LG’s new fitness tracker is interesting because it also seems to stand a very good chance of providing people with many of the features they’d need from a smartwatch, including incoming call notifications and remote control for a smartphone-based music player. I braved a throng of sweaty journalists to try one on, and came away impressed.
The Life Band Touch features a clasp-less design that stays on your wrist essentially by hugging it firmly, sort of like how the Jawbone UP works. It has an LED readout, however, which means you can get information on the fly, like in the Fitbit Force. The fonts and icons used on the display look incredibly similar to the ones used on Withings fitness trackers, however, all of which means this seems a little like the Frankenstein of quantified self devices.
A single button allows you to navigate through the various information displayed on the band, including calories and time. It connects via Bluetooth LE to either Android and iOS devices, and reports back basic information from those phones. The Heart Rate Earphones that are an optional accessory also provide heart rate info, and do music playback. While I didn’t try them on for comfort, they seem semi-rugged and look able to withstand some sweat.
LG’s entry into the health tracker market has the advantage of being relatively late to the game, meaning it could learn from what is and isn’t working with others. Longer testing will be required to figure out how it stacks up in terms of battery life, but early impressions are that it’s a comfortable, somewhat stylish device that offers a lot of features most others don’t, so people looking to simplify could be a promising target market.