At its core the Basis Peak is a very capable activity tracker, but it boasts a plethora of sleep tracking smarts that should interest ardent sleep junkies.
[Update: Basis Peak has sadly been discontinued. Please see these alternative products below.]
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At a glance
There’s a lot of clever technology packed into the Basis Peak – the activity tracker from Intel that’s masquerading in smartwatch clothing.
How does it work?
All of the magic is achieved via the Peak’s four sensors which are located on the underside of the watch. The sensor plate emits a pleasing green light and measures your heart rate optically. Sensors capture information relating to the temperature of your skin, a galvanic skin response sensor also detects perspiration levels.
Refreshingly for an activity tracker the Basis Peak will automatically detect periods of sleep. It will not only track the duration of your slumber but also sleep stages such as light, deep and REM.
If your sleep is interrupted for any reason the Peak allows a 30-minute grace period. Why is this significant you may ask? Well other sleep trackers might split your nocturnal activity into two parts (thereby counting it as two naps) instead of one consolidated sleep period – thereby rendering the data gleaned useless.
If you worry about restlessness, another nice feature lies in the workings of the inbuilt accelerometer which can track tossing and turning.
In addition the Peak will generate a sleep score that’s aimed to help the wearer develop better understanding of their sleep patterns over time.
The Basis Peak also packs a very capable slew of activity-tracking tools for those looking to monitor daily steps/calories/activities (including running and cycling).
Design and ergonomics
Pleasingly the body of the watch has been crafted from aircraft-grade aluminium. The adjustable silicone strap also adds to the overall robustness of the device.
It’s available in two different colourways: matte black, or brushed metal (with white).
The watch-face incorporates a touchscreen display, some of the menus require gestures/swipes to navigate, but there are no physical buttons (fiddly or otherwise) to press.
You’ll need to ensure the Basis Peak remains snug to your wrist as outside light will affect the sensor’s ability to make accurate readings. We’re not talking tight enough to threaten your circulation but loose won’t cut it here. Optical heart rate sensors are far from an exact science, making this also an area worth flagging for those blessed with hairier arms.
It also boasts water resistance to 5 ATM, meaning it’s safe to wear while showering or swimming.
Connectivity and apps
The Basis Peak will give you 3-4 days-worth of charge out of the box. A USB connector plugs into the wall-mounted charger and a full recharge takes 4 hours, however Basis recommends you top your device up daily with incremental 10-15 minute charges.
The watch doesn’t require constant communication with your smartphone, meaning you can go about your business without worrying about syncing your data. It will transfer automatically at regular periods (or when you’re back in close proximity). It also takes advantage of Bluetooth
The dedicated app works with iOS 8 and Android (KitKat 4.4.2 & up) devices. The app, along with providing a visual breakdown of your data, also gives handy explanations for each measurement recorded.
We’ve bad news for fans of previous Basis models as the Peak doesn’t allow the wearer to sync via PC or Mac, but it does offer a web-based interface that deep-dives into your recorded activities.
We reckon data geeks will love the plethora of information available across both the app and web-based portals.
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