Do not waste money on the wrong fitness tracker or smartwatch. This in-depth smartwatch buying guide helps you choose the smartwatch for you.
Many people make mistakes while buying a fitness tracker/smartphone. Most people randomly pick a fitness tracker and end up losing their hard earn money.
Due to the availability of multiple brands in the market, it is not so easy to choose a fitness tracker or smartwatch in 2020.
All fitness trackers are not created equally! Each fitness tracker/smartwatches have their unique features and capabilities. So if you do not pick it correctly, then it will be a total wastage of money.
So in this detailed Fitness Tracker buying guide, I will help you to select the best fitness band based on your needs.
At the end of this article, you will be able to understand;
- What is the difference between a fitness tracker and smartwatch?
- How to pick smart wear that suits your needs?
- What are the things to consider while buying a fitness tracker?
- And much more.
So sit tight and read the article before you buy your next smartwatch.
Without wasting time, let us jump in!
Ultimate Smartwatch Buying guide for 2020
These are some features and factors that you should consider before buying a fitness tracker.
As fitness trackers and smartwatches are the extended part of a smartphone, you must ensure that the fitness tracker or smartwatch that you are going to buy is compatible with your smartphone.
The smartphone compatibility of fitness trackers and smartphones depends on their OS(Operating System).
Some watch OS may work with Apple Phone, and others may work with Android smartphones.
So let us have a quick look into various wearable OS currently available in the market. It helps you to choose an activity tracker that works with your current phone.
Previously it was known as Android Wear OS, and later Google rebranded it as Wear OS. It is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones.
Like Android OS, Wear OS also has an open-source license. Because of this reason, it supports various apps that can give deep insight into your fitness activities.
Related Post: What is Fitbit Active Zone Minutes(A 2 Z Guide)
Also, Wear OS supports Google Assistance, Google Pay, and it also supports various watch faces.
Fossil Sport, Puma Smartwatch, TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41, etc. are a few examples of smartwatches that run on Wear OS.
As the name suggests, OS is developed by the Fitbit for its wearable devices. Fitbit OS is compatible with Android and iOS devices, but you can not explore a Fitbit device completely on an iPhone.
For example, you can not replay to an SMS on Fitbit Versa, if you are using it along with an iPhone.
In addition to that, the Fitbit introduced new Fitbit Active Zone Minutes in its latest Fitbit Charge 4 devices to improve heart health.
Related Post: How to update your Fitbit to Latest OS.
Apple Smartwatches are running on Apple Wear OS. Unfortunately, Apple watches are not compatible with android and windows smartphones. So you should not go for an Apple watch if you do not have an iPhone or iPad.
Additionally, Apple watches support limited third-party apps because of its strict policies. But it ensures you a smoother and secure user experience than the other devices that are running on other OSs.
It is an open-source OS used in Samsung watches developed by Linux. If you are currently using a Samsung Smartphone, then it is a good idea to go for a Tizen OS-based smartwatch to explore at its best.
Samsung Gear Sport, Samsung Gear S3, etc. are running on this Linux based operating system.
Take away: Make sure you have a smartphone that is compatible with the smartwatch that you are going to buy.
|Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker OS||Smartphone OS|
|Wear OS||Android & iOS|
|Fitbit OS||Android & iOS(Limited Features in iOS)|
|Tizen OS||Android & iOS|
Purpose of buying a Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker
Before you buy a fitness tracker, you should ask a few questions to yourself and this step is crucial!
Ask yourself, why am I buying a fitness tracker, and what all are the features that I really need?
Because of this, we at DigitMize always believe that all the fitness trackers and smartwatches are not crafted equally. The features and specs vary from device to device. So if you pick a wrong one, then you may be putting your money in water.
For example, if you are buying a smartwatch for swimming, then just purchasing a waterproof fitness tracker is not enough. Because if you really want to improve your swimming skills, then you must buy a smartwatch that tracks swim metrics. Not all waterproof fitness tracker or smartwatch does it.
Another example, imagine you are a cycling enthusiast who used to explore unknown routes. In this case, you probably need a smartwatch with an in-built GPS for navigation because it may not be easy for you to grab your mobile while riding.
Likewise, you can get smartwatches for tracking Gym workout, indoor activities, outdoor activities, etc.
Take away: Always know the purpose before you buy a fitness tracker or smartwatch.
Today, smartphones and fitness trackers come with various types of displays. Before you buy a fitness tracker, you must check the type, resolution, dimensions, and building material.
