The Runtastic Orbit is one of the easiest fitness-tracking watches I’ve ever used.
It connects to your phone via Bluetooth in a couple of easy steps. It’s waterproof (not water resistant, like some other fitness watches) up to 300 feet. And it costs around $US120, which is in line with what other trackers of the same calibre cost.
But the best part about the Orbit is that it taps into Runtastic’s slew of fitness apps that are available for both iOS and Android. This includes a new app, called Runtastic Me, which pulls in data from the other apps in one place.
I’ve been using the Runtastic Orbit for the past couple weeks.
The Runtastic Orbit has a Fitbit-like design; the tracker itself is a little oval-shaped doodad that fits in a silicon wrist strap. It doesn’t weigh much (about an ounce), and is super comfortable.
Although it’s waterproof, I didn’t wear it in the shower. Sleeping with it on felt no different than sleeping with a watch on.
It comes with blue and black straps in the box, but you can buy more straps in various colours; for $US35, you’ll get a pack of three. It also comes with a clip, so you can clip it to a bra, shorts, or wherever is comfortable.
The main button on the front allows you to scroll through the different tracking settings. It tracks steps, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep. You can set goals through the Runtastic Me app. It also tells the time (obviously).
The screen is dark (to save battery life); to check the time or any of the tracking features, you have to hit the button. I found that feature to be a little annoying when I just wanted to quickly check the time. But the battery does last about a week, so it’s a good trade-off. (Android Wear devices currently last about 36 hours if you don’t touch them at all.)
Charging the watch is simple. It comes with a little charging cable that attaches snugly to the watch with a magnet. You plug the other end into a USB outlet.
The watch also has an ambient light sensor, which a company spokesperson told me could be used in the future to send you reminders that you’ve been in the sun for too long and should reapply sunscreen. Kind of like the Netatmo June bracelet.
Runtastic is known for its fitness apps. The best part about the Orbit is that it seamlessly syncs with these apps, and all the information is compiled by the Runtastic Me app, which serves as a centralized dashboard.
For example, you can use Runtastic Pro to track a run, which sets the Orbit up as a second screen so you don’t have to look down at your phone to see how many steps you’ve taken or how far you’ve gone. And if you use Runtastic’s sit-up app, Runtastic Me seamlessly includes that information as part of your “active minutes.”
The second-screen feature is currently only available for the Runtastic and Runtastic Pro apps, but the company says it will roll it out to other apps soon.
For the most part, the Orbit was accurate. But I did have some hiccups in terms of how many steps it thought I took in a day. At one point I was in a bouncy cab, and I looked down at the watch and it was tracking my steps as though I were walking.
In terms of calories burned, those steps were negligible, but still. I’d like my fitness tracker to know when I’m walking versus when I’m in a car.
You can set the Orbit up to buzz whenever you’ve been inactive for too long. The thing was buzzing on my wrist pretty much an entire workday, which made me feel guilty enough to at least walk up the stairs the next time I left the building.
The app also sends you push notifications that cheer you on and praise you for all the excellent work you’ve done that week.
Who It’s For
If you’re already using Runtastic’s excellent suite of activity apps, the Orbit is a no-brainer. For $US120, you get an excellent fitness tracker that’s comfortable to wear, is waterproof up to 300 feet, and has an amazing suite of apps.
I wish it had an automatic sleep-detection function, like the LifeTrak Zone C410, but its ease of use easily outweighs that minor inconvenience.
If you already own a sports watch, the Orbit is probably overkill. But if you’re looking for an easy-to-use fitness tracker that has the added bonus of also being a watch, the Orbit is a great buy.
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