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Smartwatch and Fitness bracelet - similarity and difference

Fitness bracelet

Fitness bracelet

Fitness bracelets can be divided into two categories: activity trackers and smart bracelet.

Trackers can be divided into several categories, since they are usually gadgets with a narrow specialization, focused on monitoring a specific indicator of activity or sport (for example, heart rate monitors, sleep monitors, trackers for swimming or running). Trackers don't necessarily look like a bracelet or watch. They can be in the form of a clip, a clip, a mattress mat (Withings Sleep), and even a sticker on the forehead (Beddr SleepTuner).
Smart bracelets or fitness trackers are already more versatile and advanced gadgets. In addition to sports and fitness functions, they are also endowed with some smart watch capabilities. For example, call and message notifications, activity reminders, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, etc. Usually fitness bracelets are equipped with a small screen.

Smart watches or fitness watches

This gadgets have wider functionality and can simultaneously perform the tasks of a fitness tracker, switch and remote control for some smartphone functions. Some smart watch models can even replace a smartphone, performing all its functions. They can be divided into five main types:

What do smartwatches and fitness bracelets have in common

Counting steps, distance and calories burned

Almost all modern wearable devices are equipped with an accelerometer. This sensor allows you to count your steps, approximate distance and calories burned. The accuracy of the data is highly dependent on the manufacturer of the device and software.

Measurement of pulse and blood oxygen level

If earlier only special devices could measure the pulse, now almost all fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market have received this function. It is not worth using the data obtained for medical purposes, but for informational purposes it is. Some models also support the detection of blood oxygen levels and can alert the user when the heart rate is exceeded.

Call and message notifications

When paired with a smartphone, both types of devices can notify the owner of an incoming call or message, both SMS and from various social networks. The main difference is that, due to the small screen, the bracelet can notify via vibration and a notification icon or a small message snippet. The larger clock screen allows you to display the entire message. Also, the watch allows you to accept or reject calls, as well as answer messages. A smart watch with a SIM card slot allows you to make calls and send messages even without being tied to a smartphone.

Sleep monitoring and alarm clock

All the same accelerometer is responsible for the function of determining the quality of sleep. Almost all devices have already "learned"to determine the time of falling asleep and waking up with the division of sleep into phases. Some models support the “smart alarm” function, which wakes up the wearer with vibration during rapid sleep. Accuracy does not depend on the type of gadget, but sleeping with a lightweight and compact fitness bracelet is much more comfortable than with a massive watch. But, this is a matter of habit.

Sports Modes Monitoring

Both the bracelet and smartwatch provide the ability to monitor the basic parameters of various sports modes. The number of such modes depends largely on the manufacturer, and not on the specific model. The most popular activities are running, walking, cycling, jumping rope, soccer, basketball and swimming (if the level of water resistance allows).

How smartwatches differ from fitness bracelets


In fact, now the line between smartwatches and fitness bracelets is very blurred. You can even single out a separate category - fitness watches. They do not have a full-fledged operating system and are somewhat limited in “smart” capabilities, but at the same time they have a watch design and fulfill all the tasks of a fitness bracelet.
The main differences are as follows:

Operating system

The presence of software, in fact, makes the gadget smart. The bracelets do not have a full-fledged operating system, a special microcode is responsible for the work there. In contrast, the watch has a complete operating system optimized for this type of device. The most popular operating systems are Android and Wear OS, IOS (Apple Watch) and Tizen (Samsung watch). All of them allow you to download and install additional apps and watch faces, listen to music and watch videos, etc.

GPS module

Most fitness bracelets, with rare exceptions, do not have a GPS module. Those who need accurate data on speed, trajectory, distance and location will have to use the GPS module of their smartphone. If you want to go jogging without a smartphone, you should choose a smartwatch, as almost all of them are equipped with such a module.

Battery life

A large screen, powerful processor and its own operating system have a tangible impact on the battery life of the device, and not for the better. On average, all smartwatches can work without charging for 1-3 days, rarely 5-7 days using the power saving mode. Smart bracelets generally have an autonomy of 4 - 7 days, some models from 1 to 1.5 months. So, in terms of autonomy, the bracelets benefit significantly.

Weight, dimensions and price

Bracelets are much cheaper than smartwatches. The price for them ranges from $4 (yes, there are such models) to $100-200. Smartwatches from leading manufacturers can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to several thousand. But you can buy them for $50-70 and they will not necessarily be much worse than the expensive ones. The choice is very rich.