Day 2 of CES 2016 was flooded with all types of new wearables, with tracker giant Fitbit leading the charge. From smartwatches that look like fine jewelry and futuristic slap-style bracelets to budget-friendly and budget-busting price tags, there truly was something for everyone today.
Fitbit set the tone for the day, as their early morning block-buster press conference announcing the arrival of their newest device the Blaze, started a buzz that lasted throughout the show. There was so much to see and admire, it was almost too much- almost! To help you keep track of all the latest developments and devices check out our 2016 CES day 2 review and recap.
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Fitbit: The Start of Something New
The Fitbit press conference was one of the most highly-anticipated events of CES 2016 and it didn’t disappoint, even if their new device wasn’t a big hit with everyone. Made to be a smartwatch in terms of style and a high-end tracker in terms of function, it is a unique blend of beauty and efficiency that puts the focus squarely on fitness.
In a bid to compete with Apple the design has been improved. Yes, it has Fitbit’s signature elastomer band, but the band can be changed for a leather or stainless-steel one. Even more impressive, the display is a first for Fitbit: a color, LED touchscreen, for better vision and a sleeker look.
Aside from how it looks, it also has improved function, with an array of improvements and new features. To start, Pure Pulse technology is integrated here, with new optical sensors for increased accuracy. Then there is the FitStar app, which isn’t really an app in the true sense because it works independently of your phone.
FitStar is built right into the Blaze, so you can use it any time, no other device necessary.
FitStar has 3 different coach modes, which gives you exercises and instructions, making this a tracker and a personal coach- another first. Finally, is features Smart Track, which recognizes and differentiates between different activities, like jogging, hiking or biking. This means calories and steps are more precise and based on actual movements.
In addition, there is also a cool new idle feature: it buzzes every hour until you get up and move- but you can’t just take a few steps. No, you must walk at least 250 steps for it to not alert you again. All of this is quite impressive, but there are 2 drawbacks: no GPS and it’s not water-proof. You can access GPS via your phone, but this has caused some grumblings, especially among runners. Plus, in this day and age it should be waterproof. All in all, it is a great offering at just under $200 and available now for pre-orders. It will be on sale in stores starting in March.
Garmin: The Fenix3 HR and Tactix Bravo- Innovation Meets Imagination
Credit by: Gramin Newsroom
Not to be outdone, Garmin pit on a show of its own, unveiling 2 premiere devices as well. The Fenix3 HRand Tactix Bravo are 2 incredible watches, each with something different to offer.
Let’s start with the Fenix3 which has optical HR (called the Fenix3 HR). Garmin introduced their ‘Elevate’ optical HR sensor earlier in the year, so it’s no surprise it found its way to their trackers. This HR sensor, which is also on the Garmin FR235 continually monitors and records your heart rate, when your moving or resting.
As a result of the sensor, Garmin can calculate intensity minutes- times when activity spikes. This is important because various medical associations recommend 150 minutes of intense activity per week. Plus, like other Garmin trackers it is water-proof (great for swimmers) and has GPS.
Oh, and there are also 2 new Fenix3 bands making news: Titanium and leather.
As for the Tactix Bravo, it is a more military style device that is an upgraded version of the Fenix 1. It has all those intriguing features for outdoor people, most notably a night vision goggle (NVG) friendly display that is non-reflective for light. It also has tactical and Jumpmaster mode. Overall a decent new offering that is in keeping with Garmin’s standards.
Under Armour: The Complete Fitness System
Under Armour, long known for their fitness gear, introduced a complete wellness system- including an intriguing wearable. They unveiled a package that included a band, heart strap, scale, sneakers and headphones in an effort to have you prepped and ready to go from head to toe. While the sneakers and headphones are a great value and quality, we are going to focus on the fitness devices.
Let’s start with the band. Yes, it is simple in design and style, but it can fit all your needs and has some great features that some high-end devices don’t have (hello Fitbit Blaze). The band is thin, but far from flimsy and looks similar to an upgraded HTC Grip or Nike Fuelband.
It features an LED touchscreen to access heart rate, calories, distance and steps and the device also monitors sleep and records individual exercises. It’s also 2ATM water resistant, so you can shower with it (take notes Fitbit). Comfy and packed with an optical sensor, it is an attractive alternative to other brands.
Paired with the strap and scale, it is a pretty sweet deal. The strap provides more accuracy for calories and heart rate- something the company is working on. The scale can connect to the band via Bluetooth to track weight, body fat and it will also recognize and store info for 8 different users.
Misfit Ray: Jewelry, Smartwatch or Both?
Credit by: Android Central
For those who want something pretty, but usable, Misfit has something guaranteed to catch your eye. Called the Ray, it looks more like a piece of pricey jewelry than a tracker, but that’s exactly what it is. this is the first Misfit device that doesn’t have a coin-style face. This device has a slim, flat, rubber or leather band with a tube-shaped aluminum pod in the center. The Misfit logo is on the underside, so it is discreet and can be worn day or night, making it versatile and useful.
In terms of function it has a single LED light to alert you to your progress as you go through the day and uses multiple sensors to sensors to count steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep patterns. ut also features a Misfit trademark: a long battery life- 6 months to be exact.
Casio WSD-F10: A High Price for A High Performing Wearable
Credit by: G-Central
Casio has something new, and expensive, to show off: their Smart Outdoor watch, which is compatible with iOS and Android officially called the WSD-F10. The price tag is high, around $500, but it makes sense once you understand what it does. This is no ordinary watch in make or form, as it was designed specifically for those who want to be outdoors, but still stay in touch.
It is a military grade device, so it can withstand outdoor debris and temperatures, as well as water resistant up to 50M and features a built-in microphone. In other words, you won’t get lost and if you do, this watch will help you get back to civilization. It has a dual-layer display, consisting of a monochrome LCD and color LCD that improves battery life and cuts down on glare and is readable in any condition.
As far as smart features, there are some, but not all are what you expect. Geared to the outdoors, it has a pressure sensor and compass, along with sunrise and sunset times. Oddly enough, there is no GPS or cellular options, but this is more about longevity, not extras. Great for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.
Samsung: The Gear 2 Gets Some Upgrades
Samsung had some cool news today in regards to their extremely popular Gear S2 in terms of design and function. To begin, there will be 2 high-end new versions of the Gear 2: one in rose-gold plating and the other in platinum plating. No word yet on pricing, but expect to pay a pretty penny.
In addition, the company announced all Gear S2 models with the Samsung Pay mobile payment app, a big step up and an added convenience for users.
As you can see form our 2106 CES Day 2 review, there was a lot to see and admire. Wearable were everywhere, and with the floor shows kicking off tomorrow there is sure to be more new offerings in the ever-expanding field of trackers and smartwatches. Expect to see offerings form a few smaller companies, as well as some surprises and as always, we’ll bring you the full wrap-up at the end of the day