Seven smartwatches to track your fitness
When it comes to devices for tracking fitness and health stats, smartwatches are the latest craze. (Pebble)
Published Monday, August 12, 2013 9:09AM EDT
When it comes to devices for tracking fitness and health stats, smartwatches are the latest craze.
While wearable devices such as Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP track your fitness and transmit data to your smartphone, this new breed of gadget doesn't require a phone but rather serves as a second screen, keeping all your data at the ready so you can focus on the task at hand: exercising.
While the much-hyped Apple iWatch is rumored to track fitness and health, here are a slew of new gadgets to keep an eye on. And with research firm ABI Research predicting that more than a million smartwatches will ship this year, expect more on the way.
Pebble: This Kickstarter success connects via Bluetooth to both Apple and Android phones to display incoming calls, texts, emails, etc., and has also picked fitness app Runkeeper as its first third-party app integration. Another Pebble app turns the watch into a cycling computer, reports tech website Mobihealthnews. Downside: the watch doesn't feature GPS so you'll still need to rely on your phone. Price is $150, with shipping scheduled for this summer.
Magellan Echo: This smartphone from GPS device pros Magellan displays all your fitness data, notifications, and achievements from your favorite fitness apps right on the watch, thanks to Bluetooth Smart. The Echo will also display details such as the elapsed time, distance, and other fitness metrics at a glance, as well as allow you to listen to music via your smartphone's playlist. The Magellan Echo will arrive sometime later this year for $149.99, or $199.99 with a Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Monitor.
Agent: Another Kickstarter hit with more than $1 million raised, this smartwatch features two-way communication to smartphones and a built-in 3-axis accelerometer and an integrated running app. Other perks: a full week of Bluetooth-connected battery life without having to recharge. Now that the Kickstarter campaign is closed, price and shipping are pending.
Kreyos Meteor: This smartphone also raised more than $1 million during its Indiegogo campaign. Plus it tracks a slew of running stats via its built-in accelerometer and gyroscope or via the phone's GPS, and it syncs with devices such as those by Withings and Garmin to track heart rate and weight. The watch is expected to be priced at $130 with shipping set for November.
i'm Watch: Italian startup i'm Watch is a timepiece that uses Google software to connect wearers with email, music, websites and other online content, transforms into a fitness-tracking device with an app that monitors your heartbeat via a Zephyr Bluetooth-compatible heart monitor, while also tracking the distance and time of your running, walking, or cycling workouts. You can preset your training duration, save your lap times, and set your maximum and minimum heartbeat, with a sound signaling you to keep up with your goals. €249.
MotoActv: While not necessarily a smartwatch, this fitness gadget can track runs and heart-rate data when connected to a chest strap and contains GPS and an accelerometer. Best part: it contains an MP3 player that stores 4,000 tunes to play via Bluetooth headphones. Pick up a "sport edition" featuring an 8-GB tracker with bike speed and cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, and headphones for $299. http://www.motorola.com
GEAK: Chinese company GEAK, a subsidiary of online game company Shanda, has a sensorized smartwatch that according to tech blog Engadget "monitor the user's sleeping pattern, pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, mood, and number of steps walked." Priced at 1,999 yen or about $330, the watch is available for preorder.