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Classic Bluetooth vs Bluetooth Low Energy (Smart Bluetooth and Smart Ready Bluetooth): Which is the Better Choice for Your Application?

Monday, June 30, 2014

For many people, Bluetooth is still a mystery. If you are unsure about which option is best for your application, let's talk a little about the technology.

Generally, the basic questions at the start of a project are:

  1. Is the power consumption limited to increase the battery life of the final product? If your product runs on battery power, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the best option to maximize the life of the battery.
  2. Does the stack need to be integrated into the module or chipset? To facilitate development and eliminate the development for communication protocols, Classic Bluetooth nodes are already integrated in modules and chipsets. With BLE, they can be integrated or not in accordance with the wishes of the client. Stacks are available for download from the manufacturer and are easy to implement.
  3. Is the application based on a module or a chipset? There are pros and cons to either the chipset or module development route. For more guidance choosing between these options, see our previous post Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Designs - Chip or Module: Which is Best?

Bluetooth Smart Ready is the Bluetooth in your phone, computer, tablet, or even television. Bluetooth Smart can be implemented in a heart rate sensor, an electric toothbrush, and other low power consumption and low cost applications. Classic Bluetooth is used for applications with high rates of data transmission and that are not concerned about energy consumption.

Curious to learn more about our Bluetooth suppliers? Below is a table of our suppliers and their solutions.

Nordic Semiconductor

RF Digital




Module with Nordic chipset


Board with RF Digital module

Smart Bluetooth Low Energy

Smart Bluetooth Low Energy

Classic Bluetooth, Smart Bluetooth Low Energy, and Smart Ready Bluetooth Low Energy

Smart Bluetooth Low Energy

Cortex M0

Cortex M0


Cortex M0

LE cell can be implemented on-chip and is available by Nordic

LE cell can be implemented on-module and is available by RF Digital

LE cell can be implemented in the module and Classic modules already come with battery

LE cell can be implemented on-module and is available by Arduino


If you are interested in more technical information, please call Symmetry at (310) 536-6190, or contact us online.



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