Wearables

Striiv Fusion Bio 2 allows logging of habits

The Striiv Fusion Bio 2 fitness tracker consists of a tracking module and three interchangeable rubber wristbands in purple, black and blue.
The Striiv Fusion Bio 2 fitness tracker consists of a tracking module and three interchangeable rubber wristbands in purple, black and blue. PHOTO: STRIIV

Fitness tracker looks same as original but offers recording of health habits, though sleep-tracking function is a hassle

The new Striiv Fusion Bio 2 fitness tracker looks no different from the original Fusion Bio.

It consists of a tracking module and three interchangeable rubber wristbands in purple, black and blue.

Insert the module into the rubber wristband and you are set. It looks like something that has been around since the dawn of fitness trackers.

The Bio 2 is comfortable to wear but can be difficult to put on. Pushing the stainless steel clasp into the holes on the band requires some effort. It is also only splash- resistant. So you can wash your hands or run in the rain with it, but not swim with it.

Like the original, the tracking module has a touchscreen display, built-in heart-rate monitor, and smartwatch functions, such as notifications for text messages and incoming calls, when paired with your smartphone.

The major difference in this second version is that it allows logging and journaling of your health habits, such as diet, hydration, medication and weight, from the display instead of via the Striiv app (available on Android and iOS).

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $179

    WATER RESISTANCE: IPX4 or splash- and sweat-resistant

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 18g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

Display visibility is good, whether under sunlight or in dim conditions. However, the screen sometimes fails to respond to touch or swipes. This is frustrating as you need to tap it to see your progress and key in your "healthy habits".

The display wakes up when you tap twice on the fitness tracker's side, although it typically took more taps than that during the review. It shows the time and date by default.

Swipe to the left and you can toggle through information about the steps taken, distance travelled, calories burnt and activity movement, as well as sleep and heart- rate measurements.

You will reach an OK option. Tap on it to see the journaling option and sleep option.

The journaling option lets you log in entries to reflect whether you have stuck to your diet or taken your medication. It also allows you to log in how much water you are drinking and your daily weight.

While this certainly allows you to track your habits over time, I find it to be troublesome and useless, because the entries can be arbitrary.

And unlike many fitness trackers that do automatic sleep tracking, Bio 2's sleep tracking must be activated before bedtime and deactivated when you wake up. It is a hassle that should have been eliminated in a second-generation product.

The sleep tracking shows the duration of light and deep sleep. It pinpointed correctly when I woke up during my sleep.

I found that the Bio 2 tracked more steps compared with my calibrated Fitbit Charge HR. There was a difference of as much as 11 per cent between both trackers. Battery life is pretty good, at around a week, and it takes only two hours to charge the fitness tracker to full using the common micro-USB cable.

  • Verdict: The Striiv Fusion Bio 2 might look like the perfect fitness tracker on paper, but the competition has since moved on to include workout tracking while it has merely added journaling.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Striiv Fusion Bio 2 allows logging of habits'. Print Edition | Subscribe