Smart bracelet vs smartwatch: The fitness motivation battle


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When it comes to fitness, we try many ways to get inspired. You may be trying to decide between buying a smart bracelet vs smartwatch. Also, both can be great tools to not only help increase your motivation but also monitor your progress and help you reach your fitness goals. However, they differ in many ways in functionality, design, and even features.

With the huge variety of features, designs, and brands, it is really hard to choose between smartwatches vs smart bracelets these days. So, if you cannot decide between them this article is for you. We will explain their similarities and differences to help you get familiar. Also, we will discuss their advantages and disadvantages to help you make a decision.

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What is a smart bracelet?

Often called fitness tracker, activity trackers, smart band or smart wristband, a smart bracelet is a wrist-worn mini-computer that monitors fitness data. So, depending on the model or brand they may have communication or utility features that will be explained later.

Recommended reading: 15 fitness watches under $45 to try right now

Others may be focused on fitness only or don’t need to be connected to a device such as a tablet or a smartphone. As you see there are a lot of different kinds of smart wristbands you can find for your needs.

For example, Letsfit Fitness Tracker can track several activities and have smart notifications. Besides, it is not as big as a smartwatch. Check out this top-rated fitness tracker for more details on Amazon.

What is a smartwatch?

Also called a smart wristwatch, smartwatches are portable devices that look like a fitness tracker but also receive smart notifications. Most of them have a touch screen. You don’t need your smartphone to access some apps. In order words, a smartwatch is an extension of your smartphone.

They can be focused on fitness but also have communication and utility features such as calendaring, email, phone calls, voice control, alarms, GPS, music player, texts, calls, and social media notifications. 

Some of them can have mobile network capability which allows you to send/receive texts, make/receive phone calls. They are called standalone phones or watch phones.

For example, a smartwatch like the Amazfit Bip Smartwatch features smart notifications, monitors your heart rate continuously, built-in GPS, and much more. Find out about this smartwatch with long battery life on Amazon.

Smart bracelet vs smartwatch: Similarities

Both, smartwatches and smart wristbands, can have the same features and characteristics. Here are the similarities between these two that will help you know them better:

  • Can help you create fitness motivation

Both can feature alerts to remind you to exercise or to complete challenges. This is very important to help you stay inspired, ensure engagement, and to keep moving. Besides, health data help you adjust your fitness plan and avoid injuries.

  • Monitor health and fitness data

The great thing about these two is that they can monitor calories, distance, steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and many others. Besides, they can give you a great picture of your health and fitness levels.

Also, both smartwatches and smart wristbands can track your progress and give you feedback using your health data. This feature will help you to be in-the-know.

  • Track one or multiple activities or sports

If you like to do sports or any physical activities you will do well with either an activity tracker or smartwatch.  Both can track yoga, running, walking, treadmill, hiking, and other activities.

  • Can monitor sleep quality

They can monitor your sleep, stages and how long you slept. Also, both can help you find some sleep patterns and how to resolve any sleeping problems.

  • Water resistance

Comparing a smart bracelet vs smartwatch in terms of water resistance, the great news is that both contenders can be water-proof. Some can be swim-friendly and can be used under the shower. However, water-resistant means that can resist the penetration of water but not entirely. For example, resistant to splashes but not under the shower or for swimming.

  • You can wear them every day

You can wear smartwatches and smart bracelets every day to get more health data, monitor your physical activities, and personalized suggestions.

Wearing them all the time would help you find out how active you are beside your workout. Also, it will help you create a habit of moving around and leave your desk for a couple of minutes.

  • Built-in GPS

If you want to monitor your route while you are running or cycling, built-in GPS can be found in smartwatches and smart wristbands. They can track how much and how far you run to help you improve your performance.

  • Both need to be paired with a smartphone

Smartwatches and smart bracelets need to be connected to a phone to receive fitness data, email, text, social media and phone calls notifications.

  • Health data can be shareable

The stats or health data can be shared with your friends. Also, you can share it with your doctor to help him diagnose any health conditions or find any health trends.

  • Designed for any activity type

Either smart wristbands or smartwatches they can be used for any activity type such as exercise, running, swimming, outdoor activities, etc. to help you improve your performance and keep motivating you.

