Just over a year ago there were whispers circling the internet. These were of a new type of activity tracker dubbed the Advanced Active Recovery Band, one which did away with basic step counting goals and focused more on telling you when your body was ready to be active, and when to have a day off.
It also boasted the ability to automatically detect when you were walking, running, cycling, swimming (yes swimming) or doing other sport activities so you didn`t have to log them manually.
All this was collected in a stylish wrist band and then displayed on an equally well designed app on your smart phone.
The idea sounded appealing but unfortunately the developers, Jaybird, decided to put the launch on hold for a while and spend more time refining the device.
Well, a year later its been relaunched and I was fortunate enough to be sent one to try and review.
I received the box yesterday and eagerly opened it to take a look. What I found inside was a sleek and soft wrist band with the Reign Pod nestled inside, ready for me to take out, charge and wear.
You see, with the Reign the Pod is the actual brain of the device and can be removed from the band whenever you like. This is also an essential part of the design as you are meant to use numerous bands with the Pod, depending on what you are doing. So it makes sense to keep it as a separate element.
Inside the box itself you will find a host of extra equipment. This includes two extra straps for the main band giving you a couple of extra size options should the default one be too tight, two activity bands, a cycling strap and also the usual charging cables and dock.
The activity bands are a solid silicone band meant to be worn when your the most active and fit your wrist more so the Pod doesn`t come loose. Again Jaybird give you two sizes to choose from.
The cycling band is just as the name suggests but rather than this attaching the Pod to your wrist, you instead wrap it around your ankle.
So with everything your given, Jaybird have certainly covered all the bases when it comes to the main activities we tend to do. On top of this the Reign is also fully waterproof meaning you can also go swimming, and the Pod will automatically recognise this activity as well.
As mentioned earlier the Reign isn`t meant to be a standard activity tracker and when looking at the companion app you can certainly see this.
There are no step goals, it doesn’t show you the amount of stairs you`ve climbed either. Yes, you can find a step counter hidden away in the settings but the Reign tries to be a bit cleverer with how it handles the information it stores.
Rather than being ruled by a 10,000 step counter each day you are given the Go Zone. The idea being that each morning you activate the Pod which then checks your heart rate, or the variability of your heart signal to be more precise. The app then gives you a Go Zone score out of 100 and depending on where you are in that score, will dictate whether your body is ready to go for a run or a swim etc. With a score below 33 meaning your body is fatigued so you should take a day off to recover.
Using this information the Reign app then gives you an activity goal for the day, which could be 2000 points for example. It then quietly logs your days activities, automatically recognising what you are doing, until you reach that goal. If your a little short it will also suggest what you need to do to get those last few points, so maybe a 10 minute walk or a 20 minute run.
Up to now it sounds very impressive but it gets better, the Reign also learns from you as you use it so it can make improved and tailored suggestions so you can get the most out of your body.
I`ve had the Reign for less than a day now and initially i`m impressed with the design and quality of the device and the bands. The idea behind it intrigues me too but I am a little sceptical that it will work out exactly as its supposed to. I guess from experience with these devices, which are supposed to automatically recognise what your doing, they do fall down when doing just that but i`m hoping the Reign lives up to expectations.
I`ve been a Fitbit user for a year now so it will be a interesting to see how this take on the activity tracker works out. Will I be wearing this in a months time or will I go back to the Fitbit? Only time will tell.
So today i`m giving it its first real test and planning to go swimming and also running, so we will see how it holds up. As for my main review i`d like to live with the band for a few weeks first before rushing out any early comments so expect an update next month.
Although Jaybird supplied the device for me to test, the opinions offered in this review are my own.