A while back I was sent an activity tracker wristband by Pivotal Living. The coolest thing about this tracker is the price.
Yeah… you read that right. I’m not missing any digits in that. It’s really only $12. (as of this post, at least!) The way it works is you pay the $12 and get: the tracker, charging cable, 12-month membership to Pivotal Living for access to goal setting and motivational tips. The app is free. At the end of your 12-month membership, you have the chance to renew and get the new generation of the tracker band.
The app is kind of the brains behind the unit, so I’ll dig into that first. The dashboard is the first thing you see upon opening the app. It will display your progress in the various areas it tracks, from steps to activity, from sleeping to drinking (water = hydration tracking! 😉 )
You can tap on the circle items in the dashboard and get more detailed information about each metric. Tapping on sleep will show you a graph of the ups/downs of your sleep overnight, I think the spikes downward are awake moments… which seems a little counter-intuitive to me. But each detailed metric gives you information for that specific day and then the average over the past seven days.
I don’t track calories or water consumption. So I tried turning those off in the goals, but they still show up on the dashboard. But in the Edit Goals section you can edit your sleep, hydration, activity, steps, weight and calories burned goals. It’s a simple on/off switch and then entering a value.
Back on the dashboard, you will see a Band entry that shows you your battery status as of the last sync. If you tap on that, the more detailed edits you can make are in terms of steps goal and alarm clocks. You can set a different alarm time for each day of the week and the band will silently vibrate to wake you. There’s even a setting for “Intelligent Awakening” that will wake you during your lightest sleep around your chosen wake time. There is also an activity reminder setting; you can turn this off or have it buzz you at regular intervals to remind you to get up and move.
I loved the vibration for waking, but I wished I could set alarms a little more like the iPhone alarm clock. It would be nice to specify every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday to wake at the same time, instead of having to set the slider for each day individually. Not a big deal, just a little thing that could maybe use a little user interface tweaking. The activity reminder disappointed me, though; I kept trying to set it for a 60-minute reminder. And each time it kept resetting to every 20 minutes. I can’t get up from my desk every 20 minutes. I have meetings, and I think it would look weird to those at the other end of my video conference if I just stood up and started marching in place to tell my tracker I’m active. But I also found it annoying when my wrist started buzzing while I was in meetings too. “Hey, it’s too soon for you to be bugging me! Pipe down!”
If you have a group of friends who are all using the Pivotal Living app, you can create teams and encourage each other to reach goals.
As for the band itself, it seems pretty well made, and I didn’t have any problems with the clasp seeming loose. The one issue that I did have with it was the size. It’s kind of rigid and doesn’t adjust down enough; my dinky little wrists had extra room on the smallest setting.
I frequently found the steps tracked to be a couple hundred off from the Garmin vivofit I wore at the same time during my testing phase. I don’t know if this is due to the tracker band being a little big for my wrist or just the nature of the device. However, I don’t think that’s a deal breaker. The reality is for regular tracking, you pick one device and go with it; comparing the day-to-day you gathered from that device, not numbers from different devices on different days.
Also, they recommend on the site you carry your phone with you. It will work in tandem with your phone to create an even more accurate picture, but I set my phone down during the day. When I’ve used phone-based trackers, I start to behave strangely and awkwardly carry my phone when I wouldn’t usually hold it just to make sure I get my steps counted. That’s the beauty of having something you wear… you don’t have to schlep the phone around on your person for every little movement. #amirite?
Overall I think this is a solid little entry into the tracking market, mainly because it has a lot of versatile features for an everyday user. And the price point can’t be beaten! If you’re looking for a tracker without a big entry price, Pivotal Living is a good one. If it weren’t for the large band size, I would say it would be a good one to get a kid playing with those numbers and thinking about activity/movement. And if you get one, decide it’s not for you… you may gift it to someone, and they get a 12-month free membership from that point!
I received the Pivotal Living tracker band and membership free for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received, and this post contains my honest opinions on the device.