Armour39: Bells, whistles and lights
It seems like every day another fitness gadget arrives at my apartment. Ah, nerd problems.
I've tested quite a few wearable devices in the past couple of years, and quite honestly, many work quite well. But the one that's held my attention for longer than a couple of months is Under Armour's Armour39.
The quick and dirty: Armour39 is a wearable fitness device that straps around your chest and collects and displays your data -- calories, intensity and heart rate -- in real time. It does this after an initial physical and data assessment, in which you input personalized information, such as age and gender. You can view the metrics using a free app (it is currently only on iOS) or by purchasing a compatible Under Armour watch, both of which work within 15 feet via Bluetooth, or sync later.
The pros: To me, the real-time element is key, paired with the goal-setting. You can set a goal before each workout, with levels ranging from 1 to 10. Hitting that number ain't easy, but there's nothing that pushes you toward your goal more than seeing your intensity and heart rate soar, right before your eyes. The heart rate monitor takes data via a chip (that is in the chest strap) the size of a quarter. It lasts about four months and is easy to replace. In Tony Stark fashion, it even lights up!
The negs: I did note a few drawbacks with the Armour39.
• The strap falls down sometimes, especially while you're running, and can be annoying to stop and tighten.
• Early on, the app was buggy and there were times when it would fail to save my data, mid-workout. (I wish it would have captured my heart rate at that point!) These kinks seem to have been ironed out in the latest updates.
• The optional $200 watch (which basically does what the free app does) is pricey. It would be helpful if Under Armour would make the app available to Android users.
Now, more important, who wants to break my current pull-up record of 16?