The History of Sports Smartwatch Fitness Trackers

Sports Smartwatch Fitness Trackers – The revolution is here!

In the last few years. Consumer’s drive towards getting fitter and healthier has fuelled the boom in sports smartwatch fitness trackers.  In the gym, in the office, at work sports smartwatch fitness trackers have been changing the way we work out, making fitness smarter along the way. But where did it all begin?  How did it start? How did sports smartwatch fitness trackers become our ideal fitness companion? Let us take you through the history of sports smartwatch fitness trackers. And how they have become these game-changing fitness wearables of today

Pebble Watch

There had been many smartwatch models over the years. The first sports smartwatch fitness trackers to take fitness seriously and move from telling time to tracking goals was the Pebble. In some senses, you could say that it defined the sports smartwatch fitness trackers revolution.  In January 2013, Pebble Technology Corporation developed the Pebble Watch.  This was aided by funding from a successful  Kickstarter campaign (the most successful at the time).sports smartwatch fitness trackers

The original Pebble didn’t offer much in the way of fitness tracking beyond an integrated pedometer.  To use the Pebble as a fitness tracker, one would need to download third-party fitness apps.

The Pebble brand discontinued in December 2016.  Activity-tracking specialist, Fitbit later acquired the intellectual property.


Building on the foundations of Pebble. Fitbit would go on to develop their brand of fitness smartwatches. The first one being the Fitbit Ionic, released in September 2017.  The Ionic offers a built-in GPS as well as SmartTrack. This auto-recognises user-activity and records it into the Fitbit app.

Their latest achievement has been the Fitbit Versa 2; a fully integrated model that comes with PurePulse and a connected GPS (albeit not-built in, an advantage the Apple Watch Series 4 would later hold). It also supports Spotify Premium. It also boasts a long battery life. Given their focus on activity and fitness, Fitbit should have been the dominant force in the smartwatch market. But alas, it had strong competition.

sports smartwatch fitness trackers

Samsung Galaxy Gear

In 2013, Samsung joined the smartwatch market. Releasing the Samsung Galaxy Gear.   The first iteration of the watch received a lacklustre reception.   Critics took issue with its inflexible wriststrap, apps that had a limited function, and an inconsistent notification system. Later models would receive more positive reviews.  The Samsung Galaxy Watch launched in 2018.  It received praise for its sophisticated software.  However, it struggled with ongoing issues such as third-party apps.  The Samsung Galaxy Watch continues to maintain a place in the market.  But it still hasn’t been able to gain the same level of popularity as other brands.

Apple Watch

Having already conquered the technological world in the way of laptops and smartphones.   Apple added smartwatches to its vast roster of products.  To ensure that, they got the product right for anyone taking up fitness. They consulted with athletes anonymously to maximise appeal. The Apple Watch was released in 2015 to acclaim.  It became the best-selling wearable device with 4.2 million units sold in the second quarter of 2015. It was equipped with a built-in heart sensor. And it came with two apps specifically designed for fitness. Activity and Workout provided accurate if passive data on individual workouts. Some reviewers noted the questionable accuracy when it came to fitness tracking without proper calibration.

This model (referred to as Series 0) would be discontinued in 2016, supplemented by two new models (Series 1 and 2). Series 1 would offer a built-in accelerometer for speed, gyroscope for direction, and an ambient light sensor that would allow the watch to be used either day or night. Series 2 would come with several improvements including a water resistance of up to 50 metres, extended battery life, and an onboard GPS.

Improvements in features

Each year Apple would build on the activities offered by the last Apple Watch. Then make improvements, and release a new model every September.  The Apple Watch Series 3 would offer cellular connectivity.  And enable you to work out and listen to your favourite tunes without needing your phone. It also came with enhanced Siri capabilities. The Apple Series 4 (released in 2017) would add even more features, providing an electrical heart sensor and fall detection for anyone inclined to stumbles.

sports smartwatch fitness trackers

Every new model feels like a new culmination it has been building towards. And at the moment, our current culmination is the Apple Watch Series 5. It doesn’t matter what form of workout you’re doing. Be it strength or cardio mobility. You can now chart your progress with greater accuracy than ever before. What had once been a responsive tool to workout planning now gave you individualised feedback on the workout plan best suited to your needs.

The Apple Watch has proven to be so popular.  Athletes have been using them to improve their performance.  As an example, the Australian Women’s Cricket Team has been using the watch to improve their performances and reduce the risk of injury.

Polar Ignite

Polar would later enter the playing field. Releasing the Polar Ignite watch in 2019. One feature that makes Polar Ignite stand out from the crowd is its sleep-tracking feature.  This measures breathing and heart rate to estimate what kind of recovery you’re making overnight.  And offers people a series of workout options based on their nightly recharge. And, while it may not carry the same weight or reputation as Apple or Fitbit. Polar Ignite still manages to offer enough individual features to make it stand out in a growing crowd of smartwatch developers.

At the moment, Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch remain the dominant brands. Fitball Versa 2 carries the advantage when it comes to activity tracking. While Apple Watch Series 5 retains the edge regarding health functioning. The Polar Ignite is impressive.  But, it doesn’t offer the same model history as Fitbit and Apple. It remains to be seen how Polar will change the playing field in the years to come.  And this is dependant on what models they dish and what features they contain.

The Future of Sports Smartwatch Fitness Trackers

As a result of the innovation of sports smartwatches fitness trackers. Working out has never been so diverse. Thanks to the features bought about by each new smartphone model. We can only wonder how the next Sports Smartwatch fitness tracker will shape us. With every passing year. A new better bigger model appears. The smartwatch revolution is very much in view.

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Gym-Wired exists to expand the concept of wearable fitness technology. We review Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, Fitness Apps and more. We share our passions through expert reviews and guides to help you cut through the clutter. Founded in 2015 but launched in 2020 we aim to shake the Wearables industry and let our writing do the talking.

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