Garmin Vivoactive with Heart Rate Monitor Review

Last January of this year, Garmin announced it’s new product Vivoactive during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Seeing from how it looks like, some people may find its appeal boring compared to other Garmin Fitness Watches. Comparing it with a smartwatch like an Apple Watch would also not give good justice. This is because this watch will be a lot more useful to highly athletic individuals. To properly describe the functionality of this watch, it actually works more like a fusion of a fitness watch and an activity tracker plus some more additional features. This device has also embraced the 3rd party app functionality of Connect IQ as well as getting support for golf. Pretty interesting. Let us now more about this device through this Garmin Vivoactive with Heart Rate Monitor Review, shall we?

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Although this device looks really a lot more like a smartwatch, I would not want to classify it simply as one. Keep in mind that most smartwatches in the market aren’t really GPS-enabled. That means, activities like running aren’t much accurately tracked as good as this watch can which is by the way, also water-proof and can be used when swimming.

What are the best features of Garmin Vivoactive HR?

Elevate – which is Garmin’s own technology for measuring the heart rate through the wrist is impressively quite accurate. The sensor for this is located under the watch. This optical sensor then detects the blood pulsing beneath the skin. The heart rate data from vivoactive HR gives the figures on how many calories are burned on activities and calculates the magnitude of your fitness activities, establishing an enhanced acknowldgement of your fitness efforts.

For users that are quite super active – which in this content means does a lot of different sporting activities, this watch would be the perfect activity partner as it covers a whole wider range of activities in one gadget. The list of the sport activities that are the following: Running, pool swimming (no open water option), golf, walking, rowing, paddle board skiing, XC skiing, biking, and indoor activities – run, bike, walk, and row. Sleeping is also tracked but this feature seems to be not too impressive. The automatic sleep tracking does seem to be very good at first but then it plots sleep time and interval the data to the user’s usual sleeping hours which is unrealistic as it is not always possible to sleep at the same time or interval.

One of the features that Garmin almost always outdo most of the time as compared to other products in the market is the battery life. The Vivoactive HR can run for a good 6 days of battery life using all features and occasional use of GPS. More so, it runs at about 14 hours in activity tracking using GPS. This impressive endurance is however accountable to the fact that Vivoactive HR smartwatch has less brighter and quite mediocre resolution screen.

PROS

  • GPS Smartwatch with multiple built-in Sport Apps
  • Measures heart rate from the wrist (thanks to Garmin’s Elevate technology)
  • Tracks floors climbed and has a built-in activity tracker that counts the steps, calories burned and hear rate within the day
  • Follows the progress of the users and monitors sleep quality
  • Long battery life
  • Water resistant up to 50 m (5ATM)
  • Displays smart notifications when connection to your smart phone
  • Options of customizable watch faces  from Connect IQ
  • Full GPS tracking
  • Great metrics for tracking activities

CONS

  • Heart rate measurement tends to pause on high intensity
  • Screen is quite mediocre
  • Because this device has lots of apps and features, it sometimes makes it difficult to navigate through every detail (getting lost into navigating is often – or maybe it just takes time to get used to)

For Garmin to be able to put up all these impressive sports app features in one device just like having many different sport watches in one great product makes Vivosmart HR an ultimate choice for sport enthusiasts. Additional features such as being able to connect to the user’s smart phone and having a heart rate monitor with accurate measurement makes this watch a big head turner in the market.

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Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch, Regular fit – Black

PAPAGO GoLife Care Smart Fitness Band Review

PapaGo just keeps expanding their horizon as they have put a fitness tracker in their GoLife line of products. PAPAGO GoLife Care Smart Fitness Band not only personify an enduring yet appealing design, it also conveys a unique and fashionable impression that makes it well noticed amongst the lines of smart fitness bands available in the market. Like most consumers, we all want to know what value will this device bring and if it will be worth the money we spent. Well then read more from this PAPAGO GoLife Care Smart Fitness Band Review to find out.

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This smart fitness band conjoins important tasks that are mostly needed by those who have active lifestyles into one neat and solid device. As a major function, it is used as a fitness band, which basically tracks and records the user’s steps and all the moves made each day. It gives the user motivation by assigning goals on a daily basis.

What are the interesting features of this Smart Fitness Band?

