Nowhere near as “intelligent” as Android Wear devices or the Apple Watch, the just-announced Basis Peak is perhaps the most reliable and powerful activity tracker, being also capable of displaying notifications from compatible synched smartphones.
Little known gadget manufacturers such as Basis Science clearly stand no chance anymore in the crowded smartwatch space, given the big bucks marketing forces of nature like Apple, Samsung, Motorola or LG are ready to invest in the fledgling market niche.
The fitness tracking and medical décor however is a different kettle of fish, as Samsung and Apple either don’t care about it, or feel they can’t compete. Meanwhile, Basis, responsible in the past for a couple solidly built and greatly productive but fugly wearable pieces, has Intel in its corner to help take things to the next level.
Both aesthetically and as far as the internals go, since the new owners of the three year-old no-longer-a-startup are first and foremost in the business of delivering semiconductor chip solutions for everything from smartwatches to smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktop PCs.
Now, just to be clear, the Basis Peak is separate from any and all future Android Wear advancements Intel will be working on. And no, the Peak doesn’t even run Android apps, though it can sync up to Android handhelds in seconds.
It can do the same with iPhones, just don’t expect it to do a lot more than inform you of stuff like incoming calls and received messages.
Sounds really primitive and underwhelming for a gizmo set to cost $199 starting in November, but again, its strength lies in the fitness-aiding and health-monitoring use cases. For instance, it’s the only activity tracker around that can detect your sleeping cycles automatically, and it also follows your heart rate, skin temperature, sweat levels and various athletic endeavors like no other.
Including deep underwater, courtesy of incredibly strong liquid protection. Oh, and the Basis Peak, unlike its slightly cheaper predecessors, can be worn even when not concealed by long sleeves.
Granted, it’s not as sleek as, say, the Moto 360, but it’s made of robust metal, it’s thinner and lighter than before and there are no more clunky, awkward buttons. Still feels a little on the expensive side? Give it a few months, and Intel should discount it to $150. At which point the Basis Peak will fully live up to its potential and become the ultimate fitness and sleep tracker. That’s a promise.