An Incomplete Review

I’m so excited to receive my Bellabeat LEAF wellness tracker!

Here are my impressions so far….

  1. It’s gorgeous!

    It’s such a nice piece of jewellery on its own that I really enjoy wearing it. Unlike a fitbit or similar tracker, it doesn’t make me want to put on yoga pants and get all sporty. As a SAHM with an active toddler and newborn in the house, I’m lucky to sport an outfit that doesn’t stink of spit up. The LEAF motivates me to step up my game just a little (read: actually look in the mirror and consider if my pants even match my top). I would have rather it come with the black leather strap but the silver leaf comes, by default, with the tan strap. I probably won’t order the black strap unless I’m consistently wearing this thing for months at a time. I’m also already dreaming away of making my own bracelet straps if I ever have a moment of craftiness, energy, and alone time.

    bellabeatleafsilvertan bellabeatleafsilvertan2Not convinced by my wrist? Check out how it looks on more stylish peeps with the #bellabeatleaf hashtag on Instagram. 

  2. The Sleep tracking is incredibly misleading

    bellabeatleafsleepdurationOk, so I’m writing this after only one night of sleep tracking but given the results made me almost violent, I’d say this point is worth mentioning. Bellabeat really emphasizes the fact that this tracker is a women’s wellness tracker. With only 4 main tracking components (activity, sleep, meditation, and period), the focus on period tracking is considerable. Additionally, the option to track a pregnancy is already worked in and “breastfeeding” is one of the available activities for calorie tracking (calories burned). These considerations in mind, I would expect the tracker to be more aware of women’s (and in particular, breastfeeding moms’) sleep habits.

    bellabeatleafgoalachievedThe tracker distinguishes between deep and light sleep. I don’t mind that it would consider sitting up to night nurse as “light sleep”, especially since the tracker is placed on my underwear (I sleep topless given the milk leakage). But during my night, it considered exiting my bed and walking to the bathroom as “light sleep”. Still no big deal.

    My sleep began at 11:30pm and I woke to nurse my daughter for the first time at roughly 3am. According to the tracker, I never went back to sleep. It took me a while to realize I can edit the sleep to account for having stayed in bed until roughly 9am. Once I did that, it was “smart” enough to map out the rest of my experience in bed, shading dark purple as deep sleep and light purple as light sleep. But what really killed me is this….

    Goal achieved?!? For the love of fuck, do NOT tell a nursing mother who hasn’t slept more than three consecutive hours in the past two months that they’ve ACHIEVED A SLEEP GOAL! Just. Don’t. The tracker successfully shows that I’ve slept a total of 9 hrs and 14 mins but it simply totals the deep and light sleep. I admit I have very high standards for sleep apps given I used to use Sleep Cycle, easily the most amazing sleep app developed. Nothing compares. But Bellabeat needs to up their game considerably before it could ever be compared to Sleep Cycle, side by side.

    bellabeatleafdeepsleepLastly, the app gives you a percentage of deep sleep of the night. I consider this your score for how well you slept. Mine was 68%, because apparently my deep sleep accounts for 68% of the time I was asleep. Again, to say my sleep score for the night is 68% is terribly misleading and made me want to throw my phone at the wall (sleeping no more than three consecutive hours for two months straight can make a person a bit touchy). The app should be able to note the greatest stretch of sleep and apply that in its algorithm for scoring the night’s sleep.

    So, bottom line, the sleep app needs a fuck load of work before I’d be willing to climb into bed with it.

  3. I wish it could distinguish between steps and stairs

    When doing any physical activity, the user must manually input the activity and duration for it to be logged. Without any action on the user’s part, the tracker will simply count steps. It’s simple, but I enjoy this greatly. What I wish it would do is know when a step is actually a stair step and count those separately. No big deal though.

I’ll return with more thoughts after I’ve had a chance to wear it as a necklace and clip during activities and especially once I’ve accumulated some data to play around with. I understand it can sync with Google Fit for better data management. I’m excited to explore that aspect.

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