Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite and Fitbit Inspire HR hands-on

Plus a quick chat on what Fitbit is up to

Published

on

Last month, Fitbit announced the Fitbit Versa Lite which is a colorful version of the beloved Fitbit Versa at a cheaper price point. They also announced the Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR, which are their most affordable fitness trackers yet. I finally got my hands on the new wearables and here they are in all their glory.

Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Regional Director Louis Lye explained to me that Fitbit’s move towards smartwatches came from the need to provide more information on a surface area. Fitbit knew they could deliver more on a smartwatch platform than just a wearable platform. Last year, 44 percent of Fitbit’s revenue came from smartwatches. Considering they only had two at the time, that’s pretty impressive. It comes as no surprise then that the brand decided on a follow-up to the Fitbit Versa.

The Fitbit Versa Lite offers brighter, livelier hues that cater to millennial tastes.

It does most of what the Versa can do but, for a lower price tag, Fitbit had to make a few compromises: no automatic stair counting, lap tracking, or in-device storage.

Fitbit Versa left, Fitbit Versa Lite right

Despite all this, the Versa Lite looks and feels promising — mostly because it looks and feels almost exactly like the original Versa and I liked that smartwatch. Save for more color options and the difference in buttons, the two are identical.

Yes, that’s my Bitmoji in a unicorn suit because why not 😂

Of course, I opted for the Mulberry unit because it’s just so cute! With the new responsive Bitmoji watch face announced just last week, this watch is definitely fun to wear. There are also a number of straps and accessories available for the watch so there are different look options!

The Fitbit Versa Lite retails for PhP 10,390 in the Philippines and SG$ 248 in Singapore.

Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR

Even with the Fitbit push towards smartwatches, Lye tells me that there’s still a demand for fitness trackers which are different from smartwatches.

In the wearables department, Fitbit also offers a new contender: The Fitbit Inspire and Fitbit Inspire HR.

These no-nonsense trackers are pretty straightforward: exercise, sleep, and activity tracking, water resistance of up to 50 meters, smartphone alerts, and a five-day battery life. The HR version is equipped with a heart rate monitor.

What I love about these trackers, though, is the number of strap options you get! There’s even a clip mount so you can always have your Inspire on you without having to wear it on your wrist.

I especially love the mesh bracelets that make these things look so classy! All of a sudden, these trackers become less of that clunky sports wearable and more of an accessory.

These wearables will cost you PhP 4,590 and PhP 6,290 for the Inspire and Inspire HR in the Philippines and SG$ 118 and SG$ 158 in Singapore, respectively.

“How do we come up with products and solutions to make the world healthier?” Lye asked me. He tells me this is the same question Fitbit tries to answer. He further explains that Fitbit develops solutions based on data and that 56 percent of Fitbit employees are in research and development because of this.

As of now, Fitbit is focusing on solutions based on data. As we speak, they are awaiting approval in the US for a software algorithm based on Fitbit user data that will detect sleep apnea in its users. “This is all I can talk about now,” Lye explains, “but there’s definitely more.”

But as of now, these pretty straps will do.

News

vivo Watch with 18-day battery life now official

It’ll be available in two sizes

Published

on

vivo Watch

vivo has launched its first smartwatch and it’s simply called the vivo Watch. At first glance, it might look like a generic circular smartwatch but has a ton of firepower under the hood. It looks premium while also being perfect for rough usage.

The body consists of stainless steel and brushed ceramic bezel. It’s available in two sizes — 42mm and 46mm. The 42mm one gets two rounded buttons on the side while the 46mm has flat ones. This is the only visual difference between the two.

The 42mm gets a 1.2-inch AMOLED display while the 46mm comes in at 1.4-inches. Powering the watch is an ST miniature main control processor along with the Apollo ultra-low power co-processor for heavy-duty tasks and background activities.

Coming to features, it’ll automatically track all your movement in the background and automatically recognize exercises like outdoor running, indoor running, outdoor walking, swimming, cycling, indoor cycling, mountain climbing, trail running, elliptical machine, and more.

Obviously, in-line with the competition, it gets a heart rate scanner, sleep tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring. Other functions include notifications, music controls, alarms, and vivo’s voice assistant Jovi. It also has NFC support for enabling contactless payments.

