I was recently sent the Philips Health Watch and loaned the Philips Body Analysis Scales for review. Here is how I got on with both of them and using the Philips Health App.
The Philips Health Watch Review.
What Does The Philips Health Watch Actually Do?
The Philips Health Watch is a health tracker. As part of tracking your health it keeps an eye on various things in your day-to-day life. It monitors the following – some with the help of your input on the watch itself or on the Philips Health App which it works alongside.
Continuous heart rate
Resting heart rate
Heart-rate derived metrics
Overall condition indicators
Resting respiration rate
VO2 max estimate
Active minutes, calorie burn
Automatic activity recognition
Walking, running, cycling
Minutes of inactivity
Time slept, efficiency and stages
There is a reminder service on the watch, that will make it buzz at regular intervals where you have been sedentary for a certain period of time, to remind you to move. You can adjust how long this period of time is and even mute the alert if you find it distracting or annoying. It is quite a subtle buzz.
Ease of Set-Up and Use.
The screen on the watch is a good size, which makes it very easy to see clearly the time or whatever stat you are looking at on the watch. You can also select to invert the colours for either a black screen with white icons and clock, or a white screen with black icons.
Plus you can choose between an analogue clock or a digital one.
The watch was really easy to set up, it just needed a quick charge via its usb charging cradle to start it up. I downloaded the Philips Health App and followed along with the instructions to pair the watch and app together and set it up properly. Very simple to do and the syncing worked first time for me.
There is an instruction book included with the watch, but I found I didn’t really need it and it was fun discovering all the different uses and more on my own.
You can set the App up to know what your aim is, weight loss, being more active or simply monitoring your health. They really do make it so easy to do. If you own additional Philips Health devices, you can also add them to the app easily.
You can set targets within the app for how many steps you want to achieve each day and how many calories you want to burn. The App helps you to work out the amount of calories you want to burn once you’ve set the watch up and told it what your goal is. Obviously your calorie needs will be different if you want to lose weight, or if you just want to monitor your health and maintain.
The watch itself has a menu on it, which you open by placing your finger over the square at the top of the watch face. It’s handy to open it easily, although to move around the inner menus you need to swipe rather than tap, which does take a bit of getting used to.
At first I was swiping across the centre of the watch face, which kept making me select the wrong things, but swiping clockwise or anticlockwise around the ring part actually works.
One little niggle I found with the watch and indeed the app, is that if you accidentally add something such as too many calories, then there appears to be no way to remove the mistake. On the first day of using it I added loads more calories on the app than I meant to and was stuck with it within my results.
As well as navigating the menu, the ring on the face of the watch can also be used for seeing how you are getting on with your daily goals. A swipe of the finger and you can see your current beats per minute pulse rate, how many steps you have taken so far that day, calories burned, total calories consumed if you have added them in, and how many minutes you have been active during the day.
It is really handy to be able to access the information quickly. You can also double tap the screen at the bottom to lock and unlock the watch. The battery on the watch lasts for quite a long time. I found I was having to charge it every three to four days, which isn’t bad at all really.
How Accurate Is The Pedometer Feature?
With previous step counters, I have found that it is possible to cheat – mostly by accident – and add extra steps to your tally. However the Philips Watch seems to be extremely accurate. It knows the difference between just typing on a keyboard and jiggling your hands about and actually moving.
It knows that I really do not move around enough during the day at all and it really won’t be fooled. I actually attempted to make the step count higher by cheating to see if it would and no matter what I did other than walking, the count did not go higher.
What Is Special About The Philips Watch?
The Philips Health Watch isn’t a cheap buy, quality items rarely are. It isn’t however an overpriced pedometer, its functions stretch further than that.
For me I think one of the coolest parts of the Philips watch is that it knows what you are doing. Not in a creepy there’s a hidden camera inside way – yeurk to that thought – but in that it automatically changes its mode and knows what activity you are doing.
When you are walking it automatically shows the symbol for walking and being active. When you cycle it is supposed to switch automatically to that mode, though I have found with an exercise bike you do need to tell it that that’s the activity you are doing, by selecting the bike on the menu and starting it that way.
It also knows when you run. Very clever in my opinion and nice not to have to keep selecting what you plan to do before doing it. I am one of these people who will go for a run with a running watch on and then realise at the very end of the run, that I forgot to hit ‘go’ and it hasn’t recorded anything, So definitely good for the absent-minded.
The accuracy is a big selling point to me. It also tells you how well you have slept via a graph on the health app. You can see how many hours you were in a deep sleep for. Some mornings this made a lot of sense to me as to how tired I was regardless of how many hours I was actually in bed.
