Activity trackers are a fast growing market with more and more people starting to use them it was only time for MenStyleFashion to start covering this type of product that seem to now be more and more part of the modern man. I start our first review with the Basis Peak which you can enjoy in two ways via my video review or by reading the article.
What Is The Basis Peak
This 2015 Basis Peak Fitness and Sleep Tracker is an fitness watch helped along by Intel and is supposed to track your physical activity during the day and track your sleeping patterns at night. I got my hands on the white strap version which I was actually concerned about in the beginning, but quickly came to like the way white looked with basically everything I wore.
The band is made from a high quality silicone with a cubed texture and a metal end. The band also comes off with no problems at all and can be interchanged with other straps available.
Moving on to the design of the face itself, I don’t really know what I was expecting. Unlike to Moto 360, this face is representing an almost rectangular screen but has a square display. This obviously doesn’t give you the full width to use which kind of makes the watch seem a little dated. Its not something you immediately realize, but I certainly noticed it enough to mention it in this review.
As for the display, you get a tri-tone view and the ability to swipe up, down and across for different screens. These screens enable you to set an alarm to be woken by, start a stopwatch, connect and disconnect your smartphone, see your live Heart Rate and view recent activity. You are also able to see how much battery you have left which make it really easy to know when to charge.
I found that I can get 3 full days of usage out of the watch before it needs charging which to me, was surprisingly short. I feel like a watch with a display like this should be able to run forever, but, 3 days wasn’t bad.
To charge you are provided with a nifty little device that plugs into any USB port. You place the back of the watch on the charger and magnets hold it to charge. Something that I was really happy with was the charging time. It only took about an hour at most to fully recharge the battery from dead. So if the watch died during the night, you could have it ready to wear right after breakfast.
Well the technology in this watch is supposed to be able to see slight differences in your movements to be able to tell which physical activity you are doing. Whether it be cycling, walking, running or even weightlifting. So I decided to give it a test.
I went out for a walk for about 4000 steps and the watch worked perfectly. Every step was tracked, my heart rate was always accurate and the GPS function accurately measured the distance I’d travelled. The screen even displayed the walking symbol.
I then went out for a run and again it worked. The watch took a little while to recognize that I was running, but never the less, it worked it out soon enough.
Next, I chose to go on a bike ride. This is where things started to go wrong. I went on a 10 minute, high intensity bike ride up and down some hills and the heart rate to match it. When I returned home, I noticed that the watch hadn’t even realized I was exercising. After about 30 minutes, the watch calculated that I’d simply walked for a few minutes.
That brings me to the sleep tracker. For the most part, the sleep tracker is great. I love the way its displayed on the Mobile App and it really gives a great insight into the quality of my sleep. There have been a few occasions though where I have woken up, walked down stairs and started my day and the watch still thinks I’m asleep. I have to really increase my heart rate and jump around a bit before It realizes I’m awake.
I mentioned that the watch has an app. The Basis Peak app is in constant communication with the watch and gives you an outline of your daily, weekly and monthly activities and sleep patterns. I’d say I was most impressed with the sleep charts. They were really easy to read and really didn’t require much from me to understand. The fitness tracking side of things were also good. For the most part I liked the look of the app, but I’ve got to say, the overall user experience of the app wasn’t that great.
I found myself trying to get more information about certain pieces of information, but not being able to because the capability didn’t exist. Another thing, and quite an important thing for me is what Basis calls ‘Habits’. Habits are basically goals that you can set to help improve your generally well being. Examples of these are ‘Consistent Bedtime’ and ‘ Take 1000 Steps’.
When you imagine getting a fitness watch, part of the set-up process should require you to enter in all your details and set your ‘own’ goals right? Well unfortunately this isn’t the case for the Basis Peak. You have to earn points by following some of the habits that Basis have already set out for you. Its first habit is to wear the watch for 12 hours. Once you’ve completed it, you earn points which unlock the ability to open a new habits. At all times, you’re restricted by points and pre-made habits. At no point can you truly set your own goals with freedom. Some my like this point based unlocking of habits but I am more of a person that likes to have the freedom.
To end on a positive, the watch can accept notifications from your smartphone. Text messages, phone calls, emails, reminders and calendar updates and it all works perfectly. I loved this feature. When using this watch, you’ll find you get the best use out of this feature if you have your earphones plugged into your smartphone. This way, you can read the message on your watch, and speak your reply into your earphone mic.
In its current form I have to give it 6.5 out of 10. The watch itself is good, but the app really let it down. Priced at £169.99 I feel it’s a little overpriced for what you get, but with a few minor changes to the firmware and app, this watch will be rockin.