I have been using the HEAD Zepp Sensor for a while together with my HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro, and I have gathered some impressions that I wanted to share with you. Bear in mind that this is the first time I am using a sensor, so I am coming to this fresh in this HEAD Zepp sensor review.
First of all, I was impressed by how small the HEAD Zepp Sensor was. Previous sensors like the Sony one or the previous Zepp, was protruding enough from the racquet to impact how you play. Not so with the new HEAD Zepp sensor. This is mean to just replace the butt cap plug (I am heading into sketchy linguistic territory here I feel) and does not add more than a couple of grams to the frame and is very easy to install. This is probably the strongest point of the whole product, but let us delve deeper into the HEAD Zepp sensor review.
You charge the sensor through a magnetic charger which you put on the butt cap after it is installed. After charging you can install the HEAD Zepp sensor app, which I am giving two thumbs up for its nice design and for being quite easy to use. Please keep in mind that the HEAD Zepp sensor only works with racquets from, or newer, than the HEAD Graphene Touch line. Like I said I was using the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro (read my first impressions of this racquet here).
HEAD Zepp Sensor Review – What does it do?
I have always wanted to try a sensor but my main fear is that I would find it exciting for two or three times and then get bored. It has to be really useful for me to keep tracking my progress. So what can you do with the HEAD Zepp sensor? This is the main screen of the app and I will explain what it does:
Play is when you track your play. The sensor then measures how often you hit the sweet spot, what spin and pace you have on your shots, how many calories you burn, etc. I am not sure how it does all this and what the accuracy is, but I found the sweet spot data quite useful, as well as how many RPM (rotations per minute) I get on my shots. Below is an idea of a 25 minute session.
Train is basically some video content illustrating tennis exercises you can do to work on your forehand power etc. You can watch the exercise and then do it yourself while the sensor measures your ball speed and spin for the shot that you are working on. I think this can be quite useful for you to be able to see if you are making any improvements in building up reliable pace on your shots, and the drills are not bad (and are getting updated with new content through the app).
Compete is an area I do not really understand as of yet, so here I need to get back to you. I think this post about the Zepp 2 video functionality describes it better, to me it seems fairly useless. Especially since I record every practice session anyway with a proper camera.
Practice serve does exactly what it says it does, and since this is a stroke you can practice on your own, I was quite excited about it. What the sensor does is capture your service motion (through “3D capture”) and read your ball speed. I tested this with four different players of relatively high level and despite smacking the ball quite hard we could not reach a higher speed than 169 km/h. Pretty much all serves seemed to land within 160-170 range which is a bit strange considering one of the players is an ex-pro with a much faster serve than that.
HEAD Zepp Sensor Review – Summary
I think the HEAD Zepp sensor has a few good things going for it. It is easy to use and install. It does not change the characteristics of the frame more than add a couple of grams to the butt cap. I like the “Train” part where you can do drills and measure how you do over time. “Play” is also nice to measure the sweet spot accuracy and the spin and pace on your balls (not sure how they measure “ball heaviness” however!). “Compete” however strikes me as kind of pointless and “Practice serve” is a disappointment since from my estimations it is not even close to accurately measuring ball speed.
Will I keep using the HEAD Zepp sensor? Yes, at least as long as I keep testing the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro racquet. It is a shame I cannot move this from racquet to racquet (unless I stick with new HEAD racquets), since it would be good to compare performance when I do racquet reviews. However, since the serve data seems quite inaccurate, how much can I trust the other data? I am not sure. And it will require some work to make sense of all the data and turn it into useful information guiding my improvement. This is why my fear persists. I simply think there is a risk this will be a product that I use for this review and it then ends up in my tennis cabinet or for sale.
I am curious to hear what you think about this HEAD Zepp sensor review and if you would be keen to try one yourself. Please comment below!