  • Communication and utility features

If you like to be connected both offer you this possibility depending on the brands and models. They feature alarms clock, music player, camera, social media notification, email/text/call alerts, time display.

  • Interchangeable bands and clock faces

Depending on the brands, you can change clock faces to match your mood. Also, for many of them, you can replace their bands to add more style and combine with your outfit.

Smart bracelet vs smartwatch: Differences

Smartwatches and smart fitness bands can differ in some aspects. Here are the differences that can help you distinguish one from the other:

  • Smart Alerts/Notifications

Smartwatches are more convenient when it comes to viewing smart notifications such as text, email, phone calls, and social media while smart wristbands are more focused on health and fitness.

  • Screen size

Smart bracelets can be smaller which means that you may need to see the health and fitness progress stats in your smartphone.

  • Affordability

If you compare smart bracelets vs smartwatches, the latter can be a bit more pricey because they are more technologically advanced and can handle more applications and features.

  • Convenience

Because smartwatches are an extension of your smartphone, it keeps you away from your phone without interrupting your workout or any activity. They are great for users who want to ditch their phones during their workout or other activities.

  • Touch-screen

Most smartwatches have a touch screen. This makes smartwatches more versatile and convenient than smart bracelets.

  • Memory

Smartphones can be more powerful with more memory and processor since they can handle more applications.

  • Durability

Many smart bracelets are made of plastic while smartwatches are made of rubber and other durable materials.

  • Battery life

Let’s compare a smart bracelet vs a smartwatch: which one needs to be charged less?

You will find smart wristbands with better battery life while smartwatches need to be charged more due to usage, features, and applications it handles.

We have discussed the similarities and differences for both smartwatches and smart wristbands. Now we will explain the pros and cons of each to help you clarify any doubts.

Smart bracelet advantages and disadvantages

Like anything else, smart fitness bands have their pros and cons. To help you decide and understand them, here are what we like and we do not like about wearing a smart bracelet:

Advantages

There are features that can be not only can benefit you but also can deliver a great user experience. To help you familiarize with them, here are the advantages of wearing a smart band:

  • They are mostly focused on wellbeing

Because of their fitness and health features, you can monitor your heart rate to your stress levels. They monitor your progress while you exercise. In addition, smart wristbands help you prevent health conditions and boost your fitness motivation. Also, they remind you to stay active and your next workout.

  • Easy to use

Smart wristbands don’t have many applications which makes them less complicated.

  • Longer battery life

They use less battery life because they don’t have many applications.

  • You can share your progress 

Your fitness and health progress can be shared with your friends, family, and even with your doctor to help diagnose any health conditions.

  • Lightweight

You may not feel you are wearing a smart bracelet which will help you focus on your workout better with comfort. They are lightweight and also stylish.

  • Can be worn in different areas on your body

You can wear smart bands, not only on your wrist, but on your ankle, and arm. For example, the DDJOY Ankle Strap is compatible with Fit Bit and Garmin. You just take your device from the original band and put it in the mesh pouch. Read more about this comfortable smart ankle strap on Amazon.

  • Can be more affordable than smartwatches

If you compare a smart bracelet vs a smartwatch, the latter is more advanced and technology-wise first which comes with a price.  While their contender is mostly used to monitor health data.

  • They are many options to choose from

You can find smart bands that can monitor from calories to stress levels which fit the needs of many users who are concerned about their health. Also, you can find non-Bluetooth smart wristbands that you don’t have to link it with a smartphone or tablet.

Disadvantages

Like any electronic smart bracelets have features that we may not like or may not deliver the best user experience. Here are the disadvantages:

  • Not many applications

Compared to smartwatches, smart bracelets cannot handle as many applications or features. Most of the applications are focused on health and fitness.

  • Just a few with built-in GPS

Although you can get smart bracelets with integrated GPS, they can hard to find.

  • You will not stay away from your smartphone

Unlike smartwatches, you will need to use your mobile phone to see your health stats and access some apps. This is a deal-breaker for users who want to stay away from the smartphone.

  • Screen is smaller

It is not too convenient to see stats, notifications and fitness progress on the face watch. Again you will have to access your smartphone or tablet.

