Which fitness tracker should I buy
The best fitness trackers tested
Fitness trackers have long been more than just a better pedometer. For millions of people they are an important tool in their own health care and the current models offer functions for many areas of life. Everyday exercise, sport, sleep and relaxation - some of the fitness trackers presented in this overview even record health values. There is also something for everyone in terms of design - whether as a bracelet, as a digital watch or inconspicuously in the look of a classic analog watch. There is an enormous range from cheap to high quality, with attractive models in every price range. In this article you will find out what is important in a fitness tracker and which model suits you.
The functions of fitness trackers
Modern fitness trackers measure the steps in everyday life, the calories burned, the heart rate and the distance during exercise. They also have motion sensors and optical sensors for the heart rate. Some devices have a barometer to count the number of floors climbed and others have GPS to record the route while hiking, running, or cycling. Devices without integrated GPS use the location of the smartphone when doing sports. This not only enables the route to be recorded - thanks to GPS, measured values such as speed and distance can also be calculated more precisely.
Sports activities such as walking or running are sometimes automatically recognized and recorded in a personal fitness diary. Most sports are not so easy to identify based on the movement pattern and tracking has to be activated manually. To do this, you select the appropriate sport mode, whereupon the values shown on the display adapt. In addition, with good models, depending on the sport, different categories are used to calculate the calorie consumption. So if you want to know exactly, choose a device with many sport profiles and see whether your own hobby is taken into account. Not all devices are suitable for recording swimming, even if all tested devices are sufficiently waterproof to withstand showering or bathing.
Weight control with the fitness tracker
If you want to lose weight, you shouldn't just move around a lot, diet in particular plays an important role. The apps from Fitbit and Samsung allow the drinks and food consumed to be recorded. Anyone who diligently feeds the apps with data will find out how many calories they have consumed during the day. The tracker automatically measures the calories consumed on the basis of your own basal metabolic rate and physical activity. The comparison of the two values can help to better understand your own calorie balance. However, caution is advised: the manufacturer's algorithms can only assume average values, whereas the actual calorie requirement depends on many individual factors. In addition, many manufacturers are very generous with the number of calories consumed. Even if this looks motivating, it shouldn't be carried away into excessive rewards.
Sleep measurement with the fitness tracker
In addition to exercise and nutrition, sleep plays an important role in our wellbeing. Therefore, all current models can record sleep at night and determine the duration and depth. Depending on the manufacturer, this is done superficially or with a lot of details about the phases of sleep, recovery and one's own sleeping habits. For the measurement, the devices use the motion sensors and the optical pulse sensors. The sleep phases cannot really be determined exactly in this way, which is why the function is often criticized. Good models therefore rely on a whole range of functions to improve sleep. It is less useful to analyze individual nights than to promote long-term, healthy sleeping habits. Gut trackers help to understand whether the body is recovered and raise awareness of the effect of alcohol and late eating on sleep quality. Due to the high level of complexity, I have dedicated a separate article to the topic. In this you will find out everything about sleep scores, the possibilities for sleep measurement and how the fitness trackers of the most popular brands in the field of sleep tracking perform. You can find the article here.
Measuring the consequences of physical and mental stress
Closely related to sleep are stress and relaxation. Many of the current models also have suitable functions for this purpose. One of them is the measurement of the load on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling the heartbeat. Stress means that the intervals between the individual heartbeats are increasingly static and fluctuate less. The optical sensors of the fitness trackers record the individual heartbeats - from the time intervals they calculate the so-called heart rate variability (alternatively, commonly known as "heart rate variability"). The measurement is usually only carried out randomly a few times during the day and is only possible at rest due to the high accuracy requirements. Therefore, typically no acute stress attacks are recorded, but trends are recorded from day to day. Some manufacturers do not specify the medical parameter heart rate variability, but instead calculate their own stress scores, which are intended to interpret the abstract measured values in a way that is understandable for the user.
Fitness tracker and relaxation
Fortunately, you can reduce stress with regular practice. Many manufacturers support this with guided breathing exercises, in which a graphic on the display of the fitness tracker indicates the breathing rhythm. Fitbit and Samsung go even further. You can find relaxation programs such as guided meditations in the apps for your fitness trackers. For the full scope, however, a paid subscription is required at Fitbit. Alternatively, there are many relaxation apps that can also be used independently of the fitness tracker. The advantage of integrated solutions is that you can keep an overview of your various health goals in one app and the sensors of the fitness trackers are partially used to provide even more effective guidance.
