The big sports watch comparison in autumn / winter 2020/2021

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Would you like a new sports watch? Or a fitness tracker that you can wear both during exercise and in everyday life? Or even a real smartwatch with sports functionality?

Then you are absolutely right here with my sports watch comparison.

The market for so-called wearables has long since become huge. The transitions between the areas of application are fluid. And new models come onto the market regularly. It is difficult to keep track of things.

I would like to try to shed some light on the subject and briefly introduce you to the current models in the individual areas of application. And the whole thing in an overview of which device is best suited for which area of ​​application.

Two top dogs, a pioneer and a few niche manufacturers
There are two top dogs in the field of sports watches – Polar and Garmin . Both manufacturers have long been established and deliver good to excellent quality. If you go to the fitness tracker area, it looks a little different.

Here the manufacturer Fitbit has the lead , which was pretty much the first on the new fitness tracker market and which has now defended its pole position against very strong competition.

There are of course a few other providers that are good alternatives. Suunto should be mentioned here as an example especially for triathletes who value individuality. And of course, should Apple with its Apple Watch not miss, because even that is suitable to record to your workout. And finally there is a new player from the Far East on the market – the Huawei Watch .

Pulse measurements all have in common
All of the devices presented here have one thing in common: pulse measurement on the wrist or, alternatively, with a pulse belt. If you want to do without it, in my opinion a smartphone app like Strava , Adidas Runtastic or Runkeeper is sufficient. There is no cheaper way to record your training. The absolute number 1 in terms of smartphone app for running can be found here .

My idea of ​​the most common models is divided into three broad areas: Models for runners & multi-athletes, smartwatches and fitness trackers . Overall, I present the following models:

Garmin Forerunner 245
Polar M430
Polar Vantage
Garmin Fenix ​​6
Suunto 9
Apple Watch
Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Fitbit Versa 3
Polar Ignite
Garmin Vivosmart 4
Polar A370
Sports watches – comparison for runners & multi-athletes
It wasn’t that long ago that a pair of running shoes and a pair of training clothes were enough to start running. Almost unthinkable today, because the training is not considered to have been carried out without recording.😉

The smartphone with a running app is usually only enough for absolute beginners. As soon as you are on the road a little more often and with more ambition, the call for a sports watch becomes loud. And I can absolutely understand that, more than 10 years ago, it was also one of my first sports equipment acquisitions.

In addition to pulse measurement, the most important functions are the GPS, which all models in this category have. In the best case scenario, this means that your smartphone can stay at home.

Models for the runner
The ambitious runner can choose between these two models:

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
The Garmin Forerunner 245 has been the mid-range watch for all runners since May 2019. The sports watch offers pretty much everything a runner’s heart desires. GPS, heart rate measurement on the wrist, health functions, step counter and of course smartphone connectivity to use the watch as a smartwatch are natural features.

It gets really exciting with the concrete training control. It shows the ambitious runner in connection with the optional (and recommended) heart rate belt * step frequency , step length, ground contact time and balance of the ground contact time, vertical movement and vertical ratio. Absolute professional features that every running nerd is happy with.

Less nerdy, but useful for everyone (or woman) is the view of your training status (e.g. VO2Max) and the training load, which the 245 also displays and calculates. There is also the Garmin Coach 2.0 function, with which you can even customize your training plans. According to the manufacturer, the battery life is very good, because up to 24 hours in GPS mode without music playback is enough for an ultra trail run.

Speaking of music – the optional integrated MP3 player is still a real unique selling point from Garmin and since the watch is also ready for contactless payment with Garmin Pay, in the future both the smartphone and the money can stay at home and you are still ready for the drink stop at the gas station. The spread, especially in Germany, is still very expandable.

You shouldn’t forget the appearance, because the Forerunner 245 is not only compact and light, but also shines with a large selection of colors. A really nice piece at a fair price.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music White Black
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music White Black
Battery Ordinance: Battery Ordinance You are legally obliged to …
Electronic waste: electrical and electronic equipment does not belong in the …
Parts of animal origin: No.
327.06 EUR
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Polar M430
The Polar M430 was launched as the successor to the extremely successful M400 in 2017 . In contrast to its predecessor, the M430 has also integrated pulse measurement on the wrist.

