Dual-personality iFit Duo fitness tracker flips between digital and analog faces
For years, fitness monitors and smartwatches have packed a lot of cool functionality into rather unflattering packages. Unlike a stylish analog timepiece, a bulging digital watch with glow-in-the-dark numbers doesn't necessarily look great with a suit or even casual-Friday ensemble. To get the timeless look of a true analog face, however, you have to give up some of the smartwatch convenience of a digital display. Or do you? IFit has another solution: a rotating watch case that has a digital display on one side and a traditional analog face on the other.
We're not sure if iFit's two-faced solution will catch on, but it certainly is an interesting idea. The Duo comes in several different styles and looks, including the 1.5-in curved-edge rectangular face pictured above and a 1.4-in round face (just keep in mind that a 1.4-in round face has significantly more area than a 1.5-in square or rectangular face). Either analog face should blend easily with everything from super-casual errand-wear to more formal work clothes.
Instead of relying on a small, hard-to-read digital insert on the analog face, a digital strap display or some other half-baked compromise for delivering smartphone notifications and fitness metrics, the Duo has an entirely separate face for that. Simply spin the watch case around and you have a full digital display. We played with the Duo a little at CES, and it's quite easy to reverse faces – the case spins around and secures into place within a second or two.
With help from a three-axis accelerometer and other fitness-tracking hardware, the iFit digital face keeps track of steps, distance, sleep, calorie intake and calories burned. It's designed for use in walking, swimming, biking and running. The integrated Bluetooth LE lets you sync the watch up with heart rate monitors. Smartphone notifications include incoming calls, texts and emails.
The Duo is part of iFit's coordinated push into health and fitness hard goods and wearables. The company has been offering fitness software solutions since its founding in 1999, including technologies driving some of parent company Icon Fitness and Health's exercise equipment. This year the iFit brand will launch a number of wearables and hard goods of its own, including the Ridge and Peak GPS watches.
The Duo will launch later this year in several men's and women's styles, starting around $299. If you like the classic looks of the Duo's analog face but are worried about the durability of the rotating chassis, you might consider the iFit Classic, which will also launch this year. The Classic watch offers a similar platform with smartphone notifications and fitness tracking but with a single analog face. It shows fitness tracking via analog sub-dials and vibrates to you let you know when a new smartphone notification comes in.