Goophone Smartwatch Can Replace Your Smartphone
Goophone is selling two variants of its wearable smartphone -- a 2G edition for $249.99 and a 3G version for $299.99 on its website.
Time to make up for December's bad habits by doing better in 2012. Here are the best tech tools to help you shape up and keep healthy. Who knows? You might actually keep your new year's resolution this time around. Sure, Basis can tell you time, but if you want to know your blood flow, motion, temperature, heart rate, sweat level and blood oxygen level, it'll tell you those too. With a plethora of sensors, the monitoring watch keeps an eye on your vitals, giving you an overview of health, sleep and exercise habits. Basis is an honoree for the upcoming CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Awards in the health and wellness category. Available for pre-order for $199. This article is part of a series about getting fit in the new year. Check out the entire Man up! feature here.
MotoActv Heart-rate Monitor
The MotoActv wants to be your personal trainer. This tiny device tells when you reach or leave your target pace, heart rate or PowerZone based on your programmed profile and goals. And to keep you going, it creates a performance playlist, pulling songs that you burned the most calories to. It also takes on a few personal assistant duties, including fetching your incoming calls and displaying on-screen text messages. Begins at $249.99.
Withings WiFi scale
For better or worse, scales don't lie. In fact, the Withings WiFi scale tells you the cold hard truth: weight, body fat percentage, and BMI. Each time you step on, it registers these stats and sends them over your home wireless network to a private Web interface. The dashboard keeps tabs on your progress with static and interactive charts. You can share this information with your doctors, personal trainers, friends and family. If you feel so inclined, you can even tweet your progress to the entire world. Available from ThinkGeek for $164.99.
BitGym Fitness Games
The average American household has 1.15 cardio machines according to the San Francisco-based health startup BitGym. But overwhelmingly, they're left to collect dust. Get ready to use the treadmill again because BitGym's iOS games are designed to keep you going. One of them, Trail Runner, shows inspiring landscapes as you're on an exercise machine, speeding up or slowing down based on your real-life workout performance. Game prices vary, but lite versions are available for free.
If you prefer to run outdoors, Runtastic is an app that tracks your location, distance, time, pace and calorie consumption. It has charts that show your speed, altitude, pulse and training history. The pro version includes voice feedback, live tracking, cheering, pulse-reading, geotagging, workouts, competitions, and an integrated music player. Its iOS and Android apps have the most functionality, but Runtastic is also available on BlackBerry, Windows, and bada phones. Prices vary by device.
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JayBird Freedom Earphones
The JayBird Freedom was designed for the gym rat. It uses Bluetooth connectivity, so there aren't long cords to trip over. The sound is big -- great motivation when your power track comes on. Plus, it's got enough variety of ear cushions, tips, and hooks to make sure you find the right fit; one that stays on when you're on the go.
Fitness Technologies Underwater MP3 Player
Music can motivate runners to go longer distances, why not apply the same principle to swimmers? Generally electronics and water don't mix very well, but Fitness Technologies' UWaterK7 was built for just that. The compact waterproof MP3 player debuted in the fall and will be making an appearance at CES in January. Also expected to make an appearance: the company's line of HD waterproof action cameras and waterproof stereo Bluetooth headsets. Available for $100.
Alice Truong for Discovery Channel
Mophie Outdoor Battery Extender and Maps
Grab your iPhone. You're going for a hike. Not only does the mophie juice pack plus outdoor give you extended battery life (about 2,000 mAh, or eight hours of talk time on 3G), a corresponding app gives you access to 5 million square miles of high-resolution maps covering the continental U.S. and Hawaii. Once you download them, you no longer have to worry about losing reception. Plus the app records your progress, speed, distance, elevation, and geo-tagged photos. Available for $119.95.
Drift HD Video Camera
A good workout doesn't always mean hitting the gym. Head somewhere beautiful and find a fun activity, like biking or snowboarding. Action cams such as the Drift HD can be a good motivator to go outside. They capture amazing moments in 1080p HD video, which, upon watching, will make you want to go right back outside again. The small, light camera can be mounted to helmets or strapped on wrists and can also be controlled remotely. A night mode also means you can record in dusty or dark conditions. Feeling motivated to get your workout on? Visit our Man up! feature, chock full of info that will get your heart pumping.
While most wearable devices extend the functionality of your smartphone, there are a select few gadgets that can actually replace your handset. The $250 Goophone Smart Watch is one such device.
The wrist-worn gadget comes with its own cellular radio-- meaning it doesn’t have to tether to your smartphone to make calls or access the Internet. With a 1.2-GHz MT6577 dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of memory and a 2-megapixel camera, the Goophone Smart Watch sports specs similar to an aging budget Android device. [Top 5 Smartwatches to Watch]
It runs on the dated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, which is several generations behind the latest flavor of Android 4.4 KitKat. It features a 1.54-inch 240 x 240 resolution display and is capable of running apps from the Google Play Store.
Goophone is selling two variants of its wearable smartphone -- a 2G edition for $249.99 and a 3G version for $299.99 on its website. The latter is the same price as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, which can only work if its tied to Samsung devices running on Android 4.3 or higher.
The $249.99 version supports 2G GSM quad-band networks including the 850/900/1800/1900MHz bands. The pricier edition, which Goophone says will be available within the next week,works with 3G WCDAM 850/1900/2100MHz bands in addition to the 2G bands listed above. Both smartwatches also support 802.11b/g/n W-Fi connections and are available in black or white.
The only other smartwatch we’ve heard of that is capable of operating independently is the $335 Neptune Pine. The smart timepiece features its own cellular radio that supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks including the 850/900/1700/1900 bands and UMTS/HSPA+/WCDMA networks including the 850/1700/1900/2100 bands.
The Neptune Pine runs on a slightly more recent, but still aging, version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and runs on a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ARM Cortex-A5 chip. Like the Goophone, it comes with 512 of RAM but can store up to 32GB of files, which is much more than the 4GB of storage you’ll get with the Goophone Smart Watch. It also features a 5-MP camera as opposed to the Goophone’s 2-MP shooter. This is to be expected, however, considering the Goophone Smart Watch runs for between $35-$85 cheaper than the Neptune Pine.
While the technology is impressive, it begs the question as to whether or not the $300 is worth the convenience. Unless you plan on making calls from your wrist and are looking for a wearable device to replace your phone, you may want to consider cheaper options. The more affordable $150 Pebble and $199 Sony Smartwatch 2 are capable of delivering notifications and boast water-resistant functionality.
Sony’s offering also lets you interact with apps at a higher level than the Pebble, which does little more than display messages, emails, and other alerts on your wrist. That being said, the Goophone and Neptune Pine could give Samsung’s Galaxy Gear some stiff competition, since the $300 gadget is held back by its limited compatibility.
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