PAPAGO GoLife Care Smart Fitness Band  can help the user create a healthy routine. As you start your day, CARE gently awakens you gently with an integrated soft vibrating alarm with the time you had earlier preferably set. Afterwards, during the course of the day, it keeps track of steps, the distance walked, and how many calories were burned on these activities. Just like most of the smart band devices in the market, you can also easily connect CARE with your smart phones. It proactively gives the user a heads-up on incoming calls and also messages.

When sleeping, GoLife Care Smartband also tracks the user’s sleep with which both quality and pattern of sleep will be noted. Together with the GoLife APP (both available in iOS and Android devices) these data are synchronized and then are stored for making an analysis. This then lets you be aware of the progress you are making. Having this device useful in both day and night, the company had made sure that the device itself is a dust proof, waterproof wristband and is carefully engineered to withstand everyday wear. The outer part of the device has a brushed metal face and a sleek silicone band that is assimilated with a LED screen.

PROS

  • Sleek and sexy design, small and lightweight, comfortable to wear and can be worn 24/7
  • Durable material, dust-proof and water-proof with very clear display
  • Easy to set-up and easy to navigate (one-touch navigation)
  • Gives the time, steps, distance, calories, notification of calls and messages, on advanced OLED display
  • Tracks sleep quality and pattern
  • Has Ant+ Technology which enables pairing with ANT+ heart rate monitors  like GoHeart 100 H.R.M. or other compatible devices
  • Easily manageable App (GoLife App) gives great motivation by achieving daily goal assignments
  • Accurate tracking
  • Syncs easily
  • Helpful vibrating alert

CONS

  • Not much color options
  • Not equipped with a heart-rate monitor but can only be paired with compatible devices
  • Reading the display can be hard on sunny areas

The price of this band just would suffice the features. Not only that it looks really chic when wearing it, it also is very comfortable to wear and can be trusted to withstand even when you wear it everyday.

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care Papago GOLiFE CARE Smart Fit Band (Silver/White)  

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PAPAGO! GOLiFE Care Smart Fitness Band, Activity Tracker, Sleep Monitor, Smart Notification, Text Message, Emails, Social Medias, Messengers, Alarms, Idle Alert (Silver White)

Garmin Forerunner 920XT Watch with HRM-Run Review

The company that launched the world’s first GPS multi-sport devices has just recently launched another watch that’s going to be perfect for triathletes. Garmin’s new Forerunner 920XT is a swim-bike-run focused watch that efficiently took hold of all of the latest new features from other new Garmin fitness devices and merged them into this watch.  More so, there are also a number of features that are fresh and are not featured elsewhere on Garmin devices like the cycling-specific VO2Max, a new metronome mode, and a support of Garmin Connect IQ that allows companies to make apps for the watch. Know more about this watch through this Garmin Forerunner 920XT Watch with HRM-Run Review.

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The Forerunner 920XT is indeed packed with advanced running dynamics and virtual link features. It impressively records detailed metrics for swimming, biking and running, which makes the Forerunner 920XT the perfect wearable device that can take an elite or a novice athlete’s training to a higher level. And going further than just being a sports watch, this watch can also be linked to smart phones via Bluetooth to get notifications on your wrist for incoming texts, emails, calls and calendar reminders.

What are the best features of this Sports Watch?

The Forerunner 920XT’s sleek and slim profile gives an even more comfortable fit compared to its predecessor. It is also 15% lighter and 18% thinner than FR 910XT, and showacses flexible, hinged watch bands for a more suitable fit. This watch has a notable high-resolution color display that makes it easy to view stats at a single glance during any activity like training or even on race day. The high-resolution color display has a watch mode and shows daily activity tracking that includes steps, distance, calories, countdown to a personalized daily goal, audible move alert after one hour of inactivity, and sleep tracking. Other sophisticated unique features also include running dynamics, VO2 max estimate, smart notifications.

When used in water, the Forerunner 920XT can withstand up to 5ATM yest still provides advanced swim metrics for training in a pool or even in open water. This watch features drill logging which allows athletes to easily log swim drills and kick sets at the pool, along with registering the swim distance, pace, stroke type, stroke count and even the SWOLF score. In biking, FR 920XT’s advanced cycling features include a built-in altimeter for precise ascent, descent and gradient data in the course of training. These features are well-matched with sensors such as speed, cadence, heart rate and power meter, and can receive GLONASS signals besides GPS for improved accuracy. Lastly, this watch allows you to train for the best running performance with Garmin’s advanced running dynamics which will be a perfect duo with the HRM-Run monitor. Impressively detailed reports such as cadence (total steps per minute), vertical oscillation (amount of “bounce” in a runner’s step), and ground contact time (how much time a runner’s foot spends on the ground during each step) will be shown in the watch with a color gauge so runners can compare their values with the other runners. The beast feature though is the UltraTrac mode which will be good for ultra runners as it extends its up to 24 hours in GPS mode battery life for up to 40 hours.

