Disclosure: This product was sent to me free of charge by LV to be reviewed. However, as per my PR info disclaimer, this review is my unbiased honest opinion of the product.
Product: Epson Pulsense PS-100
Age Range: n/a
Manufacturer’s Description: Pulsense is a next generation activity tracker that not only uses an accelerometer but an Epson-developed optical heart rate monitor as well. The addition of heart rate information opens up a whole new world of data to more accurately track your activities, sleep, calories burned and even how your state of mind effects your heart rate. You can’t fool your heart rate – if Pulsense is reading it, everything counts.
Review: I was sent the Epson Pulsense PS–100 about a month ago to review, and I tested it out for a few weeks. I have to say, I am less than impressed, which was a little disappointing to me.
I have to admit that until I was sent this piece of wearable tech, I had no idea that Epson had entered this rapidly growing market, and they are a brand that I associate with printers, not fitness tech.
The Epson Pulsense PS–100 is one of two devices that Epson make, with the PS–500 sporting a screen, unlike the PS–100 that solely uses vibrations & LEDs to notify the user of events. It monitors your heart rate using the built in monitor on the underside of the device, as well as measuring your movements using an accelerometer.
I found the Pulsense a little uncomfortable to wear. I was sent the S/M size and think that I may have been better off with M/L, however you do have to wear it snugly on your wrist in order for the heart rate monitor to work, so perhaps not. I found the catch to be a little bit unreliable as it slid sideways and got caught in things a few times. It is designed to hold the device snugly in place, but it just felt odd against my wrist.
I paired my device with my iPhone 5S and while I found the bluetooth pairing process fairly easy, the app itself was confusing and lacking in direction. I didn’t find it at all intuitive and to be honest a lot of the time I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, and the buzzes and flashing on the device didn’t make a lot of sense either. You can adjust the settings for the Pulsense notifications via the app, but throw in email and phone call notifications, low battery warnings, lost heart rate monitoring buzzes, and half the time I didn’t know what it was trying to tell me. I suppose given a bit more time I would get used to it, though.
The step counting and heart rate measurements seem accurate enough, and I liked the way that the app told me how long I spent in each heart rate zone. I found it too uncomfortable to wear to bed, so I don’t know how well it measures sleep. It also calculates calories burned which is helpful when you are trying to balance your calorie intake – which you can enter in the app – and your exercise levels. You can see your realtime heart rate from within the app, which is a handy feature for anyone who needs to keep an eye on their heart rate.
To interact with the device, you can either tap the LEDs on the front, or use the app. The app also allows you to set specific targets, and can help you by auto setting targets and fitness programmes. I found the lack of guidance on the app off putting when it came to using the more advanced features, though. There is a help section but it’s not very obvious, and to be honest I didn’t find it particularly helpful, either.
Visually, the Pulsense looks ok. It think that there are more attractive options on the market, and as it is something I’d want to wear all day every day, I would probably want something more appealing. It is also one of the bulkier options out there, which had me bashing it on things, although this is probably something I would get used to.
The battery life seems a bit short to me, and I don’t think it managed the 40 hours it was supposed to. The charger is a little bit awkward to use as it has a short cable, which had me leaving the wristband on the floor where it could have been stepped on easily.
Overall, I haven’t really enjoyed using this device, and it has left me a bit confused and unimpressed. I think that the app needs a lot of work to make it more user friendly – especially to people like me who would like to improve their fitness levels but don’t understand some of the jargon. I also think they could improve the comfort and appearance of the wristband. I certainly won’t be continuing to use the Epson Pulsense PS–100.
Just one star for this, I’m afraid. If it wasn’t so expensive it would have been two, but I wouldn’t pay £100 for this, let alone the RRP of £129.99!
I was sent this device by LV to try out for an article on their site – you can see the full article on their site here: Top ten smart fitness tech for 2015