Review of the Withings Go- an Affordable Activity and Sleep Tracker

Review of the Withings Go- an Affordable Activity and Sleep Tracker

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Pros…

Tracks sleep, steps, running, swimming; long battery life, waterproof, integrates with a variety of apps, stores several days of data, affordable

Cons…

Can not track elevation change or heart rate, sleep tracking not that accurate

Summary

If you are looking for an affordable sleep and activity tracker the Withings Go is a good option. It is waterproof, has a long battery life, can be worn in a variety of ways and integrates with many apps and devices via Withings Healthmate

recommended-by-the-imums

What do you look for in an activity tracker? Long battery life? Easy to use? Ability to track sleep, steps, different types of exercise? Waterproof? Affordable? Available in multiple color options? If you answered yes to any, or all of the above then you may be interested in the new Withings Go activity tracker , which I recently had the opportunity to test. It is an affordable, waterproof activity and sleep tracker that has a long battery life and comes in  5 different colors. It is a circular tracker with an e-ink display that a little bigger than a quarter. It works with the Withings Health Mate app and can be worn in a variety of ways.

In Use

The Go can be carried in a pocket, worn on the wrist using the included wristband or clipped to your clothing with the included clip. My preferred way of using it is with the wristband. It is soft and comfortable and easy to adjust. If you want to switch to using the clip it only takes seconds to remove from the wristband and install in the clip, so it is very flexible. The Go itself is white and you can choose to have the background display white or black, but the wristband and clip come in a variety of color options. I tested out the simple black, but I like all the fun color options- pink, green, yellow and blue that add a splash of bright color.

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To fully use the Go you need to install the free Withings Healthmate app and connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The screen of the Go has an E Ink display, similar to those on a Kindle, so it is permanently on and easy to read in a variety of light conditions (but not in the dark.) The screen shows a running man and lines appear around the periphery to show how far you have come in your daily steps goal (you can adjust your target steps via the app). Once you reach your goal the man is replaced by a star and it continues to record steps. A hard press on the center of the display switches it to time mode. The time is displayed in the style of an analog watch but without numbers, so it can be a little tricky to tell the difference between say 9.25 and 10.25. You can see your daily steps and the time directly on the Go, but for more detailed data you need to use the Healthmate app on your smartphone. You don’t need to keep it connected to your phone all the time, when you are unconnected the Go will store several days worth of data for the next time you synch. I found this very useful on camping trips, where to conserve my phone battery I keep Bluetooth off most of the time, but can still  periodically check on my daily activity level. I have had trips where I have not connected for several days and still was able to download all my data when I got home and recharged my phone. On one camping trip I did discover that it is a good idea to remove the Go before applying DEET- based insect repellants,  I accidentally splashed some on the screen and it left permanent marks.

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Within the Healthmate app you can see steps taken, distance walked; time plus calories burned for each session of walking; as well as separate listing for running and swimming. For me personally I found the walking and running tracked well, but my swim stroke must not fit their algorithm as it does not recognize when I swim (which was the same for me with the Withings Activite Pop we previously reviewed.) The Go also tracks your sleep if you wear it during sleep. It measures light and deep sleep, awakenings and total time slept. It measures based on movement so it is not as accurate as dedicated sleep systems such as the Withings Aura. I did find it sometimes recorded me as sleeping when I was lying still reading or watching television, but it was still a useful reminder for me to see when I was getting an adequate amount of sleep and when I need to change habits to improve my sleep.

Through the Healthmate app it automatically integrates data from other Withings devices such as the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor and smart scales, it also allows you to manually log information such as weight and blood pressure. Healthmate also integrates with Apple Healthkit and many third party health and fitness apps. You can log your nutrition with My Fitness pal and use your favorite apps such Runkeeper and have the data integrated with Healthmate.

 

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Features

For me to regularly use a fitness tracker I find I need to take it off as little as possible- when I remove it is when I’m likely to forget to put it on again and miss tracking. For that reason I much prefer trackers that don’t need frequent charging and the Go is great for this- it runs on a regular button battery which should last up to 8 months (mine is still going strong after 2 months of use.) It is also water-resistant up to 50m which means I can leave it on when showering or swimming so again less opportunity to forget to put it on. Bring able to wear it in a variety of ways makes it flexible- I like to wear it on my wrist, but my husband prefers to clip on a waistband. It is affordably priced at $79.95. Unlike some more expensive trackers it doesn’t have an altimeter so cannot track elevation change, and it doesn’t measure heart rate.

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Summary

I reviewed the Withings Activite Pop earlier in the year and still love it-  the Go is not as stylish as the Activite Pop and although it does tell time it looks like an activity tracker rather than a watch. However the Go is less than half the price of the Activite Pop, so if you are looking for a budget friendly alternative the Go is definitely worth a look.

