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Health and fitness devices have always been popular and in demand. There’s Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple watches, which continue to sell year after year. Even newly launched products on Kickstarter enjoy success just like the Fitrus Plus 2.0, which received an impressive US$64,580 funding in November 2020.
On a more recent note, there’s the SPOTU, which already surpassed its target goal of US$3,000. As of writing, this device has received a staggering US$55,196 of funding from 88 excited backers on Kickstarter. And its campaign still has 2 weeks left. So safe to say, you can expect SPOTU to hit the shelves pretty soon. But what exactly is this health and fitness device and how is it different from the other wearable devices? More importantly, is it worth trying out today?
Let us answer such questions with this SPOTU review. Can’t read the whole thing? You can click on any of the links below to skip to that section:
Fitness trackers have been very helpful in monitoring exercises and progress. They provide insight into details that can help you make smart choices – whether to tone down your workout routine or intensify it. With these devices, you no longer have to depend solely on scales and the mirror to see the results of your hard work. But the problem with most fitness trackers today is that they are more focused on outdoor activities. So what about those who work out in gyms and indoors? Well, that’s what the SPOTU is for.
The SPOTU is designed for individuals who perform routine-based workouts and exercises indoors. Similar to fitness watches, you wear them to monitor your physical condition and keep track of your performance. Thus, helping you achieve a more effective self-coaching solution. It is also said to improve your exercise abilities and prevent injuries.
Now, there are two types of SPOTU offered on Kickstarter. There’s the SPOTU LITE, which has a retail price of $199. Then there’s the SPOTU PRO, which is priced at $399. Compared to other fitness trackers, both SPOTU are on the higher end. The SPOTU PRO is at the same price point as the Apple Watch Series 6 ($399), and the SPOTU LITE is pricier than the Fitbit Charge 4 ($149.95).
That said, the SPOTU is not cheap. Considering that it is a new product from an unknown company, and not to mention that it’s on Kickstarter – where products can quickly go south – there are a lot of risks in trying it out. But if it does work well, it may just be the tracker you are looking for.
The SPOTU LITE is a performance tracker that you wear on your chest. It is designed specifically for bodyweight exercises at home or when jogging. However, it offers only 2 main functions: heart rate and motion monitoring. Let us look at these functions closely below.
This device has an in-house developed Motion Judging Engine core technology that can identify and distinguish your movements. It can also count repetitions of your activities in real-time. This feature is ideal with exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, high knees, air squats, and more. According to the team behind the project, they are still planning to support over 100 exercise movements before they deliver their products in April 2021, including weightlifting, bodyweight workouts, and gymnastics. That said, the delivery date promised seems to be a little ambitious. Having reviewed a lot of Kickstarter projects in the past, we’ve seen many campaigns that can’t deliver as promised. So if you’re looking into trying the product because of the early delivery date, we suggest not getting your hopes up.
Heart Rate Sensor
Now, one of the unique features of the SPOTU, both LITE and PRO models, is the heart rate monitoring function. Unlike other devices that simply show you a number or a figure, the SPOTU displays colors. Thus, allowing you to check your heart rate level immediately. You simply need to see which color the device is making. Meaning, you can better control your pace and reduce the risk of injuries.
Compared to the SPOTU LITE, the PRO version is more robust and can provide more data. This is because it offers 4 functions. It can monitor your heart rate, motion, breathing, and temperature. Since we’ve already discussed motion and heart rate monitoring, let us focus on the 2 added functions.
Proper breathing is crucial when it comes to working out. When you have good breathing, you can ensure that your muscles will receive the needed oxygen to continue contracting. Additionally, proper breathing is important in anaerobic exercises like pilates and strength training like weightlifting. Thus, this is a good feature to have.
Body Temperature Sensor
Keeping track of your body temperature is vital, particularly when working out during warm weather conditions. It can help you prevent heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat syncope.
Another feature you should also be aware of is the device’s application. To use the SPOTU, you first need to sign up or log in on the company’s mobile application and connect the device to your smartphone through Bluetooth. Once connected, you can immediately start your workout and exercises with the device. The application offers Real-Time Performance Monitor and Augmented Video Recording where you can record yourself while performing your routines. While recording, the video will display important information, including the following:
- Movement name
- Workout time
- Reps (total reps and reps per minute)
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
With such detailed indicators included in your videos, you can watch yourself and see what areas need improvement. The SPOTU app is also said to deliver tailored YouTube content like at-home fitness videos. It can also display content from accounts you are already subscribed to. The best part is, the app will extract the details from the videos and save them into a database. This way, you can learn the exercise without watching the whole thing.
Here are the specifications of both SPOTU models based on the company’s campaign on Kickstarter.
|SPOTU LITE||SPOTU PRO|
|CPU||Cortex M4 38.4Mhz, 512KB Flash, 64KB RAM||Cortex M4 38.4Mhz, 512KB Flash, 64KB RAM|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 LE||Bluetooth 5.0 LE|
|OS||Micrium RTOS||Micrium RTOS|
|Display||12 RGB LED, 24bit color||12 RGB LED, 24bit color|
|Motion Sensor||3 axis acceleration, 3 axis Gyro||3 axis acceleration, 3 axis Gyro|
|Body Temperature||–||0.1 Degrees Celcius accuracy|
|Heart Rate||ECG type heart rate sensor||ECG type heart rate sensor|
|Battery||200mAh Lithium Polymer||200mAh Lithium Polymer|
|Battery Life||Max 3 hours||Max 3 hours|
|Charging||Wireless Charging 5V/500mA||Wireless Charging 5V/500mA|
One of the unique things about the SPOTU is that it is a chest strap type of device. According to the product’s Kickstarter campaign, the chest is the best part of the body to collect motion and biometric data. It also utilizes the ECG type heart rate sensor, making it more accurate than other trackers. Now, on the downside, the SPOTU can only be charged through a wireless charger. While we love our wireless, having another option would have been great too. Also, a maximum of 3 hours of battery life seems rather short.
If you love running, walking, cycling, and doing other activities outdoors, this is not the device you need. However, if you workout indoors or prefer going to the gym (and if you don’t mind paying the premium price), the SPOTU is a good choice for a fitness tracker.
It offers some features that may be more beneficial to you, including rep counting, movement recognition, and real-time heart rate monitoring. If you’re interested in the SPOTU, you can back the project through its Kickstarter campaign and enjoy the product at a much lower price.