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Salutron looks to take on Pebble with its new LifeTrak fitness watch

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How do you stand out in a crowded market? Adding unique features to your products and pricing it competitively sure won't hurt, and that appears to be what Salutron did with its latest activity tracker.

The LifeTrak Brite R450 is capable of tracking your steps taken, calories burned and distance traveled. The watch is also waterproof up to 90 feet (meaning yes, you can shower with it or even go swimming), features a built-in heart rate monitor and requires no charging. In fact, the user-replaceable coin battery delivers an estimated 6 months of battery life. Not too shabby.

One of the problems I noted about the Zone C410 activity tracker was that its automatic sleep detection was easily fooled when placed on a counter or relaxing on a couch. The lack of a vibration or silent alarm feature was also disappointing. These issues were both addressed with the Brite R450, which features a "gentle" vibrating alarm.

The company notes in its press release that the device takes sleep tracking "to the next level with the launch of SleepTrak 2.0," which includes a new Intelligent Wake Up feature that will automatically wake you up at an optimal time based on sleep quality.

But lot's of activity trackers include features like step counting and sleep tracking. Where are the unique features?

The Brite R450 is the first tracker to include a built-in monitor that tracks both ambient light and blue light exposure. The watch will notify you if you're not getting enough light in the morning, or if you are getting too much before bed.

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Salutron

Salutron doesn't classify the R450 as an activity tracker or even a fitness tracker. The company instead calls the device a "life tracker" and claims that the light feature alone can "help you recover from 'jet lag' by delivering the optimal recommendation for light exposure based on your time zone."

Bold statements for sure, but I am quite interested to put it through the usual tests.

Salutron is also entering a new area with the R450: smartphone alerts. That's right, it appears they want to take on the king of wearable alerts -- Pebble . The R450 features on-screen notifications for things like missed calls, emails, text messages, calendar reminders and apps. Alerts can then be customized in the company's updated Android and iOS app.

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Salutron

The LifeTrak Brite R450 is available for preorder now for $130 from the company's website. The device will be available at participating retailers beginning on October 15. The Brite R450 will also be available in the UK for £80 and Australia for AU$148. An updated LifeTrak app can be downloaded on Apple's App Store for iOS devices, while an Android version will arrive sometime in December.

Our full review of the Brite R450 will be posted in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Discuss LifeTrak BRITE R450