The Apple Watch was revealed further yesterday by CEO Tim Cook. It starts at $349 and goes as high as 10k if you want to break the bank with an 18-karat gold version. The Apple Watch is not the first of its kind, but compares very well to others and has a cool design (but according to the Home Warrior not as cool as Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wristwatch). As far as its usefulness for travel goes I can see how it can be more convenient than busting out your iPhone in many cases (although don’t throw away your iPhone because you need it to pair with the watch for certain features), but not enough for me to want to spend $349 to have it.
One of the big pushes on the Apple Watch is its capabilities as a fitness tracker. I really think that its capabilities in that category are pretty impressive (see many FAQ’s answered here). However, if you’re trying to meet fitness goals on the road you certainly don’t have to spend over $300! I use the Misfit Shine fitness tracker which today is on Amazon for $74.99 (on sale down from $100). Last summer when I was trying to figure out which tracker to get, a couple of things stood out for me that made the Shine the obvious choice.
First of all, it’s waterproof so you can track swimming, which I use at home and anytime my hotel has a pool (the Apple Watch is just water resistant so you can’t swim with it). You don’t have to charge the battery, just replace it about every six months (although my first battery only lasted 4 months). Apple Watch has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 18 hours per full charge. Plus it’s just gorgeous, looking more like a piece of jewelry than a fitness tracker. That may not be important to everyone, but I am not a “sporty” person and had a lot of trouble reconciling myself to wearing something that doesn’t fit my personal aesthetic. Although to be fair fitness trackers are so mainstream now that I don’t think anyone would knock you for wearing one in a professional setting. The Apple Watch is going to have many fitness tracking capabilities including a cool feature letting you know how often you sit and stand, but with a sleep monitor and step/calories/distance tracker the Misfit Shine should get a traveler more than enough information to successfully track your fitness on the road.
The Shine doesn’t have the computing power that allows the Apple Watch to do so much more, but if you’re looking for an affordable way to track your fitness on the road the Misfit Shine just might be the answer for you. In addition, Misfit is constantly updating the app and adding functionality, giving an even richer feature set. (For another take on the Apple Watch see this story from the NY Times on what the Apple Watch means for travelers.)
Readers, do you use a fitness tracker while traveling? Are you excited about the Apple Watch?
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