With a sports watch, the athlete has various data directly at hand. In order to produce a high score, our team has studied a variety of tests on the Internet and was thus able to record ratings on wristband, waterproof, GPS and more.
6 Best Sports Watches- Ranking 2019
What is a sports watch?
At first sight, a sports watch looks like an ordinary wristwatch, but it can do much more: it not only displays the current time and date, but also informs the user about the current heart rate, the distance traveled, the calories burned, and much more . This data is primarily used to optimize the training and to improve your own condition step by step. In addition, the sports watch is a useful motivational aid which especially encourages beginners to move more. Also for those who want to melt excess pounds, the sports watch is a worthwhile investment: it allows, for example, to monitor the walking speed and to check whether the heart rate is in the green range. Sports watches differ mainly by their large range of functions of normal heart rate monitors. In addition, the sports watch is usually compatible with the smartphone or the computer , so that the collected data can be evaluated after training and compared with previous performance without much effort.
How does a sports watch work?
A sports watch is worn like a regular wristwatch on the wrist. At first glance, it does not seem to be different from a conventional clock because: The differences are hidden inside. Thus, the sports watch has a built-in sensor that registers all movements and then converted into steps and kilometers traveled. High-priced models are even able to register height differences so that even climbing stairs is included in the calculations. Sports watches are also equipped with an integrated heart rate monitor equipped, which usually only works in combination with a chest strap. The strap is worn below the chest and connected to the skin via two electrodes. The electrodes measure the heart rate and send the data wirelessly to the clock. Meanwhile, many sports watches come out without a chest strap. In this case, the measurement is carried out optically via the wrist:
Two light-emitting diodes radiate from the underside of the watch to the skin. The pulsation of the blood now leads to the smallest changes in the brightness of the light spots, which are registered by a sensor. After training, modern sports watches can be connected via Bluetooth or data cable to the smartphone or PCto analyze and save data.
Advantages and applications
Not only professionals and ambitious recreational athletes benefit from the numerous advantages of a sports watch. Thus, the watch serves as a motivation aid by showing improvements such as the extension of the running distance or the increase in speed. The user of the clock is spurred again and again to surpass his previous achievements . The sports watch can be used in a wide range of sports , for example while jogging, cycling or swimming.
A sports watch can also be used as a valuable preparation aid for marathons and triathlons . It makes it possible to control your own performance in detail and to adjust the training amount accordingly. The athlete receives extensive data about the distance traveled, the respective speed and his heart rate . Monitoring and analyzing this data is extremely exciting and often leads to the fact that the user can hardly wait for the next training session.
Sports watches also have the advantage that they can also be used outside of training times as a normal clock . Most models also count the number of steps so they spur on more activity in everyday life. Since sports watches are usually very light , the user hardly feels them, so they can be worn around the clock.
Last but not least, a sports watch facilitates the detailed preparation of individual fitness and diet plans , which increase the condition in the long term and thus make a valuable contribution to the health of our body.
What types of sports watches are there?
The triathlon clock
Triathletes should prefer a sports watch specifically designed to prepare for triathlons. These models are equipped with extensive features - such as GPS or a rangefinder. They are also characterized by a high measurement accuracy and a high-quality workmanship. In addition, triathlon watches must be watertight to withstand the stresses of competition. The triathlon watch is also very suitable for ambitious cyclists, runners and swimmers who would like to train intensively and / or participate in competitions. However, it is not a fitness watch for everyday life: just sports novices and recreational athletes can be overwhelmed by the large amount of data quickly.
The fitness watch
Fitness watches impress with their well-balanced design and function. They are light, slim and feature a wide range of functions, which includes everything from pulse measurement to a calorie counter and various training programs, all of which the athlete's heart desires. Fitness watches record distances traveled as well as the individual activity of the wearer, thus motivating them to integrate more exercise into their everyday lives. They are used, for example, for fitness workouts and cardio training. Even if you want to lose weight, the fitness watch is the right model for you. However, the collected data can often only be evaluated with the help of a smartphone.
The outdoor sports watch
The outdoor watch is a special sports watch for mountaineers, skiers and hikers. It is very durable and durable and usually works without a separate software / app. The outdoor clock not only provides the wearer with heart rate information or distance traveled, it also features many useful additional features, such as a barometer, integrated altimeter or navigation aid.