The main focus of the discreet watch, available in pretty colors, lies in the coaching functions of Polar. A five-minute fitness test, for example, gives you information on how your training is progressing.

Training load, recovery status, calorie calculation as well as Polar’s own “Running Index”, which assesses your running performance based on speed and heart rate, are tools that are very popular with runners. In addition, you will receive motivating feedback on effectiveness immediately after your training.

Of course, you can also wear your M430 in everyday life and use it as a smartwatch. This means that the messages on your smartphone are also displayed on the watch and you can also permanently record your pulse and steps and monitor your sleep.

Discreet, chic and with all the necessary functions and at an almost unbeatable price. Only the bracelet is criticized by some athletes as not durable.

Polar M430 running watch, orange, M / L
Polar M430 running watch, orange, M / L
Optical pulse measurement on the wrist
Intelligent 24/7 pulse measurement on the wrist; A-GPS
24/7 activity tracking; Numerous sports profiles
Comprehensive and advanced training functions especially for runners
Polar Smart Coaching
119.00 EUR
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Triathlon & multisport – the elite of sports watches
If you not only run, but also do other sports, then you should take a closer look at this section. In the field of multisport there are not only sports watches for triathletes, but also the top models from all manufacturers who cut an excellent figure in everyday life and also represent absolute technical highlights.

Polar Vantage V2
For years, the upper class of sports watches was a Garmin domain. But since last year Polar has declared war. The Finnish manufacturer presented its Polar Vantage V2 in 2020 .

In addition to – according to the manufacturer – significantly improved pulse measurement on the wrist, the Vantage is the first watch to have an integrated performance measurement for running training. The data is calculated using GPS and barometer data and could, if the technology prevails, replace the pulse measurement for training control.

Why it is like that? Your pulse reacts very slowly to changes and altitude meters are not taken into account in the training control based on pace. Performance measurement, on the other hand, is accurate to the second and therefore also the standard for bike training.

Otherwise, the watch is one thing in particular – super light. The piece of jewelery weighs just 52 g. Other cool new features are Komoot compatibility and music control. For the latter, however, unlike some Garmin models, you still need your smartphone.

The Vantage V2 is the pretty fast-paced model of the Vantage V only released last year, and this time it’s actually a declaration of war that should make some at Garmin sweat. Polar relies on a subtle look with a large display for its top model. The Polar Vantage is also available in a slimmed-down (and in most cases sufficient) M version *. There, however, still in the first version.

OFFERPolar Vantage V2 – Premium multisport watch GPS Smartwatch – wrist pulse measurement for running, swimming, cycling – music control, weather forecast, smart notifications
Polar Vantage V2 – Premium multisport watch GPS Smartwatch – wrist pulse measurement for running, swimming, cycling – music control, weather forecast, smart notifications
The lightweight premium multisport smartwatch (only 52 g) is equipped with innovative …
The tracking of training load and recovery supports the …
Polar Vantage V2 comes with the free Polar Flow app for planning …
Easily connect to online communities for running, swimming, …
The Polar Vantage V2 offers essential smartwatch functions such as …
EUR −18.39 481.51 EUR
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Garmin Fenix ​​6 Plus
The star among the multisport watches is still the Garmin Fenix ​​6 despite the increased competition . This high-tech watch is available in two versions (Fenix ​​6 and Fenix ​​6 Pro), three display sizes (42, 47 and 51mm) and also in an elegant sapphire look with scratch-resistant glass and with an optional solar panel. However, that has its price. The “cheapest” model starts at around 540 € (RRP) and the high-end product (Fenix ​​6 Pro Solar Edition with titanium bracelet) calls for a four-digit amount (1080 €).

You have to swallow, but the Fenix ​​series also ignites a real firework of (sophisticated) functions. The highlight of the Fenix ​​6 Pro version is the pre-installed colored map material, which is a real highlight in the area of ​​wearables. So you can find your way around in any environment and you can also use the watch perfectly for your hiking excursion.

An integrated MP3 player ensures that you can listen to music with Bluetooth headphones even without a paired smartphone. Otherwise, the Fenix ​​offers everything that the Garmin Forerunner 245 also offers. And more – because great emphasis is placed on multisport functions. When swimming, for example, it automatically recognizes which swimming style you are currently completing and when you are initiating a turn.