This is how a fitness tracker motivates
The number of steps and floors run or the length of time they sleep at night alone motivates many people to behave healthily. However, depending on the user, the effect can quickly wear off and some motivational types benefit from additional functions of the fitness tracker. The basis is setting a daily activity goal against which you can measure yourself. Most manufacturers rely on steps here. Fitbit, on the other hand, lets the user choose whether they would rather burn a certain amount of calories through exercise, which is also possible with sports without many steps. Those who prefer to integrate their movement into everyday life will benefit from the floor tracker, a function that can be found primarily on higher-priced models. Some trackers also allow you to set sporting goals, such as getting active three times a week. Many users are also motivated by the comparison with their friends. Either as a competition for a limited period of time or with a leaderboard. Only the users of one manufacturer can make a comparison. If you want to rely on this form of motivation, you have to pay attention to the tracker choice among your friends.
Fitness trackers and health values
More and more fitness trackers measure not only the lifestyle, but also the health values of their users. Many devices warn if the heart rate is increased for a long time without physical exertion. A tracker in the test even has an integrated EKG and monitors the heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation. Another model measures blood pressure, which is more of an experimental function that patients shouldn't rely on. The measurement of blood oxygen saturation is also still controversial, albeit a bit more sophisticated. The function is used differently depending on the manufacturer. The automatic measurement of the fluctuation during the night can provide indications of breathing problems. With manual control measurements during the day, however, the health of the respiratory tract can be checked. Due to the corona pandemic, blood oxygen saturation has become much more popular this year. However, the fitness trackers currently available are hardly practical for the early detection of an infection, which is why a healthy person should not expect too much from their function. Other than that, the current generation of fitness trackers has a lot going for them. You can find out which fitness tracker is right for you in this fitness tracker comparison.
Fitbit Charge 4
Charge 4 is Fitbit’s premium fitness tracker. As one of the few devices in the test, it comes with integrated GPS, so that routes can be recorded even without a smartphone. The tracker itself consists of a technical unit with a large display and exchangeable wristbands. Fitbit itself offers high-quality wristbands as accessories. There is also a wide range of third-party bracelets available. In addition to the display, the technology unit also contains the battery, a processor and various sensors - the Charge 4 measures movements, has Fitbit’s optical blood flow measurement "PurePulse" and an altimeter to determine the number of floors climbed. The heart rate is measured continuously at Fitbit. This is why the built-in battery is empty even after 5 days, and significantly faster when using GPS. Still, Fitbit has found a good compromise here. Devices with a longer battery life usually only achieve this by sacrificing pulse monitoring or other compromises such as a dark display. The Charge 4's display, on the other hand, is easy to read. All information is shown in large format and the operation of the touch display works extremely well. Some competitors do come up with color displays and higher resolution for more sharpness. The Charge 4, on the other hand, relies on strong contrasts that ensure good usability in practice.
One of the main strengths of all Fitbit trackers is the good Fitbit app. This not only transmits data, but also tries to support the user through various functions in improving his lifestyle. You can set yourself various goals, such as exercising regularly or going to bed at a certain time. Fitbit helps track these goals and offers suggestions to assist you. Fitbit also offers instructions for fitness training and mindfulness exercises, some of which are free of charge, but require a Fitbit Premium subscription in full. Motivation also arises through gamification, for which you can compare yourself with friends and hold competitions. Fitbit is the only provider with integrated nutrition tracking, whereby meals can be entered manually. The associated database is extensive and well adapted to German eating habits - the app can find just about everything from roast pork to quinoa salad to vegan burgers. Together with Fitbit's sleep tracking, this creates a complete package that is impressive. With this concept, Fitbit is in a class of its own, which is why the price is also reasonable.
+ integrated GPS
+ good usability
+ App with many functions
- No integration in Apple Health etc.
