Halo View: Amazon’s new $ 80 fitness tracker drops creepy mic, adds color display

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The latest Amazon Halo fitness tracker boasts an improved subscription fitness service and a more normal smartwatch design.

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Amazon wants to be your next Fitbit. Last years Halo Band was the company’s first entry into fitness tracking, but this year’s Halo View announced during a Amazon device event today it is much less bizarre. It’s more affordable, add a color screen and drop that scary, permanent recording microphone (which had a switch, but it was strange). The $ 80 strip, to come at the end of the year, will include a year of Amazon’s Subscription Health Service for Halo, which adds Nutrition and Fitness modes like meal planning and video workouts. It looks like a pretty complete package. But do you want Amazon to be your fitness provider?

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Halo View is a fairly familiar device: the band has a bright AMOLED color display, much like Google’s Fitbit Charge 5 and Luxury (or many others fitness trackers). The features of the Halo View also seem very competitive: 7 days of battery life, 50 meters water resistance for swimming, an optical heart rate sensor, sleep tracking and blood oxygen (which can be saved in the background or be used for spot checks). Skin temperature can be tracked at night and only shows changes from previous nights, in the same way as the Fitbit sense and Oura ring follow the temperature.

But notably, it does away with the microphone that was a central feature of the first screenless Halo band, which was used to continuously record and analyze emotional tone. This feature, while strange, is still available through Amazon’s Halo phone app, as well as the camera. body analysis and body movement tools launched last year. The app assumes you’re using a Halo group next to it, but some features like camera body scan work without any groups.

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The color touchscreen has clock faces, fitness statistics and starts workouts.

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Color screen, finally

The biggest change with Halo View from last year’s Halo group is the color touchscreen, which will be able to display stats, start workouts, display the time (with different watch faces), and perform a few stopwatch functions. timer. The original Halo Band didn’t have a screen, which meant you had to check the app for fitness / health stats.

The Halo View group takes 90 minutes to load, but will last for a week. I haven’t tried one yet, but the group photos look a lot like the types of color screen trackers you can already find quite easily on Amazon. There is also a new PIN setting to hide fitness data on the bracelet unless the PIN code is entered.

Additional accessories include multi-colored sports bracelets for $ 15, and fabric, leather, and metal options cost $ 30 each.

I haven’t worn the band yet, but it seems to have a bigger look than Fitbit’s latest Luxe and Charge trackers. Also, I’m not sure what the screen will look like in direct sunlight yet.

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Video workouts in the Halo app will have fitness readings from the paired tracker, but not until early 2022.

Amazon

Subscription service: New fitness, nutritional supplements coming soon

Amazon’s Halo trackers work without a subscription, but just like Fitbit, a subscription to a fitness / health service is required to take advantage of longer-term tracking statistics and analytics, as well as fitness / health services. training and coaching. Amazon is adding video workouts and nutritional planning to the $ 4 per month service later this year and early 2022 that will aim to fill more parts of the Halo package. Fitbit Premium, which offers features similar to Amazon’s subscription (but a much larger social network), costs $ 10 per month.

The nutrition service will not be available until January 2022, but will have meal planning guides for different diets, taken from Weight Watchers, Lifesum and (surprise) Whole Foods owned by Amazon, as well as shopping lists and ingredients that will be synchronized with Alexa. Does this sound like a way to lubricate the Amazon Halo-to-Whole Foods connection? Yes; Yes.

Meanwhile, a video workout series called Halo Fitness will launch by the end of the year, most likely scheduled for Halo View’s release. Workouts look like the type of high output video workouts that Apple Fitness Plus a, and will also get a similar on-screen reading of tracking data, such as heart rate, in early 2022. Workouts will cover cardio, strength, yoga, outdoor and fitness classes. mobility to begin with, according to Amazon, with the announced creative partners including Michael Hildebrand, Elena Cheung, Elizabeth Andrews, physiotherapist Dr Jen Fraboni and bodyweight and mobility training specialist Francheska Martinez. Videos will play in the Halo app and can be streamed via AirPlay or Chromecast to tablets or TVs.

Is the price aggressive enough?

The $ 80 price tag for the Halo View band isn’t the lowest we’ve seen for a fitness tracker, but the included year of subscription service makes it very competitive with Fitbit’s latest Charge 5 tracker. that comes with six months of Fitbit Premium for free. It’s a necessary decision if Amazon is to grow its health and fitness footprint, and it’s not surprising, given the low prices of most of Amazon’s other products. Inevitably, at some point it will be on sale (based on Amazon’s other products).

Last year’s Halo Band looked like an experimental device that worked well enough, but didn’t look good enough to recommend over other options. We’ll have to see if the Halo View can trump the competition when it arrives later this year.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a health problem or health goals.


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