Even if the competition is not sleeping, the Fenix ​​6 has become the reference again, but also in terms of price. For me the first choice when it comes to sports watches , I couldn’t resist an upgrade from the Fenix ​​3 HR to the Fenix ​​6X Pro in summer 2020.

OFFERGarmin fenix 6X PRO – GPS multisport smartwatch with sports apps, 1.4 ‘display and heart rate measurement on the wrist. Music player, maps, WiFi and Garmin Pay. Waterproof to 10 ATM, battery for up to 21 days
Garmin fenix 6X PRO – GPS multisport smartwatch with sports apps, 1.4 “display and heart rate measurement on the wrist. Music player, maps, WLAN and Garmin Pay. Waterproof up to 10 ATM, up to 21 days battery
TRAIN EVEN BETTER: With a heart rate measurement directly on the …
PERFECT NAVIGATION: Thanks to the pre-installed TopoActive Europe map with …
HUGE DISPLAY: A clear design statement on your wrist: …
PAY AND MUSIC: Pay for your purchases contactless with the fenix 6X …
OUTSTANDING BATTERY LIFE: Your Garmin has a battery life of up to 21 …
−174.46 EUR 575.53 EUR
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Suunto 9
If the hype surrounding the Fenix ​​is ​​too great for you, then you should read carefully now. Suunto is known especially among outdoor athletes and triathletes as a niche provider for individualists. The manufacturer, which comes from Finland – just like Polar – is known for building the most robust devices.

And so Suunto also focuses more on outdoor features and less on smartwatch functions, as other manufacturers do. The most noticeable thing is the battery life. A spectacular 25 to 120 hours of GPS tracking, depending on the battery modes, are mentioned by the manufacturer. So the charger can stay at home on a weekend trip. This is made possible by the so-called FusedTrack technology. Using an algorithm, the recording takes place in a mixture of motion sensor and reduced GPS data and is still very accurate.

When it comes to sports functions for swimming, cycling and running, no wish remains unfulfilled and the Suunto 9 with its intuitive touchscreen need not shy away from comparison with the models of the two main competitors. Conclusion: The puristic individualist (with a savvy mentality) reaches for the Suunto 9, if you are more of a playful tech fan, you probably feel more comfortable with the Garmin Fenix ​​6 or Polar Vantage V2.

OFFERSuunto 9 Baro GPS sports watch with long battery life and heart rate measurement on the wrist, black, SS050019000
Suunto 9 Baro GPS sports watch with long battery life and heart rate measurement on the wrist, black, SS050019000
The training and competition companion for over 80 sports, waterproof …
Color display with 3 buttons, real graphic display of the heart rate on the …
GPS tracking and route planning with information on the current location, …
Activity monitoring 24/7, Compatible with Strava, Endomondo, Under …
Scope of delivery: 1x Suunto 9 Baro Multisport GPS watch (unisex), USB cable, …
−180.05 EUR 418.95 EUR
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*

Smartwatch – one for all
If everyday functions are more important to you than sports, you should look around at smartwatches. These models are a compromise in terms of sport, which should, however, be completely sufficient for most recreational athletes.

Apple Watch
The best-known representative among the smartwatches is the Apple Watch. The new Series 6 is currently on the market and of course you can also use it to record your training. However, the focus is clearly on the telephone functions and, since this year, on health functions. The Apple Watch is and will remain more of a lifestyle product than a real sports watch.

OFFERApple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 44 mm) space gray aluminum case with black sport band
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 44 mm) space gray aluminum case with black sport band
With the GPS model you can answer calls and text messages from …
Measure the oxygen levels in your blood with a new sensor and a …
Check your heart rhythm with the EKG app
The Always-On Retina Display is 2.5 times brighter outdoors when your …
The S6 SiP is up to 20% faster than the Series 5
−26.20 EUR 432.80 EUR
Buy from Amazon
Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro
The time when Chinese manufacturers were a little ridiculed is now finally over when it comes to wearables and the new Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is “to blame”.

The first thing you notice is the look. Noble titanium case and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal make the watch a real eye-catcher. This not only looks chic on the running track, but also looks great in the office or even with evening wear. By the way, you pay for this elegant look with a plus in weight and thickness.

