Different strokes for different folks, and different gadgets for different wrists. Last week's Martian Notifier, for example, was great for people who wanted a stylish timepiece that could also deliver notifications.
Today, let's look at a device focused more on fitness and sleep, with a bit of smartwatch thrown in for good measure. Ending very soon, StackSocial has the Striiv Fusion activity tracker for $54.99 shipped. It lists for $99.99, and sells for $79.99 pretty much everywhere else. And if you order by Wednesday, the company promises delivery by Dec. 24.
This is a noteworthy device for a few reasons. First, it incorporates a touchscreen, something you don't typically see on fitness bands -- especially at this price. The new Fitbit Surge has one, but it'll sell for $250. The Fusion wakes with a double-tap, and lets you scroll with a swipe.
Second, it comes with three slim, stylish wristbands: black, denim-blue and red. The core module pops out easily so you can swap between them as you wish.
Finally, it provides notifications, a feature I consider essential. And unlike the aforementioned Notifier, which relies on a scrolling ticker, the Fusion lets you swipe between "pages" when a text message is too long to fit on the screen (which, let's face it, is always).
Mostly, though, this slim drink of water is all about quantifying your activity: steps taken, calories burned, hours slept and so on. Its companion app (for iOS and these Android devices) not only tracks and graphs all this activity, but also gamifies and socializes it. Collect virtual coins as you move about, connect with friends to compete toward goals -- you get the idea.
The Fusion isn't perfect, though. The wristband can be maddeningly difficult to put on (but there's a fairly simple fix), and the little charging cradle is a hassle to keep track of. Plus, the sleep data you get borders on useless, though an app update would easily remedy that.
Still, for $55 out the door? This is a pretty amazing value, especially if you want a stylish, unobtrusive step counter that can also tell time and tell you who's calling.
Bonus deal: Just want activity tracking? Today only, Best Buy has the second-generation Jawbone Up for $29.99 shipped (plus tax). I've never seen it priced anywhere this low; normally it sells for $79.99. It's available in onyx or blue and comes in three different sizes.
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