Just when we thought we’ve seen it all from Fossil this year, the fashion giant unveils a new smartwatch. While style has always been its priority, the Fossil Sport is its first smartwatch designed for people with a more active lifestyle.
What makes the Sport important in Fossil’s lineup is what’s inside — it’s one of the first smartwatches to run Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 and is the most affordable one at US$ 255.
The new chipset brings new features to the watch including a better ambient mode and longer battery life. With a 350mAh capacity, Fossil promises at least 24 hours of touchscreen use, and an additional two days in automatic low-power mode.
Like its Gen 4 models, the Fossil Sport has built-in GPS, NFC, and heart-rate tracking, plus it’s still swim-proof. The watch comes with the new Spotify app for Wear OS as well as personal safety app Noonlight.
Available in 41mm and 43mm sizes, its casing is now made of aluminum and nylon instead of stainless steel, making it Fossil’s lightest smartwatch to date. It comes in several colorways including blush, light blue, neon, and red.
The Fossil Sport is available today and will hit US retail stores starting November 12.
Roidmi X20 review: Cleaning no longer feels like a chore
Make vacuuming exciting again
Now more than ever, keeping our homes hygienic and sparkling clean should be top priority. Cleaning your apartment can be daunting especially if you don’t do it a lot and have dust and cobwebs accumulating in every possible corner. What’s helped turn things around for me while in quarantine is the Roidmi X20 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner.
Design that meets your minimalist aesthetic
Unlike a lot of other cordless vacuum cleaners, the Roidmi X20 comes in a rather minimal package. Its design is refined and elegant, not robotic or futuristic. It looks more like something that will blend in with your home decor and furniture.
It comes in two colors — Obsidian Gold and Ink Black and White — the one I have is the latter.
It’s also designed to be quieter so unless you have paper-thin walls, when set at its lowest power your next-door neighbors won’t know you’re doing some house chores.
Buttons are placed on the grip for easy access. It has three power modes, which can be changed with a press of a button. With the highest suction power at 145AW, this makes it a little bit more powerful than the Dyson V10 and the LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate.
Its air-x dust separation technology ensures that the X20 won’t encounter the common problem of suction reduction because of blockage in the filter.
The overall design and simple structure of direct multi-stage suction makes it lighter and less bulky than other cordless stick vacuums. Weighing at just 1.5kg, the Roidmi X20 makes vacuuming a lot less tiring.
Multiple attachments make the task seem less daunting
Seeing how much cleaning you need to do is overwhelming — a feeling I certainly had when I finally had time to give the Roidmi X20 a go.
As with big projects at work, having access to multiple vacuum attachments makes the big task seem more doable. They help break it down into multiple smaller tasks.
The main attachment is the carbon soft rolling brush, which is what you use to clean the floor. It works well on wood, tiles, and softer surfaces like carpets and rugs.
The Roidmi X20 is the first smart cordless vacuum with a mop, so there is a magnetic mop accessory that can hold up to 160ml of liquid. With this attachment, it slowly sprinkles water or your cleaning solution of choice as you glide it through the floor so you save time by vacuuming and mopping at once.
One of my favorite features is the light-sensitive LED on this attachment. It automatically lights up when you’re vacuuming dark, hard to reach areas like those under the couch and the bed. These are parts of the apartment you usually ignore when cleaning since the dirt in there is not as visible.
There’s a small attachment for crevices and areas that don’t fit the soft rolling brush. This is great for not just for the dust that accumulates in corners, but also cleaning the small spaces between the pots of your indoor plants, as well as those tiny spaces between books in shelves, or behind the lamp on your bedside table.
The extender helps elongate the vacuum, and is great for cleaning curtains and ceilings. With it, you no longer have to step on a ladder or stool just to get rid of cobwebs.
The extender, of course, works with every other attachment, so you also don’t have to duck and risk lower back pain you’re vacuuming the floor with the soft-rolling brush.
You don’t have to be a germophobe to not want to bring the germs from the floor to your bed. This is why I appreciate that the Roidmi X20 comes with a dedicated mattress brush. If you’ve never vacuumed your mattress before, you’d be surprised at how gross it actually is once you do.
Battery life will change your cleaning habits
Despite its good design and ergonomics, and included attachments, life isn’t rainbows and unicorns with the Roidmi X20. Its biggest weakness is also one that is very important to me: battery life.
