YOO Mini Wireless Activity Tracker - Review

Yoo Mini Wireless Activity Tracker
Yoo Mini Wireless Activity Tracker. Wendy Bumgardner ©

How can you inspire yourself to build healthy new habits? YOO challenges you with a daily race between the Old YOO and the New YOO. This app-linked wireless activity tracker is available at a great price and with an easy, inspirational concept. The steps you don't take and the hours you don't move give points to the Old YOO. The New YOO gets points when you move. Who will win each day, New YOO or Old YOO?

More: 10 Ways Your Pedometer Can Motivate You

In a crowded market with fitness trackers that sell for $50 - $200, YOO 1 is available for under $25 and YOO 2 and YOO C for under $60.

The three different YOOs can be carried as pocket pedometers, or worn on your shoe or waistband with removable sleeves.. YOO 1 comes either with a shoe clip or with a magnetic Track-it Jacket for attaching to your waistband, clothing, or wearing as a pendant. YOO 2 and YOO C comes with a clip sleeve.

What You Need for YOO

  • You will need an iOS or Android mobile device to run the free YOO Fitness app.
  • YOO 2  and YOO C use Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with the press of a button. Both were very easy to use and worked well.
  • Both YOOs are powered by replaceable batteries that last for months, you never have to plug them in to recharge.

Is YOO Right for You?

YOO is right for smartphone users who don't want to spend a lot of money for an expensive wristband pedometer that they may soon abandon.

Dan Kinsbourne designed Yoo to battle the high rate of abandonment seen with many activity trackers, which can be as high as 90% after only weeks. YOO is less expensive and has a simple concept that can be highly motivational.

The YOO 2 does not have an obvious numerical display, you must sync it with the app to see your steps, distance, and calories burned.

But actually it does have a stealthy Air Show display - by waving the Yoo back and forth rapidly, your step count will appear in the air. It's a fun Easter Egg sort of function and good for a quick check once you have mastered the technique. You earn extra points by syncing and checking your stats.

The YOO C has a dot-matrix display you activate by waving it back and forth.

What YOO Tracks

YOO is powered by an accurate accelerometer, allowing it to be worn or carried in any position.

  • Steps: Steps are counted by the accelerometer, and you can set a daily goal.
  • Distance: Estimated from your height and stride length, based on the step count.
  • Calories: Activity calorie burn is estimated from your weight and activity.
  • Active Minutes: YOO 2 also tracks active minutes.
  • Review your stats for today, for the week, and for all past days.

New YOO vs. Old YOO

The home screen of the YOO app shows the daily race between the smiling green New YOO and the surly, frowning Old YOO. You can set a step goal such as the suggested 10,000 steps per day.

Then each step counts for New YOO and against Old YOO. But keep moving, because any goal steps you don't take turn into Revenge Points for Old YOO.

To keep you active throughout the day, you also incur Revenge Points for being inactive for an hour straight, for not syncing all day, and for Old YOO beating New YOO.

As you reach 50% and 75% of your goal or move for 30 minutes straight, you activate Power YOO and Super YOO and earn more points for activity.

Your points count towards achieving milestone challenges. But you have to keep moving or the Revenge Points earned by Old YOO for being inactive will send your tally in the wrong direction.

Data: The history screen allows you to review past days for points, distance, steps and activity calories burned. You can review each day of the past week on the Today screen. It doesn't display details by the hour or minute, just the totals.

Social: Integration with Facebook and Twitter for posting your totals is planned, and you will earn points for posting and sharing.

Portability: YOO is built to be mobile and to view on your mobile device. YOO 2 has a 14-day memory, so you don't have to sync every day if you just want to check the Air Show display for your step count. Yoo uses a battery so you don't need to recharge it.

Drawbacks:

  • It doesn't track individual workouts or give you a graph of when you were active throughout the day.
  • No tie-in with a diet-tracking program. However, you can use the activity calorie total to track with the one of your choice such as our Calorie Count app or site.
  • The app functionality is still evolving. It worked well but I saw many areas where it could be improved to be even more motivational, such as details on how you earned points and had revenge points deducted. These may come with future updates to the app.
  • They don't currently have a wristband holder. There are other YOO versions that are made as wristband activity trackers.

Positives:

  • New YOO vs. Old YOO is very motivational. As a jaded user of over 100 different pedometer systems, I just couldn't let Old YOO win. With many pedometers I just think, oh well I was inactive today but I'll make it up tomorrow. Seeing Old YOO scowling made me regret my procrastination.
  • I love the ease of use of the app and its easy syncing both with Bluetooth Smart for YOO 2 and YOO C.
  • I love the Track-it Jacket for YOO 1 and YOO C, it reminds me of the Misfit Shine. It is easy to attach it via the magnet wherever you want to wear it.
  • YOO is available at Walgreens and should tie into their Balance Rewards program in the future. More: Walking Apps that Earn Rewards

Bottom Line on YOO

YOO is inexpensive but powerful and very motivational. If you aren't married to the Fitbit line of activity monitors, YOO is a good choice. It motivated even a jaded pedometer user like me to be consistent with achieving my daily activity goals.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

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