So my usual motivation for product reviews is simple: greed. I get stuff free to try out, and I get to express my many opinions about everything I like and dislike. WIN!!! So yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I got to try this for free.
However, this fitness tracker from Pivotal Living would only cost me $12 to buy myself, and I am far too lazy to write up a review solely to save myself that amount of money.
I just thought the concept was too cool not to pass along. A fully functional activity monitor for TWELVE DOLLARS?
I know there are a lot of fitness minded folks on a budget who must get tired of reading about the latest wrist-candy that can set one back, in extreme cases, hundreds of dollars.
Hi There Apple Watch!
Are You Really Worth a Thousand Bucks??
Are You Really Worth a Thousand Bucks??
So when I got a pitch for a product a wrist-tracker much like a Fitbit that costs less than an umbrella drink at a fancy upscale restaurant, I was intrigued.
What can this thing do? And is there a catch?
Pivotal Living Features and Basics:
It works with an Android or IOS app, syncing via bluetooth. It measures:
· Calories Burned
· Percentage Met of Daily Goals
· Sleep Length
· Sleep Quality
· Total Steps
It has also displays the time and has a stopwatch as well as optional activity reminders and wake-up alarms via wrist vibrations. And you can use the app to log weight and hydration as well.
You can create teams with your friends and family to increase motivation, if you are way more social than I am.
However, over at cnet, where people actually get paid to review things and are a bit more geeky and less slothful, the cnet pivotal living tracker review indicated the step count is accurate. They had complaints though about how the distance is calculated and it may be less accurate than some other trackers. To compensate, a more motivated user might want to simply use a treadmill or track to find their own steps/mile and figure for determining distance. Also, the cnet folks tend to get their hands on stuff really quickly, and the algorithm may well have improved by now.
There is just one button, and it took me a while to figure out how to get to everything: there are three modes that you can cycle through by double-clicking (sleep, stopwatch, and Everything Else). Within a mode, you single-click to operate.
The sleep mode seemed to function well and the results, according to cnet, matched another tracker known as reliable.
The tracker charges via a USB connector and a charge is designed to last 5-7 days. I recharged after 5 and it still had juice left, so this seems accurate in my case.
What's the Catch?
I guess the only "catch" is the fact that after a year, to keep using the app part of it you have to pony up another $12. The app is a subscription, not a one time fee.
However, this isn't too much of a catch. The band itself tracks plenty of info and you get to keep using it even if you don't renew. And if you do like using the app, $1 a month is not an unreasonable amount of money, plus it entitles you to a new band every year, even if they upgrade to something fancier. My understanding is the Pivotal Living folks plan on continuing to improve on both the band and the app, so re-upping the subscription after a year seems well worth it. But if not, you still have a perfectly capable fitness tracker that you get to keep for $12.
- There doesn't seem to be a PC app, so you need a smartphone to get it set up and use the app.
- It took it a while to pair, and sometimes settings wouldn't sync, though eventually the phone and the cloud and the tracker all held hands and agreed to talk to each other.
- The charger clings tightly and is very hard to remove once you're done charging. But perhaps it will loosen with time.
- It really only tracks steps, and there is no way to manually enter other activities and integrate the calories you've expended swimming or biking or barrel racing or bog snorkeling or whatever within the app.
- It doesn't integrate with My Fitness Pal like Fitbit does.
- There is only one size band, and the elongated inflexible display panel is a little awkward on smaller wrists.
- Given the big-ass display, the numbers on it are tiny. It is just barely readable inside, and almost impossible to read in bright outdoor light.
Overall Impression?I'm not sure how the Pivotal folks can put their tracker out for so much less than everyone else, but it seemed like a very capable activity monitor for an amazing price. It seems perfect for folks who have been contemplating giving activity monitoring a try, but have hesitated to make a big investment.
Do you guys track your fitness activity or does that seem too obsessive? What do you look for in a tracker?