Amazon’s Halo Fitness Band is its first foray into the fitness tracker space and is currently available exclusively via early access invitation for US residents.
If you’re one of those early adopters and recently received your new Halo fitness band from Amazon, you likely learned that there are many features and things to set up!
In this article, we take a deep dive with our Halo band and show you the tips that worked for us to set up and use the tracker.
So let’s get going!
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- 1 Amazon’s Halo Fitness Band details
- 2 Amazon Halo Setup – the basics
- 3 How to pair your Amazon Halo Fitness Band with your mobile phone or tablet
- 4 Set up your Amazon Halo Fitness Tracker with the app
- 5 Amazon Halo Fitness tracker, beyond the basics
- 6 Main Halo activity dashboard
- 7 Live tab on the Halo App
- 8 The Labs Section of the Halo App offers a wide variety of choices.
- 9 Amazon Halo Tracker Privacy and other Settings
- 10 First Impressions of Amazon’s Halo Fitness Tracker
Amazon’s Halo Fitness Band details
The Halo Fitness band comes in a nice attractive package with a good product to package ratio.
The product package should contain the following essentials to get you started:
- Halo Fitness Band
- USB Charging cord–there is no charging block. You’ll need a USB port or an adapter.
- Starter Booklet
Not having a display for the device actually helps speed up the setup process.
The initial setup process for the Halo tracker is super easy and convenient. You set up the fitness tracker in just a couple of minutes, and your new tracker is ready to put to the test!
So let’s run through those steps–follow along with us below.
Amazon Halo Setup – the basics
First off, place the tracker on its charging unit, connect the charger’s USB to a USB port, use a USB adapter or hub, and connect it to a wall outlet.
Before you can actually charge the Halo, remember to pull off the sticker from the fitness tracker’s back.
I learned that lesson the hard way when my Halo wouldn’t charge.
Once you remove the sticker, press on the charging clamp and insert the fitness tracker in a way so that the four charging contacts (look like dots) on the back of the tracker align with the charging points in the charger.
How do I know if the Halo Band is charging?
When the Amazon Halo band is successfully charging, you see a familiar red light on the side of the device.
When you first charge the device, you see a blinking white light suggesting that your tracker is ready to be paired with your mobile device.
Another tip to remember is that your Halo tracker’s button should face outward when the tracker is being placed charged inside the charger.
The Halo’s lights explained.
- The light turns green when your Halo tracker is completely charged.
- The light is red when it’s charging.
- The light is white when it’s ready to pair.
How to pair your Amazon Halo Fitness Band with your mobile phone or tablet
Once you charge your Halo, it’s ready to pair with your mobile device. We found that our Halo band came charged straight out of the box!
So, it only took a few minutes of charging before the white light came on, letting us know it’s ready to be paired.
While you wait for your Halo to charge, get your mobile phone ready!
- First, download and install the ‘Amazon Halo’ app from Apple’s app store or Google’s Play store.
- The Amazon Halo app is compatible with iOS 12.0 or greater and Android 7.0 or greater.
- Make sure your Bluetooth is on and working on your mobile device.
- Once you install the Halo app, follow the prompts to provide it access to Bluetooth.
- Tap on ‘OK’ to get started with the pairing.
Set up your Amazon Halo Fitness Tracker with the app
The initial pairing process was a breeze!
Once you start the pairing process and enter your Amazon account credentials, you are prompted to enter details such as your birthdate, sex, height, and weight.
This information is used to calculate accurate calories and other workout related metrics.
The setup process guides you through setting up notifications. You can set up notifications to alert you when your Band is fully charged and ready.
We liked this feature and found it helpful. We appreciated getting alerts when the Halo’s battery level was low, so we know exactly when it needed to charge.
In the past, with other fitness trackers, we simply charged it overnight–every night.
That probably led to shortening the battery life. So, it’s nice to get the notification and know we are maximizing the battery’s performance.
Put on your Halo Fitness Band!
The next step in the setup process is to remove the charger’s band and choose which wrist you want to wear.
Make sure that the button faces you and that it’s a snug fit on your wrist!
That’s it!! You just set-up your Amazon Halo
The easiest way to verify that your setup was correct is to launch the Amazon Halo app and tap on the ‘Live’ tab from the bottom.
You should now see your current heart rate in the ‘Heart’ tab at the top.
If you do not see the heart rate data, you are not set up correctly and should restart the process.
Amazon Halo Fitness tracker, beyond the basics
Now that you have set up and started using the Halo tracker from Amazon let’s look at some of the features.
Plus, we’ll go over some of Halo’s additional settings that you might find useful in your own fitness and wellness journey.
The Amazon Halo app has four major self-explanatory tabs:
- The main Activity dashboard is the first tab called Data (graph icon)
- The live tab (location pin icon) features your heart rate and tone data.
