Speaker 1: Amazon's newest fitness tracker. The halo view is a worthy competitor to Fitbit. It's not perfect, but it has everything you'd want from a basic fitness tracker, but to unlock its full potential, you'll need to subscribe to Amazon's digital wellness service, which is also called halo. So is the whole package worth it let's find out
Speaker 1: This is the halo view and Amazon sells it for $80. It comes with a one year membership to the company's digital [00:00:30] wellness service, which usually costs $4 a month. If you're familiar with the original wristband that came out last year, you'll notice this new one doesn't look anything like the original halo band that's because the halo view has a screen while the original band was mostly just a bracelet with sensors inside. Amazon made a few other changes, too. There's no more microphone inside the band for analyzing the tone of your voice, which was one of the biggest features on the original band. Instead, you'll need to use the app on your phone if you want Amazon to tell you how [00:01:00] you sound, but just like the original it's really Amazon's digital wellness service. That's at the core of the halo experience. That's why Amazon is also launching new fitness and nutrition programs to go with it.
Speaker 1: The halo view checks a lot of the boxes you'd want from a basic fitness tracker, especially for less than a hundred dollars. But the big question is whether you're willing to commit to paying $4 a month halo subscription, since many of the fitness band's best features require a membership. Amazon is also entering a really crowded space [00:01:30] and it's going to be hard to make the halo view stand out other than its cheap price. I'm still waiting to be wowed by Amazon's approach to fitness tracking. When I tried the original halo band, one of my biggest complaints was that it didn't have a screen. The idea was that you wouldn't be burdened with distractions from your phone while that may be true. I feel like anything worn on the wrist that isn't jewelry should at least be able to tell you the time. Thankfully, Amazon changed that with the halo view, there's a color AMED touch screen that shows the time fitness [00:02:00] stats and text messages.
Speaker 1: You can also set along arms timers and stopwatches. The interface itself is pretty basic and easy to navigate from the home screen, swipe to the left or right to check your heart rate activity points, steps, calories, and sleep quality swipe up or down from the home screen to access the settings menu set alarms, your timers view more details about your health data. Take a blood oxygen reading, or start a workout. You can press the home button to navigate backwards or end a workout. Overall. [00:02:30] This makes the halo view feel a lot more useful. I do understand the appeal of not being burdened with notifications from your phone all day, but for me, being able to check my heart rate and calories and the time during a workout are much more important. Since you can only receive text notifications, I feel like this is the right balance of still being more useful without being drowned in notifications.
Speaker 1: My only complaints, it took a little bit of fiddling around before I realized that the rounded rectangle below the screen was actually the home button that made [00:03:00] it hard to end workouts and get back to the home screen at first. And techs can sometimes be hard to read since the font size on the screen is small. In terms of design, the halo view looks like a basic fitness tracker it's light and sleek enough to comfortably wear all day, but it's not going to win any points for style. However, it's really Amazon's app. And for $4 a month service that's meant to be the star of the show in the main feed of the app. You'll see the most important information at the top, like your health stats and reminders tied to any programs you're enrolled [00:03:30] in. I'm trying out two programs right now. One to help me stop snacking at night and another to help me cut down on carbs.
Speaker 1: There are also more insights about your data and information, how Amazon's features work as you scroll down in the data tab, which is the home for all of your health data. There are tiles for each metric at the top, and you can tap in to see more information and you can also find new workouts and programs in the discover feed. I'm not sure how Amazon curates the discover page, but so far, the feed seems to be personalized to my own exp experience. In [00:04:00] a few ways, you can see there are sleep meditation suggestions at the top, since my sleep score, hasn't been so great lately. There's also a section down here for no equipment workouts, which falls in line with the types of workouts I've been doing so far through the halo app. Now let's talk about a feature that's unique to the halo in the live tab of Amazon's app.
Speaker 1: You can analyze the tone of your voice to see how you sound when you're speaking to others, simply press this button to start, and Amazon will analyze how positive or negative you sound and how [00:04:30] much energy is in your voice. When I tried this, Amazon told me, I sounded curious and interested, but also skeptical this isn't a new feature. This was also on the previous halo band, but the execution is a lot different this time around in the old band, there were microphones actually located inside the band itself so that you could have the option to have Amazon passively monitor your voice throughout the day to tell you how you sound. I think this is an improvement. That's really going to make people feel more comfortable from [00:05:00] a privacy stand point. But at the same time, I can see how it can make the feature a little bit less effective since you have to make the conscious decision to analyze your voice in the app.
