Fashion-tech has been buzzing for a few years now, with fitness tracking devices, the Apple Watch, Google Glass specs on the Diane Von Furstenberg runway and more. Up until recently, the fitness trackers available were functional but not particularly fashionable. However, fitness tracker pioneer Fitbit has recently launched its first fashion-forward device, the Fitbit Alta, and Swarovski became the first ever fashion company to launch its very own activity tracker, the Shine. With both these devices marrying form and function for the first time on the market, we review how they measure up in terms of style, fit and function. 

Image: Fitbit

 

Swarovski Activity Tracking Jewellery

Fashionable form: 

The SATJ for short, Swarovski Shine fitness device was conceived in partnership with tech company Misfit. The first ever fashion-forward company to deliver such a device, it’s exciting to see the renowned jeweller being a pioneer in the fash-tech field. You can track your daily goals by double tapping the crystal which will light up like a clock face to indicate how far you have come, as well as being able to tell you the time! It’s a pretty feature and a unique way of tracking your activity. 

The device comes in the form of a large crystal, naturally, and can be switched up between being encased in one of the brand’s Slake bracelets (which they also sell without the device) or a silicone sports band that is more suitable for sleeping, swimming (it is up to 50m water resistant) and intense exercise sessions. The Slake bracelet designed for the device comes in nine colourways (the light grey, royal blue and classic black are some of our favourites) and is embellished all over with Swarovski crystals. To be honest, for everyday the bracelet is a bit too bling for me, so I prefer to wear the sports band for a subtle touch, but for an evening look, the shimmery bracelet is a great option, and is a place where other brand’s often fall short. 

Functionality:

One of the points of difference between the SATJ and other fitness trackers is the fact that it doesn’t need to be recharged every few days. It is battery operated much like a watch, so every 3-4 months on average, you will have to replace the battery, but there is no need to worry on the daily about it running out of juice. 

The crystal wirelessly syncs with the Misfit app on your smartphone where you can see your daily activity from steps, to calories and how much light and intense exercise you managed to fit in throughout the day.

My favourite aspect of the device is its ability to track sleep, it automatically detects when you fall asleep and wake up and will plot periods of restless sleep versus deep sleep on an easy-to-read graph so you monitor how much beauty rest you’re averaging. I found this function super accurate, more so than other devices I’ve tried! 

Bonuses:

As well as being able to sync certain phone functions such as incoming calls and texts if you’d like it to, the Swarovski x Misfit technology can also get your bracelet to function as a remote control. For example, you can customise it so that if you tap on the crystal three times in a row, it will take a selfie on your camera, perfect for those group photos! It can also be a music controller that can pause and play your phone’s music from afar, an amazing feature to have at parties and gatherings. 

A set (including the Swarovski Activity Crystal, a Slake bracelet and a sports brand) retails at $280, additional coloured Slake bracelets retail at $150 from Swarovski stores nationwide. 

Fitbit Alta

Fashionable form

Fitbit is the biggest player in the activity tracking device market, and is one of the household names (along with Jawbone) that most people know of. The Fitbit Alta is its first fashion-driven foray into the market, and its form has become as much a focus as its function with this new release. One of my favourite things about the fitness tracker that sets it apart from the rest is its screen that details step count, calories burned, time, date and more at the tap of a finger! It’s truly interactive in this fashion and means you don’t need to sync your device via Bluetooth (like almost every other fitness tracker out there) to see your progress. 

Another great feature is its reminders to move every hour (that you can turn off if you wish) which is a great incentive for every sedentary office worker out there! As we all know sitting for prolonged periods of time is not good for us at all. It breaks down your hourly goals into quick 250 step bites, which is a 2 or 3 minute walk to the water cooler and back. 

It will auto-log exercise after 15 minutes, so you don’t need to track when you start pilates or that rambling weekend walk. It also auto-tracks sleep, so you can monitor your Zzz’s on a daily basis. I did find that in comparison to the Swarovski Activity Tracking Jewellery, this function was less accurate though. 

I love the sleek and classic look of the leather wristbands that are perfect for work. You can swap them with the more sports-appropriate rubbery bands for a workout, but you do need to purchase the leather bands separately ($99.95). The stainless steels designs in silver and gold are also super striking and very fashion-forward, they look great in real life as well as being very photogenic.

Functionality:

You can customise your notifications on the accompanying Fitbit app so that you receive vibrating notifications for calls, texts, and even alarms in the morning. It’s water-resistant and a single charge up to five days of battery, which is pretty good! I love the social aspect of the app which allows you to set goals with friends and challenge them to set challenges such as who can real 10,000 steps in a day quicker, as well as lengthier challenges. 

Another great feature is the positive messaging and encouragement that the OLED screen will give you when you’re close to reaching your goals and to motivate you throughout the day, it’s like a virtual cheerleader helping you along! You can set hydration, weight and activity goals on the app that can be as detailed or as basic as you want. 

Bonuses: 

 

I love that the fitness tracker doubles up as a watch, if you just flick your wrist up, the time and date will automatically appear on screen. The screen also acts as a reminder for calendar updates, calls and texts, that you can preview if you wish to on screen. It’s the first fitness tracker to have this level of easily accessible, viewable stats at a glance without having to check your phone’s linked app. The variety of wristbands to choose from is also a huge plus from a style perspective, from its functional sports-friendly options to sleek leather and a chromatic design, the tracker can go with you to work and evenings out in an understated and classic way. 

Fitbit Alta retails at $198, additional rubber finish wristbands are available for $49.95, premium leather bands in blush pink, camel and graphite for $99.95, premium stainless steel silver band $149 (gold coming later this year). 

For more reviews of the latest fitness trends in Singapore see here, where we weigh up the pros and cons of ‘buffet style’ fitness apps GuavaPass and KFit.