Gadget Watch: LG Lifeband Touch

LG announced the release of its Lifeband Touch fitness tracking device to the Australian market this week. The fitness device market is certainly not short of competitors, with various bands, straps and watch-like devices jostling for a share of the Australian market, so it will be interesting to see if the Lifeband Touch can gain traction with the sweaty masses.

In its media release to announce the availability of the product in Australian stores from mid to late May, LG assures us the device is “designed with the pace and demands of modern life in mind”.

“Beneath a stylish asymmetric and flexible design, the Lifeband Touch features a built-in 3-axis accelerometer and altimeter that accurately measures distance, speed, number of steps, calories burned and projected pace. Along with time, activity and music controls, information is available at the swipe of a finger via a crisp touchscreen OLED display that automatically turns on when you rotate your wrist. And there’s no need to miss a call or text while on the move, with alerts synchronised from compatible smartphones,” LG says in the statement.

After digesting all that you might want to lie down and have a bit of a rest. But rest assured, there’s no rest for the wicked, including tech reviewers.

LG released the Lifeband Touch in the US and UK markets earlier this year and reviewers gave mixed reviews about the device.

PC Advisor was taken with what is said was the cool, sleek styling of the device, an important factor considering the amount of criticism usually levelled at the clunky-not-funky look of most wearable devices.

“The Lifeband Touch has a clear touch OLED display that is pretty funky and unique in the way that is shows you the time – it’s displayed vertically rather than the conventional horizontal way, not a major issue, but we imagine it will take a little bit of getting used to.”

Style is not something everyone agrees on and over at Tech Radar the thought was that this device was not as pleasing to the eye or wrist as what could be hoped.

“We’re not overly taken by the design of the Lifeband, mostly because it’s very mobile on your wrist and the display can be hard to use sometimes, as it’s mostly interacted with by swiping up and down, or left and right. Given there’s a very small space to be able to hit, this isn’t always the most accurate.”

Pocket Lint compared the device to the market-leading Nike FuelBand, but said the LG product didn’t quite match up.

“Aware that LG isn’t a sports band compared to the might of Nike, the company has already teamed up with apps like RunKeeper to help it out, although you’ll still have to use the LG app and export the data rather than use its app as you do other wearables such as the Pebble smart watch.

“As to the styling of the band, it’s certainly not as pretty or subtle as the FuelBand.”

The Lifeband Touch is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, transmitting data via Bluetooth to the intuitive, easy-to-use LG Fitness App, where you can set daily goals and track your progress. It also links up with popular third-party apps such as MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper or MapMyFitness.

It might not have the muscle, speed or style to outgun the big players in the market like the Basis Carbon Steel Edition, Garmin Vivofit or the Fitbit One, but the Lifeband Touch might tuck in behind the pack and find a niche among those who want to sync their LG smartphone with a handy fitness device.

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