Company Runtastic known to many readers for its own sports applications, which are considered among the best in this area. But lately, she has been trying herself not only in the software area, but also in the hardware area, starting to supplement proprietary software with various kinds of sensors and household appliances. We have previously reviewed the Runtastic Libra smart scale and the Runtastic Heart Rate Combo Monitor. In addition to them, a sports tracker appeared in the assortment of a lively company. Runtastic Orbitwhich stands out from the competition with a number of interesting features that are worth discussing.
Runtastic did not invent a bicycle and used sports trackers, which are very popular among manufacturers modular principlewhen the device can be easily installed in a bracelet or clip. For example, this is exactly what the first tracker from Fitbit, a similar principle to Withings Pulse O2 and Misfit Shine. Moreover, Runtastic Orbit is also waterproof to a depth of 100 meters. So you can take a shower with it without problems, and swim in the pool too, which only Shine can boast of the mentioned competitors, but the Misfit creation does not have an equally informative display. But let’s talk about everything in order.
The accessory is supplied in a fairly large box made of good cardboard and thick PET plastic. Inside, Orbit is fixed on a plastic stand, and in addition to it, there is a blue strap and a black clip – the kit is quite rich in comparison with competing solutions. For those who want something really bold in terms of the color scheme of the device, the company offers several sets of three straps (orange, yellow, burgundy or white, green, black, etc.). Another important delivery item is hidden in a separate cardboard box – a USB adapter for charging the tracker. It is non-standard, so you need to be careful not to lose this thing:
Not everyone likes this solution, and the same Withings Pulse O2 has a standard micro-USB port, but it cannot be submerged under water. Orbit is not afraid of water, since it is recharged through a pair of waterproof contacts and the mentioned magnetic adapter:
If we are already talking about electricity, then it is worth mentioning the autonomy of the bracelet. The manufacturer claims a week of work without recharging, but in reality, you can safely count on 5–6 days. The indicators collected by the tracker are stored for the same amount of time, if you do not synchronize it with your smartphone. That is, it’s worth doing this at least once a week if you don’t want to lose information. Moreover, the synchronization is wireless and is carried out via Bluetooth 4.0. In turn, this somewhat limits the compatibility of the device. It requires an iPhone 4s or later or an Android smartphone running Android 4.3 or later.
The gadget is made of matte plastic, diluted with a bright LED display and a rather rigid metal button with a short stroke. Charging contacts are located on the back of the device:
In this form, Orbit looks unattractive, but it has the best moisture protection among similar accessories. And once you hide it in the complete strap, the tracker takes on a completely different look:
Runtastic Orbit looks pretty neat compared to Casio G-Shock GB-6900B
Silicone is hard, but sits well on the hand, does not irritate the skin. The length of the strap is more than enough even for my hand, on which the Jawbone UP24 size L sits back to back. I really liked the metal clasp of the bracelet – it is reliable, although not everyone will like it because of the need to make considerable efforts to put on and take off the Orbit, although this is a matter of habit. But you can be sure that by chance he will not fly off either in the pool or in the gym.
If you do not like to carry the tracker on your wrist, then use the included clip. Fortunately, you can remove it from the strap and insert it into the second accessory within a few seconds.
It is also made of silicone, however, softer, plus it contains a strong plastic clothespin. I tormented her a little, bending and checking for strength – a completely reliable thing and keeps perfectly on almost anything, be it the strap of a bag, backpack, pocket or any other surface for which you can hook the clip:
Runtastic Orbit functionality and software features
The main tracker control is a single button in the center, which is pressed tightly, but clearly. The first click displays an electronic clock on the LED display and a status indicator below in the form of a strip – it displays the current physical activity for an approximate understanding of how much is left to “move the rolls”. The second press displays the number of steps taken and a similar status indicator:
Another click will show the total number of calories burned that day up to the current moment. I also want to note the nice animation on the display that accompanies almost every action. In this case, an icon in the form of a flame floats across the screen:
And lightning signals that data on the number of active minutes will now be displayed, that is, how much time was spent in motion. By analogy, to go to this menu, you need to press the button again after the previous action:
In addition to viewing your tracked physical activity data, you can use Orbit to log happy moments. Let’s say you saw a beautiful girl with exciting forms on the street, and she also smiled at you – your mood (or something else) has risen, press the tracker button twice, after which a smiling emoticon will appear on the screen. You received a pleasant message about the transfer of an impressive fee to a bank card, your heart felt good – press the Orbit button twice again. Then all marked happy moments will be shown on the activity graph in the app Runtastic Me [загрузить из App Store]but we’ll talk about it a little later.
For now, let’s return to the button and another important function activated with its help, namely, the transfer of the tracker to sleep monitoring mode. Unfortunately, Orbit does not know how to do this on its own. This mode is started by pressing the key for three seconds:
After waking up, do not be lazy and hold the button again for three seconds to complete night watch. I hoped that the accessory was able to switch to active mode on its own, like Withings Pulse O2 (and Shine itself starts monitoring sleep), and did not perform any actions on Orbit for half an hour after waking up, but the miracle did not happen, and in the application these half an hour were noted like “Restless Sleep”. It is strange that the company has not built into the device the same algorithm as the competitor. After all, it is easy to understand when a person is no longer sleeping, especially if active movements are recorded for 10–15 minutes or more. But Runtastic plans to seriously expand the functionality of the device in the futureso there is every chance to improve the sleep tracking function.
