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The Peak watch is a fitness & sleep tracker from Basis and comes as a digital watch for $199.
Don’t be blinded by the lights on the back of the watch. The numerous lights & sensors monitor your motion, heart rate, skin temperature and sweat levels. Thanks to these lights & sensors, the Basis Peak can tell you when you’re running, walking, cycling, or sleeping. The data gets synced via Bluetooth with your smartphone where you can analyze your habits and see whether you’re improving your fitness or sleep.
The watch displays the time, your activity, but also sends out push notifications of messages, calls and events.
After 3 weeks of using the watch intensely, here are my conclusions:
Every day I am surprised how well Basis Peak knows when I am sleeping. Even if it’s a nap of 20 minutes, my watch knows I was napping, which is incredible. On top of that, it tracks my sleep automatically. I don’t need to push a button, it just knows when I am asleep.
I did the test and the time of falling asleep, waking up, napping.. is very accurate, besides little slip-ups here and there. (It once said I was sleeping, when I was actually sitting and using my phone.)
I was watching my watch when I walked, and I was surprised to see how well it knows my steps. Even when I tried to fool it while walking slower, my Basis Peak knew.
The visualization of sleep is clean and easy to understand. It shows in the blink of an eye how your sleep cycle was. Based on your movements in bed, heart rate.., it provides you with interesting facts of sleep and it comes with explanations of how much sleep you need and what the benefits are for your health.
The desktop platform shows patterns in your insights and are visualized in a way that makes it easy to understand what’s going on. I discover that I lose an excessive amount of sweat during the night.
The watch continuously tracks your heart rate and updates it realtime, which is awesome.
The Basis Peak watch comes with a battery that lasts several days. It claims to have a battery life for 4 days, but I am now in at my third day, and it still have +30% battery left.
The design of the watch could be better. If you have tiny wrists, the big watch often hurts when turning your wrist or when sleeping. On top of that, I couldn’t adjust the wristband perfectly to my wrist. Either it was too lose, or too tight, which wasn’t effective for tracking or hurt my arm.
Basis encourages you to be more active, sleep better and have a healthier life through the creation of habits. A habit is a goal that you set yourself. For example: to be active for more than 1.5 hours at a time, twice a week. If you manage to do so, you earn points, with which you can unlock new habits. Gamification for the win! Unfortunately the habits are too hard to manage because of poor user design, and certain tracking aspects are just wrong. Walking to the grocery store for example isn’t measured as ‘activity’.
The steps might be tracked very accurately, but the Basis Peak does an awful job in tracking biking. I am an avid recreational biker. I bike to work. I bike to the grocery store, dinner, to see friends… I basically bike everywhere. The watch is able to track biking; however, I noticed 75% of my biking time is not recorded as biking.
Being connected to my Bluetooth 24/7 drained my smartphone battery instantly. I switched it off most of the day, resulting in losing the cellphone, text and other notifications on my watch.
The Basis Peak app is confusing. It took me a week before I figured out how it worked. The app focuses on the habits and how you progress, but less on your tracking and results. I expected the app to show your sleep & activity tracking upfront, but that is not the case.
For people that want more insight in their sleeping patterns and people that want to have an overview of their heart rate, I would definitely recommend the Peak. I wouldn’t recommend it as an activity tracker and a ‘personal wearable assistant’.