Thursday 23 March 2017

Review: iFit Vue Activity Tracker

With Mothers day just a couple of days away wouldn't it be great to be able to give your Mum a really different present. Something she can enjoy for a very long time and not just a day like chocolates or a week like some flowers?

Well you can. The iFit Vue activity tracker would make an excellent gift and just think you'd be encouraging your Mum to move more and become healthier and ultimately that could mean she lives a longer and fuller life. Result, right?

But I'm not just recommending something that I haven't tried out as I don't believe in that. I like to be honest and tell it as it is when I'm writing about a product. So I have had my 13 year old son JJ on the case this week, setting up the iFit Vue and fully testing it out.

What do you get in the box?
JJ took everything out the box and there is a tracker pod and charger, which you'll need to plug into a USB port to use. You also get two wristbands as standard. a S/M which fits from pretty small wrists (it s OK for my 9 year old girls) to an average woman's and a M/L which fits even my large husband, so there is a good variety of sizes. The clasp on the band is very simple to use and it can be put on and off easily.

Setting it Up
I passed the IFit Vue over to JJ still in its box and told him to get on with setting it up and then report back to me later in the week and I am pleased to say the only thing he needed help with was ascertaining what height he is.

First up he needed to download the app on his phone or tablet. Before you invest in this product do make sure that the app is compatible with the age of your device. For an iOS device you need an iPhone 4S or later and for Android, you need to be on 4.3 or later. The iFit Vue is not something to use as a standalone, you'll want the app so you can monitor your history and get a fuller picture of your fitness level, calories and sleep.

The download was quick and very simple and once you open the app you need to make sure your Bluetooth is on so you can pair the tracker to the app. You'll get a Success message on the tracker once it is done. That is one of the things I really like about this tracker, it is super clear on the wrist. I've only had trackers previously where my only guidance on the wrist was dots when I tapped it but this one is so much more advanced and user friendly.

Once paired JJ followed the simple set-up wizard to enter all his personal details so the tracker can be personalised for him. He said he found this all simple and intuitive.

Charging the Tracker Pod
When fully charged the pod lasts for around 5 - 7 days of wear and you get vibrations and reminders at 20% and 10% life and it is worth taking note of these reminders and syncing and then charging the pod as it loses its stored data if the battery gets to 0%. I was a bit surprised to read this and think this might be something to work on to improve future models.

Charging is really easy. You just insert the tracker pod into the charger and plug it into a USB port on your laptop or in a plug charger. It takes about 4-8 hours to charge the pod and you get the % charged displayed on the tracker pod when you press the button. Although once it gets to 100% that will display until you unplug it.

Wearing the Tracker Pod
The tracker pod is dead simple to fit into your wristband, you just flex the band and slide it in and it is then sturdy in there against your wrist. Make sure the band isn't too tight on your wrist or it can all end up a bit sweaty and on that note gently wash your band with water and a light detergent every so often so it still looks and smells great.

JJ was told he could not wear his iFit Vue in PE at school as it might get broken and as such he was able to take the tracker pod out of the wristband and place it in his inner pocket of his shorts, so it still tracked his activity. This is really useful, especially if you were going to a wedding and want to wear a fancy outfit and a jewellery bracelet rather than your tracker but you don't have to miss out on tracking your steps.

Using the Tracker Pod Functions
The tracker pod is dead clever and will automatically detect the kind of activity you are undertaking - walking, running, sleeping etc. By simply pressing the button you can view your stats for steps, distance, net calories, calories burned and sleep. When JJ and I were trialling it out we thought the button was a bit temperamental as it didn't always respond but we soon realised you need it on your wrist so there is a firm base for the tracker pod. On the wrist it worked perfectly.

You also get messages and reminders straight to your wrist. When you feel the gentle vibration a quick look at your wrist will remind you to get moving and you can adjust the frequency in the app. This is super useful for my computer mad boy as he'd happily sit at his desk the whole day if we let him.

You can see the iFit Vue in action below, it is very simple to move through the functions and see your current days stats.

Each time you are close to your phone or tablet with the Bluetooth turned on and the app open your iFit Vue will sync and download the information into the app so you can start to see patterns of your behaviour and be able to set relevant goals for your lifestyle.

A few extra bits of information -
  • There is functionality to set the iFit Vue up for use with a heart monitor, but it doesn't have any technology in it to do that alone. 
  • The iFit technology is currently available on a range of internet-connected fitness equipment like treadmills and bikes from well-known names such as NoricTrack and ProForm.
  • If you like using your iFit Vue but what to take your fitness a bit more seriously there is also the iFit coaching programme available for a monthly cost, where you will receive some serious motivation each day.
JJ's Thoughts
I asked JJ what he thinks of the iFit Vue after using it for a few days and here is what he said -

  • My biggest bugbear is that I have to press the button quite a few times before I can see the steps I have done and that is the main thing that I want to use the tracker for. I think it should be the first of second thing after the date.
  • It is great that I don't have to wear a watch as well, as my iFit Vue displays the time and date when I tap it
  • It has definitely motivated me to move more. I came home from school on the first day with just under 6000 steps and I then went jogging and walking and got the steps up to 13000
  • I like the look of the iFit Vue and it is really comfortable to wear, even when I go to sleep
  • The battery went down quicker than I expected, it dropped from 100% to 76% in 24 hours
  • I don't think I'd use the calorie intake logging as I do not know how many calories the food I am eating has. I think that function is more for an adult
  • I like that I can customise my view in the app and just see the things I want to track like steps and miles walked.

The iFit Vue is available to purchase from Nordictrack for £99 in a blue/ black colourway or Sangria which is pink and peach.

You can follow iFit on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: We received the iFit Vue free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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