Smartwatch advantages and disadvantages

Like smart bracelets, smartwatches are not for everyone. To help you understand them better, This is what we like and dislike about them:

Advantages

Smartwatches are very versatile and practical. Here are the advantages that will help you know these wrists companions better:

  • A greater variety of applications

Smart wristwatches can handle a lot of applications. You can monitor your fitness progress, watch movies and even listen to music right on your wrist.

  • It will help you stay away from your smartphone

Smartwatches help you stay away from your smartphone because you can access applications, fitness stats, listen to your favorite songs, and much more. If you want to ditch your smartphone you can get a smart wristband with cellular functionality or a standalone smartwatch that can make phone calls and send text messages.

However, it needs to be approved by your mobile company and you may pay additional fees. Our article Why is your smartwatch asking for a sim card? detailly explains what are standalone smartwatches, how do they compare to regular smartwatches, and how to activate them.

  • Better functionality

They are not only health and fitness-focused and also feature smart notifications for a better user’s experience. They can be an all-in-one type of device depending on the features.

  • Quick messages replies

Your smartwatch will show messages and phone notifications. Also, you can send quick replies without using your smartphone. It is very convenient when you are in a meeting or with your family.

  • Screen is bigger

Compared with smart bracelets, smartwatches have a wider screen which allows you to see your fitness stats, watch videos and even reply to text messages.

  • They can be high-end as well

Who said smartwatches can’t be elegant? Emporio Armani has launched its touchscreen smartwatch which is compatible with both iOS and Android. Also, Michael Kors and Guess have their own smart wristbands as well. Check out this elegant and swim-proof smartwatch on Amazon.

  • GPS built-in

You will find more smartwatches with integrated GPS than fitness tracker with this feature. Smartwatches can be not only versatile but also practical.

Disadvantages

Although smartwatches are so popular they are not for everyone. The below disadvantages will help you make the right decision:

  • Can be costly

Smartwatches can a bit pricey compared with smart wristbands or fitness trackers. The features, durability, and functionality come with a price.

  • Not easy to use

Because smartwatches have a lot of applications, you will have to do a lot of navigation. Therefore, for some, they can be a bit hard to use.

  • Shorter battery life

Although you may find smartwatches with long battery life, they may be required to be charged more often. The more you use them the more you need to charge them.

  • Can be kind of bulky

Some users may find them too big compared to a fitness tracker. They may not be comfortable plus look too big on your wrist.

Who can benefit from a smart bracelet

Smart bracelets are for users who want to remain encouraged to exercise and monitor their fitness progress. You can wear them all the time to get personalized feedbacks and health tips to get the most out of them.

Also, since they are so easy to use, either seniors or children can use them without a lot of complications. Many of them just have a pedometer and calorie tracker.

If you are concerned about your budget, you will find affordable smart wristbands with very few features such as heart rate, steps, calories, and distance which is enough to start with.

In addition, you can find non-Bluetooth smart wristbands like the iGANK Fitness Tracker Watch. It has a pedometer, easy to use, and up to 15 days of battery life. Non-Bluetooth fitness trackers don’t have to be connected to a smartphone or tablet. They have few features such as pedometer and heart rate. Keep in mind that stats are cleared every midnight.

Who can benefit from a smartwatch

Users who want to be away from their smartphones can be happy with a smartwatch. They not only can receive phone/message notifications but also can monitor their fitness progress.

If you are too busy to check on your phone every time, a smartwatch can make your life easier. You can send quick replies without interrupting your meeting or any activities.

Also, you can workout without being disturbed. In addition, you can access your fitness stats right on your wrist. Another thing you can receive on-screen feedbacks or workouts.

Lastly, smartwatches are suitable for users who want to access many applications without using their phones. This will deliver a great user’s experience and it will help them to stay away from their phone.

Activity tracker or smartwatch: Which one would help you stay motivated?

No matter what you choose, either a smart wristband or smartwatch, they can help you increase your motivation and help you stay active. The bottom line is your commitment, persistence and your dedication will make a huge difference.

Keep in mind that although both are just tools or guides to help you reach your goals, you will be doing most of the effort.

It is very important to note that factors such as how familiar you are with your device, the usage, and how you use your health data may also determine the effectivity of either your smartwatch or smart wristband.

