A man working out with VR Headset on and wearing a fitness tracker

Choosing the Right Wearable: A Comprehensive Comparison of Fitness Trackers, Smartwatches, and VR Headsets

Use this comprehensive guide for choosing the right wearable. Compare fitness trackers, smartwatches, and VR headsets to find your perfect fit.

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Have Apple Watches officially usurped sales of luxury watches like Rolex? Maybe.

According to Watch Faces, in 2022, Apple sold 53.9 million Apple Watches. Meanwhile, most data points agree that Rolex only produces about 1 million watches annually.

And Forbes even published a similar theory back in 2019. Of course, this isn't a direct apples-to-apples comparison (no pun intended). As Rolex and many other Swiss watchmakers purposely limit production, demand often outweighs supply. So who knows how many units they'd sell if they increased output?

But one thing's for certain. The demand for wearable technology is rising, driven by technological advancements (virtual reality and the Internet of Things) and a consumer shift to a healthier lifestyle. The global wearable fitness trackers market will reach $124.32 billion by 2028.

And at this point, wearable devices have seamlessly integrated into our lives. But how do you navigate this complex world of wearables and choose the right one for you? Should you opt for a fitness tracker, a smartwatch or plunge into the captivating realm of virtual reality (VR) headsets?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer. So, let's dive into each wearable to help you make an informed decision.

Fitness trackers: Your best friend for a healthier lifestyle

As the market for wearable technology continues to expand, there's an ever-growing range of options.

Even the fitness tracker category is a broad umbrella term we can break down into multiple smaller buckets.

Basic fitness trackers

An excellent entry-level option if you're looking to improve your overall fitness level. These devices offer a range of features that help track physical activity.

One of the primary functions of a basic fitness tracker is step tracking, which counts the number of steps you take throughout the day. Walking improves cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure, and decreases stress. So you can easily track your runs and walks with these devices.

And pet owners can use fitness trackers to help ensure their dogs get enough daily exercise. For some breeds, like a Johnson American bulldog, a 15–20 minute walk every day could suffice. But a more active breed, like a lab or border collie might need 30–45 minutes twice a day.

Regular walks are vital for your pet's health, so using a basic fitness tracker with a step count can work wonders for improving your health and that of your faithful sidekick.

These basic fitness trackers have longer battery life, so you can go weeks without recharging. Talk about convenience.

Amazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker Battery LifeAmazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker comes with decent battery lifeAmazon

In addition to step tracking, basic fitness trackers also provide sleep monitoring capabilities. They can track sleep patterns, including sleep duration and quality. So if you want to gain insight into your sleep habits, this feature can be particularly useful for improving your overall well-being.

And believe it or not, these basic fitness trackers can also measure heart rate. They use optical heart rate sensors to provide real-time heart rate data during workouts and throughout the day. Monitoring heart rate can help you gauge your intensity levels during exercise and track overall heart health.

Popular options for basic fitness trackers include the Fitbit Charge 4, Garmin Vivosmart 4, and Halo View. These devices offer affordability and access to all the essential features described above to help you on your fitness journey.

Dedicated fitness trackers

These specific fitness trackers take monitoring and tracking to the next level. In other words, if you're only looking to track your fitness activity, this is the wearable choice for you.

Specialized fitness trackers like Whoop 4.0 cater to athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking comprehensive health feedback to achieve their fitness goals.

Whoop featuresA good dedicated fitness tracker is WhoopWhoop

These trackers go beyond basic fitness metrics and provide insights into heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and even recovery metrics like sleep quality and REM sleep.

a screenshot of Whoop app on a smartphone for Whoop RecoveryWhoop RecoveryWhoop

Another popular dedicated fitness tracker is the Polar Vantage M2. It offers advanced fitness monitoring capabilities, including heart rate tracking, sleep analysis, and over 150 sports profiles.

a screenshot of Polar Vanage M@ featuresKey features of Polar Vantage M2 Fitness TrackerAmazon

You can visualize your body's performance and find the personalized guidance you need to keep you on the proper fitness journey.

In short, fitness trackers offer features such as step counting, heart rate monitoring, and calorie tracking. This data provides you with real-time feedback on your activity levels and helps you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and exercise routines.

But remember that exercise isn't the only way to lose weight. Following a healthy diet, using medications such as Wegovy (in individuals where necessary), and consulting a professional fitness coach or registered dietitian are complementary activities for weight loss and improving overall physical health.

After all, health is wealth. Right?

Smartwatches: The perfect blend of health, communication, and entertainment

What if you could combine the health-tracking capabilities of fitness trackers with features like messaging, calls, and even music streaming? Sounds idyllic, right?

That's where a smartwatch comes into play. And with the increasing demand for these wearable devices, same-day freight has become an increasingly popular option for fast and quick delivery.

That means you can receive your favorite device the day you order it. Even a quick search on Amazon shows dozens of smartwatches that, if ordered in the morning, can arrive at your doorstep that afternoon. Not too shabby.

a screenshot of search results on Amazon for smartwatchesSmartwatches available on AmazonKelly Moser

So, what smartwatches are available on the market today?

Well, smartwatches, like the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, or Apple Watch Ultra, are effectively mini smartphones you wear on your wrist. They can track your heart rate, detect falls, measure blood oxygen levels, and even perform electrocardiograms (ECGs).

Simultaneously, they offer compatibility with your iPhone, enabling you to receive notifications, reply to messages, and even make calls. And with integrated text-to-speech (TTS) technology, you can have your text messages read to you. It's a seamless, hands-free, eyes-free experience.

If an Apple watch is out of your budget, don't worry. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives on Amazon, like the Amazfit Bip 3 Smart Watch for under $60 that still offers blood oxygen saturation data, days of battery life, and the easy tracking of sleep stages.

a screenshot of a man running wearing an Amazfit Bip 3 smartwatchAmazfit Bip 3 smartwatch featuresAmazon

Smartwatches have become the new normal in modern life — combining functionality, style, and convenience into a single wearable device.

Whether you're a fitness guru, a tech-savvy individual, or someone who values staying connected, a smartwatch can greatly enhance your daily routine.

VR headsets: A gateway to virtual realities

The idea of escaping into a different world after a long day is appealing, isn't it?

VR headsets offer you just that — a portal to virtual realms. These devices, such as the Meta Quest 2 or the HTC Vive Flow, deliver immersive experiences that can transport you to different worlds.

a product shot of Meta Quest 2Meta Quest 2Meta

For instance, you can play interactive games. Or you can meditate in a peaceful virtual environment.

However, as compelling as these experiences might be, they aren't designed to be worn throughout the day and don't provide the same seamless health tracking or smartphone integration (yet).

Buy Meta Quest 2 at Best Buy

The final verdict: What's your wearable of choice?

Choosing between a fitness tracker, a smartwatch, or a VR headset boils down to your personal needs and lifestyle.

A fitness tracker might be your perfect companion if your focus is primarily on health tracking with long battery life. If you want a broader set of features, including communication and entertainment, with a fair bit of health tracking, a smartwatch could be the gadget for you.

However, if you want a captivating, immersive experience in your leisure time, a VR headset might just be your ticket to virtual paradise.

So, what's it going to be? A fitness tracker, smartwatch, or VR headset? The answer lies in whatever suits your lifestyle the best.

Use GearBrain's compatibility find engine to help you find, compare, and buy the latest and greatest wearable technology. Happy shopping!

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