Garmin vivosmart 4
The Vivosmart 4 is Garmin's most powerful fitness tracker in wristband format and is aimed at athletes and everyone who feels at home in the Garmin ecosystem. The Swiss-American manufacturer offers a wide range of devices from bicycle computers to golf watches. The data from all devices migrate to the Garmin Connect app, in which you can get an overview of your various activities. The Vivosmart itself is suitable as a companion in everyday life, monitoring steps and sporting activities as well as sleep. The device is relatively compact and does not take up much space on the wrist. Unfortunately, the monochrome display is also rather small and the operation takes a little getting used to. Then the Vivosmart 4 scores with extensive equipment. In addition to movement and the calories consumed, the bracelet also measures the stress on the nervous system based on the heart rate variability. "Stress" is what Garmin calls the metric that can be influenced by both physical and mental stress. In addition, Garmin calculates a value called "Body Battery", which should display the remaining energy reserves at the respective point in time. Various parameters such as stress and sleep quality are incorporated here, on which the current energy level depends. Ideally, you start the day with a well-filled battery after a restful night. Even if this should not always succeed, Garmin's body battery would like to support you in dividing the remaining energy sensibly.
The Vivosmart 4 is the only device in the test field to offer a strength training program in which exercise sets are automatically recorded. This partially works in practice - but the more expensive Garmin devices should do better here. Here Garmin has specialized primarily in watch design devices. These have a much larger display and can accordingly present information better. If you want to display a lot of notifications on your wrist, you should benefit from this - notifications are possible on the Vivosmart, but this is not really practical and can be adapted to your own needs. The small fitness tracker from Garmin has other advantages. This would initially be an attractive price for entry into Garmin's high-quality ecosystem. In addition, the Vivosmart 4 measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) as one of the few fitness trackers in comparison. Measurements are taken both during manual activation and during the night. Like most competitors, Garmin has not had the function medically certified. It is therefore a lifestyle function and abnormal values should be checked with another measuring device if necessary. Overall, with the Vivosmart 4, Garmin delivers a complete package for Garmin users who want an unobtrusive companion in everyday life. In addition, the device is perfect for everyone who wants to get a taste of the world of Garmin's sports and health solutions.
+ many functions for athletes
+ SpO2 measurement
+ affordable entry into Garmin's ecosystem
- Small display
The Ignite is a fitness tracker with integrated GPS and many functions for athletes. The watch-shaped device has a large display, but dispenses with common smartwatch functions and the ability to install apps. For this purpose, Polar has integrated many functions that are useful for sports but also for recreation. The Ignite can be used to record heart rate and energy consumption in a variety of sports. When hiking, running or cycling, the route is also recorded and, thanks to the integrated GPS receiver, independently of the smartphone. In addition to all the popular sports, you can also find exotic disciplines such as cricket, trotting and water skiing. Up to 20 sport profiles can be saved on the watch itself, so that even multi-athletes shouldn't have any problems. The training completed with the Ignite is clearly presented in a training diary. Polar also calculates a cardio load, which shows how the current workload affects his fitness level. In addition, Polar also offers sleep tracking including analysis of sleep phases and many other useful parameters on sleep behavior. The Nightly Recharge function provides an overview of sleep and the recovery of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) during the night. Those who overdo it during training or who burden their body with late meals or alcohol should be able to read the consequences on the other day on the ANS status. Polar even uses this value to make suggestions for a suitable training app. Depending on the level of recovery, workouts from the areas of strength, cardio or support are suggested. You can be guided through a training unit, e.g. in the area of mobility, directly on the display. Here, too, Polar is aimed more at experienced athletes than at beginners. Explanations of the exercises are available in the form of texts and graphics if required. For beginners, Fitbit's video-based system should be much easier and more attractive.
In addition, the Ignite is a little stingy with functions that could be useful beyond the athlete's life. Only notifications from the smartphone can be displayed on the Ignite, whereby it can be regulated individually for each app whether the message receives priority. It is not up to date that a program has to be loaded onto the computer for commissioning. Only after this initial setup does the Ignite communicate with the smartphone. Unlike other manufacturers, the synchronization does not take place in the background but has to be initiated manually by pressing a button on the clock. The Ignite's touch display could also have a higher resolution and cannot keep up with the screens of current top smartwatches. However, users of Polar sports watches should take this criticism lightly.They don't care about the greatest possible convenience and the highest quality product experience. Instead, they appreciate their Polar for the detailed analysis and support with training planning. In particular, those who want to really accelerate as a runner are well served with Polar devices.
