; some last up to seven days before needing another charge (like Garmin’s Vivosmart 4).

If you want more than this kind of basic data tracking–and if you’re willing to pay more money–a smartwatch could be a better choice for you.

A smartwatch can do pretty much anything a phone can in most cases. They have a cellular signal, GPS tracker, a screen to do things with. Generally, they are pretty cool things. You can even take/make calls on them and send texts through them.


Smartwatches can do all sorts of things. But they also run into limitations. For example, battery life isn’t always the greatest. Some can last all day. Others for multiple days. And then there are those that only last for a few hours (the Apple Watch Series 3 requires nightly charging). As with any other technology, battery life depends on model and age. Over time, they tend to need recharging more often.

A second thing to keep in mind lies with the screen, or lack of, itself. While some smartwatches come with much harder screens, there is always the chance of scraping the face. They are also bulky, so doing things that require flexing the wrist might not always be ideal while wearing a smartwatch. Trackers do not have that issue, obviously. Their narrow profile and lack of a screen makes them much less likely to be damaged during a workout and don’t restrict range of motion.

With all that said, trackers usually need to be connected to a phone that is kept nearby in order to track GPS or perform similar functions. This means that you may need to still carry a phone with you while out and about in some cases. Others may ‘cache’ your steps and sync them when you return to your phone. They are also limited in what they actually do. Fitness trackers, regardless if they are on the wrist, in ring form, or anything you clip/strap on anywhere else, only track fitness related metrics. That is their entire purpose in life.

Pros and Cons of Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are a great option for those who want to get the most out of their workouts and don’t need the extra features that come with smartwatches. They’re also more affordable than many smartwatches, which makes them a good choice if you’re on a budget.

Fitness trackers offer convenience by allowing you to wear them all day long. That way they can track your steps as well as your sleep habits at night. They’re also highly accurate at measuring distance traveled during workouts and calories burned throughout the day (though not quite as accurate as wrist-based heart rate monitors). Because fitness trackers are small enough to wear while sleeping, they can provide detailed information about how well or poorly you’ve slept over time. That can help identify patterns in your sleep schedule so that you can adjust accordingly. In fact, there is an entire market of trackers out there dedicated to helping you sleep better.

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However, there are some drawbacks when it comes to fitness trackers vs smartwatches. Many fitness trackers don’t have built-in GPS functionality like most smartwatches do. Instead they rely on being synced with smartphones via Bluetooth technology (though some newer models have begun incorporating GPS chips or cellular connectivity). This means that if users want accurate distance measurements during outdoor activities, such as running or cycling, without their phones nearby then this feature won’t be available.

That is, unless they purchase an additional device such as Garmin’s Vivoactive 3 Music ($399), which has both cellular connectivity along with its own music player capabilities! At that point, why not just go with a smartwatch?


A fitness tracker is a better option than a smartwatch when you’re primarily interested in tracking fitness-related metrics such as steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. Fitness trackers are specifically designed to track physical activity and can provide more accurate data than a smartwatch since they typically have more advanced sensors for tracking movement and heart rate.

Additionally, fitness trackers tend to have longer battery life than smartwatches, which makes them more convenient for tracking activity over an extended period of time.

Another advantage of fitness trackers is their affordability. While some high-end fitness trackers can be expensive, they’re generally less expensive than most smartwatches. This makes them a better option if you’re on a budget but still want to track your activity levels and monitor your health.

Fitness trackers are also more lightweight and compact than most smartwatches, which makes them more comfortable to wear during physical activity. They’re often more durable as well. Which means they can withstand the wear and tear of being worn during workouts or other physical activities.

In summary, a fitness tracker is a better option than a smartwatch if you’re primarily interested in tracking fitness-related data, want a device that’s lightweight and durable, have a limited budget, and prefer a longer battery life. However, if you’re interested in features such as smart notifications, mobile payments, or music streaming, then a smartwatch may be a better option for you.

Pros and Cons of smartwatches

Smartwatches have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a range of benefits for those who are always on the go. They are perfect for people who want to stay connected and organized without having to constantly reach for their phone.

Smartwatches can help you stay on track with your fitness goals, receive notifications, answer calls, and even control smart home devices, all from the convenience of your wrist.

Plus, you may not even need to carry your actual phone with you.


One of the biggest advantages of smartwatches over fitness trackers is the ability to track your fitness and activity levels throughout the day without having to carry additionally technology. Many smartwatches come equipped with heart rate monitors, GPS tracking, and workout modes, allowing you to monitor your progress and stay on top of your health goals.

They also provide easy access to music and other media, making it easy to stay entertained during your workouts. It’s pretty cool that you can text/call/post to social all while out and about and from your wrist.

And the emergency function is great if you run into any issues. With a fitness tracker you cannot make calls for help, but you can with a smartwatch.


However, there are also some limitations to smartwatches. They can be quite expensive, and not everyone may see the value in owning one. Additionally, the small screen size can make certain tasks more difficult, such as typing out messages or browsing the internet. Some smartwatches also have limited battery life, which can be a nuisance for those who are constantly on the go.

Plus, a lot of them are bulky and reduce your ability to move. This isn’t necessarily a good thing if, say, you want to do pull ups or your workout has a lot of barbell work in it. They might get in the way!

As a general rule, smartwatches are a great investment for those who want to stay connected and organized while maintaining an active lifestyle. They offer a range of features and benefits, from fitness tracking to media playback And they do that all in a convenient and wearable form factor. However, it’s important to consider the limitations and potential drawbacks of a smartwatch before making a purchase.

SMartwatches vs. fitness trackers. Which is right for you?

So, Fitness Trackers vs Smartwatches.

In the end, what you choose is up to you.

Either option can work, but it all depends on what you plan on doing, what goals you are chasing, and what you want to spend on a device. At least you have some helpful ideas on where to start. Potentially even some help with thinking about aspects you never considered when choosing.

Let Us help You Out

At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member

Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.

We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.

The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.

Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.

Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.

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