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Suffering from the “sitting disease” or rather the sedentary lifestyle that plagues most of the developed world? Need some motivation to get your butt off that comfy roller chair? Invest in a smart fitness tracker such as the LifeTrak Brite to keep yourself moving.
If you think the LifeTrak Brite is just another fitness tracking device amongst the sea of wearables out there, hold your horses. This watch doesn’t just track steps, as its name suggests, it also tracks the amount of light exposure you get everyday, ensuring your circadian rhythm stays in sync.
Fitness isn’t just about the steps you take, the distance you clock or even the weights you lift, its far more than that. The interaction between us and our environment plays a critical role in contributing to our health.
The LifeTrak Brite is a fitness tracking watch that tracks not just steps, calories burnt, sleep quality, and distance covered, but heart rate variability but light exposure as well, giving you a holistic picture of your health. LifeTrak pitches this as a Life Tracker, not just a fitness tracker or smartwatch.
In all seriousness. this new device from Salutron is most certainly a hybrid between a high end fitness tracker, a smartwatch and an overall health monitor. But how does it fare amongst the sea of wearables out there? Let’s take a look.
Unboxing (First Impressions)
Courtesy of Axtro Sports, the Twenty First Tech team was able to try out this neat device on our own.
The Brite comes in a small but sleek box containing the watch and accompanying instruction manual, which was fairly easy to understand. LifeTrak wasn’t kidding when they said “Quick Start”, the LifeTrak guide and interface was rather user-friendly and we were all ready to roll within 5-10 minutes of unboxing the device.
Design – 8/10
Neat, simple and polished. This is perhaps where the R450 stands out amongst its competitors. As many of you have noticed, the R450 has a round circular watch face, a fresh change from the square devices out in the market. The 3 round buttons on its right gives it a classy feel, as if it is a high-end designer watch.
Its interface however, is rather pixelated. Whether you like the display or not boils down to your personal preferences. I would have preferred something more modern-looking to suit the sleek design of the watch. Nevertheless, to each his own,
The watch strap is also simple and easy to use, utilising what is called a “SureSnap” mechanism, giving it a very youthful and chic feel. The rubbery strap fits very snugly around the wrist. Considering that this watch is meant to be worn 24/7, LifeTrak sure has done a good job in this area.
Heart Rate Tracking:
LifeTrak claims that the sensor on the Brite provides ECG accurate heart rate tracking. Is this true? I am personally inclined to believe so. The readings from the Brite matched those readings displayed on my Polar FT1 and readouts from the treadmill handlebar at the gym. A simple manual pulse count confirmed the accuracy as well. Even during exercise, the Brite provides a good readout, ensuring that you stay in your ideal training zone during cardio workouts. However, it must be noted that the Brite only provides a readout whenever the middle button is pressed and held on to for about 3 seconds. Unlike the Basis Peak or FItbit Charge HR and Surge, it does not provide 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which is a pity.
A staple in all fitness bands these days, the Brite provides a fairly accurate step count. It’s complex algorithms do not count random hand flailing and nonsensical movements as steps, something which other trackers such as the Fitbit Flex sometimes does. In my experience, it takes about 10-20 steps before the LifeTrak identifies that you are indeed walking before counting those steps into your daily step count, so no cheating for you funky monkeys.
Sleep Tracking (and Smart Alarm):
The Brite automatically notices when you fall asleep based on the light exposure in your surrounding and your movement. It tracks your sleep efficiency (quality of sleep) and the number of times you wake up at night. In addition, the smart alarm system wakes you up at an optimal time, when you are at the lightest phase of your sleep so as to not cause a rude awakening. The silent alarm of the watch vibrates on your arm to wake you up without disturbing your loved ones around you.
Presenting to you, the Brite’s signature feature, LIGHTRAK. The Brite encourages you to get more light exposure in the day and recommends you get less light exposure at night to optimize your circadian rhythms. It even delves in further by recommending you get more blue light which promotes awakening and limits it at night before sleeping for a good night’s rest. I honestly feel that there is a lot of potential here in LifeTrak’s new idea, but I am not too sure how many would truly take the effort to bask in the sunlight because the Brite buzzed you to
Smartwatches Notifications: The LifeTrak Brite can display notifications from your smartphone into your watch, buzzing whenever you receive SMSes, WhatsApp messages (and other IMs), emails and so on. It seems like Salutron is sizing itself up to get in the ring with Pebble. However, this feature was a disappointment because the phone constantly disconnects from the watch. The only time I ever receive notifications is when I manually sync the watch with the phone. Only then do I get buzzes on my wrist for an approximate 5 mins before the watch auto-disconnects. Is this necessarily bad? Well, imagine the watch buzzing whenever you receive a WhatsApp message such as “haha”, ” lol” and “ok”…that’s got to be kind of annoying. So I don’t consider this much of a concern or deal breaker to be honest.
From within the LifeTrak app, you can set alerts to remind you to get up and start walking. So whenever you have been inactive to for too long, the watch will buzz and remind you that sedentary living is one the the world’s leading cause of obesity and major health problems. Ok, maybe not, but it will buzz and get you off that comfy roller chair in the office to take a couple of steps around and get some blood flowing.
Connectivity + the App – 6/10
The LifeTrak application available for all devices is available on Android and iOS. It is relatively simple to use and easy to understand. However, it is somewhat lacking in aesthetics and beauty. Syncing the Brite with the app is alright, it works the same way as the Basis B1 band, whereby the sync has to be initiated manually and takes about 15 seconds to be done. Not much of a trouble, but when compared to the Fitbit devices that syncs automatically 24/7, it does lose its competitive edge. What the app lacks in complexity of aesthetics, it makes up for it in functionality. The graphs may be simple, but its easy for layman to understand.
In addition, there is a feature for you to adjust the sensitivity of your watch, allowing you to reduce or increase your steps tracked and calories burnt by a percentage to increase the accuracy of the metrics provided. So kudos for that! I have yet to seen a fitness tracker that allows me to do this.
The LifeTrak Brite R450 is certainly a refreshing addition to the market of wearables today. It’s LightTrak feature is most definitely one filled with potential. i hope to see more updates that will make this more user-friendly. Honestly, this is a feature-packed superwatch that seems limited not by its functionality but by its app that does not fully show the potential of this device. Nevertheless, if you would like to indulge yourself and by a fitness band, give it a go and get it here – Axtro Sports | LifeTrak Brite R450.
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