+ many functions for athletes
+ Exercise suggestions and instructions
The ScanWatch is a tracker with numerous health functions. In addition to the usual fitness tracking features, the watch includes an EKG, checks the heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation and measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). Withings is also currently testing the automatic detection of breathing problems during sleep. This makes the ScanWatch the device with the most health functions in comparison and can even outperform the current Apple Watch when it comes to monitoring the breathing function. The watch is of high quality and has a classic look. In the analogue clock face there is a digital display and a small additional pointer, which shows the progress of the activity. The ScanWatch looks almost like a classic wristwatch. Since Withings has made sure that it is compatible with standard watch straps, the look of the ScanWatch can be flexibly adjusted. Withings itself supplies quick-release bracelets and offers other bracelets as accessories. This means that the strap can be easily replaced without a watchmaker or the appropriate tools.
As a fitness tracker, Withings allows you to measure your heart rate and calorie consumption while exercising. Due to the long battery life, Withings relies on weaker LEDs for heart rate measurement. Experience has shown that these provide acceptable values for sports with a constant heart rate such as in endurance sports. In very dynamic sports such as volleyball or weight training, the accuracy is limited. Really good results can only be achieved here with a chest strap or an Apple Watch with a stronger pulse sensor, but whose battery is depleted even after a day. The route can be recorded while running or cycling. Like other devices without integrated GPS, the ScanWatch uses the smartphone's receiver for this purpose. This makes perfect sense in the case of the ScanWatch in particular. Receiving and evaluating GPS signals is comparatively energy-intensive. Therefore, the long battery life of the ScanWatch of up to 30 days is only possible by using the smartphone as a GPS receiver.
When it comes to sleep tracking, Withings focuses on the basics. The duration of sleep, waking phases, light sleep and deep sleep are measured, under which Withings summarizes the clinical sleep stages deep sleep and REM sleep. Even if the latest competitors evaluate deep and REM sleep separately, Withings' decision is understandable. As I have been able to understand again and again in my experiments with sleep trackers, an accurate differentiation of the sleep phases with fitness trackers is technically not possible, which is why the Apple Watch completely dispenses with a corresponding function. A special feature of Withings is the Smart Wake sleep phase alarm clock. If you set a corresponding time window, the ScanWatch will wake you up at the ideal time, i.e. in light sleep or in the waking phase. It is possible that these two phases can be recognized well on the basis of the increased movement activity. Particularly problematic is the distinction between deep and REM sleep phases, which differ primarily due to the brain activity that is not recognized by the fitness trackers.
The ScanWatch includes a medically validated ECG and the measurement of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) as health features. EKG measurements can be shared as PDF files and Withings is currently the only provider who has medically validated the SpO2 measurement. This does not mean that Withings does not struggle with the same teething problems as other manufacturers with this function. As with Apple and Garmin, it also happens with the ScanWatch that a measurement does not lead to a result and I was also able to determine minor deviations from a classic oximeter on the finger with the measured values. The main aim of validation, however, is to ensure that abnormalities that indicate problems with the respiratory tract are recognized. Slight deviations in healthy users, on the other hand, have no medical relevance and should be common for all devices that measure the reflection of light on the skin. As a further health function, the ScanWatch monitors whether breathing disorders occur during sleep. These could indicate sleep apnea and Wittings is currently working on medically validating the function.
The operating concept of the ScanWatch is successful. Entries are made by pressing and turning the crown. Turning the crown in particular gives you quick access to all important functions. Here the ScanWatch has an advantage over the Steel HR, which requires a little more clicks without a rotating crown. The ScanWatch's display is also larger than that of the Steel HR. This makes notifications a little easier to read. Which apps send notifications to your wrist can be set individually in the Withings app. With its price from € 279, the ScanWatch marks the upper limit in this fitness tracker comparison. In return, you get a device with certified health functions that are currently only offered by Wittings in this form and a chic companion in everyday life.
+ Design and workmanship
+ medically validated EKG and SpO2 measurement
+ long battery life
- Accuracy of the pulse measurementTo the Withings ScanWatch on Amazon *
Yamay fitness bracelet with blood pressure measurement
Yamay is the maker of the best-selling fitness trackers on Amazon. The most obvious explanation for this is the low prices of the trackers. For € 30 you get a fitness tracker with the standard functions and, on the model I tested, an optical blood pressure measurement. This is to be understood more as a gimmick, but shows what could soon be possible with wearables in the future. The calculation of blood pressure from the signals of an optical sensor has been researched for some time and companies such as Samsung and Aktiia are working on bringing the function to market. However, the affordable fitness tracker from Yamay should be used with caution here. A measurement of the blood pressure is offered without indicating that a calibration with the measured values of a classic cuff is necessary. If you do without this calibration, moon values are measured.
