Finding the right fitness tracker
WHAT'S IN A FITNESS TRACKER ANYWAY?
Wearable technology has hit, and it has hit hard. With the new Apple Watch due out in early 2015, this industry is due for a rude awakening. However, is a good smart watch the same thing as a good fitness tracker? Are they interchangeable? Or are they in two different worlds?
The first step is to decide what makes a good fitness tracker. So many qualities are essential to consider when deciding to purchase a product. For example, price, style, comfort, quality, perception, customer support, are all key factors to take into account. I found that most fitness trackers possessed many of these qualities, some faring better than others. However, there are two attributes that I considered most important when purchasing a fitness tracker.
The number one factor was what it tracked. Most trackers at this point measure your heart rate, calories burned, steps taken and so forth. The ones that don’t are in some trouble. But the biggest problem with most trackers is their limitation in what type of exercise they track and how. Most are made to fit around your wrist and are essentially useless when using exercise machines like the elliptical or riding a bike.
INTRODUCING THE PLAYERS
One product in particular, however, has the ability to track walking, running, biking, and sleeping. The Basis fitness tracker can do all this with you simply wearing it on your wrist. According to many users, other trackers were used to measure other types of exercise by putting the product in their socks or tying them to their shoes. But why should one have to do that? A good product does everything you want naturally. It is insane to think that running or walking is the only type of exercise, or that people only do exercises that consist of arm movement. The Basis is not only able to track these different types of exercises, it is also able to detect which ones you are doing on it’s own. This makes the Basis a useful tool for all types of exercises and sports, such as the elliptical, cycling, soccer and field hockey as some examples.
The Basis is water resistant, which allows you to shower with it on. This is yet another way to make your fitness life and your everyday life seamless. It originally started without any applications, limiting users to the online Basis program for analyzing their results. However, they have now developed apps that are both android and iPhone compatible. This keeps Basis on its toes when it comes to the data it pulls from your workouts. It not only tracks these stats for you but it breaks them down into information you can digest. Minute to minute details and graphics break down your workout and give you an excellent perspective of where you are and where you want to be. You can set goals, get reminders, and keep track of your fitness life in a very simple way.
In comparison to other fitness trackers it is rated among one of the best. PC magazine gives it a 4.5 out of 5. Amazon reviews rave about the product. Each review also receives a response from the company, whether the review is good or bad (rooting the company to a great customer service team and a dedication to improvement and quality). From bloggers to customer reviews, and even many tech sites themselves, the Basis is rated one of the top trackers of this time.
SMART VERUS WEARABLE. WHAT'S THE REAL DIFFERENCE?
But perhaps it is less important to compare the Basis to other fitness trackers, and more important to compare it to smart watches, which are quickly taking over many electronic devices. What is a fitness tracker really, but a medium for information from your wrist to your cellphone or computer? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a computer on your wrist to begin with? And so in enters the Apple Watch. Essentially a mini smartphone on your wrist the Apple Watch (along with most smart watches) can do everything the Basis can and more. So as it stands, the Apple watch is a comfortable device that measures all you could possibly need and more regarding your fitness.
BUT THEN THERE'S PRICE (meh).
My analysis process for the best fitness tracker went as follows, I started to weed through the bad ones, sorry Nike Fuel Band (The Fuel Band had a rough start and perhaps this is the reason its newer model was not successful). I then matched up contenders such as Up24 by Jawbone or the Fitbit flex. Both scored high reviews but were not able to successfully measure as many types of fitness, nor did they break down results as seamlessly. And finally I analyzed the last man standing, the Basis. After this long process, I somehow found myself on the Apple site realizing I had been sold on the Apple watch. It has everything you need and more. Yet, at what point does it lose the fitness key customer?
This is where you consider the second quality important in a fitness tracker, price. While the Basis is not cheap, it starts at $149, the Apple Watch starts at $329.00. A fitness tracker is made to do that, track fitness. And while adding bells and whistles isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it’s not what you’re looking for. While the Apple Watch has set the bar for smart watches it should not be considered the new fitness tracker. Apple is well aware of this, as it has neither compared its new Apple Watch to a fitness tracker or even a smart watch. It is simply the Apple Watch. It is making a statement by using this name and setting the starting price at $349 that is comparing itself to the watch industry.
Considering the price of the Apple Watch, it is clear to see it is aiming for a particular customer. But what the Basis has is that it has not lost its ultimate goal, to keep you fit. That is what makes the tracker valuable. From a detailed breakdown of your fitness made for you to understand to motivational goals, the Basis is created for one thing only. The Basis even measures your fitness using perspiration, showing the true dedication the product has, as it measures every ounce of your work out. An Apple Watch is great for a techy or someone looking for a beautiful technological accessory.
THE VERDICT . . .
The Basis is made for the true athlete. It tracks every athlete in the most unique and dynamic ways. The company is smaller and so it still remains to see where it will be in the coming years. However, it is almost certain it will be working on features and products that are centered on fitness. That is its purpose. It is simple but if you are looking for a fitness tracker because you want to track your fitness, that is all you need.