Smartbands: Part Two

Sony SmartBand


Much simpler than any other fitness band but still very promising, the Sony SmartBand also wants to be part of your life. Even though it’s lacking a screen and from the outside it just looks like a fancy bracelet, this band is so much more. The Smartband has the expected sleep and fitness tracking capabilities, and it also vibrates when you receive calls. What’s more, Sony is exploring a new angle in wearable technology–social tracking. The Sony SmartBand promises to record all your important moments, such as the videos that you have watched, the pictures that you have taken, or the games that you have played.

The device core (which comes separate from the wristband) will cost around $135, with the colorful bands running from $20 to $27 each. While definitely not on the cheap side, we look forward to seeing if it’s worth the price tag.


Jaybird Reign


If you want a 2nd-generation smartband that excels at tracking your exercise and sleep routine without the added bells and whistles, the Reign may be the best choice for you. Jaybird’s Reign is able to detect if you are swimming, walking, or whatever, all by itself via its internal heart rate monitor. When you go to sleep, you no longer have to press a button or tap the device an innumerable amount of times; Reign is smart enough to know when you are sleeping. Not only that, it will give you recommendations about your ideal sleeping time based on your overall activity.  Better yet, it also tells you when you are ready to do exercise based on your heart rate (or, as they call it, your “Go-Zone”). Pricing is expected to be around $200, a bit on the high end of the spectrum, but we think that this band will soon be the king of all smartbands for your local, luvable exercise freaks.


Our Advice

We’ve gleaned some great insights about wearable technology from the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. Our advice is that if you are going to be an early adopter of these smartbands, make sure you choose one that does what you need it to do. Do want it to serve as a wearable recorder or to be a hardcore fitness band that tells you if you should do more exercise?

Another important note is to remember to look at the apps. Even if the hardware is good, you need a great app to be able to understand and decipher all that recorded data. So make sure you check out the apps that come with each band prior to purchasing.

Finally, reliability is a very important factor for all these trending gadgets. Even if you find a great band that satisfies all your needs, if it breaks every two months it might not be worth the effort. An unfortunate example of this issue is the Jawbone UP; despite its pretty sexy app, the Jawbone wristband has been plagued by hardware and technical difficulties from the outset. It looks great, it performs great (when it works) but the reliability factor was a big turn off for this once-promising smartband.

So, if you’re seriously considering giving one of these new smartbands a try, wait until the reviews and opinions come out. The Gizko team is really excited to publish in-depth reviews about these smartbands, so please stay tuned!