My first reading was 185 to 45 and would have indicated a dangerous health risk that requires treatment, whereas my blood pressure values are normal. After calibration, the values are more realistic, but always deviate significantly from the measured values of my Omron cuff. The Yamay fitness tracker can therefore not spare one of the Yamay fitness trackers regular control measurements with a conventional cuff. I would therefore advise patients against using the Yamay fitness tracker to measure blood pressure and wait until devices with medical validation are on the market.
Otherwise, the Yamay fitness tracker is a very simple device.
In contrast to all other models with a digital display, there is no touch control but only a touch-sensitive area below the display, which is used to switch through the few functions. In addition to blood pressure measurement, there is a pulse measurement, as well as the recording of walking, cycling and fitness workouts. If you activate these programs, values such as duration, pulse and calorie consumption are recorded. When using the programs for walking or cycling, the GPS of the smartphone is accessed to record the route. The Yamay fitness armband does not have an automatic detection of activities. 11 other sports programs can be started in the app. It is not possible to set which programs can be started on the tracker.
According to the manufacturer, the Yamay fitness tracker has continuous pulse monitoring. However, only the maximum, minimum and average values per day are displayed in the app, whereas the history remains hidden. When measuring sleep, Yamay relies on the concept of differentiating between light and deep sleep, which combines deep and REM sleep. There are good reasons for this, as the distinction between these two sleep phases is hardly possible anyway and the competitors produce enormous measurement errors. A smart feature is the display of notifications, which can be activated individually for each app.
The tracker itself is simple. The brightness and sharpness of the display could be better. The wristband is attached to the technology unit and replacement wristbands in different colors are available from Amazon. All in all, you get a much better quality and more functions for similar money from other manufacturers. Nevertheless, there are two points in favor of the Yamay fitness armband. Due to the few functions, it is easy to use and, as the only fitness tracker in comparison, it can also be used without a registered account.
+ simple operation
+ Can be used without an account
- Quality and functionality
- questionable blood pressure measurement
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
The Mi bands from Xiaomi are the darling of all bargain hunters. The Chinese manufacturer offers a fitness tracker with a wide range of features for € 30. This consists of a technical unit with exchangeable belts. Bracelets made of various materials are available as accessories. The technology unit is charged via a magnetic charging cable. This makes Xiaomi one of the few manufacturers to offer this convenience feature in fitness trackers. In addition to measuring movement in everyday life and numerous programs for recording sports, Xiaomi has also developed some functions that go beyond the standard of other trackers. For example, Huami, the producer of Xiaomis’s fitness tracker and associated app, has developed a score that is intended to motivate people to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease through intense exercise. In addition, the Mi Band 5 offers a stress measurement, which like other manufacturers, the measurement of the stress value is based on the heart rate variability.
Sleep analysis with classification of all sleep phases is almost standard. If you take a nap during the day, this is also recorded, there is also a sleep score and brief tips for improving sleep. The function of the optical pulse sensor is adjustable. If you want to save energy, switch off the full-time monitoring and only use the pulse measurement at the start. If you don't mind charging your band a little more often, you can activate the automatic monitoring of the heart rate in everyday life, when sleeping and the automatic stress monitoring when resting. There is also a lot else that can be set on the Xiaomi Band. Notifications from the smartphone can be activated individually for each app, as can the functions that are displayed on the screen or linked with a short swipe.
The colored screen is bright and high-resolution. However, Xiaomi uses a small font size. Therefore, the device is only recommended for people with a clear view. As one of the few devices in comparison, the Xiaomi Band can be used as a pulse sensor with other devices. The measured heart rate values are shared with the smartphone or bike computer via Bluetooth. So many functions at such a small price - it's no wonder that the Xiaomi Mi Band is so popular.
+ large range of functions
+ magnetic charging cable
- Small writingTo the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 on Amazon *
Huawei Band 4
In terms of price, the Huawei Band 4 is also located in the entry-level segment. In terms of functionality, the essential fitness tracker functions are well implemented - but no gimmicks are used. The tape comes with 9 sports programs to record his activities. Although the tape is advertised as waterproof, swimming is not included. The app is clear and shows the steps, sleep and heart rate history on a dashboard. In the sleep analysis, all phases of sleep are differentiated and a score is given for the quality of sleep. There is a short tip on this - there is no detailed analysis of the sleep behavior of the last few days. It also dispenses with features such as a stress score, diet or cycle tracking. It is the cheapest fitness tracker in the test that measures blood oxygen saturation.