PROS

  • Known quality Garmin technology and durability
  • Has two color options
  • Built to be used for swimming, biking, and running
  • Up to 5ATM water proof (can be used both on the pool or in open water)
  • Transition between the different sport modes with the push of a button
  • Also measures record speed, distance, ascent/decent, grade, and more
  • Paired with ANT+ compatible sensors it measures heart rate, speed, cadence, and power
  • Running dynamics (with Garmin HRM-Run monitor) include cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time
  • Built-in Metronome feature with vibe and audible alerts for cadence training
  • Offers VO2 max estimate, race predictor and recovery advisor (when used with heart rate)
  • Estimates VO2 max for cycling as well (when used with a power meter)
  • Wet suit-friendly and about 15 percent lighter than its predecessor, the Forerunner 910XT
  • Features swim distance, pace, stroke type identification, stroke count, drill logging and rest timers
  • Smart notifications let you see email, text and other alerts on your watch (with compatible Bluetooth Smart ready phones)
  • Battery life: Up to 40 hours in UltraTrac mode, up to 24 hours in training mode, and up to 4 months in watch mode
  • Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, social media sharing (when paired with compatible Android or Apple device and Garmin Connect Mobile)

CONS

  • FR 920XT does not have weight scale & fitness equipment support.
  • Not the best watch for hiking or outdoors enthusiast (does not have solid course support and may have perfect accuracy on routing and altimeter data)
  • Really heavy on the budget but makes a great all-in-one watch for triathletes

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Garmin Forerunner 920XT White/Red Watch With HRM-Run

Muse Brain Sensing Headband Review

Holistic wellness is something that one person would want to achieve. Though achieving this can be quite tricky, it is impossible. Along with holistic wellness is also the idea that a healthy body would be great to be matched with a healthy brain. Example, if one wants to increase physical fitness efforts to achieving this would include a gym membership, set off   an exercise habit or get a personal trainer to assist you in attaining your goal. For mental and emotional fitness, technology has indeed a solution for giving a work out for the brain. This device is same as a heart rate monitor for your mind. Muse is a techy device that senses brain signals during a focused-attention exercise similar to how a heart rate monitor detects your heart rate during physical exercise. This measurement provides the user valuable feedback that can be used to train your brain on a daily basis and as time goes will result to improved your focus, attention and composure. Learn more about this product through this Muse Brain Sensing Headband Review.

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How does this device work exactly? The main idea on the concept of Muse originated from electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which measures electrical activity of the brain. Typically, an EEG test needs the sensors attached to your head, these sensors are then connected to a computer via wires. The Muse is wireless and connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth.

 What are the great features and the benefits of this brain sensing headband?

An unfortunate thing about adulthood is that stress and anxiety seemed to come along with it like it is part of the package. It is during these times that moments of quiet meditation or even yoga really helps a lot in telling your brain that amidst all the stress, it has to calm down. What the Muse does is that it magnifies your meditation and yoga exercises to a higher level. This device is a nifty tool to boost your wellness by helping you to train your brain through a daily guided training sessions on a minimum 3 minutes a day. It is technologically engineered to work on a attaining lesser stress on your mind, where in, with the exercises done with this device, you get to somehow shut-off your thoughts through a series of focused-attention exercises in partnership with the Calm app. Through this process it is giving you real-time feedback to help you understand how well you are maintaining your focus. Developing this skill will help you reduce anxiety and stress, focus the mind, boost concentration and productivity, and increase your composure during stressful times.

The device itself is adjustable, lightweight and can snug comfortably to your head. It looks just like those wearable mp3 players on the market, except that the band goes across your forehead and has two arms tucking behind your ears just like a pair of glasses. At the back of each arm is a micro USB slot that is used for charging the device. The battery lasts for up to 5 hours after full charging. Muse has a single button that’s flush to one of the earpieces for turning the device on and a thin strip of light illuminates on the earpiece that tells the user the is already active. Along the forehead band is a thin strip with 7 finely calibrated sensors – 2 on the forehead, 2 behind the ears plus 3 reference sensors that detect and measure the activity of your brain.

