Accessories

Fitbit Alta HR review

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Working out is like falling in love. The awkward and hesitant start may be quite daunting to most but eventually, something inside (whether it be attraction or diabetes) will compel you to at least try. In fitness (and in love), consistency is key.

This is what I’ve learned in the last two years of attempting a healthier lifestyle (and maybe a few relationships along the way). To be able to achieve a certain level of fitness, one must commit to changing multiple aspects of everyday life. It doesn’t end with just weekly workouts. Diet, sleep, exercise, water intake — they’re all part of the healthy equation; take one out and your fitness progress isn’t optimized.

A good way to get yourself to commit (big word) to this healthy lifestyle is through tracking your daily activity. This is easily doable via a fitness wearable. The Fitbit Alta HR was my weapon of choice for the last few months, and this is how it fared.

Meeting and initial impressions

This newest member of the Fitbit collection features a slim rubber band that comes in many different colors (of course, I chose fuschia) and an equally slim face. It sits comfortably on my small wrist with an unassuming blank screen.

Tap to view, lift to activate

It looks good and it’s very cute, but it matches nothing other than my workout clothes and purple hair.

As cute as the fuschia is, it will most definitely clash with most outfits.

This becomes a problem because the whole point of a fitness wearable is having it on 24/7, and that can’t happen if it does not match half of my wardrobe. (Even I can’t wear athleisure wear all the time.)

After moving on from my initial fashion apprehensions on color matching (i.e., I stopped caring), I now focus on function.

Dates and working out

The Alta HR automatically tracks all your movement and computes your active minutes. Now, a recurring problem I’ve had with other wearables I’ve tried is that they usually wouldn’t record my less basic exercises. Sure, there’s always a built-in tracker for running, but my other activities like HIIT or DragonBoat paddling were exercises nowhere to be found on the pre-made list of workouts.

On the FitBit app, though, that shouldn’t be a problem. Although some exercises aren’t on the list, the Alta HR records the activity with corresponding workout details (like duration, heartbeat, and calories burned). For my Dragonboat training, it usually recorded under “Aerobic exercise” and I just edited the label afterwards.

Sleeping together

Did I mention that this thing is supposed to be on your person at all times? Yes, that includes sleeping and everything in between.

The Alta HR tracks your sleep cycle and it lets you know what quality of sleep you’re getting. This is done through measuring your heart rate and movement throughout the night. What’s great about this is you can also set alarms that will indicate what time you should sleep and wake up to ensure you get enough rest — something that definitely helps if you’re someone who tends to work late nights like me.

The morning after

Updates on your activities are sent via email weekly, which means you could track your fitness progress more easily. I personally appreciate this, as it serves as little benchmarks for my progress or little nudges to get my fitness on (if I’ve been lazy throughout the week).

The Fitbit app is able to track your food intake. If calorie counting is your thing, this will definitely help. I’ve found that consolidating all your health data simplifies everything — calories burned throughout the day are computed against your caloric intake automatically. Additionally, water intake can also be tracked.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For something that you’re supposed to wear everywhere, I would’ve loved for it to have been water resistant and not just splash resistant. Although it did fare well against the many splashes it endured, this extra feature would have given me a better peace of mind. One too many times (because of my many random activities), I paused what I was doing to worry about if my band would get wet.

By design (even the ones that came in black and neutral colors), the band itself looks cute but a little too sporty for my everyday aesthetic. I would have liked it to look a little less screaming “I WORK OUT!”

I do love the idea of being able to translate everything I do into concrete information, and aside from just taking note of my activities, I found that wearing one does push me to be more consistent in trying to reach my fitness goals.

If you’re someone looking for commitment and a little more consistency in your life, the Fitbit Alta HR is for you; this machine is never too complicated, won’t ever let you down, and never flake on you.

It all works out, like I’ve been doing.

The Fitbit Alta HR retails for PhP 8,490 in the Philippines and INR 14,999 in India.

SEE ALSO: App Review: The road to getting Kfit

[irp posts=”10747″ name=”App Review: The road to getting Kfit”]

 

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Kovol 65W 4-port charging station Hands-On

Small in size, big on power

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Kovol 4-port

Nearly everyone I know carries around two to three devices. It’s some combination of a laptop, smartphone/s, and tablet/s. Imagine having to lug around these devices along with their power bricks. That’s a significant weight added to your bag. Enter the Kovol 65W 4-port charging station. This thing, as the company says, is small in size but big on power. 

