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”]

 

Accessories

vivo introduces TWS Earphone Neo

Joining the TWS party!

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Another one has joined the TWS party!

vivo is launching its TWS Earphone Neo — a companion to the upcoming X50 series. It’s built to provide a stellar audio experience for everyday music lovers. It also features voice-activated smart controls and AI noise cancelling for clearer phone calls.

Neo runs Qualcomm’s 4th-generation TWS platform named QCC3046, offering low latency, high precision, and stable listening experience. Moreover, it’s equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 technology, reaching a maximum of 10-meter range.

This pair of wireless earphones carries a design-centric compact body. It has a 14.2mm ultra-large driver unit and a bio-fiber composite diaphragm, promising to deliver enhanced audio and powerful sound.

In 2012, vivo pioneered the Hi-Fi chip technology, being the first smartphone to incorporate the chip to deliver unparalleled audio experience. Together with the X50 series, the TWS Earphone Neo is the realization of vivo’s decade-long investments and commitment to improving consumers’ lives with their devices.

Pricing and availability of the TWS Earphone are yet to be announced.

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Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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Apple moving its AirPods assembly line to Vietnam

iPhone production is next in line

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Apple has started shifting its iPhone production line to India but it doesn’t end there. With the ongoing trade war between China and the US, more companies are slowly finding alternatives — such is the case with Apple moving AirPods assembly to Vietnam.

Asia Nikkei‘s report indicated that Apple has already done production trials of the AirPods line in Vietnam last year. Just this month, numerous buyers (including a MacForums user) have pointed out the sudden change. The ‘Assembled in Vietnam’ engraving at the back of the AirPods Pro is prominent since loyal users know that Apple products are assembled in China.

A Reddit user initially shared his concern about the product’s authenticity, even before the mentioned tweet started gaining attention.

It says mine are made in Vietnam but all other ones say China ? Should I be worried or it has nothing to do with it?? from r/AirpodsPro

Even a staff from The Verge shared a photo of her recently bought AirPods Pro with the same engraving.

Photo by Kara Verlaney (The Verge)

A follow-up report stated that the mass production of the new AirPods units took place in Vietnam last March. Despite the pandemic, they were able to secure permits from Vietnamese officials to bring in engineers for better and smoother production.

Some of the old EarPods were also assembled in Vietnam, which means the country isn’t exactly new to assembling Apple’s audio accessories. Even Apple’s long-awaited AirPods Studio might be produced there as well.

A recently-published article by DigiTimes states that other than India, they’re also moving the iPhone production line to Vietnam. It makes sense considering Foxconn has already built factories in the northern province of Bac Giang.

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