There are dozens of fitness trackers, activity monitors, and “superwatches” available today, and finding the right gadget for your unique needs can be a little overwhelming. Narrowing the field by reducing your budget won’t help you all that much, either. There are just so many options to choose from, particularly around the $100 mark. If you’ve got about $100 to spend on a fitness tracker, there’s a veritable cornucopia of fitness trackers that will suit your budget. Two of the models that might stand out on the shelf are the Fitbit Flex and the Sony SmartBand SWR10. Both of these fitness trackers offer similar features, and share a similar form factor. With so much in common, how can you determine which fitness tracker is best? We’ve broken down the important differences between these two trackers so you can make your decision with confidence.
Still researching the best fitness tracker for your needs? Check out our guide to the best Fitbit competitors, or peruse our Fitbit comparison post to find the best Fitbit for your unique fitness goals.
1. Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand: Price & Related Models
In this section, we’ll explain the cost of the Sony and Fitbit trackers, and also explain how those prices compare to other models from the same manufacturers. It’s important to note that while the Fitbit Flex and Sony SmartBand SWR10 both have a suggested retail price of around $100, both trackers can be found online for considerably less. As of this writing, we’re seeing the Flex on sale as low as $94.99 for select colors, though price tracking data from camelcamelcamel shows that the price regularly drops down into the $80-$75 range. The Sony SmartBand has dipped even lower, with prices as of this writing hovering around $42.
So, how do those prices stack up against other offerings from the same company? As of this writing, Fitbit’s 2015 line includes six trackers: two clip-on wearables, and four wristband activity monitors. Fitbit’s “Everyday Fitness” trackers are their entry-level products. That category includes the Zip ($59.95), the One ($99.95), the Flex ($99.95, often available online for around $80), and the Charge ($129.95). If you are a bit more athletic and need a heart rate monitor, the Charge HR ($149.95) is probably going to be your best fit. The Fitbit Surge ($249.95) is the most premium offering, and includes advanced features like GPS and HR monitoring. There’s also the new-for-2016 Fitbit Blaze, a wearable with a full touchscreen experience, and the ability to use GPS when paired with your smartphone. The Blaze should last up to 5 days with continuous heart rate monitoring and activity tracking before needing a recharge.
In addition to the SmartBand SWR10, Sony also offer the SmartBand Talk SWR30. The SmartBand Talk is a little smarter, a little more waterproof, and has a display for messages. It can also make calls. Looking for a fitness tracker that looks more like traditional watch? Ars Technica reports that a new tracker watch, the Sony Wena, is available in Japan, but may not make it to the US. In the meantime, you can check out the SmartWatch 3 SWR50, an Android Wear smartwatch that also tracks activity.
2. Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand: Form Factor
As you probably noticed from the image at the very top of this article, these two fitness trackers share a very similar form factor. Both are band-like, and easily adjustable. Both wearables track sleep and activity. The SmartBand can be used as a music remote, which is kind of cool (though this PC Mag review pans the media controls). The Fitbit and the SmartBand are both available in a range of colors.
3. Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand: Waterproofing
Waterproofing is an important factor to consider before buying a fitness tracker. The Fitbit Flex is sweat, rain and splash proof. However, Fitbit does not recommend using the Flex while you are swimming. They also recommend taking Flex off before showering, mostly to prevent skin irritation.
The Sony SmartBand is waterproof, with a rating of IP58. That means it’s well-protected against dust (though not totally dust-proof). It’s also rated to be water-tight to a depth of one meter.
4. Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand: Battery Life
Both devices have a rechargeable battery. The SWR10 is meant to be worn all day, and has a manufacturer estimate for five days of battery life. The Fitbit Flex is also rated to last up to five days between full charges.
5. Fitbit vs. Sony SmartBand: Conclusion & Final Recommendations
With so many overlapping benefits and features, it can be hard to decide which of these fitness trackers is right for you. If you’re primarily motivated by price, the SmartBand is available for much less than the Fitbit Flex. The Fitbit Flex works with iOS, Android, and Windows phone platforms. The Lifelog smartphone app from Sony is used to interact with the SmartBand’s data. As of this writing, this app is only available for Android devices. If you use Windows Phones or iPhones, the Fitbit line is a better fit for you than a SmartBand.
Still not sure what fitness tracker is right for you? We’ve compared Fitbit, the leading fitness tracker brand, against a huge array of competitors. Check out our posts comparing Fitbit vs. Jawbone, Fitbit vs. Basis, Fitbit vs. Garmin, Fitbit vs. Misfit, Fitbit vs. Mira, Fitbit vs. Microsoft Band, and Fitbit vs. Withings.