This could be "the one."
For years, long before the concept of the smartwatch was even conceived, I've wanted a simple wristband that would notify me of incoming calls, messages, and whatnot -- because I'm sick of missing them when I can't see/hear/feel my phone.
Meanwhile, I'm an active guy, and I like the idea of monitoring my steps, exercise, sleep, and all that. So I'm ripe for a fitness band.
There are surprisingly few devices that bridge the gap between the two, but this one does. Ending Friday, StackSocial has the Striiv Touch fitness band/smartwatch for $79.99, shipped. Regular price: $99.99.
That's not a mammoth savings, but this brand new product isn't available for less than list anywhere else. And from what I can tell, it's exactly what this doctor ordered.
The Touch resembles other fitness bands, except it has a screen that displays incoming-call information, text messages, and other notifications. Also -- what a concept -- the time! What's more, it's a touchscreen, meaning you can swipe through "pages" of text instead of looking at a scrolling ticker (which is my main complaint with the Martian Notifier).
The other thing I like? It looks cool, not big and clunky like the Pebble I'm wrist-testing as we speak.
Now for a caveat. CNET hasn't reviewed the Striiv Touch, and I haven't had the chance to try it myself, either -- yet. I ordered one about a week ago, and the "1 to 2 weeks" shipping disclaimer seems to be accurate, as I'm still waiting on the UPS man.
Also, a handful of user reviews on Best Buy's site pegged it as difficult to set up. (Note the compatibility info; the Touch works with most iOS devices but only a handful of Android ones, a fact not well documented on Striiv's site.) But over the weekend, during a segment on a local radio show, I met a couple recent college grads who had tested a bunch of fitness bands -- and both of them cited the Touch as their favorite.
Time will tell if this is the wrist-buddy I've been waiting for, but on paper, it looks like a slam dunk. And for $79.99, I think it's worth the risk. (Take note, however, that all sales are final. If you want a return option, pay the extra $20 to get one from Best Buy.)
Bonus deal: In case you missed it last week, Woot is once again offering the refurbished HP Chromebook 14 with 4G for $199.99, plus $5 for shipping. It's available in your choice of some pretty nice-looking colors, and it includes 200MB per month of free T-Mobile data -- not a ton, but free is free. If your kid needs a new laptop for school, this might be the perfect pick.