Adidas miCoach Fit Smart vs Nike+ SportWatch GPS: What's the difference?

When details of the Adidas miCoach Fit Smart first leaked, it was thought to be a rival to Nike's FuelBand SE. However, that has turned out not to be the case.

Adidas has now officially announced the device - which will be available in the UK and US from mid-August - and it is more a tool for those who take their fitness and sports training seriously.

Therefore, it is more like Nike's other device in the Nike+ range, the SportWatch GPS. And while that specific fitness tracking wristband is around three years old now, it is still being sold and supported by Adidas' big sports brand rival so it's worth checking out some of the key features and specifications to see which would better suit your needs.

Heart rate monitoring

One of the big features of the Adidas miCoach Fit Smart is that it contains an optical heart rate sensor on the underneath of the band's face that can measure your heart rate as you train. The Nike+ SportWatch GPS doesn't.

Instead, it relies on the addition of a Polar WearLink+ Transmitter to send heart rate information to the device and that adds cost (an extra £50, roughly) and needs to be strapped elsewhere.

Readouts

Both devices have a number of key statistics that are available to you at the touch of a button or two and will be used to form more visual graphs on their respective smartphone apps.

The Fit Smart is able to tell you calories burned, pace, distance covered and stride rate. The SportWatch is similar, with pace, calories, distance, lap marking and a timer on board. It's much of a muchness in fact.

GPS and other sensors

As Nike's SportWatch is made in collaboration with TomTom it naturally focuses around GPS features. It keeps track of a user's location in GPS codes, so you can see exactly where you have been and how long it took to get you around the circuit.

The Fit Smart doesn't have that option, with no GPS on board, but it does have an accelerometer, so it knows how fast you are moving.

Apps

The Adidas device definitely wins out in the app stakes. It links directly with the miCoach Train & Run app available across Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8. And as it uses Bluetooth 4.0, it doesn't take much power to do so.

Nike's SportWatch is dependent on a PC or Mac to crunch the stats it creates. Admittedly, it has a more detailed screen, so you can see more information on the device itself, but there's not really any way to check out your full profile until you are in reach of a desktop computer or laptop.

Training aids

Adidas is keen to stress that the Fit Smart is primarily a serious training tool and as such it can be programmed with defined training plans that you either create or choose from the 100s available. These can be set from the accompanying smartphone app and when you need to up your game, based on your heart rate, etc, the watch will tell you through a visual lightbar or by vibrating.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS can be set with automatic run reminders and other training features that spur you into action. And through your nikeplus.com profile, you can set goals much like you can with a Nike+ FuelBand. You can also check out mapped runs, thanks to the GPS, so you can see if inclines make for better performance and more.

Conclusion

To be honest, while the Nike device is three years old it still holds its own in the field. However, the Adidas one looks sleeker and the built-in heart rate monitor could be key.

Adidas claims that without the monitor it is next to impossible to accurately craft training plans that are best suited to individual users. It can tell instantly whether you are getting a higher cardio workout based on specific actions and doesn't require an add-on accessory.

Yes, the screen on the Nike watch provides more information, but the Fit Smart's LED display is simple and effectively. Plus, as the Adidas device directly links to your smartphone - even if you're a Windows Phone owner - you will be able to check out full stats when on the move anyway.

It is more expensive now, being £179 rather than the £129 for the SportWatch (without training shoe sensor), but that extra £50 is soaked up by the Polar heart rate monitor required by the Nike device to offer that functionality.



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