It seems like a new fitness tracker comes out every day, rendering the one on your wrist obsolete. Magellan’s Echo Fit aims to combat that planned obsolescence.
The waterproof Echo Fit ($129.99, or $179.99 with Bluetooth Smart heart-rate monitor) is designed to evolve with the fitness apps it uses. Essentially it acts as a face for compatible fitness apps (the company signed up 20 as of this writing, and aims to grow that number soon). Data from those apps appears on the Echo Fit’s screen so you don’t have to whip out your phone every time you want to check speed or distance. The idea is the Echo Fit, like your smartphone, will get more advanced as the apps evolve.
It currently works with popular sport apps including AllTrails, iMobileIntervals, iSmoothRun Pro, Jog Note, MapMyFitness, MapMyHike, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, MapMyWalk, RunKeeper, Strava, and Wahoo Fitness. Magellan is also working to sign up a few ski apps.
You’ll need your smartphone with you to make the Echo Fit work, which is one potential downside of the system. But we’re still fans. In on-the-floor demonstrations, both Wahoo Fitness and Strava apps synced seamlessly to the smartwatch. I could start, stop, and pause my workout and access real-time data—all without touching my phone.
The app makers are even able to design an interface specifically for the Echo Fit, so the watch changes its look as you change apps. It can also display incoming texts and call data, show emails, send Facebook alerts, and more.
We dig that the Echo Fit uses a coin-cell battery, so it doesn’t need to be recharged constantly. The device can also pair with a heart-rate belt and capture that data—regardless of whether or not you run with an app that syncs heart rate. Available by early spring.