The best fitness trackers for (hobby) athletes

Fitness trackers: no longer just luxury accessories for sports professionals. Whether as a reminder of our 10,000 steps a day or as a companion on the way to the half marathon – the smart wristbands are becoming increasingly popular and are conquering the fitness market in many variations. atechbook reveals what to look for when buying and presents the most popular fitness trackers.

Fitness trackers are an ideal alternative to smartwatches: They are significantly lighter and more inconspicuous. Since they have a small display, they consume significantly less energy and can sometimes last for days on one battery charge. And thanks to customized fitness apps, they are an excellent analysis tool for documenting training success and determining personal fitness levels.

Doch so simpel die Armbänder anmuten, die Technik dahinter ist komplex. Und so gelingt nicht jedem Hersteller das gekonnte Zusammenspiel von Sensors und Software. Deswegen haben wir für Sie die interessantesten Modelle rausgesucht.

What all do good fitness trackers need to do?

When motivation is lacking or everyday life interferes, fitness trackers can provide relief. For joggers and trail runners, the built-in GPS measures the distance covered, time and altitude. A lightweight casing and ergonomic design ensure pleasant wearing comfort. Sports enthusiasts with a thirst for variety will appreciate the automatic activity recognition and will be happy about the powerful battery. Tech-savvy? Then the fitness watch should be easy to connect with your smartphone.

The good news with so much choice: From the occasional athlete to the top athlete, you can now find the right fitness toy for everyone – and even for the small purse, because inexpensive fitness trackers are available for as little as 25 euros.

The all-rounder with heart rate sensor: Fitbit Charge 5

Nicht umsonst ist Fitbit Marktführer unter den Fitnesstrackern: Die Fitbit Charge 5 überzeugt als sportlicher Begleiter am Arm mit vielen Fitnessfunktionen. Dazu gehören eine automatische Trainingserkennung, Puls- und Accelerometer und ein Höhenmesser. Auch der praktische Herzfrequenzmesser ist wieder mit dabei. Im Gegensatz zum Vorgängermodell, der Fitbit Charge 4, gibt es zwei entscheidende Neuheiten: Durch den helligkeitsregulierenden AMOLED-Screen ist ein Ablesen des Bildschirms selbst bei starker Sonneneinstrahlung möglich. Außerdem bewertet der Daily Readiness Score die individuelle Fitness und schlägt ein entsprechendes Trainingsprogramm vor. Alles in allem platziert sich die Fitbit Charge 5 als guter Allrounder unter den Fitnesstrackern.

Features of the Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5
Product type Fitness tracker, sports watch, running watch
Series Fitbit Charge
Operating system iOS, Android
Data transmission Bluetooth, NFC
Battery and runtime Lithium polymer, 7 days
Tracking features Pedometer, sleep tracker, calorie consumption counter, heart rate monitor
Display AMOLED, scratch-resistant
Sports Fitness, swimming, running, cycling
Sensors Pulssensor, Accelerometer, Höhenmesser

Advantages and disadvantages of the Fitbit Charge 5

Rating at idealo: Note 2,2 | 4 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Automatic training recognition
  • + Bright AMOLED display with always-on function
  • + Up to 7 days battery life
  • + Many fitness functions

Cons

  • – Few apps available
  • – No music function
  • – No floor counter

For swimmers: Polar Ignite 2

Lightweight, robust and waterproof: The Polar Ignite 2 is an insider tip for water rats, amateur swimmers, professionals and those who want to become one. In combination with numerous fitness functions, which are now standard among wearables, the Polar Ignite 2 offers several features that make training in the water easier. Whether freestyle, backstroke or butterfly: No matter what is on the training schedule, the Polar Ignite 2 recognizes the swimming style and calculates the individual performance values. It measures the pull frequency, pace and distance as well as the SWOLF value. SWOLF stands for “swim and golf”: it is the sum of time and number of swim strokes and therefore a significant indication of the efficiency of the workout. In addition, the Polar Ignite 2 has the sport profile “open water swimming” and is therefore perfectly suited for any kind of training session in the cool water.

Polar Ignite 2 features

Polar Ignite 2
Product type Sports watch, fitness watch, GPS watch
Series Polar Ignite
Operating system iOS, Android
Data transmission Bluetooth
Battery and runtime 5 days
Tracking features Fitness tracker, sleep tracker, heart rate monitor, activity tracker, inactivity alarm, calorie burn counter, distance tracker, pedometer
Display TFT
Swimming functions HR measurement in the water, lanes and distance, pace and pull rate, swimming styles (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly), SWOLF, rest times and duration, calorie consumption, open water (pace, distance, route, freestyle, pull rate).

Advantages and disadvantages of the Polar Ignite 2

idealo rating: Note 2,1 | 4 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Ideal for swimmers
  • + Several functions (e.g. SWOLF)
  • + Akkulaufzeit von bis zu 5 days n
  • + Lightweight and robust
  • + Customized workout plans

Cons

  • – Touch function not always reliable
  • – Menu not so easy to use
  • – No built-in music storage

The best fitness tracker without a display: Fitbit Flex 2

If you prefer a somewhat handier design, but do not want to do without the most important functions of a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Flex 2 is just right. This variant of the popular wearable manufacturer not only helps to keep an eye on one’s own workout behavior. The device also proves to be an elegant alternative to clunky smartwatches with large displays. The small row of LED lights and the built-in vibration remind you of daily goals and notify you of incoming calls or text messages like on a smartphone. However, fitness values can only be analyzed on the Fitbit Flex 2 via the manufacturer’s own Fitbit app or via other supported apps. The Fitbit Flex 2 is therefore best suited for casual athletes and fitness enthusiasts who focus on style and ease of use.

