October 18, 2016

The Bellabeat Leaf - Full Review (Plus a Little Fall Fashion to Match)

The one thing that bothers me the most about wearable devices is the way they look, the second is the way they feel. It's fun to track my fitness, sleep activity, and more - but when I planned a trip up to Northern California for olive tasting and sightseeing, my main thought was:

Problem: No activity tracker will ever match this outfit, but I need to monitor my personal daily data patterns! 

Bella's Leaf amongst the leaves turned out to be quite a camo choice for functional jewlery


You can see it in detail here, this was actually before I learned the proper way to tie it around the wrist. The device came with a long heavy silver chain (very heavy and uncomfortable) and this neutral leather strap. The strap was overly complex to tie and ensure the tracker stayed firm to the wrist. I hacked together what you see here in order to keep it on.


For a hot day in northern California I also had to make sure it was completely sweat-proof. The leather band wasn't ideal, but not too uncomfortable. Here are the pros and cons of the tracker:

Pros:

  • Great marketing! 
Yes this is a pro, without it I wouldn't have known there was a Fitbit® alternative out here. I was practically ads-bombed on Facebook but TBH didn't really mind it.
  • It doesn't look that bad ... 
So the current wearables market is littered with devices that are so hideous and huge, bloated with useless features, that its exciting when something new comes out.
  • Key differentiator stands out
For Bellabeat, the key differentiator was that it tracked activity, sleep, STRESS, and ..  women's periods. In other words, they did not attempt a 'This will fit everyone' model,  and my hopes began to soar. Stress tracking seemed especially useful. That being said, this brings me to the cons.

Cons:

  •  False advertising
The Bella offers a lot of 'differentiators' but at the end of the day, its the same Bluetooth Low-Energy device that connects to your phone. I'll admit that I was totally tricked with 'bella - beat', convinced that it was linked to your heartrate. (How else to measure stress?) 

After further use, I found heartbreak after finding out there was no real key differentiator. The stress is just assumed after it sees how much sleep you got and fitness was snuck into your day. (Also if you tapped the button to tell it you'd started your period. A very unfortunate way to track... completely manual.)

  • Bulky! 

First - it is nowhere as delicate as an actual leaf. Heavy, bulky, it kept getting caught on things - and as much as I wanted to wear it to bed to test- I couldn't comfortably sleep with it on..




In summary, if you are a bit of a weekend-fashionista like myself, it's a great market alternative, however quite disappointing after all, so set expectations low.



It does look cute paired with this paisley dress and hat from Lucky, which you can find online (and on sale) here



If you try it out, let me know what you think. Happy connecting in a smarter, cuter way! Here is a glimpse at my tracker from the paired app :


Note to self: Get more sleep! 



Solution: Bellabeat Leaf® matches this fall-fashion look, and while not perfect, has a great Blutooth Low Energy range and is on-par with other devices out there.

Worst case, you can always hide your unfavorable wearable devices in pics with poses like this one. 



Thanks for reading! F
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