Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is for certain, Jeff Bezos and Amazon continue to bring innovative products that push the envelope when it comes to technology. Say hello to the newest wearable on the scene, the Amazon Halo. Unlike some fitness devices you may have used like the Apple Watch, Garmin or FitBit, it doesn’t have a screen, so it requires the use of the Halo app (not yet released) to view your data.
Right now it’s only available to those in the US, and you must have an invite OR Amazon Prime members can request early access which will provide a 35% discount ($64.99 instead of $99). I’ve requested early access, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be chosen to give it a whirl!
Innovative Features I Like
- Instead of relying on BMI, it is the first wearable tracker that is able to measure body composition through a personalized 3D model that is two times more accurate than traditional scales that measure body fat. I feel like BMI has been touted for far too long, but doesn’t take many important factors like bone structure into account. I’m excited to see how its measure of body composition compares to caliper tests and other proven methods like DXA scans.
- It doesn’t use steps as the main metric, but instead measures intensity and duration of your movement. I love this, as I think the emphasis on 10,000 steps a day can be misguided.
- It has a series of “Labs” which are expert-designed challenges that help you see the result of small changes on your health. Examples are discovering snacking triggers, ways to fall asleep faster, and the effect of music and more steps on stress reduction.
- Tone of voice analysis to help improve communication, improve your happiness and lower stress
- Water resistant to 50 meters and also includes sleep pattern analysis – not exactly innovative since other trackers have these things too, but nice features to have depending on your preferences.
- Not having a screen. This reminds me of early versions of the Whoop, FitBit Flex and the Leaf that I have used in the past. While it can reduce distractions, always having to refer to my phone app instead of the device to see my data (and the time!) is a little frustrating for me.
- The requirement to pay a monthly fee to use premium features after the first 6 months. If you don’t pay the monthly fee, you will only be able to track steps, sleep time, and heart rate. To be fair, I should mention that the base price of this device is around $100 less than FitBit and Garmin trackers that offer similar features, so even with the monthly fee, you’ll likely be paying less for around the first 1-2 years than you would with other trackers.
- No adaptive menstrual cycle tracking ability. I really love this feature on my Garmin as it gives nutritional and training advice based on each stage of my cycle, so I’m not sure if I would want to switch to a device that doesn’t have that capability.
- The look of the band. I am not drawn to the fabric design, but maybe it will grow on me. It looks like there are going to be other band materials available, so I will reserve my final opinion for when I have the chance to test it out.
- Battery life of only 2 days when using the tone detection feature. If microphones are turned off, it should last 7 days, so it really depends on what features are most important to you.
Though the Halo doesn’t have all the features I’d want in an ideal wearable, I think it’s a huge step in the right direction as it’s focusing on more than just steps and weight, and factoring in important things like body composition and the intensity of exercise and movement. I hope this will be something more companies will decide to incorporate into their wearables as we move forward and look at wellness more holistically rather than just trying to track step goals.
What do you think? Is the Amazon Halo something you would try? Which features stand out to you? Don’t forget to request early access on Amazon if you’re interested in getting it at a discount! I’m looking forward to testing our their Labs feature, as I love a good challenge and I’m curious about how they will impact my life! I do wonder why Amazon chose to name it the Halo – it makes me think of the video game with same name – not sure how it relates to fitness, but I’m sure that will all come in good time.
Thanks for reading!