Basis Peak Review
updated June 6, 2018
Basis have established themselves as a leading supplier of bands for data driven people who want more than what the run of the mill activity tracker provides. The Basis Peak was released at the end of 2014. It has gone on to become their top selling and flagship product. In the article we will take an in-depth look at the Basis Peak.
The Basis Peak band is made of a very soft silicone. It will fit comfortably onto any wrist. On the underside is a red design that contrasts nicely to the main black. The watch is pretty large and demands quite a bit of wrist real estate. However, the fit is natural and it never seems obtrusive. Flexing your wrist back and forth when weight lifting while wearing the Basis Peak is no problem.
On the backside of the Basis Peak are all of your biometric readers. There is a perspiration and skin temperature reader, as well as a heart rate monitor. It should be noted that, for the heart rate feature to work consistently, you have to wear the watch pretty tightly. Some people consider this uncomfortable. When running you may find that the Basis Peak will periodically lose your heart rate. Chest heart rate monitors are far more accurate. Unfortunately, you are not able to pair the Basis Peak with a chest heart rate monitor.
Gorilla Glass 3 protects the screen of the device. This does a great job of preventing scratches and dings. However, the glass is recessed rather than raised. This can cause dust and debris to get caught around the edges.
The touch screen is very responsive, allowing you to swipe through to get your information. The first screen will display the time in huge digits. A single tap will reveal the month, day and battery life remaining. Scrolling to the left reveals your syncing options. When you scroll to the right, you get your heart beats per minute. From this screen you scroll up to see your total steps and calories burned for the day. Scrolling right will reveal the most recent active session you have engaged in. Your activity options are walking, running, swimming and outdoor cycling. It will provide you with total steps, duration, and calories burned.
The screen is easy to read, being one of the few bands on the market that performs well in bright sunlight. The rechargeable battery lasts for about four days. This is pretty low compared to most of its competitors.
The Basis App Review
On the Basis App dashboard, the 3 most basic pieces of information are revealed ; resting heart rate, steps taken and calories burned. The second row of data details your habits. These diamond shaped patterns have goals for each, with a colored line going around each diamond as you make progress. The app does a good job of attempting to adjust your daily routine through this feature. As you complete certain different habits, new one are unlocked, with a slight increase in difficulty. This system allows you to progress from baby steps to put in place a complete health and fitness lifestyle pattern.
Basis will not only provide you with move reminders, but it will give you specific activities to perform.
Your recent activity is also shown on the Basis app dashboard. It will give you the most recent information about sleeping and walking. However, the dashboard does not display your entire day’s worth of information. All the other information through the app is obtained by clicking the menu button at the top left of the dashboard. This will give you a deeper breakdown of the information. For example, clicking on habits will give you a weekly timeline of your performance. Basis will not allow you to add any new habits until you have accomplished your existing ones. This may be frustrating for some people.
From the menu you can also choose ‘Activity Feed’. Basis records and shows segments of each recorded activity. It breaks down every segment of your day, and you have to piece it all together. It does not show your entire day at a glance, which would have made it much easier to analyze. However, Chart View will give you more on screen information. Along the top, you get your heart rate, steps, calories burned, skin temperature and perspiration levels. By tapping on this information, you can toggle between maximum and average levels. However, the information is only displayed in three hour increments. This means that you have to scroll back and forth to get an overall picture of what your day was like.
Basis incorporate a feature called Body IQ into their app. This allows the device to automatically detect what type of activity you are performing. Walking, running, outdoor cycling and swimming are all detected automatically. The band will automatically adjust its calculation to make sure that the appropriate level of calories burned are measured for each of these activities. When you begin an activity, the screen on the watch will turn white. This indicates that you are now in the midst of a session, with training information displayed.
The Basis Peak can stream your heart rate information via Bluetooth to such third party apps as such as RunKeeper. There is no GPS functionality on the Basis Peak. Therefore, you will not get course mapping of your route. There is also no measurement of estimated distance.
The Basis app allows you to make adjustments to the time and day displayed with options of manually syncing your data and updating the firmware. You can also change your personal profile on the settings menu. Under support you can directly email basis about any issues or questions that you may have.
If you’re looking for the best women’s fitness tracker on the market, don’t miss our in-depth review right here.
