Dec 19, 2014
Being fit is gently moving on from being a pastime to being a habit of successful people. Of course, as the need to be healthy becomes more pervasive, it is natural to see more and more tools that have a mobile component. It makes sense… smartphones are the ubiquitous pocket companions.
The Pear System looks to bridge this gap, first by being a veritable heart rate measuring tool, and then by wirelessly connecting data via one’s Android device.
The review package Pear send to us highlights the system; the review packet contains the Pearl heart rate monitor, a chest strap, headphones and a carrying pouch. Most of th pieces are bathed or accented in bright blue. The HRM unit is diminutive, with the company logo tastefully stamped on the front. The back has two press-in buttons and the battery cover. The strap is black, with the press-in receptacles, and is adjustable and stretchy. The headphones look simple, but have interesting buds, and there is a button on the right ear. Finally, the carry pouch is light and zippered.
Setup is fairly easy; it involves getting the strap, and attaching the heart rate monitor onto it. The HRM has a bluetooth module, and this can be paired with Android devices via the associated Pear app. When working well, the headphones become an invaluable piece: they are quite comfortable, and transmit data over whatever sounds (like music) are going on the holding device. All together, it is a great idea; the strap is worn on the chest, headphones to ears, and the app records time of workouts, distance and calories.
In practice, I thought the HRM unit worked well, mostly in step with other measurement tools. For runners, it’s nice that the app interfaces with partner apps like MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal.
My gripes center around said app. Subsequent pairings were finicky, and I did catch crashes periodically.. Also, the app serves as a conduit to procure better plans and coaching, there are not a lot of free ones. I do like the in-ear stats, and the web portal.
When it’s all said and done, I honestly feel the Pear System is a decent option, and at $80 (per Amazon), the combination is not too pricey. I think it’s best value is for the fitness adherent willing to invest in the advanced tools that the system provides.