When it comes to sports functions, no wish remains unfulfilled and another highlight is the promised 14 days (!!!) battery life. Incidentally, all the functionalities are also available at the absolute bargain Huawei Watch GT 2 * without Pro, which is available for just over € 100. A real competitive price on the market!

OFFERHUAWEI WATCH GT 2 Pro Smartwatch, 1.39 inch AMOLED HD touchscreen, 2 weeks battery life, GPS & GLONASS, SpO2, 100+ training modes, Bluetooth calls, heart rate measurement, Night Black
HUAWEI WATCH GT 2 Pro Smartwatch, 1.39 inch AMOLED HD touchscreen, 2 weeks battery life, GPS & GLONASS, SpO2, 100+ training modes, Bluetooth calls, heart rate measurement, Night Black
1.39 inch AMOLED sapphire crystal display: The wear-resistant …
The HUAWEI WATCH GT 2 Pro provides comprehensive values ​​about the heart rate, …
The watch supports precise data acquisition for more than 100 …
Efficient, wireless charging: The HUAWEI GT 2 Pro has a battery life …
Bluetooth calls: Via a Bluetooth connection with the phone, you can …
−43.55 EUR 255.45 EUR
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Garmin Vivoactive 4
After the excursion into the world of real smartwatches, let’s go back to the world of sports watch manufacturers. Last year Garmin brought out the subtle (and relatively narrow) Vivoactive 4 and took the hearts of many sporty women by storm.

The highlight of this watch is the integrated music player and Garmin Pay, the contactless payment app with which you can leave your smartphone and cash at home. As mentioned, the target group for this watch is clearly women who like to go to the gym. There are apps for yoga, strength training or swimming.

But of course you can also go running or cycling with it. The GPS ensures excellent recording, only the limited battery life of 5 hours in GPS and music mode shows where the focus of this watch is, namely in the absolute leisure sports sector. The Garmin Coach with an individual training plan – according to the manufacturer – does the rest.

By the way – if you prefer it angular, you should take a look at the Garmin Venu Sq *.

OFFERGarmin vívoactive 4S – slim, waterproof GPS fitness smartwatch with training plans & animated exercises. For slim wrists, 20 sports apps, 7 days of battery life, contactless payments, music
Garmin vívoactive 4S – slim, waterproof GPS fitness smartwatch with training plans & animated exercises. For slim wrists, 20 sports apps, 7 days of battery life, contactless payments, music
FOR YOUR FITNESS: Over 40 training plans are available with various …
FOR YOUR SPORT: Improve yourself in your sport and let yourself be …
FOR YOUR HEALTH: The health and fitness tracking provides information for …
FOR YOUR MUSIC and PURCHASES: Your watch – a smart companion: Pay …
FOR YOUR STYLE: The vívoactive 4 S – personal lifestyle for …
−31.01 EUR 248.99 EUR
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Fitbit Versa 3
If we leave the field of pure sports watches, another manufacturer immediately comes into view with Fitbit. The Americans are market leaders in the field of fitness trackers and, with the Fitbit Versa 3, are also well represented in the field of smartwatches.

And similar to the Garmin Vivoactive 4, this lifestyle watch places emphasis on smartphone functions as well as the tracking of sports and daily life. A battery life of – according to the manufacturer – over 6 days is really good and the watch has all the other features that are available in comparison. Specifically, the highlights would be music without a smartphone, automatic recognition of your current sport and also contactless payment via the NFC chip. And as a new premium feature, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa.

The modern and slim Fitbit Versa can be individualized with different bracelets and dials and cuts such a chic figure in everyday life. Since the latest version, the Versa 3, the Fitbit finally has integrated GPS on board and has become a real alternative at the latest.

OFFERFitbit Versa 3 – Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, continuous heart rate measurement, voice assistant and up to 6+ days battery
Fitbit Versa 3 – Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, continuous heart rate measurement, voice assistant and up to 6+ days battery
Battery life: 6+ days battery life & quick charge function
Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 12.2 or higher & Android OS …
Integrated GPS: If you are drawn to the outdoors to exercise, it shows you …
Continuous heart rate measurement: The continuous …
Music players & storage: Versa 3 lets you play music and podcasts …
−29.96 EUR 199.99 EUR
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Polar Ignite
Few of them expected this watch – Polar launched a new model, the Ignite, on the fitness market in 2019 and is not only making people sit up and take notice.

