Today’s smartwatches are essentially compact computers, possessing many capabilities similar to today’s mobile devices. That would be a more apt comparison, especially since the Basis Peak posses capability similar to today’s popular fitness tracking apps. The Basis Peak, from Intel, is the newest in the line of fitness wearables. It has been in the market since November 2014, and we managed to get some hands-on time at CES 2015.
Let’s take a quick look at the features again:-
- Sensors – Optical Heart Rate Sensor, Galvanic Skin Response, Skin Temperature, 3-Axis Accelerometer
- High Contrast Touch Screen Made With Gorilla Glass 3
- Water resistant up to 5 ATM
- Up to 4 day battery life
- Wireless Connectivity over Bluetooth Smart
- Compatible with iOS or Android
Design & Build Quality
If you have not heard of the Basis Peak, it is basically a fitness tracker, which is available in two colors – matte black and white. The housing itself is cast aluminum, featuring a large 1.25″ touchscreen Gorilla Glass display, set atop a 23mm wristband. Even with the large display, we find the Basis Peak extremely comfortable and lightweight.
On the bottom of the Peak is the newly implemented optical heart rate sensor, which is great at accurately tracking the user’s heart rate in real time. This fitness tracker is especially noted for tracking fitness parameters and even sleep patterns.
It’s also waterproof up to 50 meters, which is perfect for wearing in the shower if the user decided to.
The overall design of the device is pretty sleek, though some people with petite wrists might find it a little too large.
The Basis Peak’s display uses a monochromatic LCD, which allows for better battery life and readability under the sunlight. The display is very simple and also has an LED backlight. which has to be manually turned on by swiping up on the right side of the display.
We liked how Basis decided to keep the display on the Peak simple. Fitness trackers aren’t designed with display beauty in mind. They are meant to display the user’s fitness metrics. Anything beyond that is a waste of battery life.
Basis rates the battery life at 4 days of usage but we only manage to get around 2.5 days of continuous use before the battery began to run low. We turned on all incoming notifications though, so that might be the reason for its shortcoming on the battery life. But for a device that tracks activity automatically, with its sensors firing away throughout the day (and night), we would say that the battery life is admirable.
One of the feature that we really liked on the Basis Peak is the automatic detection. The Peak is able to automatically detect if the user is walking, running, cycling or sleeping with its Body IQ technology. We got on our bicycle to test this out and surely enough, seconds later, after a few pedals, we saw the bicycle icon displayed.
Another nice feature that Basis included in the Peak is the easily removable wristband, giving the users options on a variety of different wristband options.
The smartphone app, available for both iPhone and Android, gives users an overview of their fitness and sleep activity (can be accessed via their website too). Once the device is connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, it will sync with the app to give users the latest fitness and sleep tracking data. During our test, we found that the syncing process can be quite slow at times.
One interesting feature of the app are “Habits”, which are goals that users can set, such as getting eight hours sleep each night, or biking for half an hour twice a week – each habit is adjustable to fit the need of the user. Users start off with one habit, then when completed, will be awarded points, which go towards unlocking a new habit. It’s a great way to motivate oneself and the Peak gives users a little reminder if they haven’t completed any habits.
The activity feed is where users get an overview of their recent activities, broken down to a daily basis. It’ll display the overall steps taken, calories burned and average heart rate as well as each activity undertaken, both fitness and sleep wise for each day that the user wears the Basis Peak. Tapping on a fitness activity will open the Charting menu, which displays more in-depth statistics in the form of a bar graph.
Most of the fitness trackers in the market now require the user to manually change the activity to start tracking. The Basis Peak doesn’t require that. It automatically takes into account of what activity the user is doing and calculates the time spent doing the activity and the calories the user burned. The user then can either look at every detail on the website or the smartphone app, ranging from heart rate, the amount of sweat, and even the skin temperature at any time of day for the time that the user wore the Peak.
Overall, we really like the the Basis Peak and we think that it is a great fitness and sleep tracker. The accuracy of the Peak itself is great and it provides users with a great amount of data on their daily activity to help improve the user’s lifestyle.