Fitness Tracker for hobby athletes - 09/2019

Being a Pedometer in your everyday life, testing blood levels and playing music- Fitness tracker can do all kinds of things. But is the purchase really worth it or are the trackers just a trendy gimmick? We have testet all functions of popular brands like fitbit. Read more, if you want to find out about the results of our fitness tracker test.

last modified: 10.10.2019, 9:44
Winner
Best price winner
Our winner: Garmin vívosmart Fitbit Charge 3 Fitbit Versa Polar Fitness Tracker M430

Garmin
vívosmart

Fitbit
Charge 3

Fitbit
Versa

Polar
Fitness Tracker M430

  • Fast synchronization
  • Very light and small
  • Measures the stress level
  • pulse oximetry
  • Good synchronization
  • Energy level measurement
  • Good guide
  • Comparison with other users
  • Notifications on the clock
  • Many functions and data
  • Numerous data measurements
  • Interchangeable wristbands
  • Very good instructions
  • Good smartphone app
  • 13 dials
  • Notifications on the clock
  • Many functions and data
  • Numerous data measurements
  • Lots of additional apps available
  • Interchangeable wristbands
  • Very good instructions
  • Good smartphone app
  • Over 50 dials
  • Numerous possibilities directly on the watch
  • Practice videos directly on the watch
  • Notifications on the watch
  • Use without app/registration possible
  • Integrated GPS
  • Daily activity goal can be achieved through various activities
  • Very long battery life
  • Training plans for marathon runners
  • Waterproof
  • Bracelets are not interchangeable
  • No own GPS
  • No payment function
  • Tedious to operate
  • Frequent break of synchronization
  • Notification functions are hampered by poor synchronization
  • Contactless payment is not (yet) possible
  • No own GPS
  • Frequent break of synchronization
  • Many functions are hampered by poor synchronization
  • Installation of many apps does not work (yet)
  • Contactless payment is not (yet) possible
  • No own GPS
  • Hardly smart functions
  • Setup problems
  • Unreliable pedometer
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking
  • Display without touch function
  • Poor wearing comfort

Light and small tracker with many innovative features.

Great equipment for hobby athletes with difficulties with synchronisation.

Basic functions are flawless. There are some problems with the additional functions.

With GPS suitable for runners. But only few smart functions.

Fitness functions
Handling
Synchronization
Design
Related App
Accuracy of measurement
Battery life 7 days More than 7 days Approx. 4 days Up to 20 days (without GPS)
Weight 16 g 27 g 39 g 49 g
Width 1,5 cm 2,2 cm 4 cm 3,8 cm
Height 21 cm 24 cm 21 cm 28 cm
Depth 2 cm 1,2 cm 2 cm 1,1 cm
Waterproof
Compatibility iOS, Android, Windows (computer only) iOS, Windows, Android iOS, Windows, Android iOS, Android, Windows (only computer)
Pedometer
Display Touchdisplay, black and white, 3 cm diameter Touchdisplay, Greyscale; 4 cm diam. Touchdisplay, coloured, 3,5 cm diameter no touchscreen, black & white, 3,5 cm
Integrated GPS No No No
Calorie Counter
Sleep phases
Silent alarm/alarm clock
Communication SMS, mails, appointments, calls, news, weather Message services: Messenger/SMS/Whatsapp; E-Mails: Outlook/Gmail; various app notifications News: Messenger/SMS/Whatsapp; e-mails: Outlook/Gmail; numerous app notifications None
Call and SMS notifications No
Motion Recollections No
Continuous heart rate measurement
Music apps Controllable via the clock No music remote control Deezer, Personal music, Spotify (also without smartphone) No
Contactless payment No Only in the special edition No
Daily goals Steps, distance, calories, active minutes or the number of increased floors
Scope of delivery vívosmart 4, charger, instruction Fitbit Charge 3, 2 bracelets (S/L), charger cable, manual Fitbit Versa, 2 Bracelets (S/L), charger, instruction Polar M430, charging cable, manual
Quality impression Good Good Good Good
Packaging Good Very good Very good Good
Additional warranty 2 years 2 years 6 months warranty on the bracelet
Quality of instructions Good Very good Very good
Test seal: Garmin vívosmart, Rating 1.9
read review
Test seal: Fitbit Charge 3, Rating 2.1
read review
Test seal: Fitbit Versa, Rating 2.15
read review
Test seal: Polar Fitness Tracker M430, Rating 2.75
read review
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Garmin

vívosmart

Test seal: Garmin vívosmart, Rating good

The Vívosmart 4 from Garmin is equipped with many innovative functions. In addition to the usual measurements such as calories, pulse, steps, floors and sleep, it also measures stress, energy and oxygen levels in the blood. The Fitnesstracker is the lightest and most compact in the test, at the same time the operation of the screen is difficult. In addition, the tracker rarely recognizes the different forms of training.

read review

Garmin - vívosmart

Winner: read review
  • Tracking calories can make sense, but you shouldn't rely too much on the tracker's calorie information.
  • Don't remove your fitness tracker too often, because the information is only really reliable if you use it continuously.
  • The tracker can only remind you to move - if you wear it consistently.
  • Make sure the weight and height information is up to date to get the most accurate results.
  • Become social and increase your motivation by sharing your successes and taking on challenges.
  • Don't forget to increase your daily goals from time to time to increase your fitness level.
 

