The best smartwatch usually costs more than this one. Fastfox isn’t fooling when it says it costs $10 — but a smart watch? Make that a smart health sensor worn on the wrist. About the size of a quarter+, it’s a small oblong with a replaceable battery powering Bluetooth that fits inside a thin plastic wristband. Which is probably equal in size to that of the best smartwatch for kids. So yes it’s smart and yes you wear it on your wrist. Don’t like the black band? Choose from among the other colors like red or green, since Fastfox pops in and out of the center in a few seconds time. But you have to keep the band on all the time or it can’t read your stats. FYI – the battery has a fairly long life of about 4 months+ and is user-replaceable. Plus its standby mode kicks in when 20+ hours of inactivity occurs.
A plastic disk is included that fits over Fastfox and is more of an “accessory” than a necessity, since the band’s plastic and the sensor itself is IP67 waterproof. So it doesn’t care if you sweat or even go into the shower (the iPhone, no it doesn’t go along with that). There’s a set of colorful stickers that can go over the plastic disc for customizing Fastfox. Some will use it, some won’t. I didn’t. But since the sensor holds in the band through friction, I can see using the disc as an added safety measure when wearing it.
Paired with my iPhone, Fastfox is primarily a data “tracker”: use it to record activity as I move about during the day and provide info on how far I’ve traveled, steps taken and calories burned. Or let it show me how I sleep: from what Fastfox says, I don’t do that so well. I can’t say that wearing the band was all that comfortable to start, but after a few hours it got forgotten — lots of holes in the band to catch the buckle help to keep it from sticking to the skin. I was told that it can be kept in a pocket if not worn and it will still work. But where’s the fun of that (“pocket band?”, don’t think so). Still some might prefer to put it in a pocket of their jammies rather than wearing it to bed.
Fastfox also does something that’s definitely more more “smart watch” than not — in that an LED in the strap can be made to illuminate whenever there’s an incoming call or text message. Both are useful things; turning a phone’s ringer off and letting Fastfox visually do the notifying is more quieting than using vibration — less intrusive too, especially when eating and helpful when the weather needs the phone kept from coming out. This and text signaling are fine features, provided that the phone’s in range. and obviously choosing this option relies on the app, as does pretty much everything else that Fastfox can do. But big thumbs down for it not working for iOS right now — Android users, they can hit the illumination while the iPhone can’t (at least for not until the updated app hits iTunes in early 2015). But both OS’ can join in on the social media option for sharing and comparing activity data through leaderboards
Fastfox is an easy slide into the whole “smart health” issue and certainly doesn’t empty the pocket, wallet or purse in any significant way. That makes the cost issue negligible. It doesn’t do a lot of things, but what it does can be useful for those looking to document what’s going on when awake (or asleep) or prove to themselves that they aren’t leading a sedentary life. Or finally get that it’s time to get up and start moving around already!
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