Garmin vivosmart HR
Price: rS 14,999
It goes with you wherever you go, pushes you to be healthy, knows your whereabouts at all times, and knows the patterns of your heartbeats, and how you’ve been sleeping.
“Every breath you take, every move you make… I’ll be watching you”, went the legendary stalker ballad by Sting. He might as well have been describing the fitness bands that are slowly but surely making their way into personal spaces. A recent study by researchers at the University of Toronto came up with a not so surprising conclusion; fitness wearable devices can be hacked into, and are being hacked into at an alarming rate. If obtained, even the seemingly harmless details can then be used to profile a user and influence the kinds of ads one sees online.
With the ability to track every step, every heartbeat, and every calorie burnt, the Vivosmart Pro is a lot like your very own training partner, a very intrusive partner. It even vibrates and displays “move” every now and then. Few things are more demeaning yet oddly inspiring than a piece of rubber and glass telling you how to live your life.
The Vivosmart HR is one of the best devices you can allow to intrude on your privacy out there, and stands apart in the world of the fitness band.
The fitness band caters to the overwhelming human need to quantify everything. This one is no different. Design-wise, the watch keeps it subtle and stays close to the standard slim rectangular and rubber strap design of most such bands. But since it is priced many times more than the average fitness band, one would expect a sleeker design. It is comfortable to wear, and reasonably light and is packed with features such as a stopwatch, heart rate monitor, temperature sensor etc. The compact touchscreen display responds well, but alas, does not have great visibility in broad daylight. The touchscreen enables the band to double as a watch, a feature other such products are lacking. We thought the 50 m water resistance took this device to new territory and made it truly suitable for rugged use. However a few falls led to scratches, which signals a frail screen. You’d better just use it in a gym or while jogging.
The features that really set it apart from other bands come into play when connected to a smartphone. One can receive WhatsApp messages and read them on the tiny screen.
One can also control music from the touchscreen. These features are useful additions and helps in eliminating extra movements such as taking a phone out of a pocket and pressing a button on its side. For something which falls under the category of a fitness wearable, the device ironically ends up promoting lethargy here. All in all, a steeply priced but impressive gadget.