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UA Healthbox review: You don't have to be a serious athlete to start a fitness routine

Florence Ion | Jan. 28, 2016
That's the point of the Healthbox: It includes everything you need to reach your fitness goals for just US$400.

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The UA Record app will sync your actual heart rate measured with the UA Heart Rate monitor.

I found that the heart rate monitor offered what seemed to be a more precise reading compared to the UA Band. I’m not sure which device takes precedence when the app archives a number, but the readout sure matched how I was feeling. The number might also factor in the fact that the heart rate monitor rests straight at the source, while the Band just pulls your pulse from the wrist.

It’s not that I’m not committed, but the heart rate monitor is just too awkward to wear to yoga class. I’m already slightly self-conscious and the last thing I need to worry about is a light-up dongle peaking through my sports bra. Which leads me to believe that this particular device works best in a gym setting, where you can actively check on your heart rate with your phone.

UA Scale

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The UA Scale greets you by name every time you step on it.  Credit: Florence Ion

Of all the products that come bundled with the UA Healthbox, the scale is the only one that’s reflective of HTC’s design prowess. But that’s to its detriment, because HTC’s penchant for shiny things has made the Scale a major attractor of dust and hair. It was terribly grimy after a week in my bathroom. Those basic glass-and-metal scales you see at Bed, Bath, and Beyond might look dated, but they’re much easier to clean than this oversized hockey puck. The UA Scale’s modern design just isn’t made for bathrooms.

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The scale is a major attractor of footprints, even if you have socks on. Credit: Florence Ion

Each time you step on it, the scale greets you by name, which it figures by weight. (It stores up to 7 additional weight profiles, too.) Then, it offers a readout of your body weight and body fat percentage, which it calculates using bioelectrical impedance—also known as measuring the electric currents through your body. It’s sounds neat, but pay mind that this is not considered a “gold standard” method of measuring body fat (you're not likely to find a simple at-home method that is, alas). When that’s all said and done, it syncs up the results with the UA Record app. 

I don’t deny that weight is an extremely touchy subject, but things got particularly touchy for me during my first few days with this product. Around the third or fourth time I stepped on the scale, it measured my weight at 10 pounds over what it had displayed minutes before. I then tried it in front of coworkers at the office to confirm my findings and, embarrassingly, it fluctuated 12 pounds between three separate readouts. Oddly, my male colleagues experienced more consistent readouts, with variances of only a few ounces in between.

 

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