The LifeTrak Zone R415 brings fitness tech and smartwatches closer (hands-on)

For $129.99 the new LifeTrak Zone R415 will monitor your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and buzz with smartphone notifications too.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett

LAS VEGAS -- The line between smartwatches and fitness trackers is blurred even more with the introduction of the Zone R415. Equipped with a heart rate monitor and pedometer, this sporty timepiece measures steps, sleep, and calories burned. The watch also notifies you when mobile phone alerts occur, a skill most activity trackers can't make.

LifeTrak Zone R415
The LifeTrak Zone R415 merges smartwatch and fitness tracker skills. Josh Miller/CNET

Additional abilities in the Zone R415's tool kit include automatic sleep tracking (no button-pressing required), calories negated through metabolic activity, and scheduling silent alarms. The R415 keeps seven days of hourly records of your stats too.

LifeTrak Zone R415
The watch has multiple color options. Josh Miller/CNET

More impressive is the that the Zone R415 is waterproof enough to survive laps in the pool. As a matter of fact, it's designed to give users activity credit for each stroke in the water. Apparently one stroke is equivalent to five steps.

There are drawbacks to the Zone R415, however, specifically that it lacks a homegrown mobile app to communicate with smartphones. At the moment users must download third-party solutions to accomplish this.The R415 can't measure your heart rate continuously either like competing devices such as the Basis Band.

The LifeTrack is scheduled to arrive in stores by July 2014 for $129.99.