The Stiftung Warentest (German consumer organisation and foundation involved in investigating and comparing goods and services in an unbiased way) also testet Fitness Tracker in January 2016. The resulty were not very satisfying. Of twelve different products, only two were graded with "Good". Three Fitness Wristlets could reach a satisfactory result, five recieved the grade "sufficient" and two others failed.

The winner of the test is the Vivofit Wristlet by Garmin, and the second place is also held by a Garmin product. The last positions are held by the UP2 and UP3 by Jawbone. The overall degree was calculated considering these criterias: Fitness functions (35%), handling (25%), App- and computer use (20%), durability (15%) and contaminants (5%).

The Fitness Trackers were worn during sleeping, running, walking, vaccuum cleaning, stair climbing and cleaning on both wrists. Special attention was paid to wether they counted too many steps or interpreted other movement as steps mistakenly. Ten out of the twelve Trackers were counting the steps well. Wearing the Fitness Tracker during housework falsified the results a little bit, depending on which brand was used.

The individual stride length can be adjusted on four models. But only the Garmin wristbands are really convincing. The accuracy of the calorie consumption was also determined as well as the heart rate measurement, if available. No product could show a really exact calorie consumption. A total of eight devices were therefore rated "Sufficient". The Medisana Vifit connect bracelet scored worst in the functional test. Both steps and calorie consumption are only measured with sufficient accuracy.

For the handling of the straps, the instructions for use and the capacity as well as the charging time of the battery were evaluated. The manual of the Xiaomi Mi Band was in Chinese only. The Samsung Gear Fit had the shortest battery life. In terms of everyday use, the testers rated comfort, readability and intuitive operation. The Mio Fuse pressed too hard on the wrist in some places and the Jawbone straps often opened unintentionally. The results were satisfactory throughout, only the test winner could score with a good result.

The handling of the apps was judged by two experts. They examined the duration of the initial setup and the synchronization with the iOS and Android apps and the PC software. The versatility of the apps and the mobile website was also evaluated. Seven devices display the most important information on a display or an LED matrix. Nevertheless, the app is still needed on the smartphone for further evaluations. The apps from Xiaomi and Medisana were hardly convincing, they had weaknesses and did not provide much information. The PC software is satisfactory for all devices, if available at all. The apps from Garmin, Fitbit and Jawbone are the best. The mobile website of six wristbands could only be rated sufficient or inadequate. Overall, the Fitbit and Garmin bands perform best. They are quick and easy to set up and provide a good overview.

To assess their durability, the fitness watch straps have undergone numerous rigorous tests. The water resistance was tested by immersion, scratch resistance, temperature sensitivity at +45°C and -20°C and the fall from 80 cm height on stone floor. The tapes passed the tests on average with a very good result. Only in terms of scratch resistance did eight devices reach their limits.

Finally, the products were tested for harmful substances. In the case of Jawbone belts, increased quantities of DEHP plasticizer were discovered, which are very harmful to health. As a result, the devices could not be better classified as "deficient".

As the fitness boom has been growing unstoppably for years, fitness gimmicks are also becoming more modern. This can also be seen in the comparison with our test colleagues. The equipment from 2016 is no longer up to date, so that our test only includes successor models from the Stiftung Warentest test. So also the Fitbit Charge 3 bracelet. However, the problems with synchronization still seem to exist. We also chose a device from the Garmin Vivosmart series as the test winner. The Vivosmart 4 Fitness Bracelet convinces with an even wider range of functions than the predecessor of its time did.

Fitness Tracker can be used in many different situations: It keeps you company during workouts, tracks all your physical activities and evaluates the results. A good Fitness Tracker can be used for many years. It helps you stay active and achieve your fitness goals. Here, you can read more about the advantages of Fitness Trackers for your everyday life.

The benefits of being active

Fitness and sports are a huge part of many peoples lives. Activity is simply good for your health: It supports a positive attitude towards your body, prevents diseases and helps the body to recover faster. Physical activity trains your muscles and supports your immune system. With activity, you stay fit and healthy.