The complicated sensor array includes a 5-core optical heart rate monitor, blood oxygen sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, altimeter, ambient light sensor, and a geomagnetic sensor.

Lastly, the 42mm vivo Watch can chug along for nine days on a single charge. On the other hand, the 46mm watch can last a whopping 18 days in one go.

Sales are currently limited to China and both watches cost CNY 1,299 (US$ 190).

Continue Reading

Wearables

Samsung is launching ECG monitoring for the Galaxy Watch 3

Available starting today

Published

on

As the world becomes more health-conscious, smartwatches are packing in more sensors. Besides the traditional palette of fitness sensors, today’s wearables can now detect electrocardiograms (ECG), blood oxygen levels, and even stress levels. Coinciding with this trend, Samsung is launching ECG monitoring for the Galaxy Watch 3.

Announced during the initial launch, the feature will finally make its way to users in the United States. Samsung is rolling out the update through the Samsung Health Monitor app. Besides ECG tracking, the Galaxy Watch 3 can also monitor their user’s blood oxygen levels.

Starting today, Galaxy Watch 3 users can track their heart rhythms for irregularities. The feature can accurately detect any heretofore undetected disorders such as atrial fibrillation. After which, users can send reports to their healthcare providers for additional help.

The feature’s rollout undoubtedly increases the watch’s value for potential customers holding out on a purchase. It took a while because the feature just passed through the US Food and Drug Administration. Other smartwatches — like the Fitbit Sense — have also promised similar features coming after their respective launches.

If you’re wondering about the sudden influx in the feature, health experts are studying the correlation between blood oxygen levels and COVID-19. Having the ability to track blood oxygen might prove useful in preventing infection.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available now. It starts at US$ 399.99.

SEE ALSO: Samsung has announced the Galaxy Watch 3 Titanium

Continue Reading

Health

How I got fit with the OPPO Watch

Our goal is to survive

Published

on

By

OPPO Watch

When the global health crisis struck the world into a colossal spiral while we all watched anxious in our homes, I decided to escape into a fitness challenge. Hey, I needed some form of healthy coping and I thought putting my frail, petite figure into the ringer was a good way to keep me distracted.

So, since the end of March of this year, I decided to do at-home workouts six days per week. And, by the end of April, I had somehow dedicated hours into working out consistently from Sundays to Fridays.

Deciding to be fit

If you’re thinking, “she’s mental,” hi. Yes, I am. I always knew I was capable of sticking to something I wanted to work towards. I’d go so far as to say I’ve always had an obsessive tendency towards things I set my mind on. There was, of course, a good incentive: my mental health.

I’ve always struggled with my mental health. Even when writing about how video games helped me through rough patches in my life, I’d spiral back into the same mental state over and over. I wanted to break that horrible cycle. And so, I set myself to use fitness to expend energy I would usually have to be anxious or self-destructive on something healthier and beneficial.

Oh, I almost forgot a tangent motivation to all of this: I was weaning off my medication. So, if you didn’t know, which you probably didn’t, I was taking antidepressants and mood stabilizers to get by.

Whenever I had teetered into fitness, I weirdly felt on-top-of-things. I brought this up to my psychiatrist and knew that if I wanted sustainable stability, I had to work on long term changes to my lifestyle.

So, back to the task at hand, I had consistently worked out, built muscle where I didn’t know I had and gained a ton of weight. By late August to early September, I had felt better mentally.

Tracking with the OPPO Watch

When I got the OPPO Watch, I had already checked out most of my personal goals except one: getting stunning abs. I went to work on journaling ab workouts I was going to do and healthy meals I wanted to treat myself to. I was planning on running outside to get my daily 10,000 steps through the watch’s Wear OS out of the way and was pretty excited to strap on the OPPO Watch.

Before we hop into my journey with the OPPO Watch, here’s a couple of things you might want to know. The Oppo Watch’s dual-curved 1.6-inch AMOLED display makes it look identical to the Apple Watch.

Elephant in the room finally out; let’s talk specs. It’s got a Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC with an Apollo Chip. All of that runs on Wear OS by Google and is powered by a 300mAh battery. And, OPPO boasted the watch’s 21-day battery capacity. So, I was hyping myself up for a two-week ab workout program to accompany the specs and features the watch was decked out on.

