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This might be getting by on its looks


I spent the last week or two reviewing the Bellabeat LEAF, a health tracker similar to the Fitbit but much better looking.

The LEAF is designed to do everything a health tracker should do; however, I found that it doesn’t really do any of those things particularly well. But it really is pretty. 

Measures sleep – the LEAF logs sleep quality and quantity and provides charts within the app that let users compare their periods of light sleep and deep sleep. This function was only moderately accurate and did not know that I was up with a toddler in the middle of the night.

Tracks activity – measures daily movement, burned calories and allows users to set daily goals. This function was wildly inaccurate. It had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The app will also let users enter specific sports and activities, giving a detailed overview of their movement throughout the day, which is probably your best bet for tracking on this.

Monitors reproductive health – gives a detailed overview of the user’s menstrual cycle and helps women trying to conceive to identify ovulation days and increase their chances of successful conception. It also works for users trying NOT to conceive;-). This was completely accurate because the user enters the data into the application manually. So no guess work there for the LEAF.

Guided meditations & breathing exercises – the LEAF also encourages users to learn and practice deep breathing techniques through guided meditation exercises built into the LEAF app. These were the best functions offered by the LEAF. It was really nice to have a stash of meditations and breathing exercises right on my phone.

Alarms and reminders– the smart alarm feature within the LEAF app lets the user set reminders. There’s the wake up alarm option and an inactivity alert that warns the users if they’ve been inactive for too long. These would be great if there was a more obvious way to determine what it was buzzing you for because all of the buzzes are the same. Am I not moving enough? Am I supposed to be remembering to do something right now? Did it buzz me at 6AM and I didn’t wake up? Who knows!

And finally, wearability-this thing is beautiful but is a major pain to wear. I spent every moment I had it moving it around to other body parts to see if it would track better or because it needs to be on my waistband for breathing exercises or because it can’t get wet and I need to bathe a baby or I don’t want a huge bracelet on my arm during power yoga so now I need to move it to my tank top, where it won’t register any movement at all and will buzz me to get active halfway through the warrior series. And every time you move it to a different wear position, you have to change the settings in the app so it knows what you are doing. It was just a lot of manual entry and fussing over something that is supposed to be smart and easy.

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