But fitness can also be contra productive, if you overburden yourself. A Fitness Tracker helps you to set yourself realistic fitness goals. Your activity will be documented in a diary and analysed every day. This helps you to keep an eye on your goals and health.

Fitness Tracker are devices, which are designed like wristlets. They are available in different sizes and colors, depending on personal taste. You can find Fitness Trackers under other names like "Fitness bracelets" or "Smartwatches". Generally, these products can be compared with each other.

You can wear you Fitness Tracker every day or just during the workout, it is up to you. The prices depend on the brand and functions. The cheapest modell is from the brand Timex and costs only less than 10 Euros. The most expensive one is from Garmin and can be up to 1.800 Euros.

What kinds of Fitness Trackers are there?

Fitness Tracker are comparable to fitness bracelets. The functions of a fitness bracelet are hidden in the bracelet itself. In a Fitness Tracker, the technology can be found in the watch housing. Fitness bracelets are usually smaller than Fitness Trackers, but they also offer a lot of different functions.

Designwise, there are many different options available. There are fitness bracelets with and without display. Some also have a heart rate measuring device included in the bracelet itself. The small Fitness Tracker from the brand Fitbit Zip can even be used without a wristband and can be attached to clothing.

Depending on the size of the display, Fitness Tracker can show various amounts of information. In general, the displays are designed to be plain and elegant and only show basic information.

If you compare them to Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers are really beneficial, because of their small size and minimal wastage of battery power.

Fitness Tracker offer many different functions: You can chose your Fitness Tracker according to your needs. The basic function is the tracking of information on your activity. If you want to, the tracker can also record your calorie intake. This helps you if you want to lose weight or controll your daily calorie intake. Your vital capacity, like pulse and heart rate can be measured in resting state and active state.

In earlier days, everything had to be documented by hand. Nowadays, you can keep track on your fitness progress way more easy. The Fitness Trackers have integrated sensors and microprocessors. They are designed to process and save your data on a very small amount of space.

The Fitness Tracker offer different features, depending on the brand. There are many different functions available. Besides the standard functions, like tracking of pulse, activity and time, many Fitness Tracker offer complex programs and GPS. The latest models can even transfer mails and SMS or play music. Some Trackers measure your sleeping activity or have an alarm clock function.

The brands often offer a software going along with the Fitness Trackers. This helps you tracing your progress on the computer or smartphone. If you use the Fitness Tracker for running, you can document the running distance. With the help of the software, your results are represented graphically. With one quick look, you can see your running distance and calorie intake.

Design

There are various options when it comes to designs of Fitness Trackers. You can chose between many colors and combinations. Pink, white, blue.. the possibilities are enormous. If you want to look elegant, chose a Tracker by Garmin. The products are black or golden and are hard to distinguish from normal watches.

Display

The displays are delivered in different sizes and shapes. Before you decide which Fitness Tracker to buy, consider whitch functions you will need. Depending on your needs, you can buy a Fitness Tracker with or without a display.

You should chose your display depending on functionality: A larger display helps you to know the time during to workout. The disadvantage is, that the whole Tracker needs to be larger and therewith needs more power.

You prefer a smaller and lighter Tracker? Then, a small Fitness Tracker with lower resolution should be fine. The most important aspect is the Fitness Tracker to suit your needs.

Wearing comfort

The Fitness Tracker should not be inconvienient during sports, so make sure, that it fits well and has a good wearing comfort. This can be influenced by the size of the Fitness Tracker and the material the wristlet is made of. There are many options for different materials.

Be aware, that you start sweating during physical activity: Some materials support sweating, some are more breathable. Try different wristlets and chose what feels best to you. The Fitness Tracker should be convenient and not getting out of place during workout.

Ask yourself, what kind of Fitness Tracker you want. Should it be practical and simplistic? Modern looking? Small or large? Or fitting to as many outfits as possible?

Also, the usability during workout plays a significant role in your descision.

Function volume

The functions you need in your fitness tracker depend on your workout. You want to run long distances? Then you should keep an eye on the battery run-time of the Fitness Tracker. The Tracker should compare the distances you ran with each other? In this case, there should be an app to track the data. With this, it is easy to compare each workout with the last one.

If you want to wear the Fitness Tracker while swimming or under the shower, pay attention to good waterproofing. The functions of the Fitness Tracker should be chosen individualy.

Battery run-time

The battery run-time always depends on how much you use your Fitness Tracker. A Fitness Tracker with a large battery can last 5 to 8 days. Do you work out for longer periods of time? If yes, the battery should be suitable for longer use.

If you want to use the Fitness Tracker for swimming, make sure the water proofing is adequate. At 5 bar/ 50 meter a Fitness Tracker can be considered waterproof. Is the Tracker suitable for 10 bar/ 100 m, it can be used for swimming without hesitation.

