Best GPS Smartwatches for Runners Training for 2021
The smartwatch (smartwatches) and SmartBand (smart bracelets) have been gaining increasing popularity in Spain, mainly by practicality, comfort and solutions they offer to their users.
In fact, taking sales figures from the first quarter of 2020, total growth of 20% in smartwatches is estimated for this year worldwide. Many people have been acquiring them in recent months as a way to control their health and combat a sedentary lifestyle, as well as being a very appropriate solution for runners. In fact, in the case of Spain, at the end of 2019, it occupied the seventh position among the countries with the highest penetration of wearables in the world.
If you are part of this group that is taking advantage of the benefits of these devices to do sports or you want to know how to find the best smartwatch or the best smartband for you, keep the following considerations in mind.
Main differences between smartwatch and smartband
While the main similarity is that both devices are worn around your wrist, there are some differences that every runner should be aware of: the smartwatch generally tends to have a larger screen. With it, you can see notifications and messages from applications and some will even allow you to answer calls without having to take out your phone.
In addition, most offer sports monitoring options, calories burned, heart rate, hours of sleep, distance travelled, etc., and all this data will be synchronized with the rest of your devices. The most advanced include an app store from which to download, among others, fitness applications, music applications, maps, screen layouts or even games. The price is usually higher.
The smartband, for its part, is smaller and is aimed at monitoring health and sports aspects, just like a smartwatch would, but without the possibility of installing apps. Many allow you to review the phone notifications, but it is true that the functionalities are more restricted as the processing capacity is somewhat more limited. It will also sync sports data with other devices. Being more compact and having better autonomy, they are more suitable for certain sports activities. The price is usually lower.
Characteristics that a wearable must-have for a runner
The wearables represent an excellent opportunity for runners and cyclists, but it is important to know the essential features of these devices so you can use them to the maximum.
Location GPS. Essential to be able to measure the distances travelled and to be able to improve your times, especially if you prefer to leave the phone at home.
Connectivity Normally they use Bluetooth, to be able to synchronize the data with the phone, but the more advanced ones also connect to the network of your mobile operator, allowing you to free yourself from your phone and stay connected for calls, messages, payments and even listen to your favourite music in streaming.
Screen type. If you are a very busy person and need to be online constantly, a slightly larger screen is recommended.
Battery. The battery of the best smartwatch will hardly last more than 1 or 2 days, while the smart bands have a little more autonomy independence (up to several weeks for some models). In any case, more than enough time for an athlete.
Applications and Operating System. It is important that you choose a wearable that adapts to the operating system you use the most. We recommend an Apple Watch if you are from the Mac community, while a smart device with Wear OS will be ideal if you use Google’s mobile operating system, although there are also others that are perfectly valid to take advantage of all the sports functions.
Monitoring of sports activity. You can consult in detail the most important functionalities in one of the previous post (” eHealth and wearables: The dictionary you expected from A to Z”)