The watch itself is also really light and you do forget it’s on your arm pretty quickly. I have small wrists and found that the strap fitted me on the tightest setting. The strap itself goes up a huge amount in size by using the different notches. Not only that, but they have also included an additional smaller strap part to swap with the one that comes connected to the watch, for people with even smaller wrists.
It really does cater for everyone that way.
Room For Improvement.
As I’ve stated above, there appears to be no way to remove data when you’ve put it in incorrectly. I found this a little bit frustrating, although it did make me more careful when doing so. This is only a small niggle.
On one of the nights when I was wearing the watch, it recorded no night-time data at all. Even after I set the watch to know that I was sleeping. I have no idea why this is and it doesn’t bother me that much as I’m not worried about monitoring my sleep patterns especially. I already know that I go to bed way too late for early mornings and I am always tired.
The only other thing that I think could improve the experience of the watch, would be to have not only the Health App, but also an app for chrome or a website to use on my laptop to look at results. The screen of my phone is pretty small and I would love to be able to see weeks worth of results all in one place, where I can actually see the results and patterns clearly.
My Verdict on The Philips Health Watch.
As a tool to assess and monitor your health, I think it’s fantastic. If you have a health condition which affects your blood pressure especially, this is an unobtrusive piece of kit, which I can see being an essential.
If you want to lose weight, then I can also see this being really helpful as it really will remind you to be more active and monitor things for you. However if you are already really active and looking to improve your fitness via a sport such as running, then I think you’d miss out not having GPS tracking of your runs. Accurately monitoring your respiration and heart rates could convince real fitness fans still to choose it though I suspect.
For me, as someone who has monitored her activity for two weeks and discovered that she moves way too little and as the scales below have told me, is made up of a lot of fat – lovely – this watch is great. Possibly exactly what I need at my current level of health and fitness – or lack there of.
After monitoring myself honestly for two weeks to see just how active I am, I am now intending to use the watch to improve on that. To get my step count up, get my calories burned up and get my body mass index down.
Basically the watch is doing what it should, monitoring my health for me and helping to let me know that it really does need to be improved. The Philips Health Watch is going to be staying on my arm for a long time. I’ll let you know at some point in the near future how I am getting on with using it to aide my weight loss and general health.
The Philips Body Analysis Scales
The Philips scales were really easy to set up and use. There is a small button on the back that you can use to sync the scales with the Philips Health app. It worked first time just like the Health Watch did, which is a rarity for me usually when trying to sync and connect things together. Once connected your weight and body mass index and composition can be synced to the app on your phone or device.
This is really handy. The scales were initially set to kilograms, which is really not how my brain works with weights. I use stones and lbs and really am rubbish at trying to convert between the two. Luckily the same button that is used to sync the app and scales, can also be used to change the type of weight measurement.
I was much happier once I had changed it to stones. However frustratingly, you can’t set the app to work in stones and pounds. This was a little annoying, as when measuring progress on the app I would want it in stones not kilograms. Hopefully a future app update may alter this.
Usually how much I like a new set of weighing scales is in direct correlation with the result they give me when I stand on them. With the Philips body analysis scales, I stood on them and they told me I was 3 lbs lighter than my current bathroom scales were telling me. So basically it was love at first weigh.
I fell a teeny bit out of love with them once they also calculated how much of my body was actually composed of fat. Let’s just say a lot more than I am happy with.
The scales that I was sent were black, looked absolutely lovely, but were also every bloggers’ nightmare when it came to trying to take photos of them. Black and highly reflective, there was no way I was going to take my planned image of me standing on them and every photo I tried to take didn’t show them off properly.
So you can either look on the Philips site to see what they look like in black, or watch the small YouTube video by Philips below that shows them off a bit more.
I can’t speak for their accuracy weight wise, but since they did make me lighter, I am inclined to trust that they are highly accurate … They also look absolutely lovely and are really slim considering how clever they are.
As I said above, they work out your percentage of body fat when you stand on them and the result can be viewed via the Philips Health App. A scary result for me, but it is forcing me into action, so I am so glad that I used them.
You can no longer live in denial when things like that are there in black white. Considering the increased risk of health issues for someone with a high body fat percentage and sedentary life style, the Philips analysis scales and the watch are a formidable team in telling you the truth. The cold hard, slightly hard to take but really important truth.
The scales I have only borrowed and so they will be going back, but I am actually planning to invest in a set of them myself the next time I have birthday money or am paid in vouchers. They really are brilliant and work so well with the Philips Health Watch and App. You can also save up to 8 users’ details on the App for the scales, so the whole family can use them if they wish to.
Wish me luck on getting my bmi and body fat percentage down, and hitting my new fitness targets!