The running clock
Sports watches designed specifically for runners usually have GPS and are therefore slightly more expensive than conventional models. Typical running watches not only measure the time, but also count the laps and serve as a very accurate stopwatch. They are very suitable for physical education as well as for referees. However, the range of functions is limited, because only running watches from the higher price segment also measure the heart rate, the calorie consumption and the speed of the wearer. It is therefore a rather simple sports watch for amateur athletes and amateurs. Accuracy of the measured values
So we tested the sports watches
Accuracy of the measured values
In our large sports watch product test, the measuring accuracy of the individual models naturally played a particularly important role. After all, what good is the most expensive sports watch if it is not as accurate as possible in terms of heart rate, number of steps and calorie consumption? It was therefore checked whether the values determined actually correspond to reality, because only then is a sports watch truly suitable for everyday use and as a motivational aid.
The range of sports watches available on the market varies greatly, from models that only have a heart rate monitor and pedometer, to professional sports watches with heart rate monitor, Bluetooth sync and personalized sports programs. While the functions of some sports watches are specifically designed to meet the needs of joggers, swimmers or triathletes, others are particularly suitable for recreational athletes who want to get an overview of their performance. Watches that have a large range of functions did not automatically fare better in our product test. Instead, it was important in the evaluation, whether the respective sports watch is actually suitable for the target group specified by the manufacturer.
Good sports watches are characterized by a high degree of user-friendliness. A simple operation is especially important if many functions are available, because who wants to grab during his training sessions again and again to the user manual? Instead, the sports watch should be intuitively operable so that the desired settings can be made while running or cycling.
Further evaluation criteria
In addition to accuracy, functionality and operation, further criteria were taken into account in our product test. For many users, for example, it plays a big role in whether the clock is compatible with Windows, iOS or Anroid and how (Bluetooth, data cable) it can be connected to other mobile devices. Of course, the battery must have as long as possible, so he does not quit the service in the middle of the sports unit. Last but not least, the design of the various models also flowed into the evaluation. Modern sports watches are characterized by a sleek, sporty design and are available in different colors. Many manufacturers also offer removable bracelets, with the help of the clock can be customized to your own taste preferences.
What do I have to look for when buying a sports watch?
Is GPS needed?
The abbreviation GPS stands for "Global Positioning System". This innovative technology makes it possible to exactly trace distances covered during jogging, cycling or hiking. In addition, this function ensures that you do not stray from the route on extended tours. If you are a recreational jogger and prefer to do your rounds in the nearby park or forest, you can confidently resort to a sports watch without GPS.
Is a heart rate monitor wanted?
When buying a sports watch, you should also consider whether you want to monitor your heart rate. If so, you need a model with a heart rate monitor. This will help you to control the effort and regulate it as needed. Especially the untrained should not miss a heart rate monitor, because beginners tend to take over. In addition, a sports watch with heart rate monitor is very well suited for training optimization and weight loss, because: In a certain pulse range, which depends on factors such as the current weight and age, the fat burning of the body is running at full speed, so that the pounds tumble faster. However, if you want to buy a sport watch with a heart rate monitor, please note that some models only work in combination with a chest strap.
Display of calorie consumption required?
Not all sports watches are able to calculate calorie consumption as accurately as possible. But especially beginners and people who want to lose weight should not give up this function. The calorie consumption is calculated on the basis of various data such as gender, weight, duration and intensity of the training. It is a handy additional information that motivates the wearer to make a little more effort to make up for one or two sweet sins. For trained athletes, however, the display of calorie consumption is dispensable.
Should the watch be waterproof?
Of course, if you are looking for a sports watch to swim, it must be waterproof. However, the following applies: The term "waterproof" is stretchy and is interpreted differently by the manufacturers. It is therefore advisable to study the manufacturer's instructions carefully, without taking them literally, because: The statement "waterproof 30 m" does not mean that the watch survives a diving depth of up to 30 m without damage, but only refers to the tested pressure in cash. Here is an overview of the most common information regarding water resistance and what you really mean:
- 3 bar / 30 m: clock withstands rain
- 5 bar / 50 m: clock withstands showers
- 10 bar / 100 m: clock stops swimming
- 20 bar / 200 m: clock stops diving
Important: Even if your sports watch is waterproof, you should never press the buttons in the water, as water could penetrate the device and damage the electronics.
Quality and comfort
Of course, when buying a sports watch, you should focus on quality and a high level of comfort. High-quality models are characterized by durable, robust materials that feel comfortable on the skin at the same time. Wristbands that discolour or even redden and itch, on the other hand, are a sign of inferior quality.
