Cheap fitness trackers from Samsung, Fitbit & Co. in the test

Live healthier with fitness trackers

Although gyms and clubs have closed due to Corona, it should not be an excuse to spend the winter on the couch. According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute, physical inactivity is a risk factor for diseases such as obesity, diabetes 2 or heart disease, all of which in turn can promote a serious course of Covid 19 disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) also considers lack of exercise to be the cause of health problems. fitness tracker should help encourage more exercise.

Five cheap entry-level models competed in the test. From Huawei’s fitness bracelet from 24 euros to Fitbit Inspire 2 to 79 euros, there is a good selection for the small purse. The smartphone giant Samsung is also at the start with its Galaxy Fit2. IMTEST has carefully researched how well the fitness trackers work and which model is the best.

Fitness tracker tested with these features

It is currently popular to count your steps. Either with apps on the smartphone or with a fitness bracelet. The fitness trackers from the test record the steps their wearers have taken. For this, they have so-called gyro sensors that detect the movements and use them to calculate the steps taken. They then display the results directly on their screens.

It is important not only to start running, but to set goals. Goals can be set for each fitness tracker. For example, you can always keep track of how many of the 10,000 steps a day that the WHO recommends you have already completed. With some models, it is also possible to set a desired weight or distance as a personal measure.

Evaluate: fitness tracker for control

The fitness tracker’s function for recording activities is particularly interesting for joggers: Anyone who wants to “track” their bike rides or races, for example, can see their progress. For example, whether longer and longer distances can be covered at higher speeds. Correct evaluations are needed for even better control: There is a suitable app or software for each fitness bracelet. Fitness goals can be set, the data obtained can be evaluated, progress can be checked – prizes are also awarded, eg in the form of digital medals if daily goals and other specifications are achieved.

Additional features in fitness trackers

Counting steps, setting goals and recording and evaluating activities: These are the basic functions of fitness bracelets. There are also other features such as calorie counting. Based on physical data such as height and weight, the fitness trackers calculate the daily basic calorie consumption of the active person. If you also move, you “burn” additional “active calories”. They can also be used as a currency for personal fitness – just like the number of steps.

The fitness trackers also measure the heart rate. In some models, the built-in heart rate monitor not only monitors the heart rate during exercise, but also monitors the heart rate during the day, if desired. This makes it possible to draw conclusions about stress, rest and maximum heart rate and other factors. And if you do not just want to measure activities, you can also monitor your sleep: Worn on the wrist, the fitness bracelets monitor the nightly movements of their owners and thus their sleep. The result is an overview of the duration of sleep including light and deep sleep phases.

No GPS for fitness trackers in the test

More expensive models use the satellite signal to determine the route quite accurately and in combination with time calculate interesting values ​​such as maximum and average speed. Only all cheap fitness trackers from this test field lack such a GPS receiver. Therefore, the fitness bracelets try to estimate the distance traveled by the number of steps taken. In the test, however, this is more of a bad thing than good for all candidates.

In a direct comparison with the reference sports watch Garmin fēnix 6 with GPS receiver, for example, the Mi Smart Band 5 from Xiaomi calculated only 6.46 kilometers instead of 8 kilometers. The other fitness trackers determined similar adventurous values. Except for the Fitbit Inspire 2, which does not specify a distance at all. With such deviations, information on average speed and sector times is simply not useful. To get more accurate values, the smartphone must act as a GPS transmitter.

Fitness trackers vs sports watches

In addition to the lack of GPS, there are other differences to more expensive sports watches. Installation of additional apps is not possible and the range of features is limited to the essentials. In addition, the displays on the fitness trackers are smaller. Features like NFC (for mobile payment) are also missing, as are sensors for measuring oxygen saturation in the blood.

Nevertheless: models like Samsung Galaxy Fit2 are not wrong to get started. Samsung’s fitness bracelet offers a particularly sharp and large display. It also supports many different sports. The Xiaomi fitness tracker also impresses as an award-winning winner with its above-average sporting features and long battery life.

If you want to take a look at better equipped sports watches, you will find two strong models from Garmin in this test duel.

CONCLUSION

Buying a fitness tracker is a good idea for anyone who wants to get more physically active or lose a few pounds. In this way, all important parameters are always in sight. For serious training evaluation, however, GPS should be on board, which is missing in the cheap fitness bracelets. The IMTEST test winner, Samsung Galaxy Fit2, impresses above all with its relatively large and colorful screen. If you want it even cheaper, you can also with good conscience reach out for the award-winning Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5.

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