Speaker 1: That means you're aware when the analysis is happening and you might not speak as naturally as you would without knowing you can also see battery life, manage notifications and download or delete your health data in the settings tab. Now that you've seen the app and the kinds of metrics that the halo view can track, you're probably wondering how it actually holds up during [00:05:30] a workout. But first it's important to understand what's included with the membership and what's included without the membership, without a subscription, you can track basic metrics like steps, heart rate, calories, burned, activity sessions, and sleep duration, but you need a subscription to unlock deeper insights and more features that includes Amazon's full library of fitness workout and nutrition programs. And some of the halo views best features. One of my favorite things about the halo view is its weekly [00:06:00] activity score. Instead of setting a daily goal like Apple's activity rings, Amazon challenges you to meet a weekly objective.
Speaker 1: This is great because if there is a day where I feel like I need to recover, or maybe I didn't get enough sleep, I can still do a light activity like going for a brisk walk. I still feel like I'm contributing to my goal. Whereas with the apple watches daily activity rings, if I only go for a walk, I'm not gonna close my rings. And it almost feels like a waste. If you're hoping to take advantage of Amazon's specific features like its body [00:06:30] fat estimator tool or the voice analysis feature that we mentioned earlier, you'll also need a halo membership. The good news that the halo view comes with a free one year subscription. So you can try all of these things out before deciding if you wanna commit. And at $4 per month, Amazon service is a lot cheaper than Fitbit premium or apple fitness plus both of which cost $10 per month.
Speaker 1: Amazon is also adding a lot of new content to its halo service. One example of that is its new fitness [00:07:00] videos. In addition to aggregating videos from partners like Optiv and orange theory, Amazon is also now making its own studio workouts, which makes it more competitive with apple and Peloton. I've been trying out Amazon's hit and core workouts. And so far they seem well produced. The trainers are energetic and the workouts themselves are challenging. There are a few areas where Apple's more expensive program out shines, Amazons Apple's workouts have more of a focus on modifications, making [00:07:30] them more approachable and starting a workout in the fitness plus app automatically triggers your apple watch to begin a workout session, which is a really nice per aside from Amazon's videos. The selection of workouts on the band itself is actually feels quite limited. There are only 10 options to choose from while the Fitbit inspire too, has 20 exercise modes that said there are a few things I really enjoyed about tracking my health and sleep with the Amazon halo view.
Speaker 1: It's really easy to book of smart classes. [00:08:00] I'm interested in directly from the discover feed so that I can quickly find them later. And although this isn't specific to Amazon, I appreciate that the halo gives you a sleep score to assess the quality of your sleep. Another aspect that makes the halo view stand out is Amazon's body fat analysis tool, which uses your smartphone's camera to estimate your body fat percentage. I wasn't a fan of this feature when it launched and I'm still not wild about it. Amazon always tells me I'm in an unhealthy body fat range, even though my weight has never been flagged [00:08:30] as a point of concern from my primary healthcare doctor, simply put, I don't really know what to do with these results. Speaking of those programs, I'm really hoping to see more from Amazon's wellness programs down the line. Right now I'm enrolled in two programs, but there doesn't really seem to be much behind them other than adding reminders to the top of my feed and sending notifications to tell me when it's time to stop snacking, the programs don't seem to be doing much.
Speaker 1: Hopefully this will change in the future. As Amazon adds more features, the Amazon [00:09:00] halo view is an affordable fitness tracker with long battery life. That's great for basic tracking, but its appeal depends on whether you're willing to pay $4 per month to get the most out of it. I'm also not quite sure that Amazon has done enough to lure people away from apple or Fitbit just yet. The $100 Fitbit inspire two is probably the closest competitor to the halo view. Fitbit also keeps a lot of features behind a $10 per month pay wall, but it also has a richer community for those who [00:09:30] find motivation in competing with others that said the halo view is still a strong choice for anyone who wants to pay less than a hundred dollars for a basic fitness tracker. I just think Amazon is still trying to figure out what's going to make its approach to fitness tracking need features like tone of voice and body fat analysis. Don't seem to be a big draw just yet. And it feels like Amazon is still building out its subscription service. If you're sit and trying out the halo view, check out the link in the description, or you can also find a [00:10:00] link to my full written review. So what do you think, are you gonna check out the halo view or would you rather stick with one of the more established fitness trackers? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.