First Look: LG Lifeband Touch and HeartRate Earphones: a weird one-two punch approach to fitness
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First Look: LG Lifeband Touch and HeartRate Earphones: a weird one-two punch approach to fitness

4:24 /

Measuring heart rate in your ears and your steps on your wrist feels like one wireless gadget too many: we try out LG's newest fitness wearables in tandem and come away intrigued but confused.

[MUSIC] Hey, I'm Scott Stein, and I'm tracking my heart rate. Can you tell how I'm tracking my heart rate? It's not on my wrist, it's actually in my ears. These are LG's new heart rate ear phones. And they work in tandem, with another thing that I'm wearing, the LG Lifeband Touch. These are two separate devices, that LG is now selling. We sold these back at CES and they're both attempting to do different things in the wearable health market. I just got in my ear the information, all the calories that are being burned, and the fact that I have a heart rate that's astonishing high at over 90 beats per minute, because I'm talking to you. And how those work is that they've got contact patches here. And so you avoid any sort of LED on your wrist, which we found is kind of a mixed bag in terms of accuracy anyhow. These are always connected, once you start to workout, unless you take them off. And you've got this little Bluetooth dongle right here, that allows you to press a button, to get your heart rate reading, and it glows to tell you, your relative heart rate zone. You got to remember what color though by checking the manual it's not easy to remember. Now the Lifeband Touch is it's own separate activity tracker. This, is a watch but it's also a fitness band a lot like the Nike Fuel Band, or your Fitbit force, that type of territory, and also is a little bit smart, like the Samsung Gear Fit. But don't get too excited about how smart you might think it's gonna be. If you're an iPhone user, it only shows you that someone is calling, nothing else. An Android, you get the caller ID, you also get the ability to check messages, although I couldn't read the content of the messages. It just told me that something was being sent. And you can, silence a call by putting your hand over it, you can also just reach in your pocket and turn off the phone, it's not too complicated. Its also the ability to control your music, volume and skipping tracks but a lot of wearables do that now. And it tracks your steps with the pedometer. But also connects with heart rate monitors. Ones by Polar and Zephyr, in addition to the LG heart rate earphones. So it's not a vast expanse, we do have other options, you don't have to pay up for these. These are $180, these are expensive little earphones. The sound quality is okay, it's not that great. And you have to wear these all the time in order to use them as heart rate monitors. Do you want to use these as opposed to your own earphones? I don't, plus they don't plug in like regular earphones. You got to use a dongle, and its only got about four hours of battery life, so you got to keep recharging this, a micro USB. Now, this has its own little slide-charge dongle, that connects on the back here, that uses micro USB after that. This gets about two to five days of battery life. That's really not that great in this world, they're a lot of bands that last a week, and, others that last even more if you're using a built-in coin battery. It slides onto your wrist, it's rigid, but flexible at the other end, pops on, there's three different sizes. It's a little thick, kind of like a bangle. It feels even a bit thicker than the Nike Fuel Band. It's water resistant, but you're not supposed to wear it in the shower. The good news is that the LG fitness app is surprisingly deep and it works with third party App connectivity as well, things like my fitness pal. Run keeper and that my fitness is also supported in there. So, that's much better than Samsung help which doesn't tap into that, you know, and use that gear. Also in terms of android and IOS the support is limited. Incase of any Android phone, you really can use of certain phones of LG and Samsung, including the Google Nexus 5. And our iPhone, its iPhone 4S and better, you got to use IOS 6 or 7, on Android you have to use Jelly Bean 4.3 or later. Navigating with the life band touch also means you have to press this button to cycle through modes, you also can swipe and you can tap for certain areas. You know, you've to remember the right pattern and make sure you are no pressing and tapping instead of swipping otherwise you'll hit the wrong sub-menu button. And if you wanna enter your daily goal you can always do it in terms of calories, not step taken, that doesn't make any sense for me. You can get better options out there in fitness bands. This does some basic stuff, nice to pair with heart rate. But there are other ones, like the Garmin Vivofit, that do that too. So, $150 for this seems a little pricey, and didn't really go anywhere that futuristic. Lifeband Touch that one small step, in direction where it doesn't go far enough. And I'm not sure about those earphones. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the LG Lifeband Touch and the separately sold, heart rate earphones. [MUSIC]

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