At this time in the world, we all are isolating in some way or another, either by being home or being in a state of quarantine. The reason being, the rise and spread of the pandemic disease COVID-19, known as Coronavirus. Many countries, states, and cities are starting to feel the toll of surviving in this volatile situation. We say, “Surviving” because it is a life-threatening virus. Every day a new death is reported and there is an increase in the number of suspected cases that are emerging.
Amidst this outbreak, there are fitness enthusiasts out there who believe in continuing their routine and are making even more efforts to keep themselves and their community healthy. Since direct contact with an infected person is the way this virus spreads and forms a chain, people are strictly advised to stay home and self-isolate. Working out at home and maintaining some sort of physical activity is a must for each human being wanting to stay fit.
Coming to the technological directive of this article, the aim is to highlight some key differences and benefits between fitness trackers and smartwatches related to all types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
FITNESS TRACKERS and wearables:
As the internet says, “A wrist-worn device that can detect some combination of walking steps, running distance, heart rate, sleep patterns, and swimming laps is a fitness tracker”. The following are the things that are common in fitness trackers and smartwatches:
-They can work independently without a need for a smartphone at the time of physical activity.
-They connect with the same methods of wireless topology, Wifi & Bluetooth (2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Frequency band)
-They both have GPS sensors and a monitor and also a battery inbuilt for providing juice to the gadget.
-They have displays of different sizes and types of technologies like LCD, AMOLED, etc.
-Both have certain memory or device storage for running the process and keeping data respective to the activity.
Fitness trackers can be worn on the wrist, arm, chest, and ankle. Even some shoes have trackers in them. Basic trackers are available very cheaply – expect to get started with a decent range of features for about 25$. For more features like heart rate monitoring, detailed sleep tracking, waterproof for swimming, and contactless payments via NFC, expect your wallet to be lightened a bit more. Of course, it can show time which is pretty standard from inception. Advanced devices are available to cater to very specific sports and activities, but with higher prices, one can always be obscure if he or she can invest in a smartwatch. But there is a major take away while using a fitness tracker: At the end of the day, or even a single activity that is planned by an individual, it must be analyzed or monitored for regular comparison, thus leading to sometimes huge variations in the quality of data you get.
Due to that reason, fitness trackers are always required to be added or paired to a mobile application that it supports. It can be IOS or Android depending upon your daily driver platform. Recently, a range of fitness trackers can access your mobile notifications and even access your music library depending on how open or restrictive the accessibility is. Generally, if you buy a fitness tracker, you can expect an array of health and exercise-related features. Once we start getting into pricey options offered by various Fitness Band companies, we can see that the difference between smartwatches narrows down to such an extent that this collation looks inexplicit.
The biggest strength of smartwatches is their ability to link together notifications from your smartphones, such as texts, calls, emails, directions, calendar appointments, and social media messages. It does all this with comfort and style, acting essentially as a miniature mobile on your wrist.
Smartwatches are extremely functional because of the living operating system inside the gadget. Technology enthusiasts can now imagine what other features are present in a device if it has its OS. Some of the smartwatch OS’s include ‘Wear OS’ by Google and ‘watchOS’ by Apple. A Smartwatch will always perform better than a fitness tracker and do what all that a fitness tracker does. Although some fitness trackers that are dedicated to a specific activity such as rowing or circuit training will be more accurate and refined as compared to smartwatches. Because there is a dedicated operating system running in a smartwatch, consumers can expect periodic OTA updates for many applications and security patches to enrich the user experience.
Following are the attributes of a smartwatch that sets it apart from a Fitness Tracker:
-Actively interacting with notifications and updates.
-The LTE & Wifi connectivity option lets users take and perform a call and record directly from the watch, meaning one can go for a hike or to the gym without the aid of his/her smartphone.
-Make safe and secured wireless payments on the go.
-Just like the IOS App Store or Android Play Store, individual applications can be downloaded onto a smartwatch, and touchscreen capability can interact with every aspect of it.
-They have a large amount of internal storage. A consumer can add a music library and listen to music via connecting the smartwatch to a wireless Bluetooth headphone.
-An additional display feature, the watch face, allows users to customize the face of their watch by downloading different watch styles ranging from the classical, traditional watch to the more new-age, modern look.
Between Fitness trackers and Smartwatches, it is quite obvious that the average consumer would believe Smartwatches are not budget-friendly, which is completely correct to a certain extent. This difference is minimal at the price range where one requires a full-fledged, high-end fitness tracker and what in reality the smartwatch or the tracker offers to the consumer. Fitness trackers start at very low prices and for most cases, the cost will depend upon brand and functionality. One reason that fitness trackers cost less is that they do not focus on style or come in the category of luxurious options as smartwatches are. Another thing that affects the pricing is the material used to make the fitness tracker and smartwatch body including the strap, the glass of the screen for drop & scratch protection, the waterproofing, etc. Fitness trackers’ price range is as low as 30$ and up to a hefty 450$. But when we consider smartwatches, they start from 150$ and go up until 650$, which is mind-boggling to spend on “a fitness watch with style”.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER PURCHASING?
You should always consider mainly these three points while purchasing these gadgets for you or someone else:
-Purpose & Practicality: People should first realize why and for what purpose do you need a smartwatch or a fitness band? Just a heads up, some professions or instances might require purchasing both. But for the average consumer forum, one must see if he or she requires it for physical activity managing different sports functions or only for the daily activities. If you need a more convenient way to communicate while you are on the way, in a meeting or your hands are busy, choose a smartwatch. High-end smartwatches are elegantly designed to make the gadgets suitable for formal wear. Fitness trackers tend to have bland, plastic exteriors built for sweat resistance and rough use.
-Budget: Once you have a clear thought of purpose, always stick to your budget since there is a wide range of options for every budget. Eventually, you would surely end up buying a device that suffices your purpose. There is always some notable blend of options that perform some features of smartwatches and some of the fitness trackers. Remember not all devices are perfect to date, period.
-Presence of GPS Module: People often skip or undermine the importance of a GPS monitor/sensor in either of the two gadgets. In a fitness tracker, GPS plays a vital role in the calculation of distance, counting of steps, positioning of a device, etc. Since in a smartwatch you have an interactable display GPS, it is quintessential for Maps and Locations. You might have to pay more for this technology within the final price of the FT or SW, but it is worth the cost, every time.
So, get up and get started with some home exercises regularly while you are in isolation. Then go out and find your best option once the skies are clear.