Intel South Africa sent me the Basis Peak fitness tracker to try out, just to see what the company is doing with wearable technology. The watch (no, it’s not a smartwatch), will not be coming to South Africa officially, but it retails for $150.
It’s waterproof fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor that shows you calories burned, steps taken, heart rate and sleep monitoring. It also tracks your runs, walks and cycles. It works with iOS and select Android devices and you need to download the app to view all your stats. It did not push notifications from my smartphone; I paired it with an iPhone 6S.
When it comes to wearables, everyone has an opinion about what it looks like. Some hate it, some love it, whether it’s a smartwatch or fitness tracker. The Basis Peak is very basic, it’s not meant to “stand out”. In the words of former Intel wearable chief, Michael Bell, who said the Basis Peak “looked better from the back”. It has a rectangle face, elongated horizontally, with a choice of two straps in the box. A brown leather, and a textured white rubber one. I have very small wrists so the Basis Peak looked a bit big for me. I also found that after wearing it for too long, it hurt my wrists.
The 1.25-inch monochrome screen is a touchscreen and is waterproof up to 50m. You can scroll through to see your stats. I didn’t pair with any third-party fitness apps, just linked it to Health ID. The screen didn’t light up when I scrolled through for a quick view of my stats, which I found a bit bothersome. Instead of glancing at it, I used the app instead.
When you open the app to check your stats, you are given a very in-depth breakdown of what gets tracked. Which makes you question yourself – what do you do with these stats? I’ve always said I don’t understand sleep tracking, because it’s not going to help me change the way I sleep. I can’t control or change the stats, nevertheless it is interesting to look at.
This is another break down of what the app will show you – your heart-rate, steps and calories burned, all in one graph.
As you can see from above, it’s very detailed. If you want to track your sleep, you need to wear it while you sleep which can get uncomfortable. The device lasts a couple of days so that’s ok. If you are serious about fitness, and like every bit of detail collected and presented to you, you will love the Basis Peak.
I’ve tried several fitness devices. I like basic tracking, not too in-depth because I’m not using the data to adjust how I work out etc; so whatever summary my Apple Watch gives me, I’m happy with.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. I’m usually unashamedly taking food photos (@nafisaeats on IG).