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Basis Peak review: This is the band to buy if you obsess over heart-rate and sleep tracking

Jon Phillips | Nov. 6, 2014
The real-time heart-rate tracking isn't perfect, but it comes close. And with automatic sleep and exercise tracking, and an improved industrial design, the Basis Peak is much better than its predecessor.

Comfort? It's great. Even with the Peak battened down tightly on my wrist, I never felt like I was wearing anything, either during the day or while sleeping.

Notifications will make this great band better
With its current software build, the Basis Peak is still just an activity tracker, however advanced it may be. Smartwatch-style notifications for texts, phone calls, email and more will arrive by the end of the year as a free update. It's nice to have something to look forward to, but keeping these features dormant at launch puts the Peak behind the Microsoft Band and numerous other wearables in terms of smartwatch-fitness band convergence.

Who knows, maybe the notifications just weren't ready. Or maybe Basis wants to schedule one more news blitz for the height of the holiday buying season.

Regardless, for now we have a very competent fit-tech device. The Peak costs more than trackers from Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings and others, but with its automatic activity logging, improved aesthetics, and good-but-not-perfect heart-rate monitoring, it's certainly one of the top fitness wristbands around.

Would I depend on its real-time heart-rate monitoring if I were a serious athlete who needed indisputable data anytime, anywhere during any type of workout? No, not based on my testing experiences. But the Peak's data is certainly good enough for less exacting scenarios--like recreational hikes and cardio training in the gym. And when Basis' algorithms marry its new heart-rate data to data gathered by its other sensors--measuring steps, body temperature and perspiration--you should get a get a very good idea of just how hard you've been working out.


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