The gamification of fitness section of the market has gotten rather crowded in recent months. Starting with devices such as the Nike Fuelband and the Fitbit, now every major hardware maker has something in the range of devices aimed at keeping you fit. Now, Razer, the powerhouse behind gaming gear is taking a stab at it, and what they have produced is one of the best on the market.
Smart watches and fitness bands are nothing new; people have been using them for a while. There are all shapes and sizes on the market already. Most have the standard look and feel: a plastic band that gives you basic step data along with other information you may find useful. Razer have taken this core concept and tried to improve upon it. The style of the Razer Nabu is reminiscent of other bands on the market, but where Razer separates themselves is they have built something that breathes quality.
From the way it clips to the wrist with magnets, the build quality, all the way to the OLED screen and a 6-day battery life, it all feels premium. Costing around the same as the low-end Fitbit, the Razer Nabu does a fair amount more than you would find on that offering. Not only does it count steps, it also manages to keep you constantly apprised of your notifications from any app you want, and it tracks your sleep.
The companion app makes keeping track of goals easy. With the iOS and Android app you can view all your stats in a simple to read, easy to understand chart. With a quick look at the screen, all your details for that day are visible. It also allows easy access to setting all your new goals, this ensures that for any new fitness challenges you want to face, the Nabu will be right there with you. It should be noted that Razer is also working to bring some social games to the Nabu, but at the time of testing, these are not currently available.
Another thing the Nabu does over other fitness trackers on the market is the social element. It is clear this is made by a company that knows games and the people that play them. The easy way you can sync up the Nabu to other friends who also own the device is ingenious. With a simple handshake, you can exchange stats, data, and social contacts. But it doesn’t stop there; Razer is also working to bring social games that utilize the Nabu out.
Now, Razer have built a fantastic product, but it doesn’t do everything we would like to have seen. Right now, it does not have a way to go through multiple notifications from the same person, it has no ability to give weather information (which as a runner, is rather useful), and it can be a little tedious to navigate menus. These are mostly nitpicks, but some feel like oversights that should be addressed in future iterations of the firmware.
Overall, the Nabu was a pleasant surprise, and a great value. With other smart bands costing upwards of $200, the modest $99 ($129 CDN) Nabu does what other offerings do, and more. It has a truly premium feel and, for the most part, is one of the more comfortable bands I have tested. There is great potential in the Nabu, and as Razer improves on the firmware and releases more apps utilizing the technology, I am sure we will see more of that potential realized. Until then, it is a solid product that will suit most fitness enthusiast needs.