- Labs (flask icon) feature the fitness programs that you can sign up for
- Settings (gear icon) is the last tab that offers additional options for customization.
Let’s look at some of these tabs. This is especially helpful if you move to Halo from a Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, or another wearable device.
Main Halo activity dashboard
The first tab Data shows you all your fitness information in one glance.
Neatly divided into four quadrants, the fitness dashboard shows your activity details in several steps and “points,” your sleep score, tone, and a body fat percentage score.
This analysis tab also shows you the battery percentage of your Halo band at the top right corner of the screen.
What are Amazon Halo Activity Points?
Halo awards you points based on the intensity and duration of your movement or exercise.
You earn points for every minute you are moving when wearing the band.
For a light walk of 20 minutes, you earn 1 point. For moderate exercise, you earn 1 point per minute and 2 points per minute for an intense workout.
Following CDC and WHO recommendations, the weekly goal is set up for 150 points. Higher your activity score/ points, the better it is for your health.
Please note that if you are sedentary over 8 hours, you lose 1 point for every hour!! Again this was learned the hard way. : )
The harder you push, the more points you win. It’s as simple as that.
Based on your heart rate, it determines whether your exercise is light, moderate, or intense and assigns points.
These Halo points are reset back to zero every Monday, and you start a new week with a new goal!
Heart-healthy requires you to complete 150 – 299 points weekly.
A very active regimen, on the other hand, required 300+ weekly points.
Although the Amazon Halo points is quite intuitive, we couldn’t find a way to change the weekly goal for Halo activity points. That being said, the tracker can auto-detect the type and intensity of your exercise and assign appropriate points. This makes it super convenient.
Amazon Halo Sleep Score and Sleep Monitoring
Each morning, the app populates a sleep score in the second quadrant of the dashboard.
It’s a score that ranges from zero to a hundred. The higher the score, the better is your sleep quality.
A score of 85 or higher signifies you slept really well.
Anything below 70 could mean that you may want to make some changes.
The sleep tracker works automatically. You don’t need to switch on anything.
When you wake up the next morning and check your analytics, the details are right there at your fingertips.
For users who suffer from sleep apnea, this analysis helps you track how many times you were awake or had a light sleep due to snoring related issues.
The 11 Sleep lab aids are also quite handy.
There are aids to help you fall asleep early, such as listening to a bedtime story or listening to isochronic tones to reduce stress to fall asleep faster.
Also, check the labs under Sleep quality, which provide you with tools that provide various calming music options, yoga Nidra, meditation, and more to help you get quality sleep.
How the Halo band measure sleep
The Halo band measures your time to fall asleep, total sleep time, number of times you wake up during the night, and more to determine the overall Sleep score.
In contrast to the Apple Watch Sleep score system, the Halo provides you with detailed sleep metrics around REM, light, and deep sleep states.
It keeps track of sleep disturbances and your sleep efficiency scores.
The Halo tracker also measures your body’s skin temperature while you are asleep.
After using the band for a few days, you have sufficient data for Halo to determine your body’s optimal temperature for the best sleeping experience.
Look for this information at the bottom of the Sleep score dashboard.
If you can’t reach your optimal sleeping temperature, consider purchasing a cooling or heating mattress or device for your bed.
“Overall, we are pretty impressed with the whole Sleep monitoring feature on the Amazon Halo. Between the detailed metrics and a wide variety of labs combined with auto-detection, the Halo makes it a worthwhile device if you are looking for a wearable with simple yet powerful sleep monitoring features.”
There’s a lot of data with the Halo Fitness band.
We left out a few things here–we didn’t try out the tone at this point (we did later in this article) and Body fat percentage features.
W’s also like to understand all the privacy-related settings better before we try out these features.
- The Science behind Amazon Halo’s Voice Tone analysis and plans for Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure monitoring
Live tab on the Halo App
Given that the Halo fitness tracker doesn’t have a display, the app provides an easy way to access your heart rate information.
The Live tab is the second tab from the left at the bottom of the app. It’s a straightforward tab that shows your real-time heart rate.
The Tone section of this tab allows you to do tone analysis once you set up the feature.
The tone is a vocal analysis tool that analyzes a user’s voice for their energy and positivity.
The feature is meant to help you, so you better understand how you sound to others. And thereby, improve your communication and relationships.
The Labs Section of the Halo App offers a wide variety of choices.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
In essence, beyond the activity monitoring, sleep tracking, tone analysis, and body fat percentage metrics, this section is why you pay your monthly subscription fees.
The Labs section provides users to choose programs and aids for five major areas:
There’s a ‘What’s New’ and ‘What’s Popular’ section that highlights some of these offerings.
The Amazon Halo platform provides users with a large number of fitness training activities that can be chosen.
You can choose from Foundations, Strength, Cardio, Barre, Yoga, Outdoor, Overall Fitness, HIIT, Pilates, and more.