If you are looking for an affordable sleep and activity tracker the Withings Go is a good option. It is waterproof, has a long battery life, can be worn in a variety of ways, you can see your daily step count at a glance without your smartphone, and tracks steps, sleep, running and swimming. It integrates with many apps and devices via Withings Healthmate app all for under $80.

 

Withings Healthmate app

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Weather+ (BAR228) Advanced Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Sensor for Smartphones from Oregon Scientific- Review

Weather+ (BAR228) Advanced Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Sensor for Smartphones from Oregon Scientific- Review

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What we love…

Ability to track multiple sensors in one app, can record how temperature, humidity and pressure vary over time, ability to customize  frequency of recording and notifications

What we’d love to see…

WiFi connectivity so you can check when out of Bluetooth range

Summary

Oregon Scientific’s Weather+ sensor allows you to track temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure either indoors or outdoors, both in real time and historically via your smartphone, when in Bluetooth range.

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you have a room or rooms in your house that you need to monitor the temperature and humidity in, or need to keep in a specific temperature or humidity range? Maybe a wine cellar, a nursery or even a greenhouse ? You can keep an eye on it via a home weather station but you need to be in the room to check the readings and you don’t get to see how it changes over time. Oregon Scientific’s new Weather + Advanced Bluetooth temperature and humidity sensor provides a solution that allows you to monitor temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure via your smartphone.

To use the sensor you need to download the free Weather+ app and pair it to your device via Bluetooth. It takes AAA batteries and is very simple to set up and pair with your phone. It comes with a selection of 10 different default room type profiles and you can also customize your own. The app will record environmental temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. For each of these you can decide what units the results are displayed in, and how frequently the parameters should be recorded. You can also set up personalized alerts so that you are notified if the temperature, humidity or atmospheric pressure goes outside the range you set. You can view the data by day, week, month or year.
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I have a family member with a dust mite allergy. To decrease his exposure to dustmites we have installed special mite proof bedding and removed a lot of soft furnishings from his bedroom. His allergist has also recommended keeping the humidity in his room below 50%, as this stops the mites reproducing. The Weather+ sensor is a great tool for monitoring how well we are doing with this, and I have it set to send reminders when the humidity increases so that I remember to put on the dehumidifier. I am also in the process of building a greenhouse, and having a Weather+ sensor in it will be a convenient way to monitor the growing conditions without having to go outside to check multiple times a day.

If you have multiple rooms that need monitoring you can add multiple sensors to the Weather+ app. The sensor can store up to 20 days worth of data and then download it when the phone is back in range. I like this feature as it means if I’m away for a few days I don’t have a gap in my historical data. When I’m at home I find it a very convenient way to keep track of temperature and humidity in specific locations in and around my home, and I love that it can track that data over time and view it graphically.

It also records atmospheric pressure data so you can see how changes there correlate with temperature and humidity changes. The barometric readings also give it the ability to give a localized forecast of how the weather will be over the next 12 -24 hours ( this is via a simple symbol display.) The one thing I do find frustrating at times, is there is no way to check on current conditions if you are away from home. The data is stored so you can access it on your return but you can not check current conditions until you are back in Bluetooth range. It would be nice to have a WiFI enabled option for more long distance monitoring, if you need to check whilst out of Bluetooth range.

Overall, a useful sensor for monitoring and tracking temperature and humidity in individual rooms. This can be very useful for a wine cellar, document storage room, baby room, greenhouse, allergy control and many other uses.

Available from Oregon Scientific RRP $33.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Review of the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Review of the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

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What we love…

Very quick and easy to use, immediate feedback on whether or not your reading is in the optimal range, automatically tracks measurements over time, reminders, easy to share results with your doctor

Summary

If you or a loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great way to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

February is American Heart Health month, which spotlights the major health problems that heart disease causes, and encourages Americans to focus on improving their cardiovascular health. The CDC estimates approximately 70 million Americans  (29%) suffer from hypertension and a similar number have pre-hypertension (blood pressure that is above normal but not yet in the high blood pressure range.) For those suffering from hypertension and pre-hypertension, or at risk for it, regular blood pressure monitoring is important. Getting into the doctors office for frequent blood pressure checks often isn’t practical, so home blood pressure monitoring can be a better alternative. This month we tested out the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor , which is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home.

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I’m lucky enough that I don’t currently have any blood pressure issues, but I do have a family member who is in the pre-hypertensive range and needs to  monitor his blood pressure regularly. We have had a blood pressure monitor at home for several years because of this, but it spends most of the time gathering dust as he finds it cumbersome to use and as a result he rarely uses it. During American Heart Health Month we have been both measuring our BP regularly using the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor.