A good sports watch has to be user-friendly, because only then will it be enjoyable to use it and optimize the training with its help. Access a model that only has the features you want to use, saving you money and protecting your nerves. Do not hesitate if you can not cope with the clock immediately. Instead, study the various functions intensively and, if in doubt, take a look at the operating instructions. A certain period of adjustment is essential for all sports watches, so that you can exploit the full potential of the device.
Brief information on leading manufacturers
The company Fitbit was founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric N. Friedman in San Francisco, where it still has its headquarters today. Fitbit offers fitness and health products designed to help people change their lifestyle for the better. The range also includes sports watches in a variety of designs and with a different range of functions, so that both beginners and advanced athletes will find Fitbit equally.
Garmin is one of the world's leading providers of navigation equipment for the automotive, aerospace, marine, sports and outdoor industries. The company develops user-friendly products in a modern design, which are of high quality and are characterized by a fair price-performance ratio. Garmin's innovative products appeal to sports fans around the world, and the company now has more than 10,000 employees at 50 locations around the world.
Polar has been a leader in the development of heart rate monitors since 1977. It is a Finnish company based in Kempele, which has extensive know-how in the areas of physiology, sports and electronics. The product range is diverse and also provides a large number of high quality sports watches. The products serve, for example, performance optimization, lifestyle improvement or weight management. They are manufactured in our own factories and delivered to more than 80 countries.
SIGMA SPORT has already made a name for itself in the 1980s as a manufacturer of bicycle computers. So in 1982, the company developed the first bike computer called Cyclecoach. The breakthrough came SIGMA SPORT four years later with the Velostar, the successor of Cycle Coach. In the 1990s, the development of battery-powered bicycle lights was added, and today SIGMA SPORT also has a good number of fitness trackers and sports watches on offer.
Sony is a Japanese company based in Tokyo. It was founded in 1946 and is best known for its consumer electronics products. However, high-quality and user-friendly sports watches are also part of the assortment of the Japanese supplier.
The Finnish company Suunto was founded in 1946 and can thus look back on a long history. It has focused on the development of measuring instruments such as diving instruments, compasses and also sports watches and convinces with its products athletes around the world.
The Dutch company TomTom develops navigation systems for the automotive industry. His many years of experience in this field is also reflected in the high-quality TomTom sports watches with GPS function.
Internet vs. Retailers: where do I buy my sports watch best?
If you also want to buy a sports watch, you have different options. Sports watches are available in sportsshops and also in some electronics markets. Nevertheless, given the large variety of sports watches in different price ranges and versions, it is still advisable to buy a sports watch over the Internet, because you benefit from numerous advantages. You can find out which ones here.
Product variety on the Internet
Especially then, if you have very precise ideas of your future sports watch, it is advisable to look around in the many online shops. Not only is the range extremely varied here - in most shops, you can also make searching easier with the help of filters . Whether you want to buy a sports watch of a particular brand or need a model with GPS, you will surely find it on the World Wide Web.
Save time and save your nerves
Long journeys and a nerve-wracking search for a parking space are just as important to you when shopping online as overcrowded shops and long queues at the cash register. Instead, order your sports watch from the comfort of your own sofa. Sport watches, which are in stock in the respective online shop, are then usually delivered to you within a few working days.
Find the best deal
While it's not that easy to find the best deal for your favorite sports watch in stationary stores, you can use price comparison sites on the Internet to save money. In addition, you benefit from many attractive discount offers and vouchers for online shopping . Especially if you are a new customer, it is worthwhile to look for discounts, because many dealers ship the goods in this case for free or offer new customer vouchers .
Avoid erroneous purchases
Especially when buying a sports watch, it is important to compare the functionality of the various models exactly to find exactly the watch that suits you and your sporting habits. In order to avoid bad sales, it is advisable to study customer reviews and read reviews - such as our large sports watch product test. Here you can find out about the advantages and disadvantages of the different models and learn first-hand how practical the respective sports watch is for everyday use.