But I was very pleased with the built-in vibration motor. It is powerful and sharp, wakes up perfectly in the morning, which cannot be said about the vibro in Jawbone UP. There were times when I ignored him. In the case of Orbit, this is not possible. Somewhere on the Web I met information that this tracker also knows how to wake up in the REM sleep phase, like the mentioned competitor, but in practice this has not been confirmed. Firstly, in the application settings there is no choice of a time fork during which you can wake up. Secondly, the alarm clock itself worked exactly at the time for which I set it. It is possible that this feature will be implemented in the future.
Well, let’s take a look at the proprietary application Runtastic Me, which is the statistics and control center of the tracker, but it is not the only one. Any Runtastic program can interact with the device, and some, in particular the flagship running app of the same name [загрузить из App Store] turns Orbit into an additional screen where you can quickly see the distance covered (in kilometers, and not in steps, as in normal operation), stride length, average stride, running time, calories burned during the run and a number of other data. It is this interaction that gives a chance for a significant expansion of the capabilities of the device in the future. For example, it has a light sensor (above the screen) and there are a lot of interesting schemes for its use (for example, to monitor the amount of time spent in the sun and warn of the danger of burning). But back to Runtastic Me.
If you have not yet joined the crowd of fans of sports and Runtastic software in particular, then you can do this directly from the mentioned program within a minute. The process is traditional and does not take much time: enter your E-mail, come up with a password, plus add data standard for this kind of software (height, weight, age), you can also insert a fashionable avatar. A sports bracelet is also unobtrusively connected:
Registered? Excellent! It’s time to take a look at the graphs if you have already accumulated some information using the device. Please note that for new Orbit owners, the company offers 14 days of “Gold Status” for free, which costs money.
There is no need to talk about the richness of the possibilities of Runtastic Me. Against the background of Jawbone UP, it quietly fades, like most other clients for sports trackers. On the other hand, a basic set of chips and goodies is present, and this will be enough for most users.
So, in the sectionMy orbit“You can set an alarm, an activity signal (so that the tracker reminds you with vibration, they say, it’s time to move your ass), look at the battery status or reset the bracelet if you decide to sell it or give it to someone. Why do strangers need weekly data collected about your activity? In the “Other applications” section, the company immodestly advertises all its software products that are also capable of interacting with Orbit:
The main information is hidden in the menu “my current day“. Don’t look at the name, there is data on the previous days of physical activity too, the transition to which is carried out by swiping from left to right. On the main screen, all the information is collected briefly, and if you want to look at beautiful graphics, then just click on any indicator. The emoticons in the last screenshot are those very happy moments that I talked about above.
The tracker is synchronized automatically when the application is launched, or if you drag the menu with indicators down. The process takes no more than a couple of seconds and, in comparison with competitors, it is much faster.
As for the accuracy of the readings, the Orbit steps are considered approximately the same as the Misfit Shine (the difference is no more than 5%), which I had no complaints about:
Left – Runtastic Me, right – Misfit
With sleep, the situation is a little different, and this is exactly the day when I checked the automatic shutdown of sleep mode in Orbit, which was not. But here the scheme of sleep quality is more important. Shine showed several alternating REM and NREM sleep phases, while according to the product Runtastic I slept like a dead man in deep sleep (green zone) almost all night. True, before going to bed I ate tryptophan (an amino acid that is partially responsible for the production of serotonin and improves the quality of sleep), but the competitor has different indicators. In general, there is still room for Orbit to develop in this regard, and it’s not a fact that Misfit is 100% accurate. Without a heart rate sensor, it is impossible to fully identify the phase of sleep.
Left – Runtastic Me, right – Misfit
But Runtastic Me can be used without a bracelet, using an iPhone as a tracker, and the Misfit client cannot do this.
In general, impressions from Runtastic Orbit are positive. This is the most water-resistant tracker on the market, it has a good package, a comfortable strap and clip, an excellent display and a cool vibration motor. On the other hand, the potential of the device is not yet fully disclosed. For example, you can add automatic tracking of a person’s transition to sleep and his wake-up time, use a light sensor, implement a reminder system for which there is an excellent vibration, build in a “smart” alarm clock – there are many options and Runtastic promises a lot, but will all promises be realized? This is a question.
In its current state, Orbit is “another sports braceletin a very densely packed market. There are pluses, which I mentioned above, there are also minuses. If you are already in the Runtastic cult and actively use the company’s applications, then there is only one choice. If you want to track your activity in the pool and not worry about forgetting to remove the tracker when you go to the shower, then choose Orbit too. If there are no specific preferences, then you will face a large and difficult choice.
And now a nice bonus for those who read the article to the end:
Kit “Orbit bracelet + Runtastic Sports Armband for smartphone» are sold at the price of a bracelet for 5990 rub., which is cheaper than what you would pay for a tracker on the official European website (€120). A total of 50 of these sets are available.
Buy Runtastic Bundle
Case Sports Armband