You can choose a Lab program from a given brand such as Mayo Clinic or choose by specifying a duration (from 1 week to 4 weeks programs) or choosing programs with daily audio/video instructions.
Each program spells out an overview of the program, specific equipment needed for completing the workout (e.g., a yoga mat or a dumbbell, etc.), and its length.
You can choose a lab, set up a reminder time, and set up a nudge–then start your training.
These labs are backed by science and designed in collaboration with some of your favorite training brands.
However, unlike Peloton or the new Apple Fitness+, we didn’t find options to join live trainer-led sessions.
Overall the curated Halo lab programs seem pretty good and cover various fitness disciplines, and more importantly, the user experience is very intuitive.
Amazon Halo Tracker Privacy and other Settings
This is an important section for fine-tuning your Halo experience. Users concerned about privacy issues related to the Halo Fitness tracker should find enough features to mitigate their worries.
The Settings tab in the Halo lab clearly shows you how much battery percentage remains.
You also see the elapsed time since you last synced your band with the app.
The next important section is Data & Privacy for your health data.
Here you have several choices.
First, you can either download your health data or delete it completely.
If you decide on using the body scan feature to keep track of your body fat percentage, you can choose to save the scans to Amazon cloud or completely delete the body data using the options provided in this section.
There is also an ‘Account linking’ section under Data & privacy where you can link your Halo account with Weight Watchers or other available apps.
This section allows you to share specific health data with your chosen companies, so you have complete control of your data.
This is also where users can connect with their health care providers to share their EMR records in the future.
Block out Microphone Access on Amazon Halo
One other important point around the Privacy feature is the microphone on the band.
If you decide that you do not want to use the Tone Analysis feature for privacy reasons, you can also choose to block the microphone.
To restrict Halo’s access to your microphone.
- Open the Settings app on your phone (this is for iPhone)
- Tap on Privacy
- Scroll down and tap on microphone
- Disable Amazon Halo and or Amazon Alexa here
The Halo app only shows up on this screen if you set up the Tone analysis feature on the app.
The other crude way is simply using tape and blocking out the Microphone port on the Fitness band.
This is the aperture next to the button on your Halo fitness band.
Impressions from testing out the Halo Tone Analysis Feature
After publishing this article, we later tested the setup, use, and analysis features of Amazon’s Halo Tone analysis feature.
We found it to be interesting, especially the real-time tone analysis feature.
Check out our review of this feature on its own: Amazon Halo Tone Analysis: A Beginner’s User Guide and review.
First Impressions of Amazon’s Halo Fitness Tracker
In Summary, overall, we found Amazon’s Halo fitness tracker surprisingly intuitive and cleverly designed.
The Halo tracker is lightweight but packs many features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, and skin temperature monitoring.
Although it doesn’t have the advanced bells and whistles such as ECG, SpO2 monitoring, fall detection, and other such features yet, the Halo does a terrific job when it comes to both activity monitoring and sleep monitoring.
The battery performance on the Halo tracker is pretty impressive so far.
At its current daily battery drain, our Halo lasts close to a week without requiring re-charging.
Coming from Apple Watch needing charging once or more per day, that’s pretty awesome battery life!
What about the price tag?
For an affordable price of $65 and six months of free lab training offerings, this is a desirable value proposition for those looking to get an easy to use, wear it and forget it type of fitness tracker.
Amazon claims it made the Halo band using a comfortable and durable material. We plan on wearing it continuously over a few weeks to provide you with some additional insight.
It takes a little time to get used to the concept of Amazon Halo points.
But once you get it, meeting your 150 weekly quotas is fairly straightforward and easy, especially with the help of third-party labs.
Although the heart rate monitor on the band appears to be very accurate, we could not locate tools that offer deeper insights such as resting heart rate, heart rate training zone or heart rate variability. It’s possible that they will introduce these features in the future since the device already has an advanced optical heart rate sensor.
If you were looking for a fitness tracker that has built-in music storage or an option to listen to Spotify or podcasts, the Halo is not for you.
Instead, Amazon’s Halo offers a very focused fitness and lifestyle tracking device.
If you have already received your Halo band, let us know which labs you find really interesting and useful for your daily routines.
For those of you who are still on the fence, we think there’s a lot of value for money in this offering from Amazon. You should give it a try.
- Membership includes body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep & activity tracking, and more...
- Activity - Track the intensity & duration of your movement plus sedentary time.
Not having a display on your fitness tracker is frankly a little weird at first!
That’s especially true if you previously owned an Apple Watch, Garmin, or a Fitbit device.
However, once you get past that, it surprisingly offers a much more relaxing experience.
Gone are all those constant texts, nags, and notifications (and on some devices, calls.) With the Halo (and the similar Whoop), you actually get the opportunity to focus on what really matters–your health and fitness goals.
Are you planning to get an Amazon Halo band or adding it to your gift wish list, or even giving it as a holiday gift? Let us know!
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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