The Huawei Band 4 is simple. The exchangeable bracelet is firmly attached to the technical unit. To recharge, one side of the bracelet is removed and a USB-A plug is accessed. A power supply unit is therefore not necessary. The display is large and easy to read, but the resolution could be a bit higher. It is operated simply by scrolling on the touch screen, tapping and a back button. Due to the manageable range of functions, you could move quickly through the menu items. The battery life is specified as 6 days, but, as with all devices, depends on the device settings. If you want to save energy, you deactivate the continuous monitoring of the heart rate. If this is activated, you can set a warning in the event of a permanently increased heart rate despite physical inactivity. The Huawei Band 4 can display notifications from the smartphone. These can be activated individually for the most important communication apps. Notifications from all other apps can only be switched on or off collectively.
+ simple operation
+ cheapest device with SpO2 measurement
- Display resolutionTo the Huawei Band 4 on Amazon *
Samsung Galaxy Fit 2
The Galaxy Fit 2 is Samsung's premium fitness tracker and differs from Samsung's “Fit e” tracker, among other things, in its color display. This is bright and shows colors brilliantly. Otherwise, the Galaxy Fit 2 comes with numerous tracking and coaching functions. Daily activity, sleep analysis including sleep phases and a stress measurement that records values several times a day. If the traffic light turns red, there is a remedy with integrated mindfulness exercises such as breathing training or guided meditations. This also includes content from partner companies such as Calm, which is integrated directly into the Samsung Health app. Also, Samsung has a tremendous amount of sports programs for recording activities from aerobics to windsurfing.
The tracker is configured with the Samsung Galaxy Wear app - the data then ends up in the Samsung Health app, Google Fit and Apple Health are not supported. This restricted the exchange of data with other apps and devices. Samsung only syncs its data with Strava and has limited choices of compatible scales, blood pressure cuffs and other health devices. This is also noticed by those who want to track their calorie balance, i.e. the difference between consumed and consumed calories. Samsung has discontinued the function and now only allows the tracking of consumed calories. Samsung only deleted the display of the difference this year, which numerous users have complained about. Since the measurement of both the consumed and the consumed calories suggests an accuracy that cannot be redeemed under everyday conditions, the step is partially understandable. Nevertheless, the example shows how heavily the users of Samsung's ‘wearables are dependent on the manufacturer's health app.
When it comes to the usability of the software, Samsung still has some room for improvement for my taste. In addition to the two apps for configuration and for the data, I had to load additional plug-ins on Android to display notifications. If you succeed in doing this, nothing stands in the way of enjoying Samsung’s fitness tracker. The combination of various tracking functions, coaching content and a stylish color display makes the Galaxy Fit 2 something special. The biggest disadvantage is the commitment to Samsung Health and the lack of support for other apps. If you can live with it, you get a comprehensive package from Samsung at a fair price.
+ large range of functions
- several apps necessary
- limited compatibility with other providers
The Amazfit Neo is a fitness tracker in the design of a retro digital watch. It stands out from the uniform look of the fitness tracker and, thanks to the always-on display, also works well as a watch. Otherwise, it is equipped with the same sensors as the devices in the wristband design. Acceleration sensors for measuring movements and an optical pulse sensor for measuring heart rate. It thus provides comparable values such as steps, calorie consumption and sleep including sleep phases. As with Xiaomi, there is also the PAI score, which is supposed to motivate you to lead a healthier lifestyle. Amazfit’s digital watch does without the stress measurement of the Mi-Band. Otherwise, the Neo makes one or two compromises. Only a small part of the display is intended to show tracking values. The largest area is reserved for displaying the time. The area above shows different values depending on the setting, but is too small to read messages. In addition, the Neo does not have a vibration motor and therefore beeps to alert you to notifications. Not exactly discreet but at least the beeping sounds exactly as you would expect from a retro digital watch.
As a fitness tracker, the Neo is limited to the basics and only offers three sports programs that have to be activated in the app. This should not satisfy ambitious athletes. On the other hand, the battery life of approx. 4 weeks is impressive, although the watch has an always-on display. There is a switchable background lighting for operation in the dark. This makes the Amazfit Neo a successful reinterpretation of classic digital watches with basic tracking options. Those who do not use any sports programs anyway and are instead satisfied with the automatic recording of movement and sleep will find a stylish companion in the Neo.