How do you build fitness motivation with a fitness tracker or smartwatch?

There is no doubt that both can help you increase your motivation to work out for the variety of features you will find. Regardless of whether you choose a smartwatch or smart wristbands, they can change the way you exercise, create body awareness, and learn how your body reacts to physical activities.

For example, when you track your heart rate, calories burned or steps the health data will be used to adjust your fitness plan or to set up realistic goals. The health data or stats are the information that your tracker collects.  That’s why it is strongly recommended to use it every day.

Both smartwatches and smart bands are designed to help you stay motivated, connected, and to improve your overall health. They are tools that may help you reach your fitness goals as long as you keep moving. It is very important to keep in mind that what you do with the health data, how long you stay active, frequency and how committed you are can make a difference in how long it takes you to reach your goals.

The bottom line is that it is important you keep moving regardless of the tools you use. However, self-monitoring your health and fitness can be an effective way to determine how much you do, if your routine is working, and how great you doing.

Activity tracker or smartwatch: Which one can help you keep moving?

Choosing between a smartwatch or smart bracelet can be hard especially if you are not too familiar with both. If you have not decided yet just ask yourself what are you looking for in a fitness wearable.

Keep in mind that a smartwatch can be a bit more pricey than the smart wristband but will have more applications and will set you free from your phone. On the other hand, smart wristbands are mostly focused on health and fitness features. They are more affordable and have a stylish look.

Make sure you choose the right one depending on your needs. For example, if you like indoors activities such as yoga, dancing or using a treadmill, you don’t have to buy a running smartwatch or smart wristband with GPS. 

What you need to consider when buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch

It is very important to consider some factors before you buy the right one for your needs. The tips below will help you decide between smartwatches and fitness trackers so you can choose the right one that fits your needs:

  • Features

Think about which features you want to be included depending on your needs and preferences. Are you happy with a smart wristband that tracks fitness progress only or a smartwatch that can track your progress plus keep you connected? The great news is that many smart wristbands feature smart notifications. Keep in mind that the more features you want the more you will pay.

  • Budget

How much you can spend on a smartwatch or smart wristband? Depend on your budget you can get either one with the features you need. Keep in mind that an expensive smartwatch or smart wristband is not necessarily better. Also, you get what you pay.

Smart bands like the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker can track 14 activities such as yoga, spinning, workout and more. It also features message/call notifications. However, it is affordable and it is great for first-timers. Find out more about this Amazon best-seller for more details.

  • Lifestyle

Do you like outdoor activities such as hiking, basketball, cycling running? Or are you an indoor person who likes to use an elliptical or stationary cycling? There are many smartwatches and smart bands that track your favorite sports and activities. Also, many of them feature a move alert for those who are seated for a long time.

Smartwatches like Garmin Forerunner 35 not only can track your running but also has built-in GPS to track how much and how far you run. It also has music controls, smart notification, and continuous heart rate tracking. Check out this popular and top-rated fitness tracker I found on Amazon.

  • Health concerns 

Either smart wristwatches and smart fitness bands can help you manage health conditions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and more.

Also, like the Apple Watch Series 5 can detect falls and Emergency SOS, among other great features. Also, it can alert you when your heart rate is too low or too high. Find out about this popular smartwatch on Amazon.

  • Exercise type

What type of workout do you like? Keep in mind that you can choose your fitness tracker or smartwatch based on the type of exercise you like. For example weight lifting, Pilates, aerobics, cardio, and others.

  • Extra fitness motivation

Do you still need an extra dose of fitness motivation? Who doesn’t? You can find either smart wristwatches or smart bracelets with on-screen coaching and reminders to keep you motivated and inspired.

Smart bracelet vs smartwatch? What are my thoughts?

I think either a smartwatch or a smart wristband can help you attain your goals. However, your persistence, motivation, and dedication will make a big difference.

Choosing a fitness wearable to monitor your progress is a personal choice. However, it is very important to know how your body responds to any physical activity to create awareness and customize your workout.

There is no doubt that fitness technology, in general, can help us improve our quality of life but it is up to you to make the effort. The more you keep moving the more your smart wristwatch or tracker can track your progress and help you obtain the desired results.

Brenda L. A.