TRACK YOUR FITNESS
The end of the year is packed with festivities and parties. We tend to sleep late, rise later too, and our diets go for a toss. But we don’t need to wait till the New Year to make resolutions towards better living. we tell you about five new `smart’ watches each with its own USP to help you…
The Goqii is more than an activity-tracker. It comes with a subscription that entitles you to personalised guidance from a fitness coach. When you register with the app available for Android and iOS devices you have to provide personal details (like height, weight, age), pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, etc) and also list personal goals (increase activity, improve sleep quality, eat healthy) that you would like to achieve. The service then lets you choose a personal coach based on their areas of expertise. Your trainer will initiate a call to understand your daily schedule and diet to help you chart a customised fitness regimen.
You are required to log details of all your meals and water intake in the Goqii app. You are encouraged to post pictures of your food, so that your coach can suggest healthier alternatives. The app routinely reminds you to eat at meal times and drink water at regular intervals.
The Goqii itself comprises a water-resistant band that houses a fitness tracking module, which displays the time, the number of steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, and also monitors sleep patterns. You do not need to have your phone by your side all the time either. When you return from a walk, the band automatically syncs with your handset when it is within range. On the downside, its display is difficult to read under direct sunlight. And while it is water-resistant, it cannot be submerged, so you need to take it off before you hit the pool. However, you can expect to get up to two week’s service from a single recharge.
During our review, we found the trainer to be extremely hands-on; constantly encouraging us to improve our step count, increase our activities, while also suggesting dietary and lifestyle changes.You also get a free consultation with a Goqii doctor and the option to save your medical records on its secure platform. That said, you are still required to keep your own physician in the loop before starting a fitness regimen.
If you are the kind who needs motivation to exercise, then consider Goqii. Its proactive coaches provide real-world practical advice, constant encouragement and guidance.
http://www.goqii.com `1,999 for 3 months `3,999 for 1 year
The Garmin’s Vivomove carries the stamp of a formal men’s watch with its 42mm dial, and does not look out of place even when peeking from under suit sleeves. Depending on the model you choose Classic or Sports you get either a leather or a silicon strap. Given that it is 5ATM certified (waterproof up to 50 metres), you can even wear it in a swimming pool.
Now, the Vivomove is not equipped to give you smartphone notifications or even help you answer phone calls. This one is purely for fitness tracking. The sensors in the watch log your step count, monitors sleep, and even records when you’re idle for extended periods of time. It comes with an `auto goal’ feature that learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal.
Under its analogue dial, you get two discreet digital progress bars. The one on the left gives you a percentage view of your step count, which fills up with a grey colour as you walk or run and on the right is the Move bar that fills up with a red colour if you’ve been sitting too long. Start moving, and the red recedes. For either of these, you won’t get a buzzing notification, but a single glance at the watch will give you all the data you need with regards to your progress.
The Vivomove pairs with the Garmin Connect app available for Android and iOS to give you a calendar view of your activities, your sleep quality, the calories you’ve burnt, etc. Pairing the device with the smartphone app is as simple as pressing the watch crown for three seconds, while syncing its data with your smartphone requires a one-second press. The device works well for everything it’s designed to do, except you might face some pairing and syncing issues from time to time. The best part, it is powered by a standard CR2025 lithium cell battery that promises about a year’s use, so you won’t need to keep charging it.
All in all, the Vivomove works well for you if you want a discrete stylish watch that helps you keep an eye on your fitness goals without being too intrusive.
http://www.garmin.co.in `14,990 (Sports), `19,990 (Classic)
TITAN JUXT PRO
The Titan Juxt Pro sports a large, 48mm, stainless-steel casing with a 1.3-inch LCD touchscreen.It comes with a leather strap, so you can even wear it to semiformal gatherings. While the build quality is top notch with water resistance up to 30m (3ATM) it is rather heavy, and definitely not meant for those with narrow wrists.
Most of its onscreen navigation can be handled via its touch display , but you also get two physical buttons on the dial’s edge. The power button also returns you to the homescreen; lets you switch to flight mode, or restart the device. The second control works as an SOS button and works with the Titan Safety app (developed with McAfee). Press it once and you can choose to simultaneously sound a panic alarm, save your location by “checking in“ to a place, and also send your GPS coordinates to your guardian. In an emergency , long pressing this button gets the app to sound a loud alarm.
The Juxt Pro runs Titan OS, a proprietary operating system. Here, you get a set of tools that let you view your calendar, use a conversion calculator, start a stopwatch, timer, set an alarm, view weather updates, and even trigger your handset’s rear camera to take pictures. The watch face also displays phone notifications for incoming calls, messages and reminders. However, it only allows for basic operations like replying to a call with a pre-set text message, blocking a notification from appearing again and the option to “view on phone“. On the fitness front, the Juxt Pro is quite basic: it records and displays steps taken, distance covered and calories burned.
