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

Sunday Runday

Lloyd, Android Central's mascot, break dancing

(Image credit: Android Central)

In his weekly column, Wearables and Fitness Senior Editor Michael Hicks discusses the world of running and health-related smartwatches, apps and fitness tech in his quest to get fitter and fitter (and help you do the same).

As a reviewer of both smartwatches and special fitness watches, it is almost impossible to find one that succeeds in performance, user interface, health information and fitness tracking all at once. Wearable fitness devices can’t compete with apps and phone connectivity, while smartwatches don’t offer proper training instructions and the battery runs out too quickly.

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

Google got the balance brutally right this year by buying Fitbit and shoving all 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 on how hard to workout that day based on your fitness level and how tired you are.

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich/Android Central)

The main problem is that you have to pay for Premium to get these insights, and the Fitbit brand has lost some of its luster over the last couple of years. That left the door open for competitors to fire their shots.


#smartwatches #fitness #watches #vice #versa
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