The Ignite is definitely made for athletes, has pulse measurement on the wrist and integrated GPS and is your all-round training companion that even offers individually compiled training units. These units are based on a completely new recovery analysis that determines your shape based on your stress level and your sleep measurement.

Sounds exciting and looks good too. Especially since you can freely configure the design of the ad. The price of the watch can still be described as attractive.

OFFERPolar Ignite – GPS Smartwatch – Waterproof fitness watch with optical pulse measurement on the wrist and training instructions
Polar Ignite – GPS Smartwatch – Waterproof fitness watch with optical pulse measurement on the wrist and training instructions
Discovering the True Potential: For anyone who, with the right guidance …
Slim design for comfort around the clock: Optical pulse measurement …
Nightly Recharge: The Nightly Recharge function shows how well the …
FitSpark daily training instructions: creation and display of individual …
Sleep Plus Stages: The Sleep Plus Stages function measures sleep quality, …
−34.95 EUR 194.95 EUR
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Fitness tracker for occasional athletes
If you are one of the occasional athletes or if one of the sports watches is simply too bulky (or expensive) for you, you should take a look around in the fitness tracker area. There are cheaper entry-level models and the difference to smartwatches and sports watches is now very fluid. The most important difference, while GPS is almost always included with sports watches, fitness trackers use your smartphone for GPS recording.

Garmin Vivosmart 4
Garmin focuses on simplicity and slimness in its fitness tracker and thus clearly distinguishes itself from its own watch models. The Vivosmart 4 has style and fits every slim woman’s wrist. But there is also a lot to discover in terms of functionality.

In addition to the classic activity alarms – one of the core functions of fitness trackers – and health functions such as measuring your heart rate, the oxygen saturation of your blood, the effectiveness of your sleep and the detection of your stress level, you can of course also use special apps to record your sporting activities. The only thing you have to do without integrated GPS is to tap into the GPS function of your smartphone.

OFFERGarmin vívosmart 4 fitness tracker – stylish design, heart rate measurement on the wrist, sleep analysis
Garmin vívosmart 4 fitness tracker – stylish design, heart rate measurement on the wrist, sleep analysis
Slim, light bracelet with bright OLED touch display, 7 days …
Extended sleep analysis with progression of the sleep phases, Pulse Ox sensor for …
Body Battery to determine your own energy level for the ideal …
Fitness tracking functions, Move IQ activity detection, …
Scope of delivery: 1x vívosmart 4, 1x USB charging / sync cable, 1x …
−12.00 EUR 87.99 EUR
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Polar A370
Of course, Polar also has a fitness tracker on offer. And in contrast to the two models presented so far, Garmin also explicitly addresses athletes with the Polar A370. Especially if your primary workout is in the gym, the Polar is a great choice. For example, the watch on the treadmill recognizes the distance covered and your speed, while outside you need your smartphone to record GPS.

On its very good training platform, Polar also offers the option of downloading special training plans and then training directly via the watch. A feature that was otherwise only withheld from the more expensive sports watches. 24/7 pulse measurement, intelligent sleep measurement and activity alarms are of course also available in the Polar. If you want a discreet sports watch in the look of a fitness tracker, then the Polar is your first choice.

OFFERPolar A370 fitness tracker, white, S.
Polar A370 fitness tracker, white, S.
Intelligent 24/7 pulse measurement on the wrist
Sleep Plus: advanced sleep analysis
GPS via the paired and carried smartphone
Numerous sports profiles; 24/7 activity tracking
Waterproof; Colored interchangeable bracelets
−19.33 EUR 130.66 EUR
Buy from Amazon
Sports watch comparison – an overview in autumn 2020
Now you have got an overview of what the big market for sports watches will be like in late autumn 2020. Which watch you choose clearly depends on your personal preferences. All models presented here are recommended in principle and suitable for sports.

Of course there are other watches and, especially in the area of ​​fitness trackers, much cheaper models. However, these usually do not have a pulse measurement on the wrist and if so, it is very, very imprecise. In general – if you seriously control your training according to your pulse, you will not be able to avoid a separate pulse belt. This is the only way to guarantee accurate measurements during training. For the recreational athlete, pulse measurement on the wrist is sufficient in any case.