Corresponding Apps

Do you want to track your workout? Then you need an App that goes with the Fitness Tracker. It hepls you to create charts to compare your workouts.

Data privacy

While implementing the Fitness Tracker, you are asked to tell your age and gender. To measure your BMI (Body-Mass-Index), the Tracker also needs your body height and weight. Based on statistics, the Fitness Tracker calculates your energy consumption.

Some data can also be collected and used by the brand of the Fitness Tracker. If you don't consent to this, make enquiries on how to disagree in the usage of your personal data.

The modern Fitness Tracker are equipped with many different functions. Most of the Trackers are waterproof. Technology developed over the last years: The small devices are packed with usability. The measurement of distances is getting more and more precise. The batteries have a long durability. The Fitness Tracker is a large amount of technology on a small space.

A disadvantage can be, that the results of the fitness evaluation can be falsified. The energy conversion for example can be slightly anomalous. Every person has a different conversion of energy and the Fitness Tracker can only come close to the truth. Some Fitness Tacker have problems in finding their position. Additionally, the collected data can be used by the brand of the Fitness Tracker for other purposes.

With the brand Fitbit, responsibility is key: It helps you reaching your goals in fitness and health. With the Fitbit Trackers, you can keep an eye on your physical activity, heart rate and sleep patterns.

Here, you can find out which Fitness Tracker suits you best. These models by Fitbit are now available:

The Fitbit Versa is a Fitness-Smartwatch. It can track your health, fitness and heart rate. The battery lasts for 4 days and longer. On this device, you can save up to 300 songs and play them. The Fitbit Versa costs 199,95 Euro.

The Fitbit Ionic has integrated GPS for speed and distance. It shows your personal training data on the display and saves your music. The tracker contains a PurePulse-Heart-Rate-Analyser. The battery lasts up to 5 days. The Fitbit Ionic costs 299,95 Euro.

The new Fitness Tracker Fitbit Charge 3 is the most innovative: The device can be used for contactless paying and Smartphone notifications. The Fitbit Charge 3 continously tracks your heart rate and is waterproof up to 50 meters. The battery lasts approximately 7 days. The price is 149,95 Euro.

The Fitbit Alta HR is a heart rate wristlet. Next to the basic functions, it offers an automatic recognition of calisthenics and remembers your movement. The wristlet shows your calls, SMS and calendar notifications. The battery lasts for up to 7 days. The price starts at 149,95 Euro.

The Fitbit Ace was designed for kids. It records activity during day- and nighttime. If the kids reach their daily goal, the Fitbit Ace celebrates with them. They can collect virtual badges. The Tracker also remembers movement and motivates the kids to more activity. The battery lasts up to 5 days. The Fitbit Ace costs 99,95 Euro.

The Fitbit Alta is a Fitness Wristlet for adults. It records your activity during the day, remembers your movements and sleep patterns. It shows calls, SMS and calendar notifications. You can wear it up to 5 days and nights, before the battery needs to be charged. The price is 119,95 Euro.

The modell Fitbit Flex 2 is the slimmest Fitness Tracker of all. The Tracker is detachable and even fits on other bracelets or wirstbands. It is suitable for swimming and has a movement recognition function. The Fitbit Flex 2 can show calls and SMS notifications. Changable accessory can be used to spice the Fitbit Flex 2 up. The price is 79,95 Euro.

Are you looking for a low-key Fitness Tracker modell? If that is the case, the wireless activity tracker Fitbit Zip could be perfect for you. It tracks your activity through the day. On the large touchscreen, you can have a look at your daily statistics. You can sync the device wireless with your smartphone or computer. The small Tracker can be attached to your belt or handbag. The battery is changable and lasts up to 6 months. The Fitbit Zip costs 59,95 Euro.

Which Fitness Tracker suits your needs best is nobodies descision but your own. Functionality, size and price can be a base for your descision.

You can use these small but really affective devices to raise your personal fitness. Due to the playful elements- also known als Gamification- physical activity becomes a game with the Fitness Tracker. As in other games, the user gets motivated to continue the workouts through positive achievements.

Next to the documentation of your activity, you can do a lot more with your Fitness Tracker: You can communicate with others. Or share your results on social media. Or connect with other Fitness Tracker users. There are many possibilities.

Fitness Trackers are amazing technological devices. You have to decide, which functions are the most important to you. And where you want to use the Fitness Tracker. Also keep you data privacy in mind. With some brands, you can deactivate the use of your personal data.

How do we test at askgeorge.com?

Live and authentic: We get the devices into our Hamburg test laboratory. Here we take a close look at everything.

Each test is preceded by an extensive search:

  • Which suppliers are on the market?
  • What current products are there?
  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

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