In 2023, smartwatches try to become fitness watches and vice versa

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Lloyd, Android Central mascot, break-dancing

(Image credit: Android Central)

In his weekly column, our senior editor of wearables and fitness Michael Hicks discusses the world of running and health-related smartwatches, apps, and fitness tech, in the quest to get faster and more fit (and help you do the same, too). Are.

As someone who reviews both smartwatches and specialized fitness watches, it’s almost impossible to find watches that succeed in performance, UI, health data, and fitness tracking all together. Fitness wearables can’t compete for apps and phone connectivity, while smartwatches don’t provide proper training guidance and drain batteries very quickly.

My time as wearables editor at 2023 showed me a clear trend across all the major brands on both sides of the industry: Smartwatches want to be fitness trackers, fitness watches want to be smartwatches, and they’re all racing to be first. The center…for better or worse.

Google found its way to the right balance this year by purchasing Fitbit and incorporating all of its high-end sensors and fitness recommendations into the Pixel Watch 2. You get fast performance and all the apps a fitness watch could never support, but also recommendations for how hard to work that day based on your fitness level and fatigue.

Google Pixel Watch 2 practical

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich/Android Central)

The main issue is that you have to pay a premium to get these insights, and the Fitbit brand has lost some of its luster over the years. This leaves the door open for competitors to shoot their shot.

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