Papago! GoLife Care Smart Band Review

Rating:

The New Year is here and some may be feeling their “get healthy” resolutions waining. It’s tough to find motivation to get moving in the dead of winter, but the Papago Care Smartband Watch has the right stuff to alert wearers when they’ve been idle too long. It tracks everything from steps to sleep, but that’s not all this fitness band has to offer. For those that are looking for some smartwatch features blended into their wearables, the Care watch will send phone and text notifications straight to your wrist.

front papago

Design

face in hand papago

The Papago Care watch distinguishes itself from other fitness bands by adding a little metallic flare across its face. The brushed aluminum gives the band a refined look, separating it from a sea of rubber-clad designs. Indeed, once the novelty of fitness watches wear off, consumers are going to start paying more attention to style over specs. But this watch also has function baked into its form.

With a flick of the wrist the LCD display turns on to show the time—no more pressing buttons to display time. What’s more the display shows brightly in the dark—a distinct advantage over the always-on display of the Garmin vivofit ($149.99). Users will be able to flip through the day’s fitness stats by pressing the one button that adorns the right side of the watch. Owners will be able to see time, date, steps taken, distance walked, calories burned, and remaining battery life. The button was the only part of the watch that felt a little chintzy. It’s a tiny nit-pick, but the button has a long depression in order to actuate.

back papago

The Care comes with a black rubber band (also available in white) with an adjustable clasp that was able to fit on my petite wrist with plenty of room to spare for someone bigger than myself. Consumers will be glad they won’t have to fuss over sizing options, like with the Jawbone UP24 ($139.99). However, it would have been nice if Papago included two sized changeable bands, like Garmin did with its vivofit.

Features

The Care comes with all the usual fitness band features: the ability to track sleep, steps, distance traveled, and calories burned. However, the Care has some smartwatch features blended in with its primary fitness functions. The watch has the ability to notify users when they’re out of range of their smartphone. What’s more, push notifications that can be sent straight to the band. However, not every app will be equipped to talk with the watch. For instance, my third-party messaging app TextSecure didn’t seem keen on pushing notifications to the Care, nor did the device want to buzz me about them. However, the Care had no issues telling me when I was receiving a phone call or a text from my phone’s dedicated communication apps. So, users take note: there are limitations. Not to mention having Bluetooth on all day will affect the smartphone’s battery life.

With a flick of the wrist the LCD display turns on to show the time—no more pressing buttons to display time. What’s more the display shows brightly in the dark—a distinct advantage over the always-on display of the Garmin vivofit ($149.99). Users will be able to flip through the day’s fitness stats by pressing the one button that adorns the right side of the watch. Owners will be able to see time, date, steps taken, distance walked, calories burned, and remaining battery life. The button was the only part of the watch that felt a little chintzy. It’s a tiny nit-pick, but the button has a long depression in order to actuate.

back wrist papago

As for the watch, I was able to get about 10 days worth of battery life before a recharge was necessary. Longevity, all depends on how many notifications, alarms, and alert features are enabled. However, consumers that don’t want to be burdened with charging and recharging their watch every day should check out the Garmin vivofit, which boasts a 1 year battery life—it’s like a real watch.

For those that are looking for an extra push to get up and moving, users can set the Care to buzz their wrists every 15 minutes to 2 hours that they sit idle. This feature was handy from me as I could go hours at my desk without realizing how long I’d been sitting.

There’s also an option to setup a vibrating alarm. It’s not savvy, like the Jawbone UP24’s Smart Alarm that buzzes users to wake up when you’re in a state of light sleep before your designated wake time. The Care will track sleep, so users can get a visual idea of their habits (and if they may need to make a change). This function is enabled by simply pressing and holding the single button on the side of the watch. The GoLife can also sync with an ANT+ enabled heart-rate monitor and display stats.

App

The GoLife Fit app gives users the option to disable and tweak the features listed above. But app is pretty bare-bones compared to the Jawbone, which provided motivational goals for the day to push to get those extra steps in or get some more sleep. The GoLife Fit app is a way for users to manage their settings and see their progress from day-to-day, and though it may not have a slick design, like the Jawbone, it gets the job done.

Bottom Line

This product is perfect for: Consumers who want a few smartwatch features (without paying smartwatch prices) blended into their fitness wearables may have found their product. It’s push notifications and brushed aluminum face added a welcome bit of functional and fashionable value. Those looking to get in shape will also benefit from the band’s idle alert system.

Key things to be aware of: If you’re looking for a fitness watch first, the Jawbone UP24 may be a better fit. It provides more health tips and goals within its app—notifying users when a weight goal they’ve selected is unhealthy and articles on research done in the health and fitness field.

Final review score: 3.5 – The Papago Care has an eye-catching brushed aluminum design on the face of the watch that immediately distinguishes this product from the other rubber-clad offerings on the market today. Its push notifications go a step further, adding call and text alerts. But for those looking for a fitness watch first, these features may not be enough to satisfy health nuts. The Jawbone UP24 offers a slick app to help motivate you toward your fitness goal, providing tips to get on a healthy path. Likewise, the Garmin vivofit provides all the bare-bones health tracking one would need from steps to sleep, but with a 1 year battery life. All that’s left to do is weigh these options against its $149.99 price tag.

Summary
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Papago! GoLife Care Smart Band
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Natalie Shoemaker

Natalie found her passion for writing about tech when she started with PCMag. She has also written for Geek, GDGT and TechnologyTell.

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