Previous BP Monitor on Left with separate cuff, tubing, monitor and charger vs Withing Wireless BP Monitor on Right

Our previous BP Monitor on Left with separate cuff, tubing, monitor and charger vs Withing Wireless BP Monitor on Right

 

In Use

I found the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor incredibly easy to set up and use. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app on your iOS or Android Smartphone or tablet.Within the Health Mate App you can create multiple user accounts, so that you can view all your family’s data in one place. You can also log in to your Health Mate account from multiple devices.

The BP monitor charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless.  The battery life is good, after taking approximately 30 readings my battery still has lots of life left.

To use it: just switch the monitor on by tapping a button, and it will ask to connect to your phone/ tablet via Bluetooth. Once you have connected it the first time it will connect automatically in future, if you have Bluetooth switched on.

Once the BP monitor connects via Bluetooth all the instructions appear on the screen step by step:

1. Rest 5 min, then wrap the arm band around your left arm with the metal tube against your inner arm, about 2cm above your elbow.

2. Stay still during the measurement, sit up straight in a chair, feet flat on the floor, don’t cross your legs.

3. Arm relaxed and resting at heart level e.g. on a table.

4. Press “Start” in the app. (Before doing this you can also switch profiles if you need to.)

Once you press start, the cuff automatically inflates and slowly deflates as it makes the measurement.

Once the measurement is complete the app displays your Systolic BP, Diastolic BP and heart rate. A color coded dot appears next to the BP reading to let you know at a glance if the readings are normal or not. You can set the monitor to take multiple readings automatically and you can also set a reminder so you get a daily notification to remind you to take your blood pressure at your preferred time.

From the Withings Healthmate app you can see your daily activity from all your Withings devices in one place- if you have a Withings Activite Pop your sleep and activity data will appear alongside your BP and Heart rate from the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. By tapping on the BP reading you can view a graph of your BP and heart rate readings over time. You can also view this data in table form.

If you are under medical care it is also important to be able to easily share your results with your doctor, this is very easy to do. When looking at your BP and Heart Rate data you can choose to share your data via email and can even set up for your readings to be emailed automatically once a day, week or month.

Obviously if you see abnormal readings it is a good idea to consult with your doctor. If want extra help interpreting your results Withings also offers Hy-Result an advanced advisory service as an in-app purchase for $4.99.

I was very impressed with how easy it is to take your Blood Pressure using the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. Applying the cuff is very simple and the whole system is built in to the cuff and its attached metal tube, there are no tubes, wires or additional accessories. You literally just switch on the monitor, put the cuff around your arm and follow the on screen instructions to make sure you are in a good position for measuring, and press start. It couldn’t be easier! It is so much simpler than the home Blood Pressure Monitor we used previously, that this one actually gets used instead of sitting gathering dust!

I love that you can set reminders to do your measurement, that you immediately know whether or not your reading is in the optimal range and that it automatically tracks your measurements over time. The ability to easily share results with your doctor is also a great feature. With the ability to add multiple family members within your Withings Health Mate account it also means you can use it to make sure family members are taking care of their heart health too. Whether it is checking on a parent who lives elsewhere, or a spouse when you are away from home, you can check that they are remembering to measure their BP and that it staying in their normal range, which is great for peace of mind.

If you or a loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great way to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is available from Withings.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $129.95


NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Review and Giveaway for the Kolibree Intelligent Bluetooth™ Toothbrush

Review and Giveaway for the Kolibree Intelligent Bluetooth™ Toothbrush



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What we love…

Coaching using motion sensors and app, game to encourage kids to brush, feedback after brushing, ease of switching profiles and brush heads. Easy for multiple family members to use 1 handle/ base with personal heads, ability to access data from multiple devices. Makes kids want to brush and do so more effectively.

What we’d love to see…

A rack for holding multiple brush heads, different color brushes in basic pack (colors are available in add-on packs) , more games

Summary

A great tool for all the family to improve their dental hygiene. It encourages kids (and adults) to brush regularly, coaches them on how to brush more effectively and provides feedback on how they are doing. Highly recommended!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Like many parents I struggle to get my children to do a good job of taking care of their teeth. They are old enough that they will no longer let me brush their teeth, but young enough that they really don’t understand how important good dental hygiene is. I first saw the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush at the Consumer Electronics Show and was intrigued to find out if it would actually make our toothbrushing battles any less frequent. I recently  tested it out with my 8 year-old twins and was pleasantly surprised that not only does it make them want to brush their teeth it also has them wanting to do a better job and their teeth are noticeably cleaner as a result.

At first glance Kolibree looks like any other good quality electric toothbrush. It is a sonic toothbrush, its charging base plugs into an electric outlet and the toothbrush charges when sitting on the base. It comes with 2 removable brush heads and additional heads are available to purchase. However, unlike a regular electric toothbrush Kolibree uses 3D motion sensors to monitor how you are brushing and give you feedback.

