Fitness trackers should keep an eye on your health: They measure your heart rate, count steps and analyze your sleep. However, only a few bracelets are accurate when measuring, as the test from Stiftung Warentest shows. These are the test winners.
Fitness trackers motivate you to train more and show your progress. The small bracelets are equipped with numerous sensors. They measure heart rate, calculate calorie consumption, count steps and analyze sleep. Expensive models also display cell phone messages. Stiftung Warentest has in their “test” edition 05/2022 tested two new trackers and compared them with the already tested models.
No model in the test is completely convincing. Weaknesses are especially evident in the accuracy of the fitness measurements for swimming, running and cycling. The wearables’ communication skills were also disappointing. Therefore, no unit in the test field received the rating “satisfactory”. We show the test results and clarify which models are still recommended.
Fitness tracker in the test: How the Stiftung Warentest tests it
In the “test” issue 05/2022, Stiftung Warentest examined two new fitness trackers. In total, the testers tested 20 bracelets from previous tests.
The main criteria for determining the test grade were fitness functions (40 percent), handling (30 percent), and communication (15 percent). When it comes to fitness features, testers pay particular attention to the accuracy of heart rate, calorie consumption and route length. Other test areas were stability (5 percent), data protection (10 percent) and the content of pollutants.
The results of the fitness tracker test: Honor and Samsung on par
Two models shared first place with the grade “satisfactory (2.9)”. This is the new test winner Honor Band 6 with the best handling in the test. Last year’s winner, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, is extremely stable and convincing with an accurate calorie count. It’s in second place Fitbit Charge 4 with the grade “satisfactory (3.0)”. Huawei achieved third place with Volume 4 Pro and the grade “satisfactory (3.3)”.
The new test winner 2022: fitness tracker from Honor
Test result: The newly tested Honor Band 6 achieves the same rating as last year’s winner from Samsung: “test” the quality rating “satisfactory (2.9)”. It scores with slightly better ratings in fitness, communication and handling than the Samsung fitness band.
Product details: The new test-winning fitness tracker comes from the Honor brand, which belongs to Huawei. The bracelet counts steps, measures distance traveled and calculates the calories burned. You can monitor, evaluate and improve your sleep. The fitness tracker suggests, for example, breathing exercises. You benefit from the continuous measurement of heart rate and even blood oxygen. Women’s cycle can also be traced. There is no built-in GPS module, so you must bring your mobile phone to register the route. An advantage of Honor devices is automatic training detection. A battery charge lasts for up to two weeks. In just ten minutes, you can charge the bracelet for another three days.
The test winner of 2021: fitness bracelet from Samsung Galaxy
Test result: The fitness tracker from Samsung achieved the “test” quality rating “satisfactory (2.9)” and thus became test winner in 2021. The model impresses with precise calorie consumption and is the test’s most stable fitness tracker.
Product details: The Galaxy Fit 2 bracelet counts your steps, measures heart rate, movements and analyzes sleep. If the mobile phone is connected, the wristband informs of incoming calls or messages. As with the Honor model, there is no built-in GPS receiver, but it can be used with a mobile phone. One of the highlights is the bright OLED display, which also shows messages from the connected mobile phone. Battery life is up to two weeks on a single charge. The tracker is available in different colors and is waterproof up to five ATMs. You can pair it with Android phones and iPhones via Bluetooth.
The design winner: fitness tracker from Fitbit
Test result: Just behind the test winners is the Fitbit Charge 4 bracelet with the “test” quality rating “satisfactory (3.0)”. It scores with an accurate measurement of the running distance and the smart design.
Product details: With Charge 4, Fitbit shows that a fitness tracker can also be a fashion accessory. It is one of the most popular models among the fitness bracelets. The tracker automatically recognizes 15 training modes, including running and swimming. The bracelet measures your heart rate and analyzes your sleep quality, if desired. In addition, a bicycle track for women is integrated. Unlike the models from Samsung and Honor, a GPS receiver is also installed. How to register the running route without a mobile phone. The battery lasts up to seven days on a single charge.
Accurate distance measurement: fitness bracelet from Huawei
Test result: Huawei Band 4 Pro achieves the “test” quality rating “satisfactory (3.3)”. In terms of fitness data, it scores only “sufficient”, but scores with an accurate distance measurement via GPS.
Product details: With Band 4 Pro, Huawei also has a very fashionable fitness tracker on the market. The strap and case come in several colors ranging from classic black to rose gold. The equipment is at a good level. The tracker measures heart rate, counts steps and registers the running route via GPS, even without a mobile phone. You can monitor your sleep stages and the motion sensor detects exercise. The battery should last up to seven days on a single charge. The tracker is waterproof up to five ATMs and therefore also suitable for swimming.
Conclusion on the fitness tracker test: fitness data is often inaccurate
The test from Stiftung Warentest shows that fitness trackers are not always very accurate when measuring fitness data. Two models with the same rating share first place: the new one Test winner of Honor convinces with the best handling, below Last year’s winner from Samsung has the most accurate calorie measurement compared to the competition.
If you want to use a fitness tracker to move more, entry-level models are often sufficient. But if you run a lot and want accurate data, it’s worth investing in a more expensive one smartwatch with better sensors.
Things to know about fitness trackers
How do you find a good fitness tracker?
The test gives a first indication of what to look out for when buying a fitness tracker. The biggest differences lie in the design: There are fitness trackers with and without display. If there is no display, the bands are narrower. An advantage is that the battery lasts much longer. All recorded data is transferred to a smartphone app and displayed there.
To see your values such as heart rate during exercise, use a fitness tracker with display.
Expensive fitness trackers offer a wider range of features. They recognize workouts automatically, and the running route is recorded via GPS, and the distance is calculated more accurately. These features are especially useful if you run often and want to see your performance.
What features should a fitness tracker have?
Whether with or without a display, the number of sensors and features is also important when choosing a fitness tracker. The following basic features are helpful.
- Pedometer: The trackers measure your steps and show them on the display or in the app.
- Running distance measurement: The running distance can be measured from the spoken steps. A built-in GPS sensor is useful for accurate analysis.
- Sleep monitoring: The wristbands determine the user’s sleep phases via the motion sensors. This allows for optimizing sleep.
- Calorie consumption: By entering additional data such as weight and height, the fitness bracelet can calculate the basal metabolism.
- Heart rate measurement: Keep an eye on your heart rate during your workout and work out in the ideal area for fat burning, for example.
- Bluetooth connection with the smartphone: The connection to the smartphone helps to evaluate the collected data. Most models also inform you when you receive a message on your mobile phone.
Which smartphones are compatible?
Fitness trackers use Bluetooth to connect to cell phones. All modern smartphones can therefore be connected to the trackers. The associated apps from the manufacturers are available for iOS and Android. Xiaomi also has the app in German for both systems.
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