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Russian experts evaluated the accuracy of 7 popular fitness trackers

The market for fitness trackers today is one of the fastest growing segments in the field of “smart electronics”. This boom began quite recently — if a couple of years ago, mass production of the gadgets worked only a few manufacturers, today in the race healthy technology” involved dozens of companies ranging from small startups to corporations with a worldwide reputation. Simultaneously with the increase in the number of customers is growing request on the competence of the choice of the fitness tracker. On what parameters should pick up a gadget? The beauty, the presence of certain features, the accuracy of the recording of the results or the widest possible support for existing mobile software platforms? Experts Roskontrol.Russia has tested the popular fitness trackers at once on all these points.

Conventionally, the “gold” standard modern fitness tracker can be formulated, if not to take into account many additional features that are often not needed. But still respecting the tracker must be able to count steps, distance traveled, calories burned, and “smart” to Wake his master and inform him about the current situation, it is convenient to charge. For these parameters the samples were evaluated by experts, analyzing the stated hardware capabilities.

Participated in the testing of 7 models fitness trackers: Jawbone UP 2.4, Fitbit Flex, Striiv Fusion,Youwell Smartband Xiaomi Mi Band, Polar Loop, Sony Smartband SWR10 – cost from 1,500 to 9,000 rubles.

The surprise in the test

1. Steps consider

For an effective workout, basically, you want your fitness tracker can correctly calculate distance traveled, number of steps and calories burned. Measurement precision was carried out using a standard for each sample application. They were all installed on the same smartphone. The accuracy of the distance travelled was estimated on a reference stretch of 500 meters, the correct operation of the pedometer was determined at a distance of 500 feet.

The first surprise of the test was the fact that the steps and distance none of the samples correctly calculate could not. Second – many of the samples fell to the measured data, even outside of very loyal error of 10% set by the experts of Rescontrol.

+ Worst pedometer – tracker Jawbone: the accuracy can be called, without minimizing, terrifying. He “gleaning” 93 step, i.e., showed about 20% (!) the discrepancy with reality.

+ Jawbone and Striiv extremely much mistaken in the assessment passed the 500-meter distance, the trackers missed 100 and 110 m, respectively.

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+ If all the samples had a mistake in the calculation of the distance “a minus” Polar Loop “overrated” test.

Interestingly, even leading samples when calculating the distances were wrong about one point – 50 meters. This error can be explained by the peculiarities of GPS technology in urban environments.

2. Who is the most functional

Design all participants of the test will enable us to move, for example, a light rain, but not officially reported.

+ Full autonomy in the conduct of training does not provide a Fitbit, Polar and Striiv – in a couple of each of them should carry your smartphone with you to capture the entire volume of data.

+ The presence of a character display on the body in some cases will facilitate the awareness during training owners and Polar Striiv.

+ Also, like Youwell, and Sony, Striiv on the body there is a standard microUSB port, whereby to charge the bracelet, you can use any standard cable from any available USB port, whereas the other samples of the connectors to connect the cable, and all cables, original.

+ Outsider of this phase of testing was the model from Fitbit – its functionality is recognized as the most modest.

+ Counter no pulse in any of the tested model, but the “smart alarm clock”, on the contrary, everyone has.

3. Who is friends with whom?

The smartphone app is, speaking in the language of physiology, “person”, “brain” and “vocal apparatus” of each of the fitness tracker. It is the usability of the app depends on the comfort of training. As shown by observation, if the application is challenging to master, not too intuitive interface malfunctioning, the user quickly removes it from your everyday life and, consequently, ceases to use the fitness tracker.

Brand application was assessed against a range of criteria. Among them is the speed of access to key functions (in clicks) and to information about the current progress. Also the rating was influenced by the stability of the application is in trial period and support for various mobile platforms.