Personally, I’m a member of this multi-device tribe. I almost always carry with me a laptop and two smartphones. That’s excluding any other smartphones or laptops I may be reviewing at the time. 

This is part of the reason why I’m in the ‘USB-C Everything’ camp. It would make our lives as tech reviewers just that much better. But since that reality may not be happening anytime soon, multiport GaN chargers like this are the next best thing. 

Regulated power 

Just because it has 65W written on it, doesn’t mean that it’s the only power output available. It can smartly allocate power to each device based on its needs. The 65W ranges from 65W, 45W, 30W, 25W, 20W, and 18W. So, whichever fast charging output your device supports, that’s what it’s getting. 

There’s also a 120W version of the charger and it can output at 87W aside from others that have already been mentioned. 

Kovol also claims it has low-heat and safe-charging. This means there will be no risk of overheating and overcharging your device. During my time using the charger, I can say I never felt any sort of unusual heating from it. 

How fast is it, really? 

But of course, the real question is how fast it actually is in real world use. Fret not, I have you covered. I’ll list the charging times of the three devices I primarily use. 

Before we start though, I would like to describe my normal usage. I’m totally not the type who lets the devices reach red levels of the battery indicator. Small beads of sweat immediately form around my head as soon as my devices’ battery indicator shows anywhere between 40% to 50%. 

Go ahead. Laugh all you want. But I’ve been in waaaay too many situations when I forgot to juice up only to need to charge but without any power outlet nearby. It’s a sticky situation I would like to avoid as much as I can. 

With that said, here are the charging numbers I recorded. Duration in minutes (mins) is how long it took to reach 100%.  

iPhone 11 Pro 

  • At 30% – 40 mins 
  • At 40% – 32 mins 
  • At 50% – 23 mins 
  • At 65% – 16 mins 

OPPO Find X3 Pro

  • At 10% – 59 mins
  • At 30% – 46 mins 
  • At 40% – 37 mins 
  • At 50% – 25 mins 
  • At 65% – 18 mins 

13” M1 MacBook Pro 

  • At 35% – 1 hour, 41 mins
  • At 40% – 1 hour, 26 mins
  • At 50% – 1 hour, 10 mins
  • At 65% – 40 mins

Naturally, these numbers will vary depending on your devices and the kind of wired fast charging they support. But what’s evident is that these are more than decent charging speeds. These are especially useful if you only have a limited time access to a power outlet when you’re out and about. 

Small for its power

 

The charging speeds are impressive but what really takes the cake is how small the Kovol 65W 4-port charging station is. It’s a little chunky, but it’s short enough that it’ll easily slide into your bag without taking up much space. 

Personally, I carried it in this tiny-gadgets-and-cables pouch I normally bring around whenever I step out. 

Its small size is also helpful when you have limited table space. It can sit just right next to your devices without taking away any wiggle room you might need. 

Price and availability

Some manufacturers are following Apple’s lead in taking away the power bricks from brand new devices. It’s a good reason to invest in a multiport GaN charger other than the ones already mentioned. 

The Kovol 4-port charging station comes in two variants. Pricing are as follows: 

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5 reasons why you should consider the OPPO Enco W11

Transition easily to the wireless lifestyle!

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Anyone can hesitate to step on a wireless journey if everything you see is all godd*mn expensive. Unbeknownst to many, there are pairs of wireless earbuds that are affordable and perform exceptionally at the same time.

One example is the OPPO Enco W11. If you’re considering switching to the wireless side, here are five reasons why the Enco W11 would make the perfect fit. In your ears and life, probably.

20-hour battery life

The Enco W11 lets you enjoy up to five hours of playback time on a single charge. Use the charging case and you can extend that to 20 hours.

Moreover, the charging case can recharge your pair of wireless earbuds for only 15 minutes, and you immediately get one hour of playback time.

Fits snugly

Depending on the form factor, some wireless earbuds can be a tad uncomfortable. Thankfully, the Enco W11 comes with an exquisite design that goes along with the shape of the ear. Plus, there are three sizes of soft silicone ear tips to choose from.

