Basis Peak and B1 Band - Recall and Refunds

All Basis Peak and B1 Watches Recalled September, 2016

Basis Peak
Basis Peal. Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Basis Peak watch was a pioneer of multi-sensor watches, with excellent sleep-tracking. However, reports of overheating and risk of burns were reported in the summer of 2016. Basis issued a recall of all of the Basis Peak and B1 watches in September 2016 and will issue refunds.

Basis has ended support for its watches and announced data will be shut off on December 31, 2016. At that time, any remaining watches still in use will stop working.

Review - Basis Peak

The Basis Peak is an evolution of the original Basis Health Tracker. This multi-sensor watch adds continuous heart rate and incoming call and text alerts. It works well as a pedometer watch while automatically detecting and tracking workouts, calories, sleep and inactivity. A Bluetooth 4.0/Smart mobile device is required for syncing data via an app (iOS or Android).

Basis is designed to motivate you to develop healthy habits. These include achieving the best amount of physical activity, reducing inactivity and getting a good night's sleep. The app and online dashboard encourage and reward you for setting and achieving these habit goals. The Basis Peak uses heart rate, perspiration and skin temperature readings to fine-tune calorie, activity, and sleep data.
Basis Web Site

Is Basis Peak For You?

If you want coaching to be more active and build healthy habits, the Basis Peak will lead you in the right direction.

We know we need moderate to vigorous physical activity and a good night's sleep and we need to sit less. The Basis tracks all of that automatically. You never have to remember to start or stop any function. You don't have to fiddle with a separate chest strap heart rate monitor to track your exercise intensity.

However, it doesn't include GPS for speed or distance or other running watch functions that some may want for athletic training.

Wearing the Basis Peak: The Basis Peak is best worn snugly a little higher on your wrist so the sensors on the back of the watch are in contact with your skin continuously. It comes with a black or white polymer strap with a standard watch buckle closure. You wear it 24/7 to track both activity and sleep.

Power and Memory: The battery lasts four days between charges. It recharges with a custom USB puck. You need to sync it at least every seven days to free data storage.

Is it Waterproof? It is water-resistant to 5 ATM.

What the Basis Peak Tracks

Watch Display: I love the big numbers for the time and data display. The home screen shows the time of day, with the date displaying with a tap. With a swipe at the top right corner, the backlight activates for night viewing. Swipe to see current heart rate, last activity step and duration, total steps for the day,  total calories burned and active time.

When Basis detects you are doing a workout, it enters BodyIQ mode. The screen turns white  and it displays the elapsed time, steps, pace, and calories for that workout. You can double tap to view the home screen.

Notifications: When you link it with your mobile phone you can choose what notifications you want to receive on the Basis. Texts, calls, emails and habit alerts will remain visible for five minutes, in the order in which they were received. You can also set or remove "Do Not Disturb" at any time from the menu on the Basis Peak.

Steps: You can see your total steps for the day as well as the steps logged during each workout. It does a good job of not counting random arm movement as steps, with fewer such junk steps than my  Fitbit Charge logged at the same time.

Calories Burned: The Basis Peak should provide very accurate calorie burn data as it is measuring  heart rate, skin temperature, and perspiration in addition to activity. I liked seeing the calories burned during each recorded workout and during specific time periods as well as the all-day calorie total.

Heart Rate: The Basis Peak gives you a continuous heart rate readout as well as a daily resting heart rate. I found it to be consistent with readings I got from a Polar heart rate monitor strap. You can see your heart rate in detail at any time of the day, which can pinpoint times when you weren't getting a good readout. Arm and wrist motion can interrupt contact and biometrics expert Steven LeBoeuf says wrist-based heart rate detection is usually not as accurate as a chest strap. You should adjust how snug the Basis is and wear it farther up your forearm if you are not getting a good reading. However, the Peak doesn't display what heart rate zone you are in or the percentage of maximum heart rate.

Active Time and Workouts: The watch shows your total active minutes. When the BodyIQ exercise timer detects a workout (running, walking or cycling), it shows the workout timer. You can see details in the app and online dashboard for each workout of five minutes or more of running, walking or cycling. You can't pause a workout and my usual walks end up recorded as a series workouts when I stop for more than a minute or two. Unfortunately, you can't manually log a workout if BodyIQ didn't detect it.

Sleep: The Basis Peak is very accurate in detecting sleep periods automatically, even nodding off during watching TV. The sleep measures include daily sleep total time, times of interrupted sleep, a sleep quality score and a weekly sleep report. You see nightly time in REM sleep, deep sleep, light sleep, and a number of interruptions and toss/turn times. You can choose Healthy Habits to work on including total sleep time and consistency with when you go to bed and when you get up.
More: Sleep-Tracking Activity Monitors

Inactivity Alerts: A "Don't Be a Sitter" Nudge gives you a quick vibration on your wrist as an inactivity alert if you've been inactive for a period of time. This was added in Fall, 2015.

Motivation - My Habits: The Healthy Habits are the key to getting the most out of the Peak. I find them very motivational in helping me change my daily routine in order to earn each badge. The first habit is to wear the Peak for 12 or more hours per day. I love the "Don't Be a Sitter" habit work on getting up each hour, and a daily step goal habit.

When you achieve the goals you have set, you earn points. Basis Peak limits the number of goals you are working on at one time so you can focus on them. Once you have enough points, you can unlock a slot for a new habit goal.

For each habit, you can see your progress and dig deeper into details. If a goal is too easy or too difficult, you can pause it or decide to take on a different habit.
More: 10 Ways Your Pedometer Can Motivate You

Insights and Data: How are you doing in developing good habits? You can see quick summaries as well as all of the details in the app and online dashboard.

Bottom Line on the Basis Peak

Drawbacks:

  • The heart rate function doesn't tell you which zone your are in or the percentage of maximum heart rate. This makes it less useful for viewing your workout intensity than a heart rate monitor or the Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge, which also detect heart rate on your wrist.
  • Basis doesn't track your diet as they couldn't find a way to make that automated. You may want to use our Calorie Count app or site for food logging.
  • Speed is given in steps per minute for workouts, but there is no distance estimate or stairs climbed estimate.
  • It doesn't have friend lists or group competitions.

Positives:

  • The Habits are habit-forming.
  • Everything is automatic, including workout and sleep detection.
  • The detailed sleep analysis is not just interesting, it is used to encourage you to develop healthy sleeping habits.
  • The system is continuously improving and you can expect your Basis to do even more in the coming months without having to purchase a new version. Basis Web Site
  • Inactivity alerts
  • Activity sharing has been added, with posting to social media.

The Peak is an excellent improvement over the original Basis Health Tracker, both for the size and for the additional functions. It is a very good choice for motivating yourself to develop healthy habits. If you need speed/distance and heart rate zone training features, you would want a different device such as a Garmin GPS training watch or the Fitbit Surge.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

Continue Reading