Star.21, the newest kid on the block in wearable fitness trackers

I can almost hear the audible groan from the tech industry each time someone announces that they are developing yet another wearable fitness tracker. Ever since Fitbit launched the original Fitbit Classic and Jawbone launched the iconic Jawbone UP in 2011, a whole slew of companies and startups have rushed to join in the trend, producing wearable tracker after wearable tracker, each boasting that their device has so-and-so feature and this-and-that function which makes it stand out from all the rest.

Following Nike’s discontinuation of the Nike Fuelband, several publications have proclaimed that the fitness tracker is a fad that will fizzle out eventually. An article from the Business Insider states that “most of the data that is tracked today is not utilized effectively to help people make sustained changes to their behavior.” I couldn’t agree more – as the owner of a Fitbit Flex and the second generation Jawbone UP, I have to say that while much of tracking how many steps I take and the number of hours I sleep was a novelty at first, after a few weeks the excitement began wearing off, and I began to check my data less and less. Right now, I merely use the devices as a silent alarm clock in the morning.

With this in mind, I was understandably less than excited when I stumbled upon the Star.21 crowdfunding campaign on Pozible. Ugh, ANOTHER fitness wearable, I thought to myself. But what surprised me about the Star 21 is its gorgeous design and the principle behind the tracker – Star 21 aims to help its users to develop healthy habits that will stay with them for a long time, even if the novelty of a fitness wearable eventually wears off.

Unlike other fitness bands, which motivates you to begin your journey to better health but may not keep you motivated enough after some time to stick with the lifestyle, the Star.21 fitness band is based on the “21 Days Habit Formation” concept, which postulates – you guessed it – that it takes 21 days to form long-lasting habits. The band, together with its accompanying app Lifebalanz, aims to help users form healthy habits by gamification via a series of milestones that can be achieved by reaching their daily goals.

star21 game

The gamification in the Lifebalanz app motivates users to keep on keeping on

The Star.21 syncs wirelessly to the Lifebalanz app via Bluetooth BLE, and works on both Android and iOS. The data is presented graphically, and looks visually pleasing though the “Steps” interface is reminiscent of the Fitbit app, and the “Sleep Pattern Monitor” graphs reminds me of Jawbone’s own sleep pattern interface. Nevertheless the app is visually pleasing and easy to understand and use.

star21 step
star21 sleep

Step and sleep pattern interfaces on the Lifebalanz app

The device itself is also designed with beauty in mind, and the band with its jewel-like display will no doubt look gorgeous on one’s wrist. The display screen shows the time, as well as distance and calories progress for the day via an array of LED lights with each click of the function button located below the display.

Impressively, the Star.21 teams boasts 15 days of battery life and is splash-proof, a necessary feature if a fitness device is to blend inconspicuously into the wearer’s life. Charging is done via microUSB (no need for special USB chargers, whoopee!) and the bio-compatible thermoplastic polyurethane material makes the band hypoallergenic.

As mentioned, the Star.21 is currently available for grabs if you head to their Pozible crowdfunding campaign. The lowest pledge of 199 RMB for one Star.21 tracker band has been wiped out by eager pledgers, but the pledge for 249 RMB per black Star.21 is still up for grabs. The official retail price for the Star.21 after its official launch will be over 590 RMB so now is the perfect time to grab one at a discounted price. The crowdfunding campaign has already reached its target in just a couple of days, but the campaign will continue to run until the end of August.

Star.21 is developed by Oaxis Asia, a consumer electronics company established in Singapore, with  branches in Malaysia and Shenzhen.

Zen is a tech journalist with a fondness for tech gadgets and pandas. She is also a full-time grad student studying business journalism at Tsinghua University, and often spends much time dreaming about...

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