Lauren and Tim's Fitness Gadget Review

 

Please NLauren and Tim Bestote:

The pros and cons lists are not comprehensive lists of each fitness band’s features. Rather they are just some of the distinguishing features we found most useful for each.

Fitness gear

Fitbit Flex – $99.99

Pros: Comfortable, great phone app, easy to use, tracks sleep and can even go back to log sleep after the fact, vibrating alarm, tracks water and food consumption.

 Cons: no display, hard to keep the 2-piece band dry and can get moldy where the tracker fits in.

This is a great product for someone who just wants to keep track of basic fitness, sleep, and food. The display shows 5 dots that help track your progress, but has no ability to tell time, or give exact feedback directly from the band.

Striiv Touch – $99.99

Pros: Comfortable, small, water-resistant, smartwatch, phone notifications directly to your wrist, sleep tracking, great phone app.

Cons: Battery life with constant use is only about two days.

This is a personal favorite of the products tested. Striiv has done a great job making fitness fun and accessible for everyone. The striiv touch has an in-app game to help you meet your daily step goal, as well as being partnered with global giving so that Striiv and corporate partners donate on your behalf (based on step-taking) to various charities including clean water in Bolivia, rainforest preservation in Tanzania, and a polio vaccine fund for children in India. The Striiv also allows for new app versions to be added and updated, meaning the product will continue to improve and have new features.

Soleus GO – $89.99

Pros: Tons of information contained on the band, nice LED screen.

Cons: Not as comfortable to wear, vibrating alarm pulse is very weak, incoming messages continue to vibrate until they are manually dismissed.

This is a pretty good second choice to the Striiv if you really want a smartwatch and fitness band combination.

LG lifeband – $129.99

Pros: Touch screen, phone notifications, sleek look.

Cons: Extremely uncomfortable, phone app is not very helpful.

This was probably a least favorite band purely based how uncomfortable it was to wear. The band looks nice and has some great features including incoming message/call alerts, and control over your iTunes, but it was certainly not good enough in our opinion to compensate for the price and the discomfort.

Misfit Shine – $99.99

Pros: Looks great – almost like jewelry, has a timekeeping feature, completely waterproof – ok for swimming, no need for charging.

Cons: Phone app is not very user friendly, watch feature is hard to use and see in daylight.

This would be ideal for a swimmer or biker who wanted to be discrete about wearing a fitness band. Aesthetics definitely takes precedence over usefulness with the Misfit Shine, and it’s very apparent.

Basis (Health Tracker for Activity, Sleep & Stress) – $199.00

Pros: Built-in heart rate monitor, user-friendly screen and data sheets, option to add new “habits” (goals) as you complete previous ones, time and date displayed on wrist but no phone notifications.

Cons: Bulky, must be worn tight enough for HR sensors to work against wrist which proved to be slightly uncomfortable.

They call it the basis band but its design appears to be more of a watch. We found the multi-sensor heart rate monitor feature to be great as you could instantly stop and check what your HR was for different scenarios throughout the day. However, unlike a chest strap HR monitor, the optical blood flow sensing technology is not as good about capturing HR during movement (so recommendation is to stop for a moment to check throughout exercise). It remains to be a fascinating way to check stress levels and resting HR, sleep and sweat levels, and general cardiovascular health without wearing extra devices. All this data in only one wristwatch might outweigh the downside of the watch being larger than other bands to some people.

Recommendation

If you want a fitness band right now, go with the Striiv, otherwise we would say to wait. The field of “smartbands” – that is, combining fitness bands and smartwatches – is a quickly advancing field. Products like the Razer Nabu, Martian Notifier, as well as the Apple iWatch will all be available soon. Check back in 6 months to see what products are offered then. Remember, the band is all about YOU, so decide which aspects are important to have in your band and which ones you could live without… then just keep doing your research.

 

 

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