- Long-lasting, replaceable battery
- Very easy to set up and use
- OLED display is a pain
- App is simple, no actionable insights or tips
- Virtual coaching plans aren’t ready yet
The best part about this budget, beginner fitness tracker is how easy it is to use. You don’t have to push any buttons or input any data, other than at set up. You can sync it once per day to get an overview of your activity and goals and it’s all easy to understand. It is also so light that we could sleep with it on every night without it being bothersome. It’s priced low enough to be a decent device for those wanting to get their feet wet in the activity tracker category. The screen’s responsiveness is shabby, at best, but doesn’t stop you from being able to use it. We believe this is a viable device for anyone looking to get into wearables, but have minimal fitness needs. The wireless scale, too, is nothing special but very cheap. What could make the NuYu system really great is the incoming coaching plans so watch this space.
We’ve seen fitness trackers, smart scales, sleep monitors and coaching apps from almost every wearable tech brand going but NuYu is one of the first to offer everything in one affordable system.
Health o Meter’s wellness package isn’t quite complete yet – the $500 Sleep System mat which warms and cools your nighttime temperature is due in October. But we have been able to test the $50 Personal Activity Monitor and $60 Wireless Scale over a few weeks for this review. Does it offer real bang for buck?
NuYu Personal Activity Monitor: Design
The tracker itself is a small device, only slightly larger than a postage stamp, with a hard plastic case and a small monochrome OLED screen. The backside of the case is removable so you can replace the standard CR2032 coin cell battery.
The monitor comes with both a wristband (available in seven colours) and a magnetic clasp, both made from soft silicone and very lightweight. You attach the monitor to either band by stretching it around the exterior of the case and fitting it into the groove.
The width of the wristband is only 0.5-inches, and both the wristband and magnetic clasp with the monitor attached, weighs just seven ounces. The Monitor is also water resistant to 30m so it’s fine to leave on in the shower.
As you can probably tell, the device is designed to feel nearly undetectable on your wrist. It’s very light and thin. Anyone that has trouble getting used to having something bulky on their wrist will appreciate this form factor.
NuYu Personal Activity Monitor: Activity tracking, sleep and hardware
NuYu’s tracker is a simple, day to day step counter at heart. The OLED screen displays the time, total distance moved, estimated calories burned, percent of the goal achieved, and number of steps taken. To see any of this information, swipe your finger across the bottom of the screen to wake it. Then, scroll between data by swiping from left to right or right to left (no matter which direction you swipe, the categories move forward).
This is where we had serious issues.
No matter how soft, hard, quick, slow, or mid-paced we swiped at the screen, we always had difficulty waking the display. We regularly had to swipe four or five times to activate it. It was very frustrating. Especially when we just wanted to check the time on the go.
The screen itself isn’t a problem – it’s small and frill-free but it stays lit for approximately four seconds and then goes back to sleep which helps keep from running the replaceable battery down too fast. When you wake it again, it displays the last viewed screen.
As for accuracy of the step tracker, it was comparable to that of the step tracker on our Apple Watch with only a slight variation when worn on the wrist. However, when we secured the monitor to a belt loop using the magnetic clasp, it failed to track our steps properly. On one particularly inaccurate day, the Apple Watch counted 7,400 steps while the belt-attached NuYu monitor only counted 3,676.
The NuYu tracker also keeps an eye on your sleep habits by noting when you’ve gone to sleep and when you’ve woken up. It is sensitive enough to note when you’ve gone from restless to light to deep sleep and back again and analyse the data to present you with a quality score.
It gives you a general idea of how much sleep you are getting and, as we mentioned, Health o Meter’s Sleep Mat, which is designed to keep you at a comfortable sleeping and waking temperature, is set to join the system in October.
NuYu Wireless Scale: Design and features
To help you compare your daily activity with your weight goals, Health o Meter offers a NuYu wireless scale that syncs via Bluetooth with the companion app. It’s a typical glass top scale, available in black or white, that measures 13-inches squared.
After you’ve downloaded and installed the app on your smartphone, you can connect the wireless scale to track your weight. The scale weighs you accurately the first time, every time and we really like that this scale wakes up immediately with the first step.
When you input information about your age, gender, height, and weight into the app, it will estimate your BMI. This isn’t as accurate as having a doctor discuss your body mass index. But it gives you an idea of what type of fitness goals you should set which brings us neatly to the app.
NuYu: The app
When synced with the monitor and wireless scale, the companion app for iOS and Android provides you with info about how many steps you’ve taken and the distance you’ve walked, plus the percentage of your goal that you’ve reached. It also displays your sleep status and weight, with how many pounds you have to lose or gain to reach your goal.
It’s all fairly standard fitness app stuff. Tap on a category to view the details of the data on a graph represented hourly, weekly, monthly, or yearly by month.
Some of this information seems a bit wonky. For example, we intentionally didn’t wear the tracker one day and, although it doesn’t show that we took any steps that day, our progress showed that we had a number of steps to go that was lower than the starting goal. As the goals are set manually, it’s unlikely this was simply auto-adjusted to reflect the lack of progress in just one day.
There’s also no actionable insights or tips for free – the NuYu virtual coach costs $19.99 for a 12 week program of exercise guidance and nutritional advice. This is launching in October and looks pretty promising with weekly shopping lists, workout videos and personalised recommendations based on goals and progress. We’ll update this review when the plans are available to download.