I have tried a lot of fitness trackers over the past few years. If it can track my steps and my sleep, it’s probably spent some time on my wrist. So I know from experience that while different gadgets may look the same on paper, it’s hard to tell what works best for you without trying them on. Kind of like shopping for jeans.
Thanks to Lumoid’s new Home Try-On service, now you can try out up to five different fitness trackers for a week before you decide to buy one of them. Or not to buy any of them. Pretty cool, right?
Update, June 2015: Lumoid has extended the try-on period to two weeks. Cool!
So say you’ve been researching gadgets and you’re stuck between the Jawbone UP24 and Fitbit Flex. Lumoid allows you to “rent” both of them and see for yourself which one you prefer. You can add a few others to the mix too, like the Misfit Shine or the Garmin vívofit, and check out how they compare. Lumoid has over a dozen different wearables to choose from currently on site.
Then you can purchase the exact gadget you like from Lumoid for retail price, or you can choose not to buy any of them, and it will only cost you $20. I think that’s pretty reasonable, especially since you could have ended up dropping $100 or more on a gadget that didn’t live up to your expectations.
Personally, I’d want a week with each wearable in order to get a really thorough sense of how it could integrate into my daily (and nightly) activity. But that’s just me.
Or you can wear multiple gadgets at once, which I’ve also done. That’s actually a smart way to compare measurements between wearables, if you want to get super scientific. For example, you can see if any of them skew your step count high or low, or if they show different sleep patterns for the same night.
Or just ask Lumoid for an extension. It sounds like they’re happy to extend the trial period if there isn’t already someone else next in line.
As good as this deal looks, I’ve still got a few concerns. First, while I like the feature comparison charts that show the differences between gadgets — cost, battery life, alarm functionality, and whether they track sleep — you can’t customize the chart to compare only the gadgets you want to try.
Plus, I found gadgets on the comparison charts that weren’t among the ones I could choose to rent, like the Pebble Smartwatch and Fitbit Charge.
I also have to quibble with the claim that the Fitbit Flex is waterproof. My dear departed Fitbit Flex didn’t survive the swim it took last summer. Losing my own gadget was painful enough; I’d hate to ruin a rental due to faulty info.
Having seen a whole array of new fitness wearables at CES this year, I’m curious as to how quickly Lumoid will be able to roll out rental units of the latest and greatest gadgets like the Swarovski Shine, the Withings Activité, or the Jaybird Reign, just to name a few.
But I think the expanding market of gadgets makes Lumoid’s Home Try-On service a pretty cool idea. With more fitness wearables to choose from, and some of them at high price points, it makes sense to try before you buy.
See the whole range of fitness wearables for rent at Lumoid