Smartwatches and fitness trackers in the test: These are the winners at Stiftung Warentest

Updated on 25/4/2022 at 16:31

  • Stiftung Warentest has put smartwatches and fitness trackers under the microscope.
  • The units were rated as “good” to “bad”.
  • These watches worked best.

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Smartwatches have become an indispensable part of everyday life for many people: they enable contactless payment, navigation to a specific address and they measure sports and vital data. In a test of the Stiftung Warentest dozens of current smartwatches and fitness trackers have now been compared. The consumer organization’s judgments ranged from “good” to “inadequate”.

Among other things, the battery life, the integrated location services, such as GPS, and the interaction with the smartphone were tested. The test results represent all smartwatches and fitness trackers in different price segments, which the foundation has reviewed since the autumn of 2019.

What is the difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker?

As the name suggests, classic fitness trackers are usually limited in their function to measure heart rate and mileage and show calorie consumption. As a result, they score points with longer battery life and a lower price.

Smartwatches, on the other hand, usually have additional “smart” features such as messenger features, contactless payment, navigation, answering calls or playing music. Some smartwatches even have an eSIM that allows you to be reached during training without having to take your smartphone with you.

What were the criteria for testing?

The most important criterion on the basis of which Stiftung Warentest made its assessment was the accuracy of the fitness data measurement. This was checked in the categories of walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.

Other study objects were the communication function, data protection and possible contaminants in the watch bracelet. In a description of its test methods, the Stiftung Warentest points out that neither press samples nor prototypes were used.

Does Apple Watch and Co. work? with all cell phones?

To be able to access the full range of features in the smartwatch or fitness tracker, it is usually necessary to pair the device with the smartphone. Problems often arise here: Apple Watches can only be used with an iPhone, while various Samsung watches only work with an Android mobile phone. With models from other manufacturers, access to functions is denied if the watch comes from a provider other than the mobile phone. This limits consumers’ choices.

Which smartwatches and fitness trackers performed best?

Regarding the numerous test criteria to be considered, a test winner has been found: “Apple Watch Series 7” passed the race with the final grade “good (2.0)”. It convinced with a wide range of features, good handling and high measurement accuracy. Unlike the previous model, the Series 7 has a larger display, faster charging and a dustproof housing. Battery life is still limited to about a day, and the watch can only be used with an iPhone.

The smartwatch “Garmin Fenix ​​6 Pro” took second place with the quality rating “good (2.1)”. Among other things, it received points for its user-friendly handling and “very good” music playback. Unlike Apple, the OLED screen is round and the battery life of up to 14 days is significantly longer.

Which workout was compelling in the comparison between price and performance?

In the price-performance comparison, the “Huawei Watch GT 3” was convincing with an overall rating of “good (2.2)”. In terms of measuring accuracy and battery life, it was even ahead of test winner Apple and also impresses with its lower price.
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