Smartwatch vs Fitness Tracker – What’s the big difference?

Smartwatch vs Fitness Tracker: The world of wearables is in a brutal wave of growth, with the public being more and more attentive to monitoring their health while trying to focus on fitness. That said, there are very good people who talk about a Mi Band 4 as if it were a smartwatch, something that just doesn’t correspond to the truth.

There are several differences between a smartwatch and a fitness band/tracker, although both share many of the most basic features.

Smartwatch vs Fitness Tracker- What’s the big difference?


So, whether you use a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, you will enjoy many basic ‘smart’ features, such as message, email, or call notifications, as well as heart rate monitoring, steps per day, etc … However, there is a lot to separate these two devices.

So if you are interested in a gadget of this type, you will have to understand what is best for you. But let’s try to understand it in parts.

1. There is a very significant price difference between these two families of devices

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 1 1

The first thing we have to take into account is the price! After all, what is the need to buy a 400 ~ 500 € Apple Watch or 250 ~ 300 € Galaxy Watch Active 2 if we are just going to read notifications? Not to mention that not all consumers like or want to have something the size of a watch on their wrist, and for that, there are several solutions in the fitness bands market, such as Mi Band 4 (~ 25 €), Fitbit Charge 4 (100 ~ 150 €) or Samsung Galaxy Fit (~ 80 €)

In short, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and just want a light, thin device with a good battery and that doesn’t bother you a lot, it’s a good idea to look at a fitness band instead of a smartwatch.

2. Smartwatches have larger screens with higher image quality

Smartwatches VS Fitness Trackers
Smartwatches VS Fitness Trackers

One of the most obvious differences is the size of the screen. A smartwatch has more to do and show, so it needs a much larger screen than a fitness band. It is because of this that the price also increases, since the most reputable brands in the industry such as Fossil, Huawei, Samsung, and Apple, use OLED screens with very interesting resolutions. After all, we’re talking about authentic smartphones on our wrist.

3. As we said above, smartwatches have more to show, because they have more features

In this field, the largest range of features can be positive, but it can also be negative. The smartwatch was created to replace the smartphone in some tasks, such as changing music on Spotify, answering a call, reading an email, etc … But not always having more features is good for the user because it can lead to an interface complicated and not very intuitive. So, since we are talking about a watch, things must always be as simple as possible, so that users do not waste time moving through a small device when they could simply take the smartphone out of their pocket.

Having said all that, there are several fitness trackers with many features that we can find in a quality smartwatch. (Like changing music on Spotify or other streaming apps). It’s a good idea to realize what you really need before you proceed with the purchase.

Still, if you need something with lots of functionality, the way forward is the way of the smartwatch. Especially when you are interested in an Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch or any other watch based on the Wear OS operating system, since here you will be able to install various types of applications in the manufacturers’ stores! Just like you do on your smartphone.

Not to mention the ability to make calls over the clock, something that you will first find strange but then you will surely love.

4. There is a huge difference in battery life

Smartwatches larger screens
Smartwatches larger screens

It is undeniable that smartwatch batteries are still a great Achilles’ heel. After all, reference clocks can last from 1 to 3 days. (Huawei watches are the exception in this field, for 1 ~ 2 weeks, thanks to their simpler OS)

Well, a good fitness band will last 2 weeks or more without major difficulties, due to its reduced range of features and low resolution and low dimensions screen. So if you don’t see yourself charging your smartwatch every day, it might be a good idea to think hard about what you want.

5. Nowadays, customization is very similar in both products, but the advantage is on the side of smartwatches

A few years ago, the market was very focused on personalizing smartwatches, with watch faces, and bracelets for all tastes. But after Xiaomi has conquered the market with its Mi Band, it’s easy to say that it can personalize both a smartwatch and a fitness band without wasting a lot of time, which are not lacking in the market.

However, on the smartwatch side, it is easier to have access to ‘custom’ watch faces, thanks to the many alternatives created by the manufacturers but also by fans in this market segment.


There are no perfect devices, so I will say once again that it is necessary to understand how much money you want to spend, and what you really need in your day to day. Smartwatches have their advantages and disadvantages, just like fitness bands. Having said that, if you want an experience with everything you’re entitled to, the answer is simple… The smartwatch.

author image

About Author

Samuel Afolabi is a lazy tech-savvy that loves writing almost all tech-related kinds of stuff. He is the Editor-in-Chief of TechVaz. You can connect with him socially :)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.