GoTrak105 Review: Fitness Tracking, Aussie Style
gotrak105 – The Tracker from Down Under
The gotrak105 is getting attention mainly because it’s a new and mostly excellent fitness tracker, but also because it’s the first tracker made by an Australian owned company. Sure, there’s innovation all over the world, but it’s mainly concentrated in the United States, Western Europe, and China. Thanks to its numerous features and surprisingly reasonable price tag, though, the gotrak105, however, is poised to take on the competition.
With over 100 brands currently manufacturing fitness trackers, though, and especially with smartwatches being all the rage these days, one has to wonder if another tracker is really necessary in such a crowded market. Still, the gotrak105 offers a number of advantages over the competition, and it’s a real standout in the mid-price tracker range.
Accurate and Dependable
Accuracy is the big selling point of the gotrak105, and that’s a good thing. Recently, the fitness tracker industry has been plagued with accusations of inaccurate data. In January 2016, a lawsuit was filed against Fitbit in the US alleging that the heart rate monitor on its premium models “failed to accurately measure user heart rates.”
What’s more, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May 2016 revealed that in terms of estimating the number of calories burned, the fitness trackers that the researchers tested demonstrated that “there is little evidence regarding their validity,” with most trackers estimating low.
So at this point in the game, if you’re a fitness tracker manufacturer, and you’re not going to make a product that’s highly accurate, then you might as well do something else.
Fortunately for the gotrak105, its tracking data is greater than 95% accurate, as compared to a 90% industry standard. It didn’t, for example, count steps while I was typing or doing things only with my hands, like rearranging things on my desk or getting my lunch together.
The gotrak105 uses integrated GPS for precise distance information, which means a more accurate calorie count. I used both the gotrak105 and my Withings Activité one day, and the gotrak105 counted about a kilometer less — a huge difference, and because the gotrak105 has GPS, I’m inclined to trust its numbers more than the Withings’ numbers.
Additionally, the gotrak105 also has a built in heart rate monitor, improving validity of all of numbers, including sleep tracking. I’ve tried several trackers, and I had been frustrated with inaccuracy issues. If you’ve had the same frustrations, or if you’ve been holding off on buying one due to all of the claims of data that just isn’t dependable, then I would highly recommend checking out the gotrak105.
App and Extras
The corresponding gotrak app works for both iOS and Android, and even though it’s fairly basic in terms of what it does, I also found it to be highly functional. I could see all of my tracker data, and the graph readouts were extremely helpful and easy to read.
I would like to see more features in it, though, including food journaling, a social component like Fitbit and other big name trackers have, and more extensive GPS mapping. According to gotrak, though, plans for GPS mapping, weight diaries, a BMI calculator, and more are in the works.
The gotrak105 has several other notable features that I really liked, including:
- A silent alarm, which produces a good firm buzz that woke me up on the first try.
- A remote for the camera mode on your smartphone. After a long hike one day, I loved being able to take a great selfie with my surroundings.
- A sports mode, which can be switched on before an intense workout for zone data, like fat burn, cardio, and peak exercise. I found out the hard way that you should not use it for swimming. (The gotrak105 still tracks steps and everything else when it’s not in sports mode.)
- A sedentary reminder, which helped to keep me moving throughout the day.
- Smart notifications, which are all customisable. I thought this was one of the gotrak105’s best features, as I could set it up exactly how I wanted it and always see who was calling when my phone rang.
- An anti lost feature, which causes your phone to vibrate if you go more than five metres away from your tracker.
- The light on the heart rate monitor can be switched off at night. While this may seem like a minor detail, it’s an incredibly useful function for people who need complete darkness for a restful night’s sleep. (The gotrak105 will still monitor heart rate when the light is off, but you won’t be able to get real time data; that shouldn’t be an issue if you’re sleeping, though.)
Keeps on Ticking
I found the battery life on the gotrak105 to be pretty good. It uses a rechargeable battery, and I was able to get about six days on a single charge — impressive, especially considering it uses GPS and heart rate monitoring, two notorious power hogs, and especially since it was regularly buzzing with all my notifications. The word from gotrak is that if you keep the device in standby mode, the battery can last up to 15 days.
One of the nicer details on the gotrak105 is the battery life indicator, which is located right on the device’s display. There were no weird lights indicating percentages, and no checking the smartphone app to figure out how much power I had left — it was all right there on my wrist, and I was able to charge it before it died on me.
Design: Have We Met?
The gotrak105 has an attractive and sporty aesthetic that’s common among fitness trackers. It felt smooth and high quality on my wrist. It looked nice, but it also looked a bit…familiar.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the gotrak105 looks like the Fitbit Charge HR — so much so, in fact, that upon first glance, I thought that’s what it was.
The screen is small (again, just like the one on the Fitbit Charge HR), but I found it very sharp and easy to read as long as I wasn’t out in bright sunlight. It does poke up a bit from the wristband, lifting the device’s profile, but it’s not so high that it got in my way.
It’s very soft and comfortable to wear, and it’s so light, weighing in at just 25g, that I barely felt it on my wrist. Finally, the gotrak105 comes in blue, black, orange, or purple.
I really like the gotrak105, but it does have a few drawbacks. For starters, although it is water resistant, it’s not waterproof.
I found this out the hard way when I forgot to take it off before getting into a hot tub, and the screen went black. (It eventually dried out and started working properly again.)
So, unlike some other trackers, you can’t swim with it or shower with it; a little sweat or a splash should be OK, but otherwise, this isn’t a water device.
Also, the clasp on the gotrak105 is a little problematic. It’s easy enough to take on and off, but it never felt fully secure on my wrist, and there were a few times when I caught it just before it slipped off.
However, poor clasp security has been a sticking point with a number of trackers, and it’s usually remedied in the next version.
Finally, the screen can be hard to read in bright sunlight; covering it with my hand helped a little, but the glare and the ambient light makes it suddenly very dim.
Made in Australia, Works Worldwide
The makers of the gotrak105 are extremely proud of the fact that their product is Australian made, and while that may not hold much sway in the rest of the world, it’s likely to help drive sales in their native country.
And, because the gotrak105 is a very new product, the company is open to feedback from anyone who has purchased it; if having influence over the future of a device like this is appealing to you, then the gotrak105 is one that you might want to pick up.
And really, the price is right! It retails for $129.95 AUS, which is about £75. Plus, if you order soon from the GoTrak website, you’ll get $30 AUS off, bringing the final price to about £57.
That’s excellent for a highly accurate and well appointed tracker. Whether you’re an Aussie who wants to wear your national pride on your wrist or just someone who wants a quality tracker that won’t break your budget, the gotrak105 is an excellent choice.
Have you purchased a gotrak105 since it went on sale at the end of August? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.
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