It also weighs 4.4g so you won’t feel the weight in your ears, allowing you to listen comfortably while you’re on the go.

Dust and water resistance

Get that extra peace of mind knowing that your pair of wireless earbuds have an IP55 dust and water resistance. It means that you can bring it to the gym, sweat it out, or even run through the rain — and you don’t have to worry about your device. It can stand splashes of water and dirt if you accidentally drop them.

Stable connection, lower latency

Most people are hesitant to switch to wireless earbuds because of the latency issues. With the right technology, the connection can be stable. Such is the case for the Enco W11 which receives signals on both sides to reduce latency. Unlike ordinary true wireless earbuds that receive signals on one side before sending them to the other.

The Enco W11 also uses a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 chip to help you enjoy uninterrupted audio. It’s perfect for those virtual meetings or just tuning out to your favorite playlists or podcasts.

Easy controls

Lastly, the Enco W11 doesn’t require a lot of brainpower to use. It pairs easily and resumes connection instantaneously within 10 meters.

Further, it comes with touch controls that are easy to navigate. You can play or pause your music with a single tap, or move to the next song by double-tapping.

The voice assistant can be activated by triple-tapping, and you can adjust the volume when you touch and hold the wireless earbuds.

Should you buy the OPPO Enco W11?

The OPPO Enco W11 makes it easy for users to transition to the wireless lifestyle, albeit at a cost that won’t hurt their pockets. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and intelligent enough to make navigating the controls smoothly. It has an SRP of PhP 1,690.

On January 27, 2022, Shopee is offering an exclusive deal — a bundle of the OPPO A55 smartphone and the Enco W11 wireless earbuds for only PhP 10,988.

The supply is limited so if you won’t be able to snag the deal, you can still get the OPPO Enco W11. Shop here.

For more exclusive deals, check out Shopee’s Brands Spotlight Festival.

SEE ALSO: OPPO A55 review: Just the basics

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Casio to release G-SHOCK-FC Barcelona Matchday collab model

“Més que un club”

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G-Shock FC Barcelona

Casio announced the latest editions to its G-SHOCK brand of shock-resistant watches: the GBD-H1000BAR and GBD-100BAR.

The latest models were made in collaboration with Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona, a documentary featuring the famed Spanish football club.

A raffle draw also awaits interested participants for a chance to purchase GBD-H1000BAR-4DR watch.

Interested customers can sign up for CASIO ID and submit their entries here from Janaury 28 to February 2, 2022.

Winners will be announced on February 3, 2022 and will have the exclusive chance to purchase the watch between February 4 to 11, 2022. Delivery will be from February 5, 2022 onwards.

Special design, packaging

The base models for the two new watches are the GBD-H1000 and GBD-100, both from the G-SQUAD line.

The new models employ the blue and garnet team colors of FC Barcelona. Inscribed on the bands is the club motto, “Més que un club” (“More than a club”) in the local Catalan language.

The GBD-H1000BAR features a metal bezel in bright gold ion plating, while the soft urethane band loop on both watches features the four red stripes of the Catalan flag.

Specially designed packaging also in FC Barcelona team colors is the final touch in the signature timepieces.

Not lacking in high-tech features

Both new watches are equipped with an accelerometer to count steps and track distances, while the GBD-H1000BAR model also comes with a heart rate monitor and GPS tracking.

Both new models also offer mobile link functions which, when paired with a dedicated smartphone app, support daily health management including step counts, calories burned, activity logs, and more.

The Memory in Pixel (MIP) LCD adds exceptional visibility for comfort in every day use.

Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona

Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona is an eight-episode documentary series focusing on the 2018–2019 season of one the world’s most adored football clubs.

From the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, the series offers insight into the players, philosophy and culture of the club.

Pricing and availability

The GBD-100BAR-4DR will be available for SG$ 349 on https://gshock.casio.com/sg/ and at all G-SHOCK stores from February 5, 2022. The GBD-H1000-BAR-4DR, meanwhile, is priced at SG$ 799.

Full specifications, check the model pages available here for the GBD-H1000BAR-4DR and here for the GBD-100BAR-4DR.

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