If you've ever wondered just how accurate wearables are, especially when compared to smartphones, your answer has arrived. A recent study has found wearables to be similar to the tracking of the smartphone you probably already own.
Before we delve into the data it's got to be said buying an activity tracker, that puts data on your wrist, and committing to changing your lifestyle has benefits in itself for some.
The study was carried out by the University of Pennsylvania on 14 participants using 6 wearables plus smartphones. Each participant, after being loaded up with gadgets, was asked to walk twice each for 500 and 1,500 steps.
The results showed the most inaccurate tracker to be the Nike Fuelband followed by Jawbone's UP24 and Fitbit's Flex. The latest Fitbit Zip and One were nearly perfectly accurate.
The Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 with separate M-series motion coprocessors dedicated to activity tracking were very accurate. The Samsung Galaxy S4, which represented the Android users, was also nearly as accurate as the iPhones.
The smartphones ranged in accuracy from -6.7 to +6.2 per cent while the wearables were from -22.7 to -1.5 per cent. So wearables apparently under-guess – which from a health perspective could be seen as a good thing.
So while you could spend money on a separate activity tracker it seems if you have a smartphone, especially an iPhone 5S or newer, you can health track with that just fine.