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I bought the Loop after reading the reviews on amazon.com (the US, not the UK site). The thing that clinched the deal was one of the reviewers mentioning that the Loop can track the quality of your sleep. All the rest seemed to be, more or less, on a par with other products (jawbone, fitbit, etc.). It's not that I am having any issues with my sleep but I am a data scientist and have a thing for collecting data and inferring trends so I was fascinated by the idea that one device can continuously track vital data such as heart rate (if worn with a heart rate sensor), sleep and movement.
So I bought the Loop along with the H7 heart rate sensor and have been wearing the Loop for 3 weeks continuously. Here are my impressions:
- The band looks both elegant and sturdy
- It is easy to set up and synchronise with an app I installed on my mac (I connect it via the cable that comes with the Loop)
- I cannot comment on accuracy but heart rate values seem entirely plausible so I'll count it as a pro
- The indicator is not convenient to use
In order to see the time or the heart rate you have to press a button. If you wear the Loop continuously instead of a watch that's a major hassle. I cannot discreetly peek into it during a meeting as I could do with my watch. Everyone would notice that you are looking at the Loop as you have, to essentially, use both your hands to check the time. Same thing applies to checking your heart rate while running. Also, in bright sunlight it is very difficult to read the indicator.
- The Loop does not really track the quality of your sleep
To be fair, Polar did not claim that - it was a misleading review on amazon.com that did.
- The website design is really, really bad
Don't get me wrong, I don't need bells and whistles and the latest HTML5 tricks. I just want to have an easy way to check duration and intensity of training sessions and duration of sleep. You can get the info but it is rather unintuitively laid out. Also, the website does not offer any visualisations on trends.
- So far I can't see any ways to export the data
Feeling let down by the website I thought of exporting the data to some other application or, perhaps, doing the visualisations myself. And here comes the major gotcha - you can't do that. This seems so horrendously wrong I can't believe Polar has done it. It captures YOUR vital data but it does not give you any access to it other than via its lame website. Data export is not really a technical challenge - it must have been a conscious marketing/product management decision. In a way similar to Apple's attempt to lock you into their product ecosystem. The main difference, however, is that Apple's products are generally OK design-wise while information design of Polar's Loop website is, so far, very gauche and not well-thought-out.
To sum it up - the Loop didn't live up to my expectations. I got the idea - and it sounds nice - but its implementation is lacking. I am contemplating a return (I'm still within the 30 days return guarantee).
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Initial post: 15 Jul 2014 14:26:14 BDT
Mbwa Kali Sana says:
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