To use the toothbrush you first need to download the free iOS or Android app. With the app you create an account for the family and profiles for each member who will be using it.

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In Use

It took me about 5 minutes to set up the app with profiles for all the members of my family. Once it is set up it is very easy to switch profiles, you just tap on the picture of the user and it lets you choose which family member is using it. When you are brushing there are 2 brushing programs to choose from- Go Pirate and Coach. Before each session the app will remind you to connect to the toothbrush via Bluetooth if you are not already connected.

It is very easy to switch toothbrush heads, making it easy to use with multiple family members. The 2 brush heads that come with the Kolibree are identical, so we added colored tape to be able to identify whose brush was whose (we tried Sharpie but that rubbed off). I did notice that the replacement brush heads come with a variety of different colored bristles so this won’t be an issue in future, but it would be nice to see 2 different colors come with the brush.

My kids had used manual and battery operated rotating tooth brushes before, but not a sonic toothbrush. I was unsure how they would react to this, especially as my son (with ASD) has sensory issues, so I had them feel the vibrations on their hand before using it the first time, the vibrations didn’t bother them at all. The brush handle is as long as a standard adult electric toothbrush but it is very light- weighing only 2.5oz, so my children found it easy to use.

Coach

iPhone Screenshot 5This app shows your mouth divided into 6 sections and as a 2 minute timer runs it takes you through brushing each section of your mouth- brushing inner, outer and biting surfaces for each of the 6 areas. It shows you which direction your brush strokes should be in, and encourages you to spent equal time on each section. This app is great to use with kids the first time they use the Kolibree, and for adults and older kids in the long term. It not only makes you brush for a full 2 minutes but teaches you how to effectively clean all tooth surfaces during that time. As an adult I find this app really useful and interestingly my 8 year-old daughter likes to use this instead of the Go Pirate app.

Go Pirate

iPhone Screenshot 1This game is designed to encourage children to brush. They can pick a costume for their pirate and head off in search of gold. Each time they brush an icon at the bottom of the screen shows them which part of their mouth to brush, and a pirate also gives them verbal directions. If they follow the directions they will collect gold coins. Each time they brush they move to a new place on a treasure map, and there are treasure chests to find along the way. My son loves this app and collecting the gold coins. He is very competitive both at beating his sister and his own personal best score.

Checkup

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After you complete a brushing session you can go to the “Check Up” section of the app and see how you did. Each of your teeth is shown in outline and the paler the tooth the better job you did of brushing that area, yellow areas show where you need to do a better job. In between brushing sessions you can also see your accumulated brushing data in the Check Up, so you can tell which areas you need to work on more. My kids love being able to see how they did after each session- I think it is their favorite part of the whole Kolibree experience.

The app also has lots of customization options including changing the users handedness, adjusting brushing time, music and transition sounds. For me a very important feature is that you can easily switch between multiple family members within the app and you can have the family’s account on multiple devices. We usually use the app on my phone but in case I am not home at brushing time we also have it on my husbands phone and a family iPad. The data seamlessly synchs between devices so whatever device we use has their brushing history, and when I’m away from home I can look at my phone and see what time they brushed and how well.

iPhone Screenshot 2Over time each family member accumulates points, moves up levels and earns badges according to both how well and how frequently they brush. You can look back at their brushing history for the last week and see what points and awards they have earned over their brushing lifetime. They are also given a “Kolibree Index Score” based on how well and frequently they brush. These can all act as long term incentives to keep brushing and gives parents a way to monitor progress if they wish to give children rewards for hitting certain milestones.

Overall, although at first glance Kolibree looks much like any other quality electric toothbrush it has many features that make it stand out from the crowd. Its motion sensing technology and app give realtime coaching during brushing and feedback afterwards. The brush is designed to be used by both adults and children and is a great way to get all of the family working on improving their dental hygiene. In the time my family have been using it we have had noticeably less battles over teeth brushing, my kids are brushing more frequently, for longer and are consciously trying to do a better job when they brush. My 8 year old son said “mum this is a great way to get me to brush” and I think that sums it up pretty well! I will be ordering more brush heads so the rest of the family and use it too.

The Kolibree Smart Toothbrush is available from Kolibree.com and Amazon the basic pack including Tooth brush, charging base, 2 heads and app is $149, other combo packs are available. Replacement brushes are $19 for a 3 pack.

iTunes link

Kolibree Kolibree by Kolibree

Price: $FREE

Finally, a new smart tooth brushing tool!

Kolibree is a useful app that helps you take care of your teeth on a daily basis, and will improve your oral hygiene.

Kolibree offers an innovative.

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Giveaway

If you would like to win a Kolibree Smart Toothbrush ( value) $149, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.A. and Europe, and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. By entering this competition you agree that Kolibree may contact with news, competitions & special offers. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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