Features of the Fitbit Flex 2

Fitbit Flex 2
Product type Fitness wristband, fitness tracker
Series Fitbit Flex
Operating system Android 2.1+, iOS 5.0+
Data transmission Bluetooth
Battery and runtime Lithium polymer, 5 days
Tracking features Pedometer, calorie consumption counter, distance tracker
Display Illuminated
Sensors Accelerometer

Advantages and disadvantages of the Fitbit Flex 2

Rating at idealo: Note 2,2 | 4.5 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Elegant, slim design
  • + Automatic activity recognition
  • + Precise measurement results
  • + Motion reminders

Cons

  • – Analysis only via Fitbit app
  • – Mediocre battery life

The bargain price: Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Der chinesische Hersteller Xiaomi setzt auf günstige Geräte für preisbewusste Fitnessfans und bringt mit der Xiaomi Mi Band 5 einen Fitnesstracker auf den Markt, der in vielen Aspekten mit den High-End-Produkten von Apple & Co. mithalten kann. Dabei muss weder auf typische Smartwatch-Features wie das Messen von Puls, Schritten und Kalorien verzichtet werden noch auf Bildschirmplatz auf dem 2,8 Zentimeter großen AMOLED-True-Color-Display. Zwar erkennt das Gerät die verschiedenen Sports nicht automatisch, dafür bietet es präzise Analysen von 11 verschiedenen Leistungsbereichen wie Radfahren, Yoga oder Schwimmen. Durch das enorm leichte Gewicht der Xiaomi Mi Band 5 ist das Fitnessarmband ein angenehmer Begleiter für alle Sporteinheiten und den Alltag gleichermaßen.

Features of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Xiaomi Mi Band 5
Product type Fitness wristband, fitness tracker
Series Xiaomi Mi Band
Operating system Android 5.0+, iOS 10.0+.
Data transmission Bluetooth
Battery and runtime Lithium polymer, 14 days
Tracking features Sleep tracker, inactivity alarm, heart rate monitor, pedometer
Display AMOLED
Sensors Herzfrequenzsensor, Blutsauerstoffsensor, Accelerometer
Sports Hiking, walking, swimming, cycling, indoor training

Advantages and disadvantages of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5.

Rating at idealo: score 1.9 | 4 out of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Inexpensive
  • + AMOLED true color display
  • + Water resistance 5 atm for showers and swimming.
  • + Reliable readings
  • + “Do not disturb” function
  • + 11 sports modes

Cons

  • – Workmanship looks a bit cheap.
  • – No apps installable
  • – GPS only via smartphone

Für iPhone-Besitzer: Apple Watch Seriess 7

Für alle Fitnessfans, die mehr als nur einen Standard-Fitnesstracker möchten, hat Apple die Lösung: Die Apple Watch Seriess 7 präsentiert sich mit unzähligen Tracking features und Sensors, einem größeren, helleren Display und einem Design, das farbenfroh und individuell gestaltet werden kann. Ob es zum Wandern in die Berge geht oder für einige Bahnen in den Pool – die Apple Watch Seriess 7 widersteht mit ihrem bruchsicheren und wasserdichten Gehäuse Nässe, Staub und Stürze. Einzige Voraussetzung: ein iPhone und die Bereitschaft, etwas tiefer in die Tasche zu greifen. Sportbegeisterte Apple-User ergattern mit der Apple Watch Seriess 7 eine Smartwatch, die ein Workout zum Erlebnis und gleichzeitig zu einer Wissenschaft macht.

Ausstattung der Apple Watch Seriess 7

Apple Watch Seriess 7
Product type iOS smartwatch
Series Apple Watch
Operating system iOS 10.0+
Data transmission WLAN, NFC, Bluetooth, LTE (optional)
Battery and runtime Battery, fixed, 18 h
Tracking features Calorie consumption counter, distance tracker, heart rate monitor, pedometer, activity tracker, fitness tracker, sleep tracker, fall monitor, yoga tracker
Display OLED, Retina
Sensors Helligkeitssensor, Blutsauerstoffsensor, Accelerometer, Herzfrequenzsensor, Elektrokardiogramm
Sports Cycling, Yoga, Fitness, Indoor Training, Strength Training, Swimming, Hiking, Rowing, Badminton, Basketball, Running, Trail Running, Cross-Training, Soccer, Walking, Tennis, Table Tennis, Triathlon

Vorteile und Nachteile der Apple Watch Seriess 7

Rating at idealo: Score 1.6 | 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Comfortable operation due to large display
  • + Range of functions and regular updates
  • + LTE version for phone calls without smartphone
  • + Robust protection against dust and water

Cons

  • – Relatively short battery life
  • – Compatible with iPhone only

Read at the colleagues of FITBOOK: How reliable are actually pedometers?

Bottom line

From smart all-rounders to small sports companions on the wrist – fitness trackers have long ceased to be a novelty in the hobby world. They remind you to leave your desk for a walk, analyze your successes, and spur you on to new heights of performance – all individually adapted to the respective user. Whether it’s a pedometer or a large health picture, fitness wristbands are often in no way inferior to more expensive technology models such as smartphones in terms of their functions. On the contrary, their handy designs make them perfect training partners that can easily be worn all day. All the better that the variety of wristbands and smartwatches on the market offers the possibility to find the right fitness companion for everyone.

More articles about headphones worth knowing

  • Why fitness trackers take a pulse with toilet paper and bananas
  • The 5 most powerful smartwatches for every day life
  • Fitness tracker portals often share your data

Still haven’t found the right one? No problem! atechbook has many more articles on fitness trackers and smartwatches. Find out which wearables shined in the test and learn more about new products on the market.