Move over activity trackers, there’s a more fashionable kid in town.
If you are looking for an activity tracker that doesn’t look like an activity tracker, if you’re looking for a way to incorporate your reproductive health into your whole-health tracking, or if fitness trackers just haven’t done what you want them to do, it might be time to check out the Bellabeat Leaf health trackers.
Bellabeat Leaf is designed specifically for women. Some of its key features include:
- Activity and sleep tracking
- Stress prediction and guided meditation
- Menstrual cycle tracking
- Smart alarm
- 14-day memory
- Wireless sync
- No charging needed
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One of the most appealing things about the Leaf is the design. It looks nothing like a fitness tracker, and can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or clip. The wood and metal design is pretty and modern. There are many accessories available to help you customize your look.
There are no buttons and no screens, so there really isn’t anything about the Leaf that looks like an activity tracker. It comes in beautiful color combinations like Blackwood and Rose Gold. Overall, it’s very well made and elegantly designed. It isn’t for fitness fanatics – there’s a good chance it might come off in intense workouts. But it stays on during jogs, yoga, walks, and other low-intensity workouts.
The Leaf aims to be a holistic activity tracker and to enable you to take on a healthier lifestyle. This aim is evident when you look at the primary features. There are some appealing aspects of the Leaf, as well as some areas that it is lacking.
Activity Tracking and Reminders
Like all good activity trackers, the Leaf keeps count of your steps. It seems to be fairly accurate; compared with devices at a similar price point, the Leaf holds its own. It gives you data related to how far you’ve walked and the number of calories it estimates you’ve burned.
It doesn’t have the functionality to decipher what activity you are doing, so that’s something you must add in manually when you sync the device (more on that later). It will tell you how much time you were active (in addition to steps counted), so that is helpful if you are trying to just be more active. It can be a bit of a pain to add the activities, but there are plenty to choose from at least.
Because of its focus on healthier living, the Leaf lets you set up periodic reminders to get moving. There are options to add a “Do Not Disturb” range of time to eliminate reminders during that period. The active time for reminders is customizable, and having that push to get up and do something is very nice. This is an appealing feature for office workers, in particular. Having a reminder to get up, stretch, and walk around makes a big impact on your workday.
In addition to the “get moving” reminders, you have the option to set up some other reminders and alarms as well. The morning alarm isn’t great for deep sleepers, but the other alarms and reminders are excellent for things like prompting you to take medication or to be somewhere each day. These are silent vibrations, so they are nice and discreet.
The sleep tracking on the Leaf is accurate and insightful. The best way to ensure it is functioning properly and gauging your sleep is to sync it in the morning and check. You have the option to update anything that doesn’t seem to be correct.
This feature gives you some good information about your sleep habits. It deciphers both the length and quality of your sleep, and it will show you a 7-day overview, complete with averages and patterns. It won’t automatically log nap time, but you can add naps in manually.
Stress and Breathing
In the spirit of “holistic health,” the addition of stress tracking and guided breathing are useful tools. The stress tracking is more of an estimate of your stress levels or ability to handle stress based on the other aspects (sleep, activity, reproductive health). It would likely be a lot more comprehensive if it also had heart rate monitor. Even so, this is a nice addition for those who want to be more mindful of their stress levels and contributing factors.
For guided breathing, you simply clip the Leaf to your pants, select the exercise you want from the app, and move into breathing and meditation. This, combined with the stress tracking, is such a great tool for people with anxiety, or really anyone with high-stress levels.
Battery Life and Sync
One of the most appealing features of the Leaf is that it requires no charging. The battery lasts up to 6 months and is easy to replace with a standard CR2032 battery. This means that you never have to worry about charging, and a quick replacement (with the included screwdriver) is super simple.
However, because of this, you do have to sync the Leaf manually. The memory lasts up to 14 days, so you’ll be fine if you can’t sync it for a few days. It’s easiest to sync each day to update anything such as sleep inaccuracies or changing activities.
A common complaint about the Leaf is that the sync is a bit tricky. It can take a bit to figure out, and the device itself can be a little finicky. Fortunately, once you get the hang of it, it’s quick and painless to sync the Leaf. Plus, Bellabeat has fantastic customer service, so if you need help at any time, they are there for you.
The Leaf’s target consumer is women, so naturally the reproductive health tracking integration is a big part of the sell. The Leaf keeps track of periods and will tell you when you are ovulating and when your period is due. This is an excellent feature for women who are trying to conceive. It’s also a great addition for any women who want to be more mindful of their reproductive health.
This is another feature of the holistic health approach of the Leaf. Your cycle can play a role in things like stress or sleep habits, so the Leaf can give you useful feedback about what’s going on at any time during the month. The period tracking and fertility calendar works well and seems to be accurate.
The app offers a good range of data, and it allows the user to customize, add additional info, and create benchmarks or goals. It works well and is intuitive, so even technophobes will have an easy time figuring it out.
It’s not the best app out there (Fitbit still leads the pack), but there isn’t anything terrible about it. The syncing can be a bit of a pain, but you won’t have issues with functionality or accessibility. And, as we mentioned before, Bellabeat’s customer service is excellent, so you can contact them directly if you run into issues.
Thinking about picking up a Leaf? Here are the pros:
- Designed for women, and it shows
- Beautiful design
- Can be worn in several different ways
- Lots of great features to help you focus on overall health
- Tracking seems mostly accurate
- No charging required, plus long battery life
There are some drawbacks to the Leaf, including:
- Must sync manually (can be cumbersome)
- Lots of info must be manually entered
- Not waterproof (Urban is water resistant, but you’ll still have to take it off to shower)
- Design isn’t great for intensive activity
We really, really like the Bellabeat Leaf, but it’s easy to see that it’s not for everyone. For those who do want its holistic health tracking and like the design, the Leaf is well priced and full of useful tools.