Let me just get it out there: as much as the OPPO Watch has an identity crisis on potentially being an Apple Watch wannabe or clone, it delivers on looks. The watch is pretty and the interface never once stuttered while I used it. But I digress…

Road to getting abs

On day one, road to maybe getting abs, the watch flopped and stopped recording my run, and ab exercises because it had run out of battery. Frustrated but also quietly relieved, I dropped my plan for the afternoon and eased out of my workout quicker than I often would.

You see, I had become overly obsessed with working out. So much so, that I was scheduling everything else in my day around the 2-3 hours every single day I wanted to exercise.

Although it was a disappointing first day, it was a wake-up call. I had always felt fatigued and out of breath from just doing typical chores. I’ve long ignored this symptom of over-training and kept overworking myself.

As much as the watch didn’t get to keep up with my “typical” day, it drew red flags on the fact that I was unusually active.

Don’t get me wrong. The OPPO Watch is a great smartwatch. It’s got a ton of features I want a smartwatch to have. It had a training assistant, a heart rate monitor, a sleep tracker, sedentary reminders, and had a vast array of workouts you could track through Wear OS.

It was the best thing to help validate the hard work I was making on a daily. I would use and abuse installing the Google Fit app to track my strength training, workout sets, and footsteps. But, if there’s anything I slowly learned from over-training and “over tracking,” it’s that you tarnish your relationship to exercise if you obsess over calories.

More to getting fit than looking a certain way

If you’ve been hating yourself for not getting fit or not losing weight while the rest of the world is ablaze, let this be the reminder you need. We’re here to survive, not to pressure ourselves into losing weight, getting fit, building unhealthy self-images, or getting sick and injured.

This year, especially, is not the time. I know that being isolated can feel relentlessly daunting and peeking into social media feeds into unhealthy and toxic standards you might feel pressured to try to achieve. But, there’s more to health than trying to look a certain way — there’s the important bit about how you are and how you are feeling.

A lot of the ironically toxic parts of health and fitness is from building fundamental goals on visual validity: a number on the scale, a measurement, or aesthetic muscle development. When health and fitness should be about developing something sustainable: strength, flexibility, stamina, or better well-being.

It’s also good to note that quick and sudden fixes can show fast results but won’t be sustainable long-term. The quicker the change, the quicker it is to lose. Easing your way into small changes until you achieve a healthy lifestyle that isn’t restrictive of anything you want is the way to go.

For the past two weeks with the OPPO Watch, I decided to be more attuned with myself, mentally and physically. It was a good time for my body to recover from brutal stress I put it through.

The watch’s Wear OS features breathing exercises that helped a lot with this. I would find myself struggling with anxiety late at night and I’d go on the watch and do the breathing exercises until I calmed down. I know the feature is simple and I can do without it but, having something to guide me through deep breathes really helped.

Throughout my two weeks of what was meant to be non-stop ab exercises, I decided to work out on days I felt like working out and rested on days I wanted to. The OPPO Watch gave me a good feel of my health with my heart rate and step count even if I stayed indoors.

It monitored and gave me customizable daily goals which were less about reaching them every day and more about realistic and forgiving progress.

Oh! It’s good to note that the watch might be able to last about a week but it’ll need to be on power saver mode. You’ll be limited to viewing the time, checking your pulse when you want to, counting your steps, and getting notifications.

On that week, I kept active and went about my day without worrying about the nitty-gritty details of how much calories I burnt from walking, running, or lifting weights.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I didn’t keep the OPPO Watch on power saver mode for long for a few reasons. To recover from over-training, I wanted to improve on my sleep and work on my relationship with exercise and calories so tracking my sleep was important to me.

On top of that, the breathing exercises weren’t accessible on power saver mode which was a huge bummer seeing as that feature helped me through some anxious nights — what a legend of a feature.

The OPPO Watch is decked out with so much to help you get better, happier, and healthier but only in ways, you choose to. So if you’re not a fitness fiend and are looking for a smartwatch to just track your pulse, steps, and of course, keep track of time, consider this watch. The OPPO Watch costs PhP 12,990/GBP 229.

Continue Reading

Trending