Here is a fact of life: We sleep a third of our lives. Even if we drink a lot of energy drinks or caffeine-infused beverages, our bodies still find a way to get rest and slumber.
That being said, getting a good night’s sleep is needed so that you will feel more alert and energetic the next day. But, if you are noticing that you’re not getting quality sleep lately, it might be time to get a sleep tracker.
Today, I am going to talk about the best sleep trackers that can improve the quality of your sleep, as well as provide key information, among many other things.
A Primer on Sleep Trackers
There are many types of sleep trackers that you can find on the market. There are wearables such as fitness trackers. There are also others that sit under or above your mattress and there are also ones that you can install on the bedside and it will do its thing from there.
No matter what type of sleep tracker you choose, all of them will be connected to your smartphone as it will provide you with key details about the quality of your sleep, how many hours you’ve gone into light, REM, and deep sleep, among many others.
A lot of people gravitate towards ones that can be installed on the bedside as they are non-obtrusive and, for the most part, provide more accurate results.
Wearables are okay, especially if you want one that you can easily put on your wrist and be done with it. But, keep in mind that not all people like the notion of wearing a watch when they sleep.
Under or above the mattress sleep trackers are okay but you might not like the idea of putting something under your sheets.
Still, the choice is ultimately yours. Get one that is ideal for your scenario because, at the end of the day, all you want to know is some key details about the quality of your sleep and how long you were in slumber on any given night.
With that out of the way, here are some of the best that you can find on the market:
Best Sleep Trackers
The SleepScore Max is a sleep tracker that you can put on your bedside table and it will still track how many hours you were asleep.
A unique trait of this thing is that it rates the quality of your sleep by giving it a score between 1 to 100. The higher the score, the better the quality of sleep.
That allows you to easily find out if you’ve got a good night’s rest or not and it will also help provide you with some tips if you need more hours every night.
Aside from tracking your sleep, this thing also monitors the light level, room temperature, and the ambient noise in your bedroom. It will then provide you with tips that would help you somehow get more time to get fully rested.
The Withings Sleep is a sleep tracker that you can place under your mattress and it will then start doing its thing.
What I love about this particular product is that it provides a lot of key information, such as your heart rate, how many hours (or minutes) you were snoring, as well as telling how long you were in the different phases of sleep.
This is a non-wearable sleep tracker which means that you do not have to contend with anything while you sleep. You just pair it with your smartphone, place it under your mattress, and that’s it.
While it supports Amazon Alexa, its implementation somewhat needs improvement.
The only downside to this thing is that it doesn’t provide you with information that could help you improve your slumber.
But, if you want a non-wearable sleep tracking utility, this is one of the best out there.
3.Fitbit Versa 2
If you want a fitness tracker that you can also use to help track your sleep, then the Fitbit Versa 2 is definitely one that I would recommend.
Fitbit is a company that prides itself on quality products that have pretty accurate sleep trackers and that is truly evident in the Fitbit Versa 2.
It tracks how many hours you were awake at night, how long you were in REM sleep, how many hours you stayed in phase 1 (or light sleep) and it also tells you how many hours you’ve spent in deep sleep as well.
By using its companion app, you also get a detailed graph of all of the sleep tracking information that you need.
And oh, did I mention that it can also help you get fit (and stay fit) thanks to its robust activity tracking options?
The only thing that you should be wary about is that this is a wearable device which means that if you are going with this one, you have to be comfortable with the notion of wearing a watch while you sleep. If you are, then, by all means, get one.
The Tomorrow Sleeptracker is another non-wearable sleep tracker that you can slip under your mattress to help you track some useful statistics of your slumber.
You get to choose between two options: A single pad or a double pad if you sleep with another person on the same bed.
It provides you with some basic information about your sleep such as your breathing rate, heart rate, and how long you were in the different phases of sleep.
It will then present a nice graph on your smartphone when you wake up and the best part is that you can also enable its alarm feature that will go off after you’ve gotten enough rest for the night.
This one gives you some encouragement if you’ve got a good night’s rest and it will provide you with some tips if you haven’t.
Moreover, it can also integrate with your other smart home devices so that you can seamlessly add this to the ecosystem.
5.Beddit 3.5 Sleep Monitor
Beddit was a standalone company that was acquired by Apple in 2017. That means that its newer products can easily pair with your iPhone but it is also good to know that you can use this with any Android device as well.
That being said, this is an above-the-mattress sleep tracker which means that all you have to do is place it underneath your sheets and let it do its thing.
Aside from giving you key information about the quality and length of your sleep, it can also provide you with details about your immediate sleep environment, ambient temperature, humidity, and so much more.
When you fire up the application, it will then present you with some tips on how to improve your sleeping environment, as well as your habits, for better overall sleep quality.
Its application is actually quite easy to use and it is intuitive that even non-tech-savvy users can easily navigate their way through.
My only complaint about this thing is that because it is placed under the sheets, it is prone to moving around which may hinder its ability to provide accurate data.
But, if you are not moving around so much when you rest, then this thing is a great option indeed.
6.Samsung Galaxy Fit
Although this is a fitness tracker first and foremost, the Samsung Galaxy Fit also provides you with key information about your sleep as well.
By using the Samsung Smart Health App while also wearing the fitness band, the Samsung Galaxy Fit can relay some useful information that you can use to help improve the quality of your sleep.
It can help you know how much time you spend on each stage of sleep, how many times you’ve been awake in the middle of the night (and for how long), and it can even tell you how many calories you’ve burned too.
I do have to point out that although this one also has a heart rate monitor, it is not one of the most accurate out there. This implies that its sleep tracking capability may have some lapses, but for the most part, it should give you a somewhat clear picture of the quality of your nightly slumber.
The Emfit QS is one of the more advanced sleep trackers on the market. Originally used only on athletes, regular people can buy it now to receive the same benefits.
This particular product can be placed under the mattress which means that your sleep will not be hindered with any moving object under the sheets.
It uses ballistocardiography to take readings and its sensor is one of the most accurate out there among consumer-grade sleep trackers.
While it provides key information about your sleep, it might give way too much data that a regular person can comprehend.
Fortunately, this product has a knowledge base that can help you learn more about the metrics that are shown in its companion app.
You get the usual data about how long you’ve been in the different stages of sleep, your heart rate, your breathing rate, and it even shows you how effective your recovery is just by studying the way you sleep.
Sure, it is expensive, but because it gives you a lot of different things, the Emfit QS definitely warrants its steep price tag.
8.S+ by ResMed
The S+ is created by ResMed which is a highly reputable brand in the medical field. That being said, this is one of those unobtrusive sleep trackers because it sits by the bedside and is not installed under the bed nor not worn on your wrist which are factors that might impede you from getting a good night’s rest.
Despite it being a bedside sleep monitor, it actually keeps tabs on a lot of different things in the environment that could potentially hamper you from getting some quality sleep.
It measures ambient temperature, current lighting conditions, noise levels, and it gives you meaningful feedback through its companion app the next day- providing you with some useful tips to help you improve your environment.
Aside from that, if the tracker detects that your breathing is abnormal during the night, it can also give you some exercises that you can do to somehow improve the cadence of your breathing.
It will grade the quality of your sleep based on a number of factors, including age, gender, weight, activity levels, and so on. Again, this allows you to find out if you are truly rested or you need to improve your slumber even more.
What I like about all of this is that it’s priced affordably which means that you get this one, improve your slumber, and it doesn’t break the bank!
If you are okay with the idea of installing a tracker underneath the mattress, then the Beautyrest Sleeptