During my Blogging career I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out lots of different activity trackers. My trusty Fitbit Flex lasted over 4 years of pretty much continuous use and I absolutely love the Tom Tom Spark 3 we reviewed a while ago however I was asked if I would like to try out the BuddyBand 2 and since I had never even heard of it, I was interested to see how it would fare against my favourite big brands!
The BuddyBand 2 Activity Tracker is the creation of Aseptika Limited, a healthcare company founded in 2007. They have been working on self-monitoring devices and services under the brand Activ8rlives. The aim is that users can self-manage long term health conditions by self-monitoring.
Their latest device is the BuddyBand; an activity tracker and device App. On first opening I was quite impressed by the amount of ‘kit’ included in the cost of the tracker. You get 3 different colour bracelet straps; black, blue, and pink as well as a belt clip for anyone who wants to attach the tracker easily to a pocket or sock.
The tracker then records physical activity, energy expenditure, sleep patterns, total distance walked, swum or run, and the total active minutes during the day which is really useful when taking part in some kind of exercise as well as for your overall health and wellbeing. All of the data is then recorded and tracked on the free to download Activ8rlives App. Once you sync the two via Bluetooth, all of your data is stored for you to look back on days, weeks, months, or even years later!
The BuddyBand can be worn on the wrist or you can use the clip to attach it to a belt or pocket; I prefer using the bracelet as that’s what I’m used to but it’s nice to have the choice. The Tracker fits into the bracelets easily and once the clasp is done up, it feels secure and stable. I never thought I was going to lose it nor did it slip off however I did find the bracelet took some getting used to, to get it done up tight enough.
It’s really light once on the wrist, I forgot I had it on most of the time and it’s not very bulky so didn’t catch on anything. Waterproof at up to 2m, it can be worn whilst swimming and although I didn’t go swimming while wearing it, it has survived being dunked in Mia’s bath a few times!
The Tracker’s screen itself is really clear and easy to read at a glance. I really like the fact it tells you the time, something my current Fitbit Flex doesn’t do, as it means I can use it as a watch every day. It is simple to navigate through the Trackers screens; swipe down to get the time, step count, calories used, distance walked, and finally sleep mode.
The Tracker even notifies you when you receive a phone call, email, or text which I can see as being useful if out running for example however I didn’t need this function day-to-day so switched it off. With a 120 minute charge, the Tracker battery will last around 7-10 days and you are notified once the battery is getting low, which means that you can wear the Tracker and forget about it without feeling like you are constantly charging it up.
Once you have achieved 50% and then 100% of your pre-set daily goal, the Tracker vibrates so you can see your progress as the day goes on and an inactivity alarm alerts you of periods of inactivity with a vibration, reminding you to get up and get moving! At the end of the day, the detailed sleep analysis, gives minute-by-minute recordings of movement; deep sleep, disturbed sleep, and time awake and gives you a measure of the quality of sleep you are getting which is again a really useful function.
Once you have finished your activity for the day, you can fire up the Activ8rlives App and check your progress over certain periods of time. The App itself is really easy to navigate through the options and really easy to set up as a first time user.
I had no issues with the Tracker and App syncing over Bluetooth from the very first use and the instructions are really easy to follow. Lots of useful data is recorded and accessible right from the main screen; steps, steps progress, sleep quality, current weight, and weight change since last entry as well as handy colourful graphs containing your health data to show your progress over a given time.
You can click on each individual square on the main dashboard for the more detailed information but an overview is available straight away. Another useful feature is the food diary where you can log all of your daily foods consumed over the course of a day and week, with the option to add photos of your meals too so see how many calories you have eaten and what percentage of your overall foods have been good or bad. The food diary is ok but I only found it useful as a basic log.
The good/bad food indicators could be easily skewed and you need to input all of the nutritional information in manually which is really time consuming. There is also no option to copy meals over to other days or go back and input foods you may have missed on a previous day. A daily water intake option would be a good addition to have too.
Overall, it’s a good basic diary to give you a rough idea of your calorie intake which is handy to have. Within the App you can also join groups of like-minded people, all talking about similar goals and interests and sharing the social aspect of health and exercise. I joined a group for mums like me to chat to them about things we are all doing to improve our health and to exercise more.
I have enjoyed using the BuddyBand 2 Activity Tracker over the last 4 weeks and as a basic, starter Tracker, I would recommend it however I don’t think it can compete with the big brands especially with its price point at £59.99 being higher than some of those big brands. It’s really nice to feel like you get a decent amount of ‘kit’ for your money and the different colour bracelets are really handy for different uses and situations; I used the black bracelet most often.
The Tracker itself felt strong and secure and the added bonus of it being waterproof to 2m is a big bonus for swimmers who want to track their exercise. I will definitely use it as a secondary Tracker as although it is basic in it’s recordings, it does work and makes a great Activity Tracker!