At its lowest suction power, the vacuum lasts 65 minutes and a mere 10 minutes at the highest. I got to admit, this was a struggle at the very beginning because of how much cleaning I had to do. Worse, it takes more than 2 hours to fully charge the vacuum.
Now this would have been acceptable if it worked while it’s plugged in. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to charge and clean at the same time.
Now, I’m not one to give up on something because of one obstacle. If anything, I take things like this as a rewiring experience — a way to reassess how I do things.
Instead of letting dust accumulate for more than four weeks, I now clean the apartment more often, so I only have to do it for shorter periods of time. Knowing that you only need to clean for one hour at a time is also less overwhelming than the thought of quarterly deep cleaning that consumes your entire weekend.
The Roidmi X20’s poor battery life has made me look forward to cleaning every weekend. It now feels less like a chore, but an activity that I’m excited to make time for.
It’s also worth noting that it comes with a magnetic wireless charging wall dock that I haven’t gotten around to mounting. It should make putting the vacuum away in a more orderly fashion, but installing anything on the wall is a pretty big commitment for me to make at this point.
There is also an app that you can pair it with, but it’s not that useful. It shows information like battery life and whether the filter needs emptying, which the small LED indicators on the vacuum itself can tell you anyway.
Is the Roidmi X20 your GadgetMatch?
If you are looking to buy a cordless vacuum cleaner, the Roidmi X20’s minimal design and small build are the biggest features to consider. At US$ 449 a good option that offers the same, if not more suction power than its more expensive counterparts from the likes of Dyson and LG. The attachments you get are also the standard ones you get from other brands.
Its poor battery life is a drawback if you have a bigger space. If you’re like me and live in a small apartment, it’s more than enough. This is especially true if you can instead see it as a silver lining that forces you to change old habits and makes cleaning exciting again.
Is the Peloton bike worth it?
Fitness does not come cheap
Getting a Peloton is more than just getting a bike; it’s joining a community. When you first start talking to someone who has the bike, they always talk about how irrationally in love they are with it. Now that I have it, I finally understand why.
After all, the bike isn’t just for taking classes and Peloton isn’t just another fitness company. Peloton is a technology company that’s creating communities and experiences that enable you to get the most out of your workouts. All of these, however, come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Peloton versus a gym membership
The bike costs EUR 2230 (US$ 2245) and an additional EUR 39 (US$ 39) a month for the classes and digital services.
Think of it like this: The digital services are like what you would pay for your monthly gym membership, and the cost of the bike is your sign up fee. If you look at it as a 3-year commitment, it ends up around something like 102.89 a month.
If you compare it to a high-end spin studio it starts to look cheap. BeCycle in Berlin, for example, offers 12 classes a month for EUR 200, and 16 for EUR 239. SoulCycle in London offers 30 classes that can be used over 12 months for around EUR 700.
It’s clear the way SoulCycle expects you to take their classes as something you add to your fitness routine a few times a month. The cost of 30 classes over the year with SoulCycle is the price of unlimited classes with Peloton, and you can do more than just spinning with the latter.
If you start to think of Peloton as a long term fitness commitment, the pricing no longer seems outrageous.
Four things that make Peloton worth it
Well-rounded classes that go beyond the bike
With Peloton, you get access to hundreds of on-demand classes and a dozen or so live classes a day. Peloton might have started with just cycling but they’ve added dance cardio, sleep coaching, running, meditation, walking, and strength training. They even have yoga classes — some of which cater to expecting mothers.
New research shows exercise can be contagious, and social pressure is a fantastic motivator. With Peloton, you can schedule rides with friends or join group classes — live or on demand. You can also connect with friends to see how often they ride.
Built for competitive people
The leaderboard on the right hand side pushes you to pass the next rider, and this is by far my no. 2 motivator.
Ugly sweat brings the drama
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not too proud to be a sweaty mess in public. But working out at home also means I can bring the drama. Often I find myself falling over and gasping for air like I’m JLaw in Passengers trying to breathe in that floating water bubble. If we’re talking about worth, the ability to be extra dramatic at home is priceless!
Two girls, one Peloton
Both Carol and I have a Peloton bike at home so we thought it was worthwhile to give you two takes on the same question. Is it worth it?
If you’re like me and have a 20-euro monthly gym membership, it’s going to take a lot more than comparing Peloton’s pricing to a high-end fitness studio that I wouldn’t have paid for in the first place.
