Lifetrak Zoom HRV Review: Great Activity Tracker But There’s Early Issues

Hey What's up triathletes? Taren here

This is the brand spanking new Lifetrak Zoom HRV activity tracking monitor that I've been testing out for the last couple of months Why it's taken me so long to get this review out to you is because HRV stands for heart rate variability testing, and it's taken me a while to understand how to use this best Stick around, because I'm going to tell you if this brand new activity tracker is good for your brand new activity tracking metric, heart rate variability Now, a few things for starters Number one, if you don't know what heart rate variability is, go to a video that I did up here explaining what it is and how to track it

Basically, heart rate variability is a measure of how well rested you are and how ready you are to kill yourself in the next workout Second, you know Lifetrak You might not know them very well, but look down at any treadmill heart rate monitor in any commercial gym, odds are really good that the heart rate monitor is going to come from Lifetrak This company is really, really engineering savvy at how to get heart rate data onto a measuring device like this There you go

Next Do I like it? Hell yes Are there some things that I don't like that you need to be aware of? Hell yes If you're a gearhead and love your tech to help you with your training, should you consider it? Hell yeah The business end of this is the pod that goes inside the watch strap, and you pop it in there, and that pod pairs with either an iPhone or an Android app that tracks a lot of data: heart rate variability, heart rate, calories burned throughout the day, steps, distance walked or ran throughout the day, sleep, exposure to blue light, and it tracks how well you're reaching your swimming, biking, and running goals that you set within the app

It's also a watch You can either flick your wrist up or tap the metal button One icon will designate what hour it is The other icon will designate what minute it is All that said, there is a lot going on with this watch, and that's one thing that you need to be aware of before buying it

Because there's so much going on with it, there are so many options, there are so many taps and bells and whistles and icons, it's not quite an intuitive device, and you can't pick it up and go right from the start It's not like a lot of triathlon watches where you have actual numbers telling you what it is There's a whole bunch of icons and blinking lights that, if you don't know what these blinking lights are, you aren't going to know what's going on with the watch, so you got to read the manual You got to read it well You basically have to study it and memorize what all the blinking lights mean

The bottom icons indicate which activity you're tracking, and the top icons indicate how far along you are as a percentage of your goal that you're looking to track If you're counting calories burned or steps taken, this indication with that amount of lights show that you're 50% to your daily goal Same with tracking max heart rate, amount of laps that you set as a daily goal in the pool, or cycling cadence Now, all of these goals you program into the app on your phone If that makes sense

What I like best about the Lifetrak Zoom HRV is that it tracks all of this data automatically A lot of the other heart rate variability trackers out there, they test only when you tell it to test manually You can test heart rate variability manually with this watch, but it's easier to just let it happen automatically throughout the day Then, once every day or every couple of days, you sync this via Bluetooth with the app, and you get a nice average reading That's very nice

That's very, very nice Now, I know one of the questions that you're going to ask me is how accurate it is for all these readings When I'm testing out devices like this, I don't actually tend to test for accuracy across this device in relation to other devices I like to test for how accurate this device is to itself Can you get a consistent reading, because as long as you're getting a consistent reading, you can get a general trend that gives you an indication of what you're tracking

If that number is different between this device and another device, who cares? As long as it's consistent with the device that you're using, I'm cool with that What I've found with the Lifetrak Zoom is that all of the numbers that I was giving it were fairly accurate I'm going to say fairly, because some weren't When I was tired, told me I was tired When I was feeling good, told me I was feeling good

When I got a lot of sleep, that's one thing that I wasn't a big fan of Now, speaking to that, we're going to get into the issues that you should know before picking up the Zoom Speaking about sleep, occasionally it tends to double count sleep If you sleep from 10 pm

to 6 pm, that's eight hours, that 10 pm to midnight chunk could be counted for one day, and it could be counted for the next day, I found

Some nights, I got eight hours of sleep, and other nights, it indicated that I had 10 hours of sleep, because it was double counting those two hours That was really funky Second, I'm not a big fan of the rubber wrist strap Doesn't feel so good against my soft skin Third, the device is really finicky, because it can be activated by flicks of the wrist and really subtle taps

You often get a lot of blinking lights My wife was not the biggest fan of this, because often when I go to bed, I'd be tossing and turning, and all of a sudden she's got a blinking light sitting in her face while my wrist was resting on the pillow You don't want to get on her bad side at bedtime We learned that the hard way, folks Next, like I mentioned, it's not intuitive

You literally have to study the manual to know what all those blinking lights mean, how many taps you need to have, where you need to tap it, how to flick your wrist If you don't know that, you're going to be fairly lost Granted, once I went through the manual a couple of times and I knew how to navigate this thing, that bumping and grinding on how to use it, bumping and grinding (singing), it went away, but I wasn't a really big fan of the user experience getting started A lot of that can even be fixed in the future as Lifetrak releases software and firmware updates Then, that kind of relates to my overall impression of the device

Do I like it? Yes Can you use it? Is it useful in your training? Yes It's all of that, but it's not so super friendly the first few days that you have it out of the box One thing that you need to know is that there is nowhere in the app or in the manual that it explains what a good heart rate variability is Fortunately, yours truly explained it in the video that I'll link up there

With all of these things that I'm not a real big fan of, you might be saying "Well, Taren, why would you even agree to do this video for Lifetrak?" Well, that's really simple Heart rate variability testing is in its infancy as it relates to consumer devices It's normally been something that you'd go into a lab to have to do Having a device that's on your wrist is a really new thing Other options out there happen sometimes through your phone or through other tracking devices, but you have to manually do it

It doesn't happen throughout the day, and it's new and unreliable In this case, the numbers that I got seemed really reliable, very consistent, which then made it easy to use once I incorporated it into my triathlon training With a device, an entire category, an entire new consumer brand, I'm not surprised that there are some things that you have to go through a little bit of growing pains for If you're a really big gearhead that likes tech You like data

You like the idea of having heart rate variability so that you know just how tired you are or how rested you are so that you can gauge your training, this is a really good option At only $140, it's a pretty good deal for having something like this that tracks all of that on your wrist There you have it, triathletes This is the new Lifetrak Zoom HRV Thanks to Lifetrak for letting us test this out so early

Full disclosure, this is a sponsored video, but you know what? I would not be putting it out there if I didn't actually think that it was a good product There was a time right at the start of it, as I was going through the learning curve, that I contact Lifetrak, and I said "You know what, guys? I don't think I can review this" After going through the manual a couple of times over, I changed my tune, because I became more comfortable with it Well, that's it triathletes As always, happy and hard training, and good luck in your next triathlon

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