While the Juxt Pro works as advertised, we found the user interface to be a bit laggy . And unlike the Garmin Vivoactive HR and Apple Watch, it does not have extra downloadable apps and widgets. However, this is the only wearable here that comes with 4GB storage and the ability to pair with a Bluetooth headset. So you can copy songs via its USB dock and listen to your playlist without the need of your smartphone. However, this puts a dent in the battery life, which on an average lasts for slightly less than two days.
Simply , the Juxt Pro is one of Titan’s early experiments with a smartwatch, and it manages to pack in a fitness counter, music player and SOS functionality; we would have preferred a more discreet wearable, but this could still work well for those who are into large, chunky watches.
GARMIN VIVOACTIVE HR
The Vivoactive HR is a sporty watchtracker that can be worn in the shower, and even withstand submersion in water up to a depth of 50 metres (5ATM). Its 57mm long frame with two buttons below its 28.6mm touchscreen makes it look bulky , but it still feels comfortable on the wrist. Using its interface a combination of button presses and swipes you can view information like datetime, step count, calories burnt, distance covered, heart rate (across a four-hour span) and even weather. The left button navigates you to the previous menu, while the right button lets you record an exercise session (run, walk, swim, cycling, etc) and access the settings menu.From here, you can adjust brightness levels, start a stopwatch, set an alarm and change the colour theme.You can add “widgets“ to the screen like a calendar and music playback controls, and even install additional watch faces from Garmin’s Connect IQ Store via its app.
The Vivoactive HR syncs all the fitness data it collects with the Garmin Connect app.Here, you can view your activity statistics categorised by sport as well as the periods of rest and sleep. An “insights“ feature analyses this data to highlight patterns in your routines.You can join group challenges, and connect with other registered Garmin users (from your contacts and Facebook account).
Over and above, like all `full feature’ smartwatches, it vibrates and displays a caller’s name, lets you scroll through phone messages and check app notifications.
The watch is pricey but it offers a great set of features with a lot of configurable options along with built-in GPS and a heart rate sensor. You also get up to a week’s worth of service from a single charge of its battery . However, recharge frequency increases considerably if you actively use the built-in GPS system to track your daily runs. Consider the Garmin Vivoactive HR if you’re serious about getting fit and want a device that can track physical activities with great detail.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 2
Apple’s Watch Series 2 sees plenty of improvements over its Watch Series 1: It boasts of a brighter display when compared to its predecessor, and this time around, you also get built-in GPS to record distance, pace, and speed during outdoor workouts such as walking, running, or cycling–all without needing to carry an iPhone.
On the operating system front, Watch OS3, which is also available as an update for the Watch Series 1, comes with upgrades like an improved interactive messaging app, as well as the new Breathe app that reminds you to do a short breathing exercise.
You can now also press and hold the side button on the watch to automatically initiate an SOS call to emergency services in your country . This will also notify and share your location with your emergency contacts. As far as apps go, the Apple Watch has a bouquet to choose from in categories such as fitness, weather, productivity, news, camera, astrology , education & reference that are customised for its smaller display .
A rotatable crown on the right side of its screen lets you customize watch faces, or scroll through options.Press this once, and you are presented with a beehivelike view of all your Watch apps. Long press, and Siri is activated. A button just below this crown gives you quick access to a new Dock from where you can find your recently opened apps.
The Watch Series 2 is just as receptive to taps and touches when you’re selecting options heart-rate monitor, activity tracker, weather report and more on its touchscreen. It can remotely but within Bluetooth range start the camera app on your phone, and even snap photos or start a video recording. You can set it up to display alerts for your messages, calendar, appointments, e-mail, social networks and phone calls.And you can even dictate replies to messages, complete with punctuations.
Of course, triggering Siri is as simple as saying “Hey Siri“, and it understands Indian accents. Its microphone lets you answer calls, while its speaker is capable of sound that’s loud enough to carry out short phone conversations. Users can access the wearable’s workout menu to choose different types of exercise: indoor and outdoor walk, run and cycle; elliptical, rower and stair stepper; pool swim and open water swim.
The Watch Series 2 unlike the older editions is waterproof up to 50m. During our review, we wore it to a pool and even on a beach. The device came out unscathed in both instances. When you choose a water workout option, the Watch 2 auto-locks the display to prevent accidental screen touches from water. Upon completion, rotating its crown disables auto-lock and triggers the speaker which uses a certain frequency of sound to eject water that might have gotten in.
Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 2 available in aluminium and ceramic builds is the best smartwatch there is: You can `like’ Instagram pics, see recent tweets, reply to SMS, check your calendar, heart rate, measure your physical activity and more without reaching for your phone.
There’s also a special Nike+ edition that comes with a sporty , perforated “fluoroelastomer“ band, and a special app that motivates users with run reminders, challenges from training buddies, and even informs you when the weather is good for a run. Sadly , the Watch Series 1 and 2 doesn’t work with Android devices; for iPhone users, this is a straight winner.
http://www.apple.com in Watch Series 1 starts at `23,900 Watch Series 2 starts at `32,900
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