Some fitness trackers and smartwatches are built on nickel, and you should avoid this if you are allergic to nicker.
In addition to that, you also need to check the type of navigation. Some fitness tracker with button navigation and some other bands come with touchscreen navigation.
Also, Apple Watches, Fitbit Versa, etc. come with both touchscreen navigation along with a button.
Most of the latest fitness trackers come with an LCD or an AMOLED display. However, the latest Fitbit Charge 4 is an exception. It comes with a Grayscale Touch Screen display.
Both AMOLED and LCD is highly visible even in bright sunlight. So it will be a better choice if you are a person who is active in outdoor activities. Devices with AMOLED always have a colored screen, but still, it consumes less energy compared with other display types.
Display Size and Dimension:
Do not forget to check the display size and dimension before you buy a fitness tracker. A fitness tracker with a larger display helps you to view the data on screen very easily compared with a device with a smaller screen size.
If you are a senior person with visual problems, then always remember to choose a fitness tracker with a more extensive and brighter display. Fitbit Versa Series is an excellent example of the best fitness tracker for seniors.
On the other hand, you can go for a fitness tracker with a smaller display if you do not like a bulky or heavy smartwatch.
For instance, many girls prefer to wear a fitness tracker with a smaller screen as they feel it more comfortable and fashionable.
Related Post: Best Fitbit for Men in 2020
Some fitness trackers and smartwatches come with chemically treated glasses like Corning Gorilla Glass that protect your fitness tracker form daily wear and tear.
It is also essential if you are wearing an ankle fitness tracker as it is more prone to get tear and wear. Do not bother this if you buy a fitness tracker without a display like Moov Now Band.
Take away: Always go for a fitness tracker with a screen protector, especially if you are active outdoors. Else, you can buy a third-party screen protector online.
Now, most of the fitness trackers and smartwatches come with various types of straps so that you can pick the most suitable straps for multiple occasions.
For example, if you are a person who likes traditional types of watches, then you can choose a stainless steel or leather strap for your smartwatch.
Also, use a silicon strap for outdoor activities as it is sweat proof and waterproof.
Changing strap in a smartwatch is not so complicated as in traditional watches. A flip and pull are enough to change it. See the above image for changing straps on an Apple Watch.
A lot of third-party vendors also offer the best quality and beautiful straps for fitness trackers and smartwatches.
It is also important to clean your strap after every workout. It help the fitness tracker strap to stay longer without any damage.
Strap Size: Before you buy a fitness tracker or smartwatch, you should also check the size of the strap, especially if you are purchasing a fitness tracker for kids. The Standard size of a strap is 16, 20, or 22mm.
If you need a different size, then you need to buy the fitness trackers strap from third-party vendors.
Take Away: Make sure you are buying a fitness tracker that allows you to change the straps more easily.
The very next thing you consider while buying a fitness tracker is its battery life. Always try to buy a fitness tracker that has a longer battery life for uninterrupted activity tracking.
All the features are worthless in an activity tracker if the battery does not last for at least 24 hours. I always check battery capacity before buying any fitness tracker, smartwatch, tab, or even laptop.
Generally, Fitness Tracker comes with AMOLED, and Grayscale Display has longer battery life.
The latest smartwatches come with an always-on display. It kills battery more faster than a smartwatch with a “tilt to on display.”
Additionally, using GPS for a longer time will decrease battery life considerably. So make sure you turn off GPS mode whenever it is not necessary. It is a pro tip to save smartwatch battery life.
Take Away: Check Battery capacity while buying a smartwatch for uninterrupted activity tracking.
Activity trackers are all about its sensors. Activity trackers track various activities such as heart rate, steps, running, distance, pace, and calorie burned with the help of multiple sensors in it. Accelerometer, altimeter, SpO2 sensor, heart rate sensor, GPS, etc. are the common sensors in a fitness tracker.
You can get a basic fitness tracker under $100. But if you need advanced features such as in-built GPS, music storage, swim tracking, etc., then it will cost you more money.
For instance, if you are athletic, then you need an advanced smartwatch to track your activities more accurately. In addition to that, these smartwatches can give you a detailed insight into your performance on its companion app.
This detailed insight helps you in identify the area of improvement. Garmin Forerunner Series is an excellent choice for running enthusiasts.
Likewise, if you are a swimmer, then you must choose a fitness tracker or smartwatch that tracks various swim metrics accurately.
