Activity bracelet or cheap smartwatch, what to choose?

When considering buying a device to track our physical activity, we find two different options for wearables. On the one hand, there are the activity bracelets, specialized in measuring our physical activity. On the other hand, smartwatches, also known as smart watches, which also usually include sensors to record our physical activity throughout the day. Which one is the most suitable?

Choosing an activity bracelet or a cheap smartwatch will depend a lot on your tastes and interests. Each of these devices can have its strengths and weaknesses depending on the needs you want to cover. That is why we are going to analyze the main characteristics of both options to help you choose if you are hesitating between buying an activity bracelet or a smartwatch at an affordable price.

Activity bracelet or cheap smartwatch, what to choose

Characteristics of an activity bracelet

The activity bracelets are characterized by being affordable devices in general if we compare them with smart watches. Its main function is to monitor our activity on a day-to-day basis. What are they capable of measuring? Activity wristbands have basic sensors that are responsible for recording the metrics of our activity. The usual thing is that they have an accelerometer that will be in charge of measuring our steps, gyroscopes to determine movements and photodiodes to control our pulsations. From this point and knowing our physical characteristics, they are able to estimate our daily calorie consumption. In general, this is what the simplest models offer, although there are also some capable of measuring our hours of sleep.

Strength and comfort

An activity bracelet must be resistant and comfortable, since we will wear it most of the day. Ideally, the model you choose is so comfortable that you can forget that you are wearing it. On the other hand, if you have any type of skin allergy, it is best to opt for a model with a strap that is made with hypoallergenic materials. The activity wristbands are designed to withstand body sweat , rain or a shower. Now, if you want to do sports such as swimming, it is better to look for a bracelet that not only supports exposure to water, but is also capable of monitoring this activity.

resistencia de una pulsera de actividad

Screen size

Of course, the wider bracelets have space to accommodate larger screens. A larger screen may mean that it is more comfortable for you to view the data. In return, they will be more voluminous. Here already enters the taste and preferences of each. If your priority is to have a lighter and thinner bracelet, the screen will inevitably be smaller. Just because the screen is small does not mean it has to mean that the experience will be worse. In any case, an important point is that the interface is intuitive and that the sunniest days are well visualized. You can know this aspect by checking if the model you want to buy has the function of adjusting the brightness of the screen.

Compatibility with your mobile

At the end of the day, the visualization of the data of our activity falls mainly on our mobile device, so it does not hurt to make sure if the activity bracelet that we want to buy is compatible with our mobile phone. In addition, in the market there are brands such as Fitbit, Huawei or Xiaomi that have activity wristbands compatible with scales with which we can link the wristband.


As a general rule, activity wristbands tend to have a greater autonomy than smartwatches, since their operation and functionalities are simpler. There are models that have a battery life of up to 5 days. If your priority is that the battery lasts for days and you have enough to measure the steps and calories of your day to day, opting for an activity bracelet may be your best option.

Pulseras de actividad

How a smartwatch works

At first, the use of both activity bracelets and smartwatches was associated with sports activities. Over time, they have become devices that are used by all kinds of people, from the youngest to the oldest in the search to combat sedentary lifestyle. Depending on the activity you do in your day to day, it may be more appropriate for you to choose a cheap smartwatch to monitor your activity.

Use and activity

When buying a product of this type, the first thing we have to ask ourselves is what we want to use it for. If our physical activity is more focused on doing sports in the gym or outdoors, or we practice a sport with some regularity, surely the smartwatch is the most appropriate option. A smartwatch usually has a greater capacity to measure and identify the type of sport we are doing and give more precise data than an activity bracelet.

Smartwatch para realizar diferentes deportes

Synchronization with the phone

A smartwatch is not only used to measure our physical and sports activity. We can also synchronize it with our phone so that we can check the notifications on our smart watch. In this way it is possible to consult notes or notifications in general and listen to music among other functions that a basic activity bracelet may not have.


A watch is a complement that we wear all day. In the case of smartwatches, some models are capable of monitoring our sleep hours, so design and size are an aspect to take into account when choosing the model. There are some smartwatches that have a more elegant design and others that have more sporty colors and shapes. If you are clear about what use you are going to give it the choice will be easier. In the case of wanting to have the option of having a more versatile design, smart watches have countless models of straps to adapt them to the style that you want to have on each occasion.



Since a smartwatch has the ability to connect with your smartphone, it is important that you look at the operating system it uses before making a purchase to make sure it is compatible with your mobile. There are different operating systems on the market like Wear OS , the operating system developed by Google. On the other hand, depending on the brand, we find other operating systems such as Tizen or watchOS in the case of Apple. If what you are looking for is a cheap smartwatch, it would be better to start looking for models from brands such as Amazfit or Huawei, since smart watches from Samsung or Apple are considered high-end.

If you have a model or brand in mind, it is good to read opinions about the device in stores or online forums, as well as to see if we have analyzed any of the models for which you are interested in our site.