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Fitness band vs smart watch: which one should you choose?

12.12.2015
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The latest in wearable tech, fitness bands, sports watches and smart watches can help you stay motivated to keep fit. But which is right for you?

Want to keep fit while you’re travelling? Wearable technology can help you keep track of your activity, motivating you to stick to a healthy lifestyle, wherever you are.

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Fitness bands

Fitness bands, also called activity trackers, are perfect for seeing how much exercise you’re getting as well as how other aspects of your lifestyle measure up, health-wise. These stylish bands are designed to be worn all the time, even in bed.

Everyday tracking

Because they are less technical than sports and smart watches, fitness bands are often slim and sophisticated as well as offering advanced activity tracking capability. Most models will pair with a smartphone app to:

  • track steps and overall activity throughout the day
  • record your sleep stages so you can see how much rest you get over time
  • work with food trackers to help you control your calories in and out

 Fitness bands are a great entry point for anyone who wants to take advantage of smart tech on a lower budget.


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Sports watches

For something beyond a fitness band, try a sports watch. Usually designed for a specific sport, like running, golf or cycling, they usually have similar functionality to fitness bands, alongside the features designed to track performance in those sports. For example, they may include GPS or heart-rate monitoring. Some are designed to be worn just when taking exercise rather than all day.

Expert analysis

Whereas fitness bands can be minimal or elegant, sports watches are often designed in a similar style to digital watches – just with that extra functionality to help you hit your fitness goals. They:

  • are built to help you monitor your fitness progress and set goals by tracking your activities throughout the day
  • frequently use satellite navigation to monitor your training route for running, jogging, cycling or golf, displaying time, distance and other stats
  • help you maximise your training, track your calorie burn and optimise your fitness by monitoring your heart rate
  • record your sleep, analysing quality and number of hours

Smart watches

For smart tech that’s a lot more than fitness support, try a smart watch. Syncing directly with your phone, they notify you about incoming calls, messages, emails and more. Just like smartphones, you can install lots of apps to give you extra information – like news headlines.

Your day-to-day assistant

Stay connected to the world whether you’re at work or hitting the gym with a smart watch. New apps are being added all the time giving you the chance for new functionality all the time. Most models will let you:

  • track your fitness by monitoring your progress with its heart activity app, recording your daily and weekly progress
  • keep up to date with traffic, weather and flight alerts
  • send texts, check your diary and set reminders
  • keep on top of your day with prompts and notifications

 

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The Apple Watch

If you’re an Apple user, this is the ultimate in wearable technology. You can do just about everything you can with an iPhone from an Apple Watch, from paying for your groceries to monitoring your fitness.

The sporting model

With light flexible sports bands available in a range of stylish colours, the Apple Watch Sport is the ideal way to track your fitness and more. It:

  • is perfect for exercising – durable, lightweight and water resistant
  • monitors your fitness with a heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope
  • tracks your daily activities, measuring everything you do and encouraging you to keep moving
  • gives you notifications and lets you respond to them instantly
  • allows you to control your music using your voice

Fitness trackers and smart watches are already making a huge impact on their converts – and the functionality is developing fast. Try one out and see the technology in action for yourself.