LG Lifeband Touch review: Needs a purpose

Jun 07 2014, 13:39 IST
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Lifeband marks the entry of LG Electronics Inc. into the fledgling market of wearable gadgets. (AP) Lifeband marks the entry of LG Electronics Inc. into the fledgling market of wearable gadgets. (AP)
SummarySmart capabilities have become latest marketing pitch to sell more wristwatches, eyeglasses, cars.

counts the number of steps walked throughout the day. It can also measure heart rate with a $180 companion earphone.

- FITNESS COACHING

The Lifeband vibrated as I got closer to the goal I set of one hour of walking each day. At a quarter of the way in, it vibrated and displayed: "25 percent achieved." It also vibrates at random moments and tells you to "Stretch stretch" or "Move move."

That was more distracting than motivating. It's one thing to have a personal trainer at a gym tell you what to do. It's another to have a wristband that doesn't understand how my day was going. It wanted me to stretch when I was busy typing on a keyboard. It wanted me to move when I was having a coffee with a friend. Instead, I simply ignored the device.

I would have been more likely to exercise had the wristband been mindful of my daily routines. My only option was to turn this feature off.

- NOTIFICATIONS

The Lifeband alerts you to incoming calls, but it cannot receive or make calls. I got a vibration for a call I would have missed with my iPhone in silent mode. To answer it, however, I still scratched my head wondering where I had left the phone.

The Lifeband also gives notifications for incoming emails but not when it's paired with an iPhone or an iPad. With Android, you get the sender's name and subject line, but none of the message itself. It's a common problem with the small screens on wrist devices, and it left me wondering why I would need one.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

- Its battery lasted as long as promised - five days on a full charge. But other fitness trackers offer similar functions, often at lower prices.

- THE CASE FOR IT?

Not compelling.

If it's meant to be an outdoor fitness device, then it needs a display that works outdoors. If it's meant to encourage you to work out, then it needs to avoid nagging and let you work exercise into your schedule.

- By YOUKYUNG LEE

AP Technology Writer

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