Take Away: Choose a fitness tracker that suits your needs. Never waste money on the wrong products.
A study suggests that people who own a fitness tracker does not use it for activity tracking. Instead, they are using it as a secondary smartphone or a fashionable accessory.
If your primary goal is not activity tracking, then a smartwatch will be the right choice. By saying this, it does not mean that a smartwatch does not track various activities.
Smartwatches are much more advanced than fitness trackers, and it cost you more money. It is a combination of advanced activity tracking sensors and smart features. These include;
Heart Rate Monitoring(HRM):
Heart rate sensor is available in most of the fitness trackers and smartwatches. But basic activity tracker does not track HR accurately.
However, it can give you an idea about your heart rate during various activities.
Fitness trackers use heart rate monitoring to calculate active minutes, a vital fitness metic to assess your energy level.
It is an advanced feature available in some smartwatches and other wearable devices. These smartwatches can identify variations of cardiac rhythm, including arrhythmias, a severe heart condition.
Note: It does not replace any medical types of equipment or doctor’s advice. Always follow your doctor’s advice.
If you want to track your blood oxygen level during various physical activities, then you must buy a smartwatch with a SpO2 monitor.
Blood Pressure Monitoring:
If you are looking for a blood pressure monitoring watch, then you should buy the best fitness band with a blood pressure monitoring feature.
However, wrist-based blood pressure monitoring is not so accurate, and it does not replace medical grade equipment.
If you are looking for a wireless wearable blood pressure monitor, then Qardioarm (FDA Approved) is an excellent example of a smart blood pressure monitor.
SMS & Call Notifications:
Most of the smartwatches and fitness trackers have this feature. Once you paired it with your smartphone, then it will start to display your notifications on your wrist.
So you do not need to check the phone frequently for the latest SMS, call, or other social media notifications.
But you can not replay to a phone call by using a fitness tracker. If you want to use a smartphone as a phone, then you must buy a smartwatch with LTE(Cellular connectivity).
Apple Watch Series 5, and Samsung Gear 3 are examples of the smartwatch with cellular connectivity.
These smartwatches have the Number Sync and Number Share feature that allows you to use the same number on your phone and smartwatch. But it will add an extra cost of about $10 on your monthly telephone bill.
Sleep tracking is another important feature available in smartwatches and fitness trackers. It uses different sensors on the smartwatch to peek into various sleep stages.
When you wake-up, it can give a detailed insight into your various sleep stages on the companion app on the smartphone. It helps you to improve sleep quality.
Just having a sleep mode is not enough for sleep tracking. A smartwatch with SpO2 and heart rate sensor tend to track sleep more accurately.
In-built Music Storage:
A few of us have the habit of listening to music while going for jogging or running. But for many, carrying a mobile phone during physical activities can be a distraction.
For such people, a smartwatch with onboard music storage is a good option. Smartwatch like Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Ionic, etc. are the example of the best smartwatch with music. It can store music in it, and you can listen to music just by connecting it to your Bluetooth enables headphones or earbuds.
Smartwatches like Fitbit, Apple, Garmin, etc. supports contactless payment. Just tap your wrist to make a payment.
This feature is available in most of the fitness trackers and smartwatches. It will alert you with vibration on your wrist.
The alarm clock is available in almost every basic and advanced fitness tracker. It wakes you up with vibration on the wrist.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches help you stay proactive. A fitness tracker or smartwatch can alert you to move after a certain period of rest.
The price for a smartwatch varies based on its features. If you are looking for a basic fitness tracker, then you can get it under $100.
If you need more features than a basic fitness tracker, then you can get some best fitness tracker under $200 price range. Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Versa 2 are good trackers that you can buy at this price mark.
In a nutshell, rather than picking a random fitness tracker, always choose a fitness tracker or smartwatch based on your needs. It helps you to track your activities accurately to achieve your fitness goals faster.
I think this fitness tracker buying guide helps you in buying the best fitness tracker based on your requirements.
If you have any queries, please feel free to comment below. Also, stay connected with us through our social media channels for the latest tech updates on wearable technology.
As a Registered Nurse and a Tech Enthusiast, I love the latest Gadgets and Mobile Phones. I started to use Fitness Trackers as part of my journey towards weight loss back in 2018. Since then, I started to use them and now I want to share with you with all the information and knowledge that I know about Latest Fitness Trackers and other wearables in the market. I would be happy if I could help you in buying one of the best fitness trackers available in the market.