Author: Sandra Vogel

Polar Loop Review

Like other activity trackers the Polar Loop counts steps and monitors progress towards daily activity goals, but it takes a slightly different approach to the norm because it can pair with a heart rate sensor. This makes the Polar Loop more versatile than other activity trackers. The Polar Loop is a sturdy wristband that is really comfortable to wear. The rubbery finish with silver highlight strips surrounding the display looks attractive, and after a month of wear it was as pristine as when it came out of the box. It is waterproof – and yes, you do burn calories...

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Garmin Vivosmart activity tracker brings new features to the Vivo range

Gamin has announced its second activity tracker, the Vivosmart. This follows up on the original Vivofit and adds a host of new features. Like its predecessor the Vivosmart learns about your individual fitness levels and sets personalised daily goals, and it follows the current trend in adding more integration with your phone. So, the Vivosmart can provide notifications of incoming texts, emails and calls via gentle vibration alerts and preview on your wrist as you exercise. Vibration alerts can also remind you of meetings or that you have been inactive for too long. Synchronisation with the Garmin Connect Mobile App is...

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Sony Walkman NWZ WS610 series – the next step in sports headphones

I’ve really liked the last two generations of Sony’s Walkman NWZ headset range and most recently reviewed the NWZ W273. Now Sony has taken its headset onto the next level with the NWZ WS610. There are two headsets in this range. WS613 Walkman – RRP £130 4GB of built in storage WS615 Walkman – RRP £170 16GB of built in storage Both will be on sale from mid-October. The built in storage is accessed like a USB stick – just by connecting the headset and your PC. You can drag music across easily. This new version of Sony’s comfy...

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Sony SmartBand Talk coming soon

Sony has announced an update to its SmartBand wrist worn activity monitor. The new SmartBand Talk ‘lifelogger’ justifies its name by having a built-in microphone and speaker, and a short call function so you can talk into it and hear your caller, with HD Voice support. This makes it possible to have phone calls when you’re on the move or your phone is out of reach. In addition, through Sony’s integrated Voice Control technology, you can assign your own sounds to life bookmarks and use your voice to carry out specific smartphone operations. SmartBand Talk has a curved, always-on 1.4-inch e-paper...

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Freeloader iSIS portable solar charger review

I’m a big fan of solar chargers. If you can charge devices with no more than the power of the sun, what’s not to like? Well, quite a lot, actually, For example how about absence of sun, the fact that chargers can take a while to charge, difficulty with access to all the connectors you need and relatively low charge capacity. I’ve had a few Freeloader solar chargers in my time, and never really found one that I’d be prepared to use long term. I think I’ve turned that corner with the Freeloader iSIS. It isn’t without its annoyances,...

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New Timex Ironman One GPS+ smartwatch for fitness fans

  The new Timex Ironman One GPS+ has launched in the US. Unlike other watches this one does not need to pair with a handset to provide connected features. Things like live tracking are catered for by built in communications. The watch has built in messaging facilities and can even handle email. It can send an SOS style alert just in case you should ever need to. It also has 4GB of storage so you can carry motivational music around with you, and Bluetooth allows it to pair with wire free headphones. It has a colour touchscreen. Primarily aimed...

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FitTechnica meets Fiona Oakes – two time Marathon des Sables veteran and ultra runner

Fiona Oakes is a truly inspirational athlete. In 2013 she broke three world records and is now the fastest woman to run a marathon on each Continent and the North Pole in elapsed and aggregate time. This year she completed the toughest foot race on the planet for the second time – the Marathon des Sables. Fiona has to fit all this in between caring for 400 rescued animals – www.towerhillstables.com. I was delighted to get the opportunity to talk to Fiona recently about her achievements, her training regime and her advice for more ordinary runners like me.  ...

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Tour de France Grand Depart, Ilkley – a spectacular event

Ilkley is a town I know well – I visit regularly. But this weekend’s visit has been like no other, as this weekend the Grand Depart came through. What a spectacular experience it has been. In the centre of town what is usually an open grassy area by the river Wharfe has becomes a mini village of giant TVs, information tents and displays. There are viewing platforms and of course closed roads. The race route itself is marked out with yellow bicycles – and yellow is everywhere. If you have watched any of the Tour on TV you will...

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Helly Hansen W Feather jacket review

Helly Hansen is one of the most highly regarded makers of outdoor clothing. The Norwegian company has a great reputation among those who spend time in extreme conditions. Sailors are well acquainted with the brand and many orienteers won’t go to any other maker for their base layer. Such people know how rough the wind can be. Out on the open sea or tanking across windswept moorland, and of course cycling down hills at speed, the wind can be cruel. In such conditions you might not always need waterproofing from an outer layer, but wind protection is a must....

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Fitbit app adds MobileRun for iPhone users, Android to follow

FitBit has updated its iPhone app with MobileRun. The feature uses GPS on a smartphone to accurately track, log and compare runs, walks and hikes efficiently and easily. An Android app is to follow soon. The newest version of the Fitbit app works with all Fitbit activity and sleep trackers: Flex, One and Zip – as well as with the MobileTrack function on the iPhone 5s version of the Fitbit app. Through GPS integration, MobileRun allows users to track and elevate training or workouts with real-time updates and key stats from individual runs, walks and hikes, including exact route,...

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