Published on May 18th, 2015 | by Greg0
Track It All With The Basis Peak
The wearable market is shaking up. With the Apple Watch now on the market, folks can finally get a real chance to play with and test out one of the more expensive options out there. Many were waiting to see what it would offer, and now the mystery has been settled. But a rising tide lifts all boats, and while Apple certainly has technical chops, today’s competitor would happily go toe-to-toe.
The Basis Peak is the newest fitness tracker and wrist wearable from the company, now owned by Intel. It’s seen quite a few improvements since launch thanks to regular firmware updates, and we were happy to see that the iOS and Android software, apps, and interface are solid. The Peak aims high, offering a wide range of features, from sleep tracking to heart rate monitoring, automatic exercise detection, and a cloud-based system that allows you to dive deep into the data. And unlike some other models, the Peak promises lengthy battery life, up to four days.
There are a few important notes and caveats. If you really are looking for music controls or apps to run on your device, this guy isn’t for you. Likewise, if you are looking for something that won’t appear out of place in an office, the basis peak might be a little sporty. There is no GPS, and the display isn’t that impressive… but the sensors are. And that’s the real heart of the Peak- it’s a fitness tracker first and foremost, and waterproof down to 5 ATM to prove it. Real-time heart rate tracking is certainly nifty (and we found it to be quite accurate, besting most every other), but that’s just the beginning, as they’ve included detection for galvanic skin response, skin temperature, along with a three-axis accelerometer. The lack of buttons takes some getting used to, and you’ll probably find yourself wishing for more options on the watch face and appearance- but notifications and texts are handled pretty well.
There are certainly no shortage of companies vying to replace your watch. But the Peak deserves a shot at the spot. Any of them can now do a decent job at step counting, but Basis offers excellent calorie counting and superior sleep tracking, showing when you’re in deep, light, or REM sleep. Data can be exported, and there is tons collected. We liked the weight and feel- comfortable even when running. You may not care to know how much you sweat (hint: a lot), but you’ll probably enjoy the achievements and gamification aspects. Not everything works smoothly- stationary cycling won’t register automatically for instance- but the Basis Peak does a great job at balancing the many, diverse needs of activity trackers and smartwatches. It’s available in two colors, black or white, for around $200 online and in stores now.