Amazon Halo quietly arrived on the scene a few weeks ago and one thing was clear, Amazon is has arrived in the consumer wearable market. Amazon’s first dip comes with the ability to measure body fat percentage, activity, sleep, and even tone of voice. The Halo has unique features that haven’t reached their counterparts but still manages to miss the mark. The low barrier to entry makes it an appealing look into the future of wearables but its lack of a display and design quirks don’t make it worthy to be one of our device picks.
Amazon Halo uses a combination of motion, heart rate, and temperature to get a detailed view of your sleeping patterns. It can tell you which phase of sleep you’re in and how long you’ve spend in each phase. You also get to see your sleep score every morning out of a 100, along with a hypnogram that tracks your sleep. This is an amazing feature that can help people mitigate the effects of poor sleep hygiene.
Like any activity tracker, the Amazon Halo has its own set of rules based on a point system to get you to be more active. It’s also water resistant so you could wear it all day, and its made with a neoprine-like band that won’t snag or irritate at night. The battery can charge in 90 minutes and you can choose between 15 colors.
Innovative Tone Feature
What’s completely new, is the new Tone feature that uses machine learning to analyze energy and positivity in your voice. It’s marketed to help you improve communication lines and relationships. I found this feature to be hit and miss. The scores varied wildly, but I didn’t expect it to work any better than it did. With time, this feature will only improve.
Amazingly Accurate Body Composition
The Amazon Halo also offers to measure your body composition with more accuracy than a scale or the Handheld Body Fat Loss Monitor. Body composition describes the percentages of fat, bone, water, and muscle in your body. This is typically done by measuring bioelectrical impedance but Amazon offers a new way that leverages their innovations in computer vision and machine learning. The process is quite intuitive and they guide you step by step.
You will have to strip down to your boxers so the algorithm can more accurately measure your body fat percentage. It’s amazing how they simplified the process, it’s as accurate as the methods doctors use. That’s because medical research states that body fat percentage is a better measurement of overall health than just weight or body mass index. Amazon is aiming for a connected “One Health” system that looks at multiple factors, including emotional liability, to improve your well-being. I like it.
Gripes with Amazon Halo
Unfortunately, they took a wrong turn when they decided to not include a display. Unlike smartwatches and fitness trackers, it doesn’t have a screen or constant notifications. This was a deliberate move by its engineers because constant notifications distract you. I disagree with that premise.
My current go-to wearable is the Samsung Galaxy Active2, the constant reminders are the only things that kept me on pace with my workouts. On the other hand, I had to run home to pick up my Amazon Halo because it wasn’t a part of my life. It was just something on my wrist that doesn’t have an immediate impact on my attention. They achieved their goals but it was to detriment of their product.
I also missed being able to see how many steps I’ve taken in the day or get calendar reminders about lunch meetings.
After all is set and done, the Amazon Halo is a welcome addition in the wearable market. It targets a niche but important market and has innovative features that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a good starting point, it seems like Amazon released it early to garner interest and work out the bugs. We should be prepared for what’s to come. If they can add a few key features, Amazon can completely reshape the wearable landscape in one generation cycle.
Price & More
For a limited time, the device is set to $69.99 for prime members. This rises to $99.99 for the device which comes with a 6-month subscription, after that $3.99/month.
Although it doesn’t meet our pick, there are still plenty of reasons to get the Amazon Halo. Whether you like the idea of a distraction/display-free device or if you’re chasing the exclusive Tone feature. The Halo also proves to be a viable alternative for getting an accurate body composition. Use our affiliate link so we can keep reviewing more products!
Up to 7 days of battery life (2 days with Tone enabled). charges in less than 90 minutes. Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, two built-in microphones for tone analysis.