Fitness bands, GPS watches and fitness watches are all the rage right now for fitness aficionados who are looking for more effective ways of keeping tracks of their workouts. Many of these devices use proprietary software to sync up the data, while there are some apps that simply let you use your smartphone to enter in your own data.
One such app is the MapMyFitness app, which is available for both iOS and Android. The company behind the app has now teamed up with Sync, a manufacturer of fitness bands, watches and more. One such device is the Sync Burn, which I've had a chance to use for a little over a week now.
Stylewise, the Sync Burn is pretty nice to look at. It has a sizeable LCD screen that is easy to see in direct sunlight, while the wristband is made of black plastic that also has red on the opposite side. The band can be flipped over to display the red side as well, while there are plenty of holes to use for adjusting the size and also to give you some ventilation.
The LCD screen comes in at 1.1 x 0.6 inches and is backlit with a blue hue, though the display itself is always on, so you don't need to press anything to see the information. To turn on the blue backlight, you press the two buttons found on the right hand side of the screen. The screen will stay on for a few seconds before turning off, though I would have liked to have a single button to turn on the light and not have to awkwardly press two buttons that are a little tough to get to when wearing the watch.
As for the main screen on the display, there is a status bar that informs you of your daily goals, with a display of the time and date, which is cool in that you can use the Sync just as a typical watch. You'll also see an odometer while a button press will show you how many steps you've taken and also how many calories you've burned throughout the day. The calorie burn display averages out what you'd burn regardless of a workout, so it adds it all up for you.
By pressing the top right button, you can see how you're doing on an hourly basis as well as how you're doing for the week. You can press the button again to see the workout screen if you just want to know how you're doing for the current workout.
By pressing the bottom button and holding it for a few seconds, you'll get to see your heart-rate, as there is a sensor on the backside of the screen. It works just fine, though I would've have liked to know what my heart rate is without having to hold a button down, which isn't made any better by the fact that you have to press the button down kind of hard.
As for the MapMyFitness app, you can use the Sync Burn's Bluetooth connectivity to sync up your workouts on the app, though it can only be done on the iOS version of the app. I was told the capability to do so on the Android version, would be coming shortly, though honestly, it should be available right now. Within the app, you can log workouts manually, enter information on nutrition and see what other friends are up to.
The workout summary shows your steps taken, distance walked, calories burned and times of the day you were working out, but sadly, when syncing your workout, it only syncs your overall workout. If you workout more than once in any given day, you can't sync an individual workout, which is an oversight in my opinion. I also found that when keeping track of distance, the Sync Burn underreported how far I had walked, as I tested it out when I knew the exact distance I was walking/running.
One really great thing about the Sync Burn is its battery life, which is estimated at one whole year. Keeping in mind that you can't recharge it and you have to replace it, it's way more battery life than what you get out of competing fitness watches, in fact, it's not even close.
At $99, the Sync Burn is still a pretty good device, that while suffers from a few deficiencies, also looks great, is comfortable and has extremely long battery life.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5
The Sync Burn can be purchased directly from Sports Authority, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and as of this week, at Best Buy.