The warm season is back – the best conditions for doing sports outside. A fitness tracker is suitable as a motivation support and a perfect analysis tool. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON presents the 5 best models.
Fitness trackers are an ideal alternative to smartwatches: They are significantly lighter and less noticeable. Since they have a small display, they consume significantly less energy and sometimes last for days on one charge. And thanks to tailored fitness apps, they are an excellent analysis tool for documenting training success and determining your personal fitness level.
But as simple as the bracelets appear, the technology behind them is complex. And so not every manufacturer succeeds in the skillful interaction of sensors and software. That is why we have selected the 5 most interesting models for you.
- Xiaomi Mi Band 5 for about 29 euros
- Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro from 189 euros
- Garmin Vivosport from 90 euros
- Huawei Band 4 Pro from 45 euros
- Fitbit Charge 4 from 109 euros
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 for about 29 euros
Xiaomi continues the price war with the successor to the Mi Band 4. At around 29 euros, the price is slightly higher, but buyers get a few significant improvements.
The first thing you notice is the larger display, which on the Mi Band 5 has grown by 20 percent to 1.1 inches compared to its predecessor – without changing the size of the housing. On the color screen, users can set their own dial and choose from over 100 animated templates. The hooky charging station has been replaced with a magnetic charging cable on the new model. If the tracker had to be removed from the silicone wristband for charging, the magnetic cable is now simply attached to the underside of the housing.
The Mi Band 5 has now also got an NFC version, so there is the possibility to pay contactless with the tracker. However, it remains to be seen whether the function will also come to Germany. Unfortunately, the new model does not have a GPS on board either, a function that we missed on the predecessor.
The most important function of the Mi Band 5, fitness tracking, has also been improved. The bracelet has got new and revised tracking modes and can now also track the menstrual cycle. Barometer, three-axis gyroscope and heart rate monitor are of course also on board again.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
Very cheap, light, music player, sleep analysis, pulse measurement, stop watch, long battery life, NFC
No built-in GPS, few sports functions
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro from 189 euros
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is a device with extensive functions and is ideal for active people. The fitness tracker has automatic sport recognition, measures the pulse and can also record differences in altitude. Runners can look forward to the built-in GPS sensor that can record routes. And even swimmers get their money’s worth. The Gear Fit 2 Pro is not only waterproof, but can also record the swimming training thanks to the Speedo-On app.
Compatible with Spotify
Spotify can be installed on the tracker to make sports activities even more fun. You can then listen to your favorite songs even without the Internet, because in offline mode the songs are saved directly on the device.
The Gear Fit 2 Pro can even be used as a sleep tracker. In addition, according to Samsung, users have access to over 3000 apps and various watch faces, which can be used to customize the tracker. There is one shortcoming, however: the range of functions and the large display cost energy and so the battery life is limited compared to the competition.
The tracker is available in two colors and two sizes. And as is so often the case with Samsung wearables, the tracker works best with Android smartphones.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
GPS, heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, swimming tracking, Spotify app
Functions limited with iPhone, battery life could be better
Garmin Vivosport from 90 euros
The Garmin Vivosport is available for just under 80 euros. The fitness tracker provides an amazing range of functions: GPS, heart rate monitor and barometer (altimeter) are also on board, as is a touch display. The tracker not only analyzes sporting activities, but also stress and recovery phases as well as sleep. He can also determine the VO2max value, which is a standardized fitness indicator.
The fitness tracker is waterproof to around 50 meters, but unfortunately it does not have a swimming app to measure the distance. If the Vivosport is connected to the smartphone, incoming messages and calls are shown on the display. However, since it is very small, it is not particularly enjoyable to read. Music on the smartphone can also be operated rudimentary. However, there is no built-in music player and Spotify cannot be installed on the tracker.
Unfortunately the bracelet is not interchangeable
A big plus point is the long battery life of up to 10 days. However, if you want to use the GPS, you have to recharge after about eight hours. We find the non-exchangeable bracelet to be a major disadvantage. If you swim a lot with it, sweat it all over or wear it out in any other way, you end up having to replace the entire tracker. In addition, some users report connection and synchronization problems with their smartphone. Otherwise the Garmin Vivosport is a fair offer. It is available in two sizes and three colors.
GPS, heart rate monitor, long battery life, small and light
Bracelet cannot be changed, no music player, connection problem
Huawei Band 4 Pro from 45 euros
If you want it a little cheaper, you will find it at Huawei. The Band 4 Pro from the Chinese tech giant is available from 55 euros. The tracker looks good with a metal housing in black or gold. There is also a large AMOLED touch display. And best of all: the wristband can also be replaced here, which significantly extends the service life of the tracker.
The Band 4 Pro also has the most important functions such as GPS, pulse measurement and sleep monitoring. It also records sports such as running, fitness training, and cycling. In contrast to the Vivosport, the Huawei device can even be used during swimming training and even recognizes the swimming style. According to the manufacturer, it can last up to 12 days on one battery charge – if you use the GPS for a hike, you have to recharge it after seven hours.
A great offer – now even with a music player
Messages can also be received and read on the Huawei tracker. Compared to its predecessor, the Huawei Band 4 Pro even has a built-in music player and can access streaming services such as Spotify. Small drawback: In order to connect the band to the smartphone, users have to install the “Huawei Mobile Services” app, which requires extensive access rights.
Huawei Band 3 Pro
Very good price-performance ratio, extensive functions, light and compact, the bracelet can be replaced
Huawei Mobile Services must be installed
Fitbit Charge 4 from 109 euros
The Fitbit brand is one of the market leaders in fitness bracelets. And you can see that in the Fitbit Charge 4. Already optically it makes a valuable and chic impression. The design is cool with a plastic resin case, the bracelet has a stainless steel clasp and is made of either silicone or fabric. The price for it on the upper level, which is also reflected in the range of functions. The user can look forward to a brilliant display with beautiful indications. There is also a large selection of bracelets that you can buy as well. But they are not cheap.
With integrated GPS
Fitbit is best known for its sophisticated analysis tools. Sports like swimming, running and the gym are automatically recognized. The general condition is determined based on the VO2max value. And sleep tracking is some of the best on the market. Users can also access functions such as heart rate measurement with real-time statistics, active zone minutes and even a music player with access to Spotify. The Fitbit Charge 4 even comes with an integrated GPS for recording speed and distance during activities such as running, cycling or hiking.
Heart rate monitors and pedometers are also mandatory here. As with so many trackers, it is important to note that if you have strong arm and hand movement, steps can be counted in error. So if you vacuum or wash dishes, you will probably come up with too many steps that have not taken place.
The battery life of up to seven days on one charge is a little below the competition gathered here. Nevertheless, the conclusion is positive: The Fitbit Charge 4 is currently one of the best fitness trackers on the market due to its enormous range of functions. But it is not cheap.
Fitbit Charge 4
Nice and high quality optics, interchangeable wristbands, good analysis tools, integrated GPS, music player
Battery life shorter than the competition, high price