PROS

  • Lightweight, comfortable to wear and portable
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • Has lower intrinsic noise and great sensor geometry which makes the sensors more responsive
  • Uses clinical grade EEG
  • Helps improve emotional intelligence, productivity, and motivation
  • Great real-time real-time audio and visual feedback plus long-term tracking to monitor progress
  • Lowers stress level and eventually reduces levels of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone
  • Strengthens the area of the brain related to composure and empathy
  • Guided training sessions are designed to build the skill of focused attention which help manage stress

CONS

  • This device is not medically approved, hence those who have serious issues must seek the help of a professional
  • Limited things to do with the device
  • Sometimes it takes a while to get the sensor attached properly but this is only a very minor issue

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Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

Basis Peak Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker Review

Now owned by Intel, Basis, one of the companies that are leading in wearable device technologies for fitness, sleep and wellness applications has just recently launched the Basis Peak where they branded their new product as the Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker. This new product impressively features a lustrously sleeky touchscreen design and with a highly improved sensor technology. Peak provides 24/7 heart rate monitoring – WITHOUT wearing the chest strap! Yes, that’s right folks. This interesting wearable gadget does not need to have a strap around your chest to monitor your heart beat during exercise or running or any other activities. Learn more about this exciting new device through this Basis Peak Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker Review.

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What makes the Basis Peak the Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker is its unique mash-up of automatic activity tracking, advanced sleep analysis and healthy habits that the user experiences which are all geared to encourage real behavior changes hence bringing the most competitive depiction of fitness and sleep of any product of its class.

What are the best features of this Fitness and Sleep Tracker?

Accuracy is very important when it comes to tracking your sleep and even more important in tracking your fitness activities. With Basis Peak‘s  four different sensors, this beastly little device simply gives the accuracy that every person with an active lifestyle yearns for. It precisely and accurately measures steps, calories burned, heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration (sweating), and sleep. This device has impressive improvements when it comes to engineering and technology. One of which is its automatic activity tracking with BodyIQ technology that detect your walks, runs, bike rides as well as sleep and wake times. The same technology is also responsible for its advanced sleep analysis that captures REM/Deep/Light Sleep, Toss-and-Turns, Interruptions and Sleep Quality. And lastly, this activity tracker also features Healthy Habits system for transforming health insights into action.

Not only that the features of Basis Peak is strikingly remarkable, its built is also durable and lightweight yet comfortable to wear, chic and stylish. This watch can be worn day and night, even in going to work, working out, play time, and going out. It’s constructed with a forged aluminum body, a sensitive touch screen with gesture recognition, Gorilla Glass 3 for extra screen protection and soft silicone straps that are modifiable. Peak can can also be worn when swimming at it is tested for water resistance up to 5A. More so, Basis Peak is capable of displaying smartwatch notifications, alerts for incoming calls and texts from your smartphone (compatible with iOS and Android smartphones).

PROS

  • Sturdy built
  • Elegant, classy design and wearable 24/7
  • Water Resistant to 5 ATM, enough to withstand swimming
  • Has Gorilla Glass 3, touchscreen with gesture recognition
  • No need for a chest wrap in monitoring your heart rate (real time heart rate is taken from your wrist)
  • Automatically syncs via Bluetooth Smart
  • Has 4 sensors:
    • Optical Heart Rate Sensor
    • Galvanic Skin Response
    • Skin Temperature
    • 3-Axis Accelerometer
  • Habit notifications keeps you on the look-out
  • Automatically adjusts weekly goals based on user’s performance
  • Automatic sleep detection ( no need to set anything, just fall asleep wearing Peak)
  • Spontaneously understand sleep trends based on your ongoing average
  • Both heart rate & accelerometer data combine to provide rich sleep insights
  • Peak uses Basis’ habit system to help you make small but powerful changes to your sleep or activity patterns
  • 4 days of battery life but depends on usage

CONS

  • Only available in two colors (black and white)
  • No size options (for women like me who have smaller wrists – but I guess this won’t be much of a con since a smaller size also means smaller screen)
  • Only works with Android or iPhone (to activate the Basis Peak). Also it works only with with selected iOS and Android (iOS 7+ – iPhone 4S+ – and some Android 4.4.2 BLE phones) so make sure to check compatibility with your smartphones before getting Basis Peak

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Basis Peak – Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker (Brushed Metal/White)