+ stylish design
+ long battery life
+ Always-on display
- few sports programs
- Smart features can only be used to a limited extent
Withings Steel HR Sport
The Steel HR Sport is a fitness tracker in the design of an analog watch. This makes them the ideal companion for everyone who prefers a classic design. Another advantage is the long battery life of up to 25 days. This makes everyday use relaxed without having to forego essential functions. The Steel HR Sport measures everyday exercise and sleep. Numerous sports programs allow tracking of sports activities. Some of these are recognized automatically, which works particularly well when walking or running. In dynamic sports such as weight training, you can tell that Withings has made compromises in favor of battery life - the values displayed here can differ significantly from the true heart rate. The measured values are shown on a digital display, which is embedded in the analogue dial. Tracking values can be read off well here, it is a bit small for notifications, although the focus is not on the smart functions anyway.
The wake-up function of the Steel HR Sport, on the other hand, is smart. As with the Withings ScanWatch, you can set a time window for the alarm. The watch then looks for a convenient time to wake up the user and, if possible, avoids the deep sleep phase from which many users find it difficult to get out of bed. The integration with MyFitnessPal for nutrition tracking is also well resolved. Anyone who logs their diet with the third-party app will also find their data in the Withings app. Conversely, the calories burned during the day are also synchronized with MyFitnessPal. Otherwise, Withings is also an attractive brand for users who want to record various health values. The brand's scales in particular are very popular and allow you to easily monitor your own weight. Withings also offers other health measuring devices and also works well with apps from other manufacturers.
+ classic design
+ long battery life
+ smart alarm function
- small digital displayTo the Withings Steel HR Sport on Amazon *
Amazfit Bip S
The Bip S from Amazfit is reminiscent of an Apple Watch at first glance. The Bip S is not a smartwatch on which apps can be installed, but a fitness tracker with integrated GPS. In return, the tracker in the smartwatch look scores with a battery life that real smartwatches can only dream of. 15 days under normal conditions - if you do without GPS and dim the display to the maximum, you should get up to 40 days. This would not really be recommended, because the display is not particularly bright and high-contrast, which would also be surprising given the low price. You should therefore not compare the Bip S with watches that cost several hundred euros. Instead, the Bip S is an alternative to the bracelets from Amazfit and Xiaomi, which by the way are made by the same manufacturer. Therefore, the Bip S is similar to its competitors in terms of functionality. The focus is on measuring movement, including heart rate, in everyday life and during sports, as well as monitoring sleep habits. Only the stress score of Xiaomi’s Mi App has not yet been implemented by Amazfit. The Bip S has a compass for this and, thanks to the integrated GPS, can record the route while walking, running, swimming or cycling even without a GPS being carried. There is also the option to control the music on the smartphone and notifications from the smartphone can be activated individually for each app. The design and workmanship are kept simple, especially with the plastic housing and the comparatively small, dark display, you can tell that it is an inexpensive device. In return, you get one of the most affordable models with integrated GPS and long battery life and an interesting alternative to the classic bracelet design.
+ Battery life
+ integrated GPS
- displayTo the Amazfit Bip S on Amazon *
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Inspire 2 is Fitbit's entry-level model, but has its own charm due to its compact shape and long battery life. Compared to Fitbit’s Charge 4, it does without the integrated GPS and the measurement of deviations in blood oxygen saturation. He also has to do without the smart alarm function of the Charge 4. Like most Fitbit models, it offers continuous pulse monitoring, various sports programs and a detailed sleep analysis. Notifications can also be shown on the small display. Thanks to interchangeable wristbands, the look of the Inspire 2 can be changed. Other manufacturers often also have interchangeable wristbands, but Fitbit is one of the few providers whose trackers have a really large range of accessories. Fashion-conscious people have a good chance of finding the right look. The main negative side of the Inspire 2 is the lack of support from Apple Health and Google Fit. Since Fitbit exchanges its data directly with many other apps, users can still look forward to a wide ecosystem of compatible applications. Buyers receive a 12-month trial subscription to Fitbit Premium with the Inspire, which includes many training and exercise instructions. Therefore, the purchase of the previous Inspire HR, which is still available, is only worthwhile if you are not interested in Fitbit Premium. The Inspire 2, on the other hand, is ideal as an entry-level tracker and rewards with a battery life of up to 10 days.
+ compact, stylish design
+ long battery life
- no support from Apple Health and Google FitTo the Fitbit Inspire 2 on Amazon *
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