It is easy to associate Razer with gaming items, but CES 2014 clearly showed that the company is trying to enter the fitness tracker/smartband market – a first shot at lifestyle.

The Nabu is a black wristband that combines basic fitness tracking and uses an OLED screen to display notifications. A year later, the Nabu X appeared, but instead of an OLED screen, it uses three LED lights to notify almost everything, at an easily accessible price tag.

The Nabu never exactly saw much commercial exposure, but the Nabu X is clearly out and about for a relatively cheap SG$79.90 as compared to other brands in the market. If you were lucky, the band was also going for a 1-for-2 bundle which made it only cost less than SG$40.

At such an affordable price and with the promised amount of features it offers to gamers, or hybrid gaming-sports junkies (you will now why I use this term soon enough), the band and its software presents itself as a no frills activity tracker with the ability to notify you of phone messages and calls. That’s all.

The black silicone rubber that makes the band gives it a very simple, almost boring, look and has a side effect of easily attracting dust. It wraps around the wrist comfortably and has a double-teeth clasp that goes into the holes on the free-size strap.

The fit is secure, but can get warm after awhile. Having compared it to the band of the Jaybird Reign, the Nabu X isn’t as comfortable to keep on for long hours and does get in the way should you decide to sleep with it on to track your sleep.

The pod inside the band has a 3-axis accelerometer that is responsible for counting your steps and tracking the overall distance of the day. It syncs with both Android and iOS via Bluetooth and vibrates to notify you of incoming messages, emails and whatever you set it to vibrate to.

The three round LEDs also light up to notify you of what kinds of messages are coming. The variations and color combinations can be customised to your liking. You can also tap twice to update yourself on the daily fitness goals, or the band’s battery life.

To get the most out of your band, you will actually need three different apps, which is by far one of the biggest deal breakers I have. The Utility app handles pairing with the Nabu X and shows system information like remaining battery and settings for sleep tracking and alarms. A separate Home app lets you view the Nabu X’s stats as a widget in your phone. It is a wonder why Razer cannot put the two apps as one. As a social feature, the Pulse function lets you interact with someone else’s Nabu X and hints at some form of gamification for interested developers.

Finally, Razer’s Fitness app is the one that displays your steps, distance traveled, and calories burned in real time. It also tells you how much sleep you got the previous evening.

In all, the Nabu X doesn’t fail at any of its purposes but neither does it excel at anything in particular. It is a decent activity tracker and a phone companion wrist band for notifications, but with the recent release of apps like Google Fit and Apple Health, the wristband is currently able to do what phones can already do. However, if you want to get a band just to be like the rest, it does what it is meant to do.

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Garbage Bag Juice

Garbage Bag Juice

A group of gamers and geeks ranting about how they feel towards technology, games, and other stuff that fits their lifestyle, lead by a narcissistic Alpha.

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