With the AS 99, the manufacturer Beurer has an affordable fitness tracker on offer that aims to promote the “active lifestyle” of its users. We test what the tracker is good for.
If you are looking for a cheap fitness tracker, you will sooner or later come across devices such as the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 (test report) and Realme Band (test report) for less than 30 euros, as well as Beurer models. The AS 99 fitness bracelet is the most expensive model in the manufacturer’s portfolio, but its price is still well below the competition from the top dog Fitbit. We test the AS 99 fitness tracker and clarify, among other things, how well the tracker performs in terms of activity measurement and whether the tracker can convince as a cheap alternative to well-known brands.
The test for the AS 99 appears in our fitness tracker theme world. In addition to this tracker, we have already tested alternatives such as the Honor Band 5 (test report), the Fitbit Charge 4 (test report) or the Huawei Band 4 (test report). We also clarify whether joggers should use a tracker or a sports watch.
Simple and black – that’s how the AS 99 comes along. A simple, stretchable silicone bracelet with a metallic buckle wraps around the tracker’s housing, which is made of matt plastic. The bracelet can be completely removed from the case and is tightened around the tracker. One movement is enough to separate the case and bracelet from each other. This can be helpful if you want to clean the bracelet. Although the housing of the tracker is relatively thick, the AS 99 does not appear bulky, but rather inconspicuous.
The display of the AS 99 is embedded directly in the housing of the tracker, but has a rather unsightly black border. So it does not completely fill the top of the case. Beurer does not provide any information about the screen itself, apart from the fact that it is a color touch display. The information on the display looks more functional and a bit old-fashioned, but remains easy to read at all times due to the high brightness of the screen, even in direct sunlight. The touch display itself fulfills its purpose, but the lack of additional buttons on the case becomes noticeable in the long run: We always have to wipe through all menus first if we want to jump back to the main display of the tracker.
The AS 99 is certified according to the IP67 standard, which means that the tracker can only survive temporary submersion in shallow water. The scope of delivery of the AS 99 includes the tracker and the associated wristband, a USB charging cable and operating instructions.
The Beurer AS 99 is very easy to set up and is similar to other fitness trackers: We load the associated Beurer Healthmanager app onto our smartphone, create an account and connect the fitness tracker to the app via Bluetooth by entering a PIN. The setup itself only takes a few minutes and the app explains all its functions and the operation of the tracker in a detailed tutorial if necessary. Users who are familiar with fitness trackers can find their way around here just as quickly as newcomers.
When you start the Beurer Healthmanager app for the first time, you notice that the manufacturer has an older target group in mind with the AS 99 and the associated software. The entire user interface of the app looks conservative and is kept very simple overall. In principle, this does not have to be bad, but in this case the information content suffers when processing the recorded data. Example pulse: The app shows a value of 68 on a line in the pulse measurement area on the main page. A diagram then outputs the respective pulse values for the current day, but without any time or other specific values. Only the average pulse is emblazoned at the top right in the “Pulse” area. If we click on the tab, the app shows us the current pulse, the detailed course and the individual measurements for each day in three submenus, but here too there is a lack of overview and details because the app does not have any specific values for the measured values in the diagram Indicating numbers. If you want to get an overview of your own heart rate, you have to rummage through a multitude of meaningless diagrams, the use of which appeared rather questionable in the test.
The overview of the other data looks a little better. The app also shows the steps taken in a diagram and informs us whether we have achieved our step goals. The same goes for our sleep. We can set the corresponding goals in total and for each individual day in the app. The Diary tab then provides an overview of these goals and the average heart rate for each day.
Activity & training
Beurer markets the AS 99 as an activity sensor that measures movement and the heart rate reached. The latter works on the wrist with the help of an optical sensor. The pulse measurement provided usable values in our test with slight but tolerable fluctuations. The AS 99 had to calibrate itself briefly after it was put on, but then output suitable values, which for most of the time only deviated in the single-digit range from the result of our control device (Polar pulse belt H9).
The pedometer also cut a fine figure and couldn’t be tricked by simply shaking the tracker. The app uses the measured steps to determine the distance covered, the duration of activity and the calorie consumption of a day. If you want, you can set a step goal in the app. As soon as we have reached the goal, the tracker informs us about it. We can also set up a movement reminder so that the bracelet vibrates if we have not moved for a longer period of time.
If you buy an activity tracker, you often do so not only to count your own steps (a smartphone app is also sufficient), but also to record specific sports units such as running, swimming and cycling. Unfortunately, in contrast to almost all comparable competitor models, the AS 99 does not have such a function. So we can only record activities that the tracker can measure as steps. There is no separate training record. A small consolation: The AS 99 is with the Runtastic App compatible, so that we can keep our heart rate in Runtastic can save.
Music & notification
The bad news first: The AS 99 has no music control. After all, the tracker offers the option of displaying incoming notifications on the smartphone. The AS 99 must be connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth and then informs the user of incoming messages and calls via push notification. Users can view text messages, notifications and missed calls on the tracker display, but cannot accept calls directly via the tracker.
The display of the notifications works sufficiently well despite the relatively small screen. The display is easy to use and, thanks to the brightness of the display, easy to read at any time. However, the tracker does not offer a way to reply to messages directly. To do this, users then have to pick up their smartphone again.
In addition to the actual activity tracking, the Beurer AS 99 also has sleep measurement. However, we have to activate these separately – the tracker does not automatically recognize when we are sleeping. A tap on the corresponding display is enough to start sleep tracking. We then stop tracking after waking up by tapping the touch display again. The app then shows us the result in the categories “relaxing”, “restless” and “awake”.
Unfortunately we experienced a total failure with the AS 99 during sleep tracking: The tracker must have stopped the sleep measurement in the middle of the night. Instead of an actual sleep time of around seven and a half hours, the app only showed two hours and 40 minutes. We cannot say exactly what caused this incorrect measurement – movements of the wrist during sleep may have caused the tracker to stop tracking. We tested the sleep tracking a few more nights and found that the accuracy left a lot to be desired. The AS 99 recognized awake phases only very inadequately. In addition, the app does not provide any information about the heart rate during the individual sleep phases (we can only call up both separately from each other) or at their time. The sleep tracking thus proved to be generally useless in our test.
The AS 99 from Beurer has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 100mAh – a rather low figure, but we consider it appropriate for the price of the device. The battery turned out to be reasonably economical in our test: With normal use without activated notifications and including sleep tracking, it ran out after a good four days. This roughly corresponds to the manufacturer’s information: Beurer promises a maximum runtime of five days in stand-by mode.
Beurer sells the AS 99 at a price of 54.99 (RRP). This makes the tracker the most expensive activity sensor that the manufacturer has in its range. There are no color variants or interchangeable bracelets or additional accessories. The street price for the AS 99 at the time of the test was just under 45 euros. The fitness tracker is therefore in the lower price segment for corresponding tracking hardware.
When testing the AS 99, we asked ourselves several times which target group Beurer had in mind with this fitness tracker. Because the A99 is relatively cheap, but still offers fewer functions than competing products from Xiaomi or Fitbit. In addition, the app provides hardly usable data that is too confusing and cumbersome. The fact that the whole product somehow looks rather conservative and visually boring doesn’t make things any better.
Apart from the halfway useful pulse measurement, the AS 99 offers no real added value: functions such as training recording or music control are missing and the step counter can also replace your own smartphone. But even the pulse measurement does not really justify a purchase, because there have long been better trackers and, above all, chest straps on the market that do this job at the same or cheaper price and with a significantly higher degree of accuracy.