Basis Peak Summary
The Basis Peak is a very solid activity / fitness tracker with some solid innovations. The habit tracking feature is a highlight. Grey areas include the requirement to wear the band tightly in order for heart rate monitoring to kick in, and actual analysis of your heart rate. The app does not tell you if your heart rate is at a good level or not. Nor does it explain or interpret your skin temperature. Lack of GPS and distance estimation, along with lack of comparable history for your days, weeks and months of activity are also problematic. The battery life is also not very good.
The Basis Peak does very well in some areas, but lacks some key elements. For such a high price tech band, this is a concern.
The Basis Peak Titanium edition is the regular Basis Peak with a Titanium body and leather band. In other words, the differences are almost entirely cosmetic. The Titanium edition of the watch does also come with a sports event activity strap. You swap this strap in when you want to do a workout.
The Basis Peak Titanium edition design of the Basis Peak looks great. It is extremely lightweight, rugged and comfortable to wear. You can easily swap out bands when you’re headed to work, so you can wear the device in all settings. The Peak has a back screen touch lit display. This makes the readout very easy to view and read in all light conditions. The display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3. That makes it virtually scratch proof.
The Basis Peak Titanium Edition is water proof down to 50 meters. Swimming, however, is not a recognized activity on the device. The battery life is about 4 days.
The Peak Titanium is an all day activity and sleep tracker as well as being a wrist based heart rate monitor. It has an optical sensor on the underside of the watch face. It tracks your 24/7 steps, calories burned, your heart rate and your sleep (but not your distance traveled). It also features a silent alarm and a stop watch.
As far as activity tracking goes, the Peak Titanium does a good job. However, it is not as motivating as some of the product offerings from FitBit and Garmin. That being said, the Peak allows you to clearly chart your progress over time. A couple of glaring omissions are that there are no move reminders or daily goals.
The Basis Peak Titanium have habits, which are rewards for achievement. The Peak Titanium does not have a built-in GPS. However, Basis does support integration with Runtastic. You can now get more detailed information about your running workout.
When it comes to workout tracking, the Peak will automatically detect your activity. However it will only do this for walking, running, cycling and sleeping. It does have a few annoying glitches, however. For instance, if you are doing a run and then stop for breather, it will end you running workout and begin a walking one. There is no allowance for you to create your own workout on this device.
The heart rate monitor is extremely accurate for walking, running and cycling. As a flow on effect from this, the calorie count is also very accurate.
The sleep tracking feature of the Peak Titanium is another high-light. In fact, right now, Basis have the best sleep tracking of any company out there.
The Basis Peak Titanium Edition will cost you about $100 more than the regular Basis Peak.
Three brands that are contending for the title of super watch are the Basis Peak, the FitBit Surge and the Microsoft Band. All three promise to do heart rate tracking, not just while you are working out, but 24 / 7. That includes while you’re sleeping and doing your normal daily activities. They all also have sleep tracking abilities, so you can go back and monitor your sleep activity.
The screen on the MicroSoft Band is a 1.4 inch color screen. The FitBit Surge and the Basis Peak both have 1.25 inch monochrome LCD screens. The Basis Peak and the FitBit Surge both have the ability to receive call and text notifications. The MicroSoft Band will give call and text notifications as well as integrating with email, and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The FitBit Surge and the Basis Peak are both completely water proof. The Microsoft Band is water resistant, but not entirely water proof; it is not recommended that you take it into the pool or the shower. All three devices have haptic feedback vibrating motors for notifications. However, only the Microsoft Band the FitBit Surge have a vibrating alarm to wake you up in the morning without disturbing others.
The FitBit Surge has the best battery life, with up to about 6-7 days of usage. The Basis Peak will give you 4 days on average, while the Microsoft Band will need recharging after 1-2 days of solid use.
Regarding fitness and calorie tracking, all three devices have a three access accelerometer, along with heart rate monitoring. However, the Basis Peak is the only one of the three that does not have built-in GPS. The FitBit Surge is the only one of the three that does not include a skin temperature sensor or a perspiration sensor. Microsoft have also added a UV sensor, which lets you know if you have gotten too much sun over the course of your day.
All three devices are compatible for Windows, iOS and Android. The Microsoft Band and the FitBit Surge both have fixed bands. Whereas the Basis Peak has bands that are replaceable with standard watch straps.
If you’re looking for a super watch fitness tracker that has a lot of Smart watch like capabilities, then the Microsoft Band is clearly the winner. However, if you’re after a device that is heavy on the data and sensors, then the Basis Peak is going to provide the sensors and functionality that the other devices don’t offer. Then again, if you are simply after an all around great platform that is intuitive, reliable and easy to use, then the FitBit Surge is a great choice.