If you’re someone who has the self-discipline and already goes (or used to go, before quarantine happened) to the gym multiple times a week, Peloton is a good alternative. It’s a high-end fitness studio in your home. The best parts of having your own gym at home is not wasting any time travelling to the gym and the workouts and instructors are varied enough that you won’t get bored.
If you’re someone who thinks that getting a Peloton would be like buying the willpower to work out, you also won’t be disappointed.
In a separate article, I talked about living in a 38sqm flat during lockdown and still managed to find excuses NOT to work out. At the end of the day, even though I struggle with consistency, I’m in better shape now than I was over the past year of having a cheap gym membership and supplementing it with ClassPass.
Having a Peloton bike at home is great because you constantly see the bike. It’s like getting constant reminders that you’re not working out. This is what I’ve come to realize — it’s not that I’m not working out enough; it’s that I would feel guilty about not working out.
If this sounds terrible to you — which it should — don’t worry. Half of the time this guilt is replaced with motivation and a desire to get on the bike and get stronger.
The only way for me to stomach paying that much for a bike is to convince myself that it’s essentially a gym membership. After five months with it, I’m not even sure that I could go back to any other way of working out — especially since gyms are high risk areas and I’m just overly cautious.
As someone who grew up skinny, working out was never part of my routine until I discovered spinning back in 2014. Through spinning, I learned that fitness doesn’t have anything to do with your dress size and that working out can actually be fun. It’s not the most affordable choice for workouts, but the music and the endorphin rush always left me with such a high.
I have to admit I was never a fan of the physical high fives and the loud classmates who love to go “Wooh!” throughout the class. They made me hyper aware of how much I’m struggling through the pushes and how much of a mess I look during the whole ordeal. Palm sweat on palm sweat with strangers always gave me the heebie-jeebies even before social distancing was a thing.
Having a Peloton at home brings all the things I love about spin class and leaves the things I hate about it somewhere else. I can enjoy the music, add some extra dance moves if I want to, and even sing along without worrying if I get a little too loud over that Sia song. I even started answering instructors as if they could hear me, screaming how ready I am for the ride and throwing in my own “woohs!” into the mix.
Before the pandemic, I was already really happy over the fact that I have the bike at home. Time is money and having the bike at home has given me more free time since I don’t have to make my way to and from the spin studio I frequent here in Berlin. While spin studios tend to go all out in their facilities, nothing beats showering or taking a long hot bath after a workout.
When the pandemic hit and gyms in Berlin were shuttered, I was just so thankful to have the Peloton at home. It’s a common misconception that Peloton is just for spinning and I made sure to get into the other workouts they offer while we were spending most of the time at home. During this time, I committed to doing at least one thing with the Peloton app every day.
It doesn’t even have to be a heavy sweat session. It could just be a good stretch or even a short time allotted for meditation. So even if you’re not a big fitness junkie. Trust me, it’s worth it. I’m so far from being in the upper half of the leaderboard but the fact that I get to burn most of what I ate during the day and work on relaxing my mind before bed has been such great help for my whole well-being.
Since the restrictions have been relaxed and the weather has gotten so much better, I started going out more and one of the challenges, as Nicole said, is sticking to your commitment to work out. But seeing the bike at home really makes for a great reminder. If you’re someone who always has a full calendar, someone who’s busy at work, and is in need of a way to get fit and forget the world for a little bit then this is something for you. My husband and I both feel the guilt over missing a day of working out. Not because of anything else but the fact that we missed out on doing something we enjoy.
Is the Peloton worth it?
Of course it is, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you to make the most out of it.
Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to when you get your bike! See you on the leaderboard soon.
YogiFi is a yoga mat that corrects your form in real-time
Your personal yoga instructor
Many of us are coming up with new routines as we stay indoors. If you’re finding it hard to find a physical activity that you can do in a limited space, yoga is something you can try.
Practicing yoga may look easy, but doing it right can be pretty challenging, especially when you’re only following a YouTube video. YogiFi is an AI-powered yoga mat that provides guided instructions and real-time corrections on your poses.
The sensors on the mat tracks your yoga sequences and tracks your vitals before and after each session. This lets you track your progress so you can feel more motivated the next time you hit the mat.
It comes with a companion app that offers 25 programs. You can select your personal trainer and set your goals.
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