“Almost all of the fitness trackers are guaranteed to be “friends” with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, ” says Ilya Sukhanov, head of the testing laboratory NP “Rescontrol. Owners of gadgets on the Android platform to enjoy the workouts under the “supervision” of trackers will be more difficult: many models begin to “act up” when connecting with some smart phones and completely ignoring others. More likely to succeed — users of the Android operating system 5.x, it almost always required the presence of Bluetooth 4.0. The most difficult time for the owners of smartphones based on Windows Phone: six samples such compatibility does not offer, in principle, willing to work only with iOS and Android. There is another problem related to Windows Phone: the functionality of some applications for this platform is often poorer than for two more mass, also may be missing localization”.

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+ Two truly multiplatform bracelet is Xiaomi and Fitbit.

+ The most hassle-free on the part of the synchronization can be called Jawbone and Xiaomi.

+ Polar, as well, and Fitbit, requires relatively recent versions of iOS or Android (with Android 4x may experience chaotic difficulties on different gadgets). Thus to complete the work with Polar, you need to connect to the computer to perform a primary initialization using proprietary software. Other trackers can do without this stage.

+ Localization of the samples tested applications mostly complete, except for models from Fitbit – app “talks” to the user only in English, largely because of this bracelet became the outsider of this test.

+ In General, the application also can be called intuitive..

Testers noted the ease of use of the software for wristbands from Jawbone and Xiaomi.

+ The functionality of the application was very similar: fixing workout results, statistics, recommendations on the intensity and duration of workouts to keep fit or effective weight loss, the ability to share achievements through social networks.

4. Design and comfort

A fitness tracker should be a universal gadget, even in the sense of its appearance. Because the monitoring activity takes place not only during training, but in everyday life, so the bracelet is better not to remove with the hands. So, it needs to be approached with sportswear, office wear and even evening options. The concept of “approach” also laid ergonomic devices trackers should easily put on and removed with the hands, do not RUB your wrist, not to cling to the sleeve. In General, once again not to remind the owner of their existence.

The design and usability of pre-anonymised samples was evaluated by a focus group of 6 people. To test fitness trackers participants in the focus groups had no relationship, prices and brands them was not disclosed.

+ First place the sum of the two estimates, got a good, though expensive Polar.

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+ The most comfortable to wear have been recognized as Jawbone, despite the lack of full adjustment to the size of the hands and the inconvenience of wearing under clothing with long sleeves.

+ And the most “uncomfortable”, according to the respondents, and our testers, is Youwell – the leader of the other stages of testing. For day wear it is hardly necessary, and during workouts rubs his wrist.

+ Bracelets Striiv and Fitbit summed tight clasp, although in General they are described as “thoughtful and ergonomic”.

+ If we talk about the quality of materials and appearance, the minimum score is again at Youwell. However, the overall gap between leader and outsider in the estimates for design and ease hardly be called significant – a total of 12 points within a 100-point scale.

The top three

1. Accurate, convenient, multifunctional Youwell.

+ Was the most accurate in counting steps and distance walked. Lost estimated just two steps.

+ Was able to break away from his pursuers, mainly due to the announced dust and humidity protection class IP6/IP67, which allows you to train even in the desert, even in the pouring rain, without fear of damaging the gadget.

+ Character display on the body in some cases will facilitate the awareness during workouts.

+ There is a standard microUSB port, whereby to charge the bracelet, you can use any standard cable from any available USB port.

+ Fast access to the functions and obtained in the training data.

+ Ease of use of the software.

2. Comfortable, accurate, convenient Xiaomi.

+ Error in counting steps and distance traveled amounted to a minimum of one to two percent.

+ A truly multiplatform bracelet is friends with iPhone and Android.

+ The most hassle-free in terms of timing.

+ Ease of use of the software.

3. Beautiful, accurate, multi-function Sony.

+ Pedometer is wrong for a minimum of one to two percent.

+ There is a standard microUSB port, whereby to charge the bracelet, you can use any standard cable from any available USB port.

+ The only model in the test, the module is equipped with NFC. One convergence with a compatible smartphone, and he himself starts to download and install a branded app.

+ Tracker Sony does not work with the iPhone, the app is only for Android, apparently, based on the company’s smartphones.

+ The highest score for ease of wearing and appearance – for a simple yet very elegant look. And dressed in nice to the touch rubber strap with a velvety surface.

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