Return made easy
If you have nevertheless bought a watch that does not meet your expectations, you have a statutory withdrawal period of 14 days for online purchases . Many retailers also offer their customers a voluntary return period of four or even six weeks. The best way to find out before the purchase on the return policy of the respective dealer and bring to know who has to bear the return costs. Since a sports watch is neither very big nor very heavy, the return costs are usually limited
Worth knowing & advice
The history of the sports watch
Sports watches have been offered for over 20 years - but the first models served primarily as a stopwatch, heart rate monitor and pedometer. Incidentally, the latter already existed in the 18th century: at that time explorers used pedometer to determine their exact number of steps in unknown areas and thus to find their way back. Today, outdoor enthusiasts and athletes use GPS to find their way around - a feature that is also included in many sports watches.
The first pure heart rate monitor - consisting of a transmitter with chest strap and a receiver - came on the market in 1983 , but at first only appealed to professional athletes. Today, recreational athletes also appreciate the many advantages of a sports watch - not least because the handy devices have always been further developed and perfected.
Numbers, dates, facts about the sports watch
Sports watches can be used in any sport , such as cycling, which is the most popular sport of the Germans. As many as 25 million people use their bikes regularly to do something for their fitness. In second place are swimming with about 23 million and jogging with about 20 million active athletes.
Many sports watches work in combination with smartphone apps , which is why Sportapps enjoy great popularity. For example, 29 percent of all people who are regularly active in sports use a pedometer app. 24 percent have a running app installed on their smartphone, while 14 percent regularly access a calorie counter app. General fitness apps are used by 22 percent of all athletes.
More and more people are discovering the benefits of a sports watch and similar devices. In 2019, for example, the Germans bought around 1.7 million fitness trackers, sports watches and smartwatches. Worldwide sales were impressive at 71.5 million units. Studies have shown that 28 percent of all athletes regularly monitor their fitness with technical assistance - and the trend is rising.
FAQ about Sports Watch
How much does a sports watch cost?
Cheap sports watches are already available under 50 Euros. However, these are primarily stop watches, which are suitable for occasional joggers. Models up to 150 Euro, on the other hand, are able to measure the calorie consumption, the number of steps and the heart rate. However, if you want a sports watch with GPS, WLAN and other functions, you need to dig a little deeper: Sports watches from the upper price range with a large range of functions cost up to 400 Euros.
What should I watch out for when training with the sports watch?
When training with the sports watch, the same health advice applies as in training without technical assistance. Warm up your body well before exercise to get the circulation going, and always do your exercises with care and concentration. Important: Set yourself clear goals that you can actually achieve, because this promotes motivation. For example, with the help of a sports watch, you can set yourself the goal of going 5,000 steps a day. The watch counts all your steps and often sounds an alarm as soon as you reach your destination. Good to know: Experts recommend taking around 10,000 steps per day to improve one's condition, strengthen the musculoskeletal system and melt excess pounds.
What kind of sports watch is particularly suitable for a triathlon?
Triathletes usually travel long distances. You should therefore invest a little more money in your sports watch and resort to a model with GPS. Also a heart rate monitor and a rangefinder are indispensable. The watch should also be watertight so that the watch can withstand the swum passage without damage. Specialist retailers even have special triathlon watches that are able to recognize the respective swimming style and determine its effectiveness.
Which sports watch is suitable for ladies?
Sports watches are usually pure unisex designs. Unfortunately the functionality is not very filigree. However, the selection of colors and designs is very large, so athletes should also find the right model. Many manufacturers also offer removable bracelets, which make it possible to match the sports watch perfectly to the respective clothing.
Which functions are essential for a sports watch?
The heart rate monitor is one of the features that is essential for most athletes. Because: The measurement of heart rate tells you how your individual condition is. Modern sports watches are also able to divide your heart rate into performance zones, making it easier for you to judge your performance. A pedometer is also essential for beginners as it encourages them to walk more and, for example, take the stairs instead of choosing the more comfortable option and using the lift. Alarms are also very useful. For example, a sports watch may sound an alarm if you leave a specific pulse range, or alert you that the recording has been stopped - for example, because you have stopped at a traffic light or at a railroad crossing. Furthermore, it is very convenient if you can connect your sports watch with various software, for example with a smartphone app or a PC program. Many models can be connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, while others require a data cable. Using software, you can get the most out of your sports watch by analyzing the recorded readings, creating charts and graphs, and comparing the performance of different days. It makes you happy and motivates you to add a tooth to your next training and to surpass yourself again and again. Using software, you can get the most out of your sports watch by analyzing the recorded readings, creating charts and graphs, and comparing the performance of different days. It makes you happy and motivates you to add a tooth to your next training and to surpass yourself again and again. Using software, you can get the most out of your sports watch by analyzing the recorded readings, creating charts and graphs, and comparing the performance of different days. It makes you happy and motivates you to add a tooth to your next training and to surpass yourself again and again.
What other functions are there?
In addition to heart rate monitor, GPS and Co., there are many more features. Whether these are useful depends primarily on the sport you favor and your training habits. So a swimming function for triathletes is indispensable and also for hobby and casual swimmers very interesting. Sports watches for swimmers record, for example, the number of lanes and the distance covered. The number of moves can also be calculated to improve your own performance step by step.
Also very useful is a recovery guide that tells you when to postpone the workout to another day. The Recovery Guide uses various values to determine your current state of health and provides you with valuable advice for effective regeneration. In this context, a sleep analysis function is very interesting.
If you want to optimally plan your structure and intensity of your training, you also benefit from a training plan function. Among other things, it allows you to plan routes and timelines, making training even more effective.
Is a sports watch suitable for training on the roller trainer?
Yes, a sports watch can also be used to train on the roller trainer. Although modern roller trainers are already equipped with various functions, however, the records of a sports watch are usually much more extensive, making the investment worthwhile.
Basically, you do not need any additional accessories to use a sports watch. In both stationary sports retailers and in many online shops, you will still find plenty of practical accessories , with the help of which you can use your sports watch even more efficient. Here is an overview.
Smartphone, Tablet PC and Co.
Modern sports watches have a wireless interface that allows the device to be connected to a smartphone, tablet or computer. This feature is essential if you want to evaluate the measurement data collected by the watch. Whether it's heart rate, mileage, or calories burned: Apps are available for most sports watches, so you can create charts, charts, and performance curves at your fingertips.
The chest strap
If your sports watch is to be equipped with a heart rate monitor, check before purchase whether a chest strap is required for the measurement and, if so, whether it is already included in the scope of delivery. If the included chest strap does not suit you, most manufacturers may reorder a strap of a different size. Some models are even without a chest strap, because they measure the pulse via the sensor directly on the wrist.
Bicycle mounts, headphones & Co.
Bike racks are available for cyclists, while those who like to listen to music while playing sports make the right choice with a Bluetooth headset. Also very handy are carrying cases and covers that protect the sports watch from damage when not in use, as well as removable bracelets that allow you to adapt your sports watch optimally to your sports outfit and to your personal taste.
Alternatives to the sports watch
If you look around in the trade, you will find that there are many alternatives to the sports watch. However, most devices are limited to individual functions, while only the sports watch combines a variety of functions in one device. An overview of widely used alternatives can be found here.
Pedometer / pedometer
Pediatric pedometers are worn in the pocket, on the waistband or around the neck. This has the disadvantage of making it easier to lose weight while keeping a sports watch securely on the wrist. Pedometers have a motion sensor that counts the steps and is often able to display the distance traveled in kilometers. Modern pedometers allow the user to program a daily target so that they will be informed with a signal when the target is reached. Especially beginners are animated in this way to more movement.
Heart rate monitor
While modern sports watches combine many functions in one device, the heart rate monitor focuses on the measurement of the heart rate. The devices are usually compatible with the smartphone or can be connected to the PC via Bluetooth or WLAN. Some heart rate monitors show the distance traveled or calories burned - but most of the time the devices are designed to measure heart rate. Heart rate monitors are especially suitable for athletes who want to improve their condition and perform a pulse-controlled training. Those looking for motivation, on the other hand, are better advised to use a sports watch. Heart rate monitors are available in two different versions: with chest strap or with sensor. If you decide on the variant with chest strap, be sure to that the chest strap is of high quality and has a high wearing comfort. Especially in sports, it is important that nothing presses or scrapes, so it does not cause skin irritation. Also make sure that the chest strap is not too heavy. Last but not least, the same applies to a sports watch: The display must be sufficiently large, clear and legible, so that you can easily read the values during training.
A fitness bracelet, also called fitness tracker, is basically a combination of heart rate monitor and smartwatch. The devices have a lower functionality than sports watches and are usually not quite as accurate. Many models also have no display, but only have LED lights - so you only get an accurate overview of your performance when you connect the fitness bracelet with your smartphone or computer. Basically, the colorful bracelets serve only to monitor activity and thus their own motivation. Who wants to analyze his training comprehensively, therefore, with a sports watch the better choice.