iHealth Edge

Tech Advisor - - CONTENTS - Si­mon Jary

The iHealth Edge (AM3S) is an ac­tiv­ity tracker that looks like a reg­u­lar watch, but mea­sures the num­ber of steps you walk or run each day, dis­tance trav­elled and calo­ries burned. At night, it analy­ses the qual­ity of your sleep, so it of­fers 24-hour per­sonal mon­i­tor­ing.

Ac­tiv­ity track­ers are mak­ing a lot of us fit­ter – or at least more ac­tive – with their en­cour­ag­ing sta­tis­tics of our ex­er­cise and sleep­ing pat­terns. Fol­low­ing in the steps of Fit­bit, Jaw­bone and the Ap­ple Watch, the Edge is ac­tu­ally just one part of a large fam­ily of health-mon­i­tor­ing de­vices, which in­cludes wire­less scales to mea­sure your weight, a pulse oxime­ter to check the oxy­gen lev­els in your blood, and blood-pres­sure mon­i­tors, as well as glu­come­ters to mea­sure your glu­cose lev­els. If you want a doc­tor’s ar­moury at home, iHealth has the dig­i­tal tools you need to mon­i­tor a wide range of key health sig­nals.

We wore the iHealth Edge along­side a Fit­bit Charge HR (top of our best ac­tiv­ity charts on page 135), which pro­vides more mea­sur­ing data (heart-rate sen­sor and an al­time­ter for floors climbed), but also the ba­sics. The more ad­vanced Fit­bit mod­els also of­fer Caller ID and other no­ti­fi­ca­tions, linked to your phone. The Edge doesn’t have this handy fea­ture. It does mea­sure your sleep pat­terns though, record­ing when you were awake, asleep or in deep sleep.

One fea­ture we par­tic­u­larly like is its au­to­matic Work­out Mode. Af­ter a pe­riod of ac­tiv­ity, the Edge de­tects when you have fin­ished your walk or run and buzzes your wrist to show you how long your work­out/walk lasted plus the steps, dis­tance and calo­rie stats.

App

Like all good track­ers, the Edge syncs with a free app. The iHealth MyVi­tals is com­pat­i­ble with iOS, An­droid and Win­dows Phone. Here you can check your per­for­mance against your own fit­ness goals.

The app is im­pres­sively clear and can also con­nect with other iHealth de­vices. You can look at ‘Re­cent’ for that day’s ac­tiv­ity stats, and also Trends, which can show stats by Week, Month and Year. We would, how­ever, have pre­ferred the abil­ity to swipe back through more de­tailed stats on pre­vi­ous days rather than just the day to­day and then more ba­sic trends.

The iHealth Edge can also share its data with the Ap­ple Health Kit if you pre­fer to use Ap­ple’s app – some­thing you can’t do with any of Fit­bit’s ac­tiv­ity track­ers.

Alarms

Like the Ap­ple Watch and the forth­com­ing Fit­bit Alta, the Edge can po­litely re­mind you to get out of your seat and move around at set in­ter­vals of in­ac­tiv­ity. We love this fea­ture as it’s all too easy to sit at your desk dur­ing the day and not move for a few hours. A gen­tle prompt to go take a walk, make a cup of tea, or what­ever is a neat way to make you in­crease your ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the day. You can also set a quiet vi­brat­ing alarm to wake you but not your part­ner. One turn and it will show you the date and time, plus bat­tery life and whether the de­vice is con­nected by Blue­tooth.

Dis­play

The Edge has a large, cir­cu­lar screen, much like a nor­mal watch. The back­lit dis­play is ac­ti­vated by a

The Edge can also share its data with the Ap­ple Health Kit if you pre­fer to use Ap­ple’s app – some­thing you can’t do with Fit­bit’s track­ers

sim­ple turn of the wrist. Oth­er­wise, it stays off to save bat­tery life.

Tap the screen and you’ll see how many steps you’ve taken dur­ing that par­tic­u­lar day, tap it again for the dis­tance you have trav­elled (on foot). The next tap will re­veal the es­ti­mated calo­ries that you have burned that day. It will also show you how far you have pro­gressed to your per­for­mance goals.

Wrist­band

Un­like other track­ers, the Edge ships with four dif­fer­ent colour bands: black, grey, pink and orange. You can swap th­ese as the mood takes you, and hav­ing spares is al­ways handy. The tracker it­self can be eas­ily popped in and out of the strap, but isn’t loose enough to fall out of its own ac­cord.

We pre­fer the watch-buckle type fas­ten­ing found in the Fit­bit’s Charge HR, Blaze (see page 38) and Surge, and the Ap­ple Watch. Own­ers of the Fit­bit Charge and Flex have of­ten com­plained about the pop-in clasp work­ing it­self loose, and there­fore get­ting it­self lost.

The Edge’s pop-in clasp does, how­ever, feel more se­cure than the Fit­bit’s clasp, and we had no prob­lems with it slip­ping off in the week that we tested it.

If you pre­fer to use the iHealth Edge as a clip-on tracker, it also comes with a clip-on car­rier (pic­tured left) that feels tighter and more se­cure than the one you get with the Fit­bit Zip or One.

The mul­ti­ple wrist­bands and clip-on op­tion set the Edge apart from other track­ers where such ex­tras come at a greater cost.

The iHealth Edge charges via USB, and the pro­pri­etary charger.

Ver­dict

The Edge is part of a suite of fit­ness-mon­i­tor­ing de­vices that will help you use ex­er­cise to get more healthy. It mea­sures most (but not all) of what ri­val ac­tiv­ity track­ers do, and its app con­nects to wire­less scales and pulse mea­sures, plus other health-re­lated gad­gets. If you pre­fer your tracker to look more like a watch than a band, you’ll like its old-school round track­ers. It comes with a range of coloured wrist­bands, plus a clip-on holder. It lacks some of Fit­bit’s mea­sures (such as heart-rate mon­i­tor­ing and num­ber of floors climbed, plus Caller ID), but boasts an au­to­matic work­out and ex­er­cise re­minders mode that are ab­sent from the older Fit­bits.

If you pre­fer to use the Edge as a clip-on tracker, it also comes with a clip-on car­rier that feels more se­cure than the one you get with the Fit­bit Zip

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