Activity bracelet, smartwatch or sports watch: which is better?

Activity bracelet, smartwatch or sports watch: which is better?

Activity wristbands, sports watches or smartwatches? There are more and more wearables on the market and it is difficult to decide the best option if we want to buy for ourselves or make a gift. The price differences are also puzzling, since there are products that seem almost identical and that can have differences of up to 200 euros.

In this article we are going to make a comparison between three concepts : activity bracelet, sports watch and  smartwatch or smart watch. We will review what they have in common and their main differences.

Activity wristbands (with or without watch)

Quickly summarizing, we could say that an activity bracelet is a gadget designed to record movement. Normally, these devices monitor the number of steps, the number of minutes of activity in the day ...

Almost all activity wristbands also have a sleep recording function , to analyze the number of hours we have slept and the quality of rest.

activity bracelet

An important detail is that not all activity bracelets have a built-in clock , and there are even some that do not have a screen. Inside they have all the necessary sensors, and then they are synchronized with the smartphone through the Bluetooth connection or via USB.

The difference in price between the models is mainly due to the amount of extras in the bracelets and their level of precision. For example: one of the most complete on the market today is the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, which has many additional functions.

Smart Watches

A smart watch or  smartwatch is almost a small computer or mobile phone on the wrist. It has different applications, is synchronized with the mobile to receive notifications , and even allows you to answer calls directly from the device, without using the phone.

Many watches of this type also include basic activity recording functions, such as sleep monitoring or step and distance recording .

apple watch smart watch

Broadly speaking, therefore, we could say that a  smartwatch goes a step further, mixing traditional digital watches with certain functions of activity bracelets and other possibilities of mobile phones.

Sports watches: ideal for those who train the most

And what about advanced sports watches like Garmin models? We could say that these watches are like activity bracelets but much more advanced.

Sports watches have been designed for regular athletes who need much more precision in recording training . For example: if the user is going to go hiking or mountain biking, swimming competitions, triathlon, etc., it is more convenient to use a sports watch than an activity bracelet or  any smartwatch  .

Sports watches are equipped with very interesting functions, such as heart rate measurement, GPS, and other sensors: altimeter, accelerometer, compass , blood oxygen volume monitor ...

Sport watch

In short, they are models designed for the most demanding athletes. It is not about monitoring basic daily activity, but about recording all workouts and keeping track of performance in each session . Most are even prepared to record swimming in both pools and open water.

And if we talk about outdoor sports, many sports watches include safety and emergency functions . For example: some allow to send notifications to certain contacts with the route that we are going to follow in a training in the field.


To know which device to buy, you have to take into account the needs of each user:

  • The most active and demanding people with their workouts will enjoy more with a sports watch.
  • The activity wristbands are ideal for sedentary users or non-professional athletes who want to challenge themselves to take care of their health and progress day by day.
  • Smart watches are a good option to replace the traditional watch , adding smartphone functions on the wrist.