Fitness trackers should not be viewed as reliable measuring instruments, but rather as a motivation to exercise regularly and adequately. After all, many current fitness bracelets can use the GPS of the connected smartphone. This helps to improve the accuracy of some of its data.
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The best fitness trackers 2021: an overview
|bestseller||Test winner fitness bracelet||Accurate fitness tracking|
|product||Yamay fitness bracelet||Honor Band 5||Apple Watch Series 6|
|Pros||attractively priced||comparatively solid fitness tracking||extensive fitness functions|
|Cons||qualitative defects||imprecise heart rate measurement||only for iPhone owners|
Inexpensive bestseller on Amazon
- attractively priced
- with heart rate monitor
- qualitative defects
Among the step counters, the Yamay fitness bracelet is right at the forefront at Amazon – probably mainly because of the low price. But apart from a few bugs, the users are satisfied. They give an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
The tracker offers 14 training modes and even provides pulse values despite the low price. In any case, the functions are impressive: sleep monitoring, alarm clock, vibration notifications for incoming calls or messages on the smartphone. You can also choose between different dials. It is also splash-proof, but not suitable for swimming.
Test winner fitness tracker
- comparatively solid fitness tracking
- imprecise heart rate measurement
We fished out the Honor Band 5 because it does a bit better than its competition in the “Fitness” discipline.
The mediocre overall rating comes not least from the fact that the Stiftung Warentest devalued the bracelet because of only sufficient data protection.
If other functions are more important for you, the Fitbit Charge 3 may better suit you.
The Honor Band 5 does not provide a convincing pulse measurement when walking or jogging. It looks better when cycling. Overall, however, it collects more precise values than other fitness trackers. It also offers all the important wristband functions including swim tracking and sleep monitoring. With the very reasonable price, it is also a value for money tip.
The exact fitness tracker
- high quality
- Always-on display (brighter than Watch 5)
- extensive fitness functions
- exact pulse measurement
- Blood oxygen sensor
- Siri and Apple Pay support
- high comfort
- Compass app
- The altimeter can be activated permanently
- only for iPhone owners
- short battery life
Yes, there are also fitness trackers that, according to Stiftung Warentest, provide precise values. Strictly speaking, they are smartwatches. The test winner is the Apple Watch Series 6, made of aluminum and a size of 44mm (although the other case types do not differ technically).
The Apple Watch is an excellent addition to the iPhone (which is essential for using the watch). The Apple Watch is not only suitable for receiving messages, but also as a hands-free device for phone calls, calling up information, answering messages, and controlling smart home devices via apps or the voice assistant.
Athletes benefit from the integrated GPS, the precise pulse measurement, the waterproof housing, and the integrated music player. So the smartphone can stay at home while exercising.
Fitness tracker: alternatives in the smartwatch warehouse
If the Apple Watch Series 6 is too expensive for you, you can use the new Apple Watch SE, which is comparatively cheap – Apple’s “reason model”, if you will. However, the display is a bit smaller and the performance is not as high as in the top models.
If you don’t have an iPhone, it doesn’t mean you should give up on getting precise training values: the Garmin Venu could be what you need.
Best fitness tracker 2021: This is how we selected
In our own tests of fitness trackers, we found that real steps (depending on the model) were recorded with reasonable accuracy. At the end of the day, however, the different bracelets had very different results.
Reason: While most fitness trackers actually try to count steps other models recorded almost every movement as a step – the main thing was movement! As a user, this could either be an advantage or a disadvantage.
The Stiftung Warentest ( edition 06/2020 ) wanted in its investigation the most accurate possible values for route length, calorie consumption, and pulse measurement. In addition to walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming were also examined.
These test results made up 40 percent of the overall grade. Furthermore, the wristbands were examined for handling, communication, and other functions, stability, data protection, and pollutants.
Buying fitness trackers: what you should know
If you want to go looking for a fitness tracker yourself, here are a few tips for buying it.
smooth transition to other types of equipment
A fitness tracker is usually thought of like a slim bracelet that can record movement data. The difference in design and functionality is fluid compared to sports watches and smartwatches.
what data do you want to collect?
What do I want to measure with it? Is the pedometer enough for me, or do I also want to analyze calories, sleep phases and pulse? If the latter applies, a heart rate monitor is necessary.
Do I want to use it to record workouts such as running, cycling or swimming without a smartphone? Then you need the support of the corresponding sport and possibly GPS.
A “hybrid” between smartwatch and tracker (like our last example above) could be the right choice, unless you want to use a sports watch (e.g. Polar Vantage M ) or smartwatch (e.g. Apple Watch Series 6 ). However, the watches are heavier and less suitable for tracking at night, albeit with watchOS 7 it is now possible.
In addition, some sports watches have no integrated pedometer but only rely on GPS. So you do not measure movement in everyday life.
For women, men, colorful, narrow, short, long …
Some fitness trackers come in two versions – large and small. In contrast to smartwatches, the versions often only differ in the length of the bracelet. If the manufacturer makes a recommendation as to which version is adapted for which wrist size, you can measure it. If not, your best bet is to go to your local trusted dealer and give it a try.
Other manufacturers offer other bracelets for popular fitness trackers – especially for women, for men, in different colors, made of silicone, or of metal, … You should not expect any special quality from cheap China products. In some cases, the customer ratings on Amazon could be of help.
Smartphone app for the fitness tracker – indispensable
Every fitness tracker has a smartphone app. This is where the data is brought together, evaluated and, in some cases, recommendations are even given. The app is an important criterion for choosing a product from brands like Fitbit. You can’t expect so much from no-name developers – some of them offer no or poorly translated apps. If interfaces to other fitness portals are integrated, this can be tolerated.
The associated app not only helps with data analysis: updates are played on the fitness band via the smartphone. During workouts, thanks to the link between the tracker and mobile phone, the data from the smartphone can also be used (GPS!) To complete the statistics. All major manufacturers offer an app for iOS in the App Store and for Android in the Google Play Store.