Christmas followed by a week at CES in Vegas has resulted more than a few unhealthy pounds gained. We're debating going on a strict diet of kelp smoothies and green beans, but HTC and Under Armour might have a better (and less gag-inducing) solution.
The HTC HealthBox wants to be a one stop shop for all of your fitness needs by providing a wearable fitness band, a set of smart scales, and a heart rate monitor, in one big package.
We managed to see them in person on the CES show floor, so read on for our initial impressions.
Keep it simple
The UA Band is a perfectly simple and inoffensive fitness tracker. It’s not going to win any design awards, but its not intrusive, and we rather like the black and deep red colour combination. It’s very light, and its soft rubber strap feels comfortable.
A monochrome plastic OLED (POLED) display graces the top, and its has a certain charm to it, thanks to its pixel font and retro icons. Near-sighted users might struggle to make out what’s on the screen however, as it is rather tiny.
It’s a touch sensitive affair too, and swiping between music controls, stats and settings works very fluidly.
The'res not much to say about the UE Heart Rate monitor apart from the fact that its neoprene band should be comfortable even after prolonged use. Heart rate monitors probably won't appeal to casual exercisers, but they're a useful tool for those looking to take things a little more seriously.
Step right up
We never really thought that a set of body scales would ever tug on our design heart strings, but HTC - who is no stranger to good design - has managed to create a truly beautiful piece of kit here.
The UA Scale is a handsome black circular slab with a lovely glossy finish to it, although this will soon become a monster of a fingerprint (or toeprint) magnet.
The top of the scale houses a cut-off screen, making it resemble a giant Moto 360 watch face. It’s thick and feels extremely solid too, and it definitely feels like it can take a beating.
Built-in sensors measure your weight and body fat percentage, and all the information is automatically beamed to the HealthBox companion app, saving you from having to enter it manually.
All of the various snippets of collected data - from your weight and body fat, to your sleep, steps, calories burned and more - are funnelled into an app which appears to do a very attractive job of presenting it in a way that's useful and easy to understand.
The design and layout of the app itself is very slick, and the option to see your history (and hopefully, therefore, your progress) is a nice touch, as are the various challenge modes and social sharing options to help keep you and your friends motivated.
At US$400, the HealthBox isn't cheap, but you do feel like you're getting quite a bit out of it. The fitness band, while not exactly a showcase of flashy, premium design, still looks comfortable and easy to use.
The Scale is an extremely solid, gorgeous piece of functional design, and is far nicer than all the other smart scales we've used in the past.
Combined with the heart rate monitor and slick app, the HealthBox really does appear to be a great way to get you motivated and fitter, and you can still order the different components separately, if you don't think you really need all three.
Stay tuned for our full review, in which we'll hopefully shed all the extra CES weight we've put on.