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Jaybird Reign activity tracker in some ways might be considered an outsider because the likes of Misfit, Fitbit, Garmin and even Microsoft seem to have cornered the market.

So what about the Reign? Jaybird is an established company well-known for its headphones, but they’ve also been in the fitness tracker game for a while too.

When you’re searching for the best activity tracker you’ll want to make sure it does everything you want it to, so in this review we’ll take a look at the features with a critical eye.

It’s also a good idea to check the feedback from those who have already bought it to see what they think and to look at the good and bad points.

Features

  • Tracks steps, calories burned, distance and sleep
  • Automatically recognizes and shows your day by activity and sport
  • Measures heart rate variability
  • App with Go Zone
  • Waterproof
  • Red and Green LED display
  • Extra bands including one to fit the ankle
  • 5 day battery life

As you would expect with any of these devices, this one tracks steps, calories burned, distance traveled and sleep, but there’s more to it than just that.

Whilst it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, it does have a sensor on the bottom which tracks your heart rate variability – find out more at the University of California, San Francisco website.

This is a fundamental part of its whole operation as it can detect differences in the sports you are doing, such as running, cycling and swimming.

Jaybird Reign activity tracker does this by recording the time between heartbeats.

Using this together with an acceleration sensor and time data it can work out when you’re ready to be active, how ready you are and when you need to slow down or rest.

Jaybird Reign activity tracker also uses your sleep patterns to make the data even more accurate.

The sleep function is particularly good because it can advise you when you should be going to bed to make sure you get enough sleep.

The app is easy to set up, it has three main tabs, Activity, Sleep and Go Zone. Each morning when you get up if you start the app and go to the Go Zone it will give you a score which is based on heart rate variability measurements.

From these measurements you’ll get advice on the kind of activity you should undertake. The idea is that the device advises you how to be in the “Go Zone” to be at peak performance.

It’s very clever that it can tell if you need to slow down as that will help your overall performance.

Most other devices are all about making you do more, but this one takes a more holistic approach, where less can be more.

There is no display or buttons on the Jaybird Reign but it does have a row of red and green LED’s.

The device can be activated by tapping it about four times and you can use the LED’s to see the progress you’ve made during the day and for telling the time, although it does take a bit of getting used to.

Whilst we can’t say that that it has been made with swimmers in mind, it does carry a lifetime waterproof warranty so it’s safe to take into the water.

It can also detect swimming as part of a routine and use this information collate the data used in the Go Zone which advises on how much activity you should or shouldn’t do.

The battery should last around five days or even a little longer.

The app will display the battery status and there’s also the indicator on the device itself which lets you know when it needs charging.

It’s very comfortable to wear with the band being soft silicon and feeling rubbery.

There are additional bands so you can swap them and there’s also one to fit onto your ankle if you’re cycling. The tracker does have to be removed from the band when it’s being charged.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and includes alternative straps
  • Tracks all activity automatically
  • Uses heart rate variability
  • Can work out how ready the body is to do exercise
  • Uses the Go Zone scores to advise you on goals and whether to change them
  • Sleep detection and suggests how much you need
  • Sealed and waterproof so can be used for swimming
  • Syncs to app
  • Works with IOS and Android
  • Battery life about five days

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do syncing in the background
  • Doesn’t have a vibrating alert
  • Doesn’t warn when you’ve been idle for too long
  • Clock is difficult to get used to

Conclusion

There’s a lot of choice out there, but it’s safe to call this the Jaybird Reign advanced activity tracker because it uses data very cleverly.

This is mostly down to the heart rate variability measurements it takes. It’s almost like it doesn’t matter that there’s no heart rate monitor built in to it as the HRV provides enough useful data.

By measuring the milliseconds between heartbeats it’s able to interpret your activities and work out how active you need to be.

It’s particularly good that it can tell when you need to slow down, because by doing so, when it advises you to, it will help you to reach your peak in the long run.

Many fitness trackers are able to offer advice based on your activities, but this one does it in a different way.

It uses your data, including your sleep patterns to set suggested goals each day. You can, of course, adjust these if you want to.

The sleep detection is nothing new, but again, the way in which it’s done here is very good as it can work out if you’ve had enough or not.

It uses this data to let you know when it’s the best time for bed in order to get the right amount of sleep.

As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t designed as mainly for swimmers, but it does include swimming as part of the overall activities – it can tell when you’re doing it.

The fact that the HRV is used when swimming does give some valuable data, but if you’re interested in having lengths or different strokes measured then perhaps you need to look at something else.

It’s unusual that there’s no vibrating alert as most have that and not being able to sync in the background is, perhaps a minor irritation.

The other features such as the Go Zone and HRV more than make up for this though.

All in all it has a lot going for it and it has been well received by those who have already bought one.

The Jaybird Reign might not be a Fitbit or a Misfit but it certainly is a comfortable fit with some excellent features which will probably help to increase its popularity.

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