The latest activity tracker to show up for review is the Runtastic Orbit. This tracker counts your steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and the quality and length of your sleep. How does it stand out from all the other fitness tracking devices that are currently on the market? Keep reading to find out.
Orbit fitness tracker
Magnetic USB charging cable
The Orbit is a nice looking tracker that features a bright white on black display and a nice easy to press button that cycles through Time of day, steps, calories burned and active minutes.
The tracker can be worn two different ways. You can wear it on your wrist using one of the two included wrist bands or buying additional wrist bands if you want to coordinate with your clothes.
The wrist bands are made of soft silicone with a two prong clasp that secures the band on your wrist. The fit is adjustable, so it should fit tiny to large wrists.
While we’re looking at the band, you’ll notice that there are two electrical contacts on the bottom side of tracker. Unfortunately these contacts are not there to track your heart rate.
The contacts are there for the included magnetic USB charging cable. The magnetic cable is easy to use and charges the device quickly, providing enough juice to wear the Orbit 24/7 for about a week. At least that’s been my experience so far with the battery life of this device. I guess that the recharge rate might go up if you take advantage of the inactivity and alarm notifications since they use vibration, which probably uses extra juice. But more about those features in a bit.
If you don’t enjoy wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist, then you’ll be happy to find out that the Orbit can also be worn on your waist band using the included clip. As you can see from the picture above, the clip is made of black silicone and does attract lint and dust.
The only downside to using the clip instead of the wrist band is that you’ll be required to remove the Orbit from the clip when it needs to be recharged.
I should also mention that the Orbit is waterproof up to 30 feet, so you can wear it while you shower and even while swimming.
The white on black display is bright and easy to read. Pressing the button on the tracker will show the time of day with a bar that shows your progress towards your daily goal. By default the daily goal is 8000 steps, but you can adjust this using the app. Consecutive presses of the button will cycle through accumulated steps, burned calories and active minutes. The display stays lit for a couple of seconds and then turns off to conserve battery life.
The Runtastic Orbit activity tracker can be used all by itself if all you care about is tracking your daily steps, calories and active minutes. But if you want to see more detail about the recorded data, customize your goals and other settings, you’ll need to install the free Runtastic Me app for either iOS or Android. This app along with Bluetooth will wirelessly sync the info from the tracker to your mobile device each time you launch the app.
I was surprised and annoyed that the Runtastic Me app would not install on my LG G3 Android smartphone. This new phone didn’t show up as a compatible device on the Google Play page for the Runtastic Me app. It must not have Bluetooth Smart Ready Android. I ended up installing it on my Nexus 7 2013 tablet.
The interface shows a basic overview of each day’s stats. Tapping on the individual stats allow you to see more detail.
It’s helpful to go back and see what times of the day you are most active.
The Runtastic Orbit activity tracker can also track your sleep. Before going to bed, just hold down the button on the tracker for a few seconds until a bed icon shows on the display. When you wake up in the morning you can do the same thing to set the tracker back to normal mode. The next time you sync with your mobile device, you’ll be able to see how long you slept and the type of sleep. The integrated ambient light sensor on the face of the tracker also helps with advanced sleep tracking.
The Runtastic Me app also shows the battery level and allows you to set details like height and weight, which helps calculate your calorie burn. The app also allows you to set up to three reoccuring alarms. When the alarm fires, the tracker pulses / vibrates up to 10 times if you don’t press the button to stop the alarm.
The Orbit tracker even has an inactivity alert. If you’ve not moved around for over an hour it will vibrate two times to let you know you need to get up and walk around. You can set the time of day that this alert will be active so that it won’t vibrate while you’re sleeping. The tracker also vibrates when you’re halfway to your daily goal.
The tracker can be used with the Runtastic GPS app for running, biking & other fitness activities, but I just used the Orbit with the Me app for walking. I had no problems with the tracker or the app, and syncing was completely effortless. The tracker recorded steps with the same accuracy as other fitness trackers I’ve tried. Sleep tracking also seemed pretty accurate as it was able to determine when I awakened in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. So all in all, I found the Runtastic Orbit activity tracker worked well and was easy to use. The inactivity alert and alarms are a nice addition missing in most trackers. The only things that would make this tracker better would be stair counting, heart rate monitoring and a way to charge while installed in the belt clip. The Runtastic Orbit hasn’t unseated my favorite tracker, the Withings Pulse, but it’s a close second.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Runtastic. Please visit http://runtastic.com for more info.