I’m fair-skinned, and I have red hair. So when I got the opportunity to try out a bracelet that warns you when you’ve been in the sun too long, the Netatmo June, I jumped at the chance.
The bracelet is not without its flaws, but I never got burned while wearing it. So that might make it worth the $US99, particularly if you’re prone to sunburns.
The June looks more like a work of art than a gadget that connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
It was designed by French jewelry designer Camille Toupet, and looks like a cut diamond. It’s available in gold, platinum, and gunmetal; I got to try the gunmetal one. It can be worn as a bracelet or a brooch, and it comes with both a leather strap and a silicon strap. The June slides onto the strap or onto your shirt with a little clip.
I mostly wore it with a silicon strap, which is where I encountered my first issue with the June. The strap is pretty slippery, and the device slipped off several times when I was walking or when I took off my jacket or sweatshirt. I had better luck wearing the leather strap — there’s more grip there — but the silicon strap is meant for “women with an active lifestyle,” according to Netatmo. It’s hard to be active when you’re afraid you’re going to lose the device.
Other than that, though, it was comfortable to wear. And although it looks like a piece of jewelry geared toward women, it still went with my admittedly not-that-girly aesthetic.
The June takes a UV reading from the environment using a bunch of sensors, and then compares that to information you provide in the accompanying app.
Setting it up is easy. You answer some questions about yourself — like the colour of your eyes, skin, and hair, and whether you burn easily. It then gives you a number based on the five-point Fitzpatrick scale for skin tone: 1 is so pale that you burn the minute you go outside; 5 means you have no problem in the sun.
I’m a 1 on the scale, which means my skin basically explodes when it’s in daylight.
You then pair the bracelet to your phone via Bluetooth and that’s it. Setting it up should take less than 2 minutes.
I had a couple issues pairing the bracelet; it wants you to keep the charging cable connected to the device when you’re pairing it, even though the USB end of the charging cable shouldn’t be connected to anything. It’s not very intuitive, but after a bit of trial and error, I got it to connect.
The app itself gives you an idea of what the UV index (based on the World Health Organisation’s UV index) for the day is. It also tells you what kind of sun gear you should bring with you, and it tells you when the sun will rise and set.
On one particular day, the UV index was 10. It told me I should wear SPF 50 and bring sunglasses and a hat with me, were I to go outside.
The app then tells you how much time you’re outside, what percentage of sun dose you’re getting if you’re wearing sunscreen, and what percentage of sun dose you’re getting if you forgot to put on sunscreen that day.
Based on whether you’re wearing sunscreen, the app will send push notifications that tell you the percentage of daily sun dose you’re receiving. It’s kind of like a nagging mother in your pocket, reminding you to reapply.
For example, I reached 80% of my daily maximum after about 30 minutes in the sun on a day where the UV index was 10. Had I not been wearing sunscreen, I most definitely would have gotten burned.
How It Worked
Overall, I was pretty pleased with how the bracelet worked, not least of which because I never got burned once while wearing it. It made me aware of how much sun I was getting; I would either reapply sunscreen, or move to the shade.
There were a couple niggly things that were annoying when using the June, besides the fact that I was in constant fear of losing the thing. The Bluetooth connection was a bit wonky sometimes; it kept losing connection if I had my phone in my pocket.
And the thing isn’t waterproof, which is baffling. On a particularly hot day at a water park, I left the June in my bag. That defeats the purpose of having the bracelet to begin with.
But the good news is, by then I had been wearing the June for almost a week. I was so used to putting sunscreen on every 30 minutes, that I didn’t even need the physical reminder.
And that’s probably the best (and perhaps, worst?) part about the June: after a few days of being constantly reminded to wear sunscreen, you kind of just do it on your own, without the need for push notifications.
If you have an iPhone, are particularly prone to getting sunburned, and don’t go into the water all that often, the June is a lovely accessory to have. Just having it on your wrist is a good reminder to reapply that sunscreen, or get out of the sun altogether.
At $US99, it’s a little bit on the pricey side. But it’s a cool-looking and functional accessory that might be doing some good for your body.
Just make sure you don’t lose it. Or get it wet.
The June will go on sale in the coming days.
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