Move over FuelBands and FitBits of the world — there’s a new player in town, and its name is the GoLife Care Smart Band
by lifestyle electronics company PAPAGO!
Headquartered in Taiwan, PAPAGO! recently made its way to North America bringing along the popular Smart Band that boasts a long list of features, including a step and calorie tracker, a digital watch with vibrating alarm and a sleep monitor.
PAPAGO! sent me a sample and here are my thoughts after spending some time with the wearable device.
The first thing you’ll want to do is download the GOLiFE Fit app, available for iOS and Android, which syncs with the band via Bluetooth. Although you can view the digital pedometer and calorie tracker directly from the device, you’ll need the app to access extras like a graph showing hours of light and deep sleep and a diary where you can record your daily mood.
The app can also sync with the optional stainless steel GOLiFE Fit Smart Scale, which transmits data over Bluetooth so the user can keep track of their weight over a period of time, set goals and view their body mass index. There’s also an optional GoHeart 100 heart rate monitor with ANT+ wireless connectivity that’s compatible with both the app and the Smart Band.
First taking the dust and water resistant Smart Band out of the box, you’ll notice how small and sleek it is compared to other fitness bracelets on the market. The skinny long display is surrounded by a metal face and the band itself is made out of soft rubber. I almost forget that I’m wearing it and thankfully doesn’t feel obtrusive when I’m sleeping at night.
There are a lot of neat customizable settings that you can change within the GOLiFE Fit app. For instance, the display normally stays dark to conserve the eight-day battery life. When enabled, an automatic display function can flash the time when the user raises his or her hand.
Another is the Smart Band’s ability to vibrate. You can set it to vibrate when a call is coming in, if your smartphone goes out of range, when the alarm goes off and even when you’ve been sitting too long to remind you to get up and move around.
A single button on the top right corner of the Smart Band allows the user to toggle through the time, date, steps, distance travelled, calories burned, heart rate and battery life. Everything is displayed in a vertical fashion that looks a little weird at first, but makes sense after you get used to it. Charging is simple task: just connect the unit to the supplied cord and plug the other end into any standard USB port.
For my own lifestyle, the PAPAGO! Care Smart Band is a good fit. It’s comfortable — which is a big personal deciding factor — doesn’t look too polarizing and is packed full of useful features. I especially enjoy seeing how much (or how little) ground I actually cover on different days with the pedometer.
The GOLiFE smartphone app is a little simplistic and could use more detailed functionality like viewing sleep trends over a period of time rather than just day-by-day, but that should be an easy fix with an update. Rather than only shopping for big brands like NIKE or Garmin, people looking for a relatively inexpensive wearable fitness device should definitely give the Care band a closer look.