ET Recommendations: Gadget, game and app
However, due to the inclusion of heart-rate tracker, it is slightly fatter than the usual fitness-tracking bands available today.
Get it for: Rs 13, 990
Vivosmart HR is Garmin’s cheapest offering with a continuous, wristbased, heart-rate tracker. Garmin is one of the few brands that offer many more features than basic activity tracking on their fitness wearables — the Vivosmart HR is no different.
Apart from basic step tracking, distance and calories, it also tracks the number of floors climbed using the built-in barometric altimeter. Garmin’s signature move-bar reminds you to get up and move around if you are inactive for more than one hour. It continuously monitors and displays your heart beat and displays your current as well as resting heart rate onscreen for quick view during workouts. Once you connect it to your smartphone (iOS- and Android-supported), the Vivosmart also shows your incoming notifications (calls, SMS, email, social media), weather conditions and even lets you control music playback. There is an easy-to-use, iconbased onscreen menu to switch between activity modes, set an alarm, initiate Bluetooth pairing, or to access additional settings.
The band itself is comfortable to wear for long durations and is water-proof. However, due to the inclusion of heart-rate tracker, it is slightly fatter than the usual fitness-tracking bands available today. On top is a 2-inch monochrome display, which is always on and is easy to read even in direct sunlight. A good feature is that you can choose the orientation of the display according to your preference from the Garmin app — horizontal or vertical. The touchscreen display lets you swipe left/right to see various counters and swipe up to view detailed sta t s .
There is also a hardware button next to the screen that brings up the options menu. Underneath is the heart-rate tracker and charging pins — it uses a proprietary charging cable that locks on to the band firmly. Battery life on a single charge is up to 5 days, which is great considering it is tracking your heart rate the entire time. Overall, the Vivosmart HR is a great option for fitness enthusiasts who want more than just basic fitness tracking.
Game for iOS
Get it for: Free
Games can be fun and soothing at the same time.
Polyforge steers clear of very complicated graphics and instead opts for a soothing palette, aesthetic design and calming atmospheric music and sound effects.
The objective is simple: each level has a spinning object with multiple sides (rendered in 3-D) and there’s a spinning arrow as well.
You tap anywhere on the screen to make the arrow strike each side of the object.
Game controls can’t get any simpler than this — it’s just a screen tap. You have to strike each face of the object only once. Hit twice and the level resets.
Plus, you have to complete one level to move to the next, which is a more challenging one. It’s more a test of your timing and reflexes, set to some lovely music.
The developers recommend headphones for the best effect and they truly are needed to appreciate the finer nuances of the audio like the tiny ‘plinks’ on the piano.
Some ads will appear from time to time but they are never intrusive. If you want to remove the ads forever, pay Rs 60 via in-app purchase.
App for Android
Get it for: Free
A common issue while travelling is losing touch with news. Because of government regulations, FM stations cannot broadcast news bulletins. This is where the free Khabri app proves to be handy.
Khabri delivers summarised news as audio clips, recorded by professional voiceover artists, directly to your phone. The main screen has a quick play button — tap it to instantly start recitation of the latest news.
You also have the option to choose between ‘all news’ or a particular category (like India, world, business, technology, sports or entertainment).
If you are worried about using up too much of your mobile data connection, you can download news clips to your device over WiFi for offline use. The app also gives you the link to read the full story — direct from the source.
An added advantage is that you don't need to look at a screen — so you can catch up with the news while doing something else.
We found that the audio quality was impressive and the app worked great on a 3G/4G connection with no buffering. Khabri is a unique offering as far as news aggregators go.