Amazon frequently forges its way into new kinds of tech, with tablets, ereaders, smart speakers, headphones, TVs, and lots of smart home products, and now it's launched a fitness tracker too: meet the Amazon Halo.
The Amazon Halo is a lightweight fitness band that collects your health data so you can analyze and track patterns, adding another notch to Amazon's ecosystem of smart products.
After its 'early access' launch in August 2020, Amazon Halo saw a full release in December that year, so anyone can sign up to use it. Well, anyone in the US - it's still exclusive to Amazon's home country.
To help you get your head around Amazon's first fitness tracker, and work out if it's something you'd be interested in, we've collated all the information on it below.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A fitness band from Amazon
- When is it out? Available now in the US
- How much will it cost? $99 (roughly £75, AU$140)
Amazon Halo price and availability
Amazon Halo costs $99 (roughly £75, AU$140) - the product is only available on Amazon US, so we don't have exact price conversions for anywhere else.
In August 2020 Amazon Halo was announced as an 'early access' product from Amazon, before getting a full release in December 2020.
At the moment the Amazon Halo is only available in the US, but perhaps when it has a full release it will roll out to more countries - we'll have to wait and see.
Unlike many fitness trackers, the Amazon Halo doesn't have a screen - you'll have to interact with it via a smartphone or tablet app.
The Halo is made of a fabric band, which you can buy in three sizes (small, medium and large) and three colors (black, pink, or a silvery light blue).
There's also a sort-of 'body' for the Halo, which houses the sensor that will be gathering all your health data from you. This also has the charging pin, so it will likely power up with a proprietary charger like most fitness bands.
All in all, the Halo looks like a pretty sleek device, as though designed to be easily forgotten when you're wearing it - we'll have to see if that's the case when we get it in to review, though.
The Amazon Halo is water resistant up to 50 meters, and it's swim-proof - in fact, Amazon's promotional materials for the band show someone swimming, though there's no explicit mention of swim tracking modes.
The Amazon Halo has plenty of the fitness features you'd expect to find on a standard tracker - there's in-depth sleep tracking, sedentary time warnings, and activity tracking.
There are some more unique features too. The Halo can measure your body composition and body fat percentage, and with the app it can even make a digital 3D model of you.
The tracker can also measure your voice to detect tone - with this it can apparently track 'energy and positivity', and the app can chastise you for sounding too negative for example, as well as charting how you've been interacting with people during the day.
Does it seem creepy that Amazon is listening to everything you say? Well, yes, but apparently you have the ability to turn off the Halo's microphone at any time - and Amazon states that voice samples are deleted once they've been analyzed, so there's no record of your exact words.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Halo is 'Labs', which are various experiments created by scientists and experts. The examples Amazon provides as to these are discovering what triggers for snacking you have, and seeing if walking further helps you feel less stress.
There are more than 100 of these right now, and it's possible more will be added later - they should be fun to experiment with, but potentially useful too if you discover something about your health and fitness from them.
According to Amazon, the Halo has two days of battery life - but this shoots up to seven days if you deactivate voice tone recognition. The company says the band takes 90 minutes to charge to full.
To get access to most of the Amazon Halo's cool features, you need to pay membership. This membership is free for six months when you buy the band, but then it will start to cost you.
Amazon Halo membership costs $3.99 per month, which isn't a huge amount, but for people with many monthly subscriptions it's yet another for the pile.
The Amazon Halo isn't useless if you don't pay membership - without it, the band still tracks your steps, monitors your heart rate, and provides you with a basic level of sleep tracking, but not on par with what it'll give you if you pay.
People who are trying to be healthy or just learn more about their fitness may find the membership super useful, but if you don't want it, you might not find the Amazon Halo is right for you, since you'll be paying for loads of hardware that you're not actually using.