The brand HEAD is well known for its innovative technologies - used for hardware and textiles alike. HEAD tennis rackets are perfect for quick-reacting, powerful players who expect only the best from their equipment. The brand’s mission to live up to these high expectations is clearly reflected in the HEAD Tennis Sensor.
The HEAD Tennis Sensor: open - connect - play - review
Just looking at the packaging already gives you a feel of the design: calm and clean but also chic, with an action shot of Novak Djokovic on the front. The back of the box gives you some technical information, which makes you realise what an innovative product you’ve got in your hands. Everything about the packaging is making me want to open it up and try out the gadget.
The tool that came in the box allows you to attach the sensor to all compatible HEAD rackets very easily. I’ve mounted the Tennis Sensor onto my HEAD Graphene Touch Radical Pro. I had to use the installation tool to remove the end-cap on my racket and replace it with the Sensor - quick and easy to do.
The end-cap and the Sensor are the exact same weight (which is 7 g), so the stats of the racket and your shots are not affected in the least. The last thing you need to do before your first serve is to download the free HEAD Tennis Sensor app, which you can find both in the App Store and in the Play Store. As soon as you’ve installed the app on your phone and set up your account, you can get going: just charge the sensor, connect it to your racket, select the racket type, size and weight, choose playing hand and grab a tennis ball. The sensor battery will last for over a good five hours of playing time.
Four modes for your tennis game
The HEAD Sensor has four modes: play, train, compete and practice serve. Each of these offers the option of working on a specific goal during the game.
I used all four modes during my test. I made sure I always selected the relevant mode in my app before starting to play. The HEAD Tennis Sensor powered by ZEPP turns on and begins collecting automatically when you rotate the racket end-cap slightly. There’s no need to do anything else with the Sensor or the data until the end of the match or training session. You can pause data collection from the Sensor via the app. Knowing that the Sensor was on really helped motivate me and increased my concentration while I played.
The training mode has several different exercises to practice all of the baseline shots. Each exercise comes with short, easy-to-follow instructions accompanied by videos and images. I actually used these exercises as inspiration for my pre-match warm-up. This is a great service that will definitely help you in your tennis training sessions.
The competition mode offers the usual tracking functions, as well as the option of counting every point via a game tracker. This means that you can analyse the tennis match once it’s already over. Tracking the game yourself only really makes sense if you have someone off the tennis court with access to the analysis in the app.
In serve mode, the app uses the HEAD Tennis Sensor to create a 3D animation of your arm movement during a serve. Here I was disappointed to find out that you can’t see which movements in the sequence are good and which need working on.
On the whole, the display of the collected data is very detailed and extensive. Whichever mode it’s in, the HEAD Tennis Sensor powered by ZEPP always counts the total shots during the game, how long the racket remains active and how many calories you’ve burned. The app also offers you a precise overview of the different shot types, which are categorised under forehand, backhand, smash, serve and volley - these are then further divided up into topspin, drive and slice. This is where you get specific information on averages, maximum ball speed, spin and heaviness. The app also provides a percentage value for the sweet spot, i.e. how effectively you hit the ball.
My overall impressions:
In my opinion, the HEAD Tennis Sensor powered by ZEPP is a good all-round product. During the practice test with the HEAD Graphene Touch Radical Pro it impressed me with how easy it was to use and how many tools it provides. The Sensor itself is a very clever gadget and I’m sure it’s going to please all the tennis fans who want to analyse their game. My only criticism would be the lack of concrete suggestions for improvement - you get a lot of figures and data that allow you to analyse your game, but when it comes to rating your performance, you’re pretty much left to it. On the whole, though, the HEAD Tennis Sensor is a great device with lots of outstanding features.
The HEAD Tennis Sensor: who is it for?
From what I can see, the HEAD Tennis Sensor is perfect for all ambitious tennis players who want a clear picture of their game, but you do need a little patience to work with all of the data provided by the Sensor and come up with a targeted review of your performance. Players who want to use the Sensor to improve in the long-term should take the time to analyse the data after every match.