Never have we spent so long reviewing a single product as we have the Basis Peak. We first received this fitness tracker and sports watch in November, but vowed not to complete the review until the notifications features landed in December.
Those features didn't arrive until January, and in between crippling syncing problems and losing the charger in Las Vegas, we're fairly sure no-one else has used the Peak so long.
But let's start from the beginning.
Firstly, let's get looks out of the way. Back in August, Intel wearable chief Mike Bell said the Basis Peak “looked better from the back" – and he wasn't kidding. The Peak comes in black or white, and while the white is a little more ostentatious, we'd say it wins out.
Ours was black, black and black. The black rubber strap has a nice texture, but its effect is nulled when it meets the oh-so-square bezel of the Peak's face. Even the LCD panel at the back is black, and there's a backlight, if you swipe up along the right-hand bezel, hich we totally missed at first (thank you Bob190 for pointing this out).
There is a vibrant red streak at the back of the strap…that's the bit that faces into your skin.
The screen is a 1.25-inch monochrome LCD protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3. It's tough and stubborn, and not going to be damaged by any knocks or scrapes. What's more, it's waterproof to 50 metres (5ATM) so it's good in the pool as well as in the gym. The screen is also touch sensitive, so you can swipe through your stats quickly.
The metrics tracked by the Basis Peak are pretty mind-blowing. When it's on your wrist, it constantly tracks your steps, calories and heart rate.
That puts it in the same league as the Fitbit Charge HR, but the Peak has more tricks up its sleeve. It also keeps tabs on your galvanic skin response (sweat) and skin temperature, too.
Aside from tracking your activity on its own, the Basis Peak can also be paired with apps like RunKeeper as a heart rate monitor, feeding into your other metrics. However, you can pick up a strap for around £25/$30 that does the same thing, so the Peak places a high value on its own tracking metrics.
There's a lot to digest here, so let's see how it fares.