The Future of Meditation: Exploring Smart Meditation vs Calm

Meditation as a practice has existed for many centuries now, and it has never been more empowered by technology. From EEG headbands to VR helmets, many innovative devices have been integrated into the meditation culture to great effect. At the same time, what most  commonly enhances the experience, thanks to their accessibility and ease of use, are meditation apps. 

In fact, there are so many meditation apps on the market that choosing the best one for your personal needs becomes a challenge. There are lots of great options like the Calm meditation app, a global market leader released in 2012; as well as newer high-quality products like the Smart Meditation app

To make the right choice easier, in this article we’re going to compare the Calm app review and the Smart Meditation app review, against a number of key factors. And to remain objective, we will only present the facts without making a decision – the freedom of choice is yours.

Comparison and Analysis

In our analysis, we’re looking to be as objective as possible, and we’re going to compare the Calm app and the Smart Meditation app according to their interface, features, content, and pricing:

User Experience and Interface

Meditazione intelligente

Smart Meditation offers a simple, yet effective UI/UX, utilizing a relaxing dark violet color scheme and self-explanatory navigation buttons that are supported by peaceful icons and images. 

From the Home screen, using the navigation bar below, you can go to the Courses section, where the entire categorized content library is situated. If you want to access some specific content types, there are also buttons that allow you to go straight to breathing exercises (Breath), soothing music tracks (Music) and sleep-inducing tracks (Sleep). Finally, you can go to your Profile section for settings and activity history.

Calm

The Calm meditation app has a very similar interface to Smart Meditation – it uses a dark, mythical color scheme by default and has an almost identical looking navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, but with just four buttons instead of Smart Meditation’s five. 

The first is called Home and is essentially a home screen containing navigation to suggested courses, your favorite courses and recently played tracks, among other things. The second is Discover, which shows the entire categorized content library, also similar to Smart Meditation. Third is the standard Profile section with settings, activity history and customization choices, and the last is Premium – a separate screen for purchasing the Premium version of the app. 

Features

Meditazione intelligente

The benefit of Smart Meditation is that all of its basic features are available for free – the main difference with the paid version is that the latter has more high-quality exercises. The app’s features include, but not limited to: 

  • Extensive categorized audio content library
  • Custom breathing exercise routine with a vibrating stopwatch
  • Detailed activity history
  • Customizable reminders
  • “Favorite” section for assembling your own go-to library of tracks

And the very special selling point of the app is its integration capabilities with a Smart Meditation EEG headband. It allows you to keep track of your brain activity while meditating and monitor your “fatigue” parameter, which lets you know when it’s best to meditate or not to meditate.

Calm

Our Calm app review suggests that it also has very strong functionality, a lot of which is shared with Smart Meditation as well as other apps. The downside is that although features like activity tracking and custom library creation are available for free, the track selection is limited to just a few introductory sessions. This means that you will not be able to make much of the free features, as they’re relying on you listening to a wide variety of tracks, which you can’t do for free. The Calm app features include: 

  • Extensive categorized audio content library
  • Search bar and filters for easier content selection
  • Detailed activity history
  • Daily mood check-ins for mindset monitoring 
  • “Favorite” section for assembling your own go-to library of tracks
  • Customizable reminders
  • Customizable background and color scheme

Content Library

Meditazione intelligente

At the time of writing, Smart Meditation offers around 150 content pieces with approximately 30 of them available for free. The track durations are very flexible (1 minute to 1 hour), allowing for both short and long meditation sessions. The library is broken down into the following major categories: 

  • For You (personalized suggestions)
  • For Beginners
  • Relax
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Awareness
  • Morning Meditations
  • Achieving Your Goals
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Expressive Writing Practices

Both technical and non-technical properties of the tracks are of very high quality – the soothing sounds and clear instructions definitely help enhance the meditation experience.

Calm

The Calm app content library is greater in numbers, with hundreds of releases in the library, but only around 10 available in the free version, which almost makes the app pay-to-use. The Calm meditation app uses the following categories for their library: 

  • Dailies
  • Sleep
  • For Work
  • Meditation
  • Music
  • Kids
  • Soundscapes
  • Movement
  • Wisdom
  • Mindful Tools

It also uses a playlist system to break the library down into smaller, thematic, goal-oriented blocks, for instance: 

  • Build A Daily Habit
  • Mental Health Walk
  • Learn To Meditate
  • Fall Asleep

Suffice to say, the quality of the Calm app tracks is also top notch, adding a new extra layer to your meditation practice.

Pricing and Subscription Models

Meditazione intelligente

Smart Meditation doesn’t have any tiers in their Premium version – the only difference is in the payment frequency: 

  • If paid monthly, the price is $9,99 (with an active special offer – $4,99);
  • If paid biannually, the price is $49,99 (with an active special offer – $19,99);
  • If paid annually, the price is $89,99 (with an active special offer – $34,99);

The Premium version opens the entire content library for the user – all other features are already available in the free version. The app also offers a 7-day free trial.

Calm

The Calm app price model is even simpler with only one subscription option – $47,99/year ($3,99 a month, price depends on the country), billed annually. You can also purchase a lifetime license for $399,99. 

Just like Smart Meditation, the Calm meditation app offers a premium for only one purpose, which is opening access to their rich library of tracks. Another similarity is that they also offer a 7-day free trial to discover the library without commiting to pay.

Comparison Table

CalmMeditazione intelligente
User experienceVery similar styles and interfaces with practically identical navigation bars and pleasant color schemes
The main difference – Calm’s background and colors can be customized, while Smart Meditation’s cannot
FeaturesExtensive categorized audio content libraryDetailed activity history“Favorite” section for assembling your own library of tracksCustomizable reminders
Search bar and filters for easier content selectionCustomizable background and color schemeDaily mood check-ins for mindset monitoringBreathing exercise routine with a vibrating stopwatchIntegration with EEG headbands
Content libraryHundreds of tracks and courses (about 10 available for free)Around 150 tracks and courses (about 30 available for free)
Pricing$47,99/year ($3,99 a month, price depends on the country)
Lifetime license – $399,99
Monthly – $9,99 (with an active special offer – $4,99);Biannually – $49,99 (with an active special offer – $19,99);Annually – $89,99 (with an active special offer – $34,99);

Conclusion

The Calm app and the Smart Meditation apps are both very capable solutions, and the choice will ultimately depend on your preference. Their user interfaces are very pleasant, user-friendly, and very similar – to the point where you could be forgiven for mixing the two apps up. 

The Smart Meditation’s unique features are the breathing exercise stopwatch and the integrations with EEG headbands, while the Calm meditation app offers more customization, daily mood check-ins and more content in the library. 

The Calm app cost is lower than Smart Meditation’s, but Smart Meditation offers way more to its users for free than its competitor. If you want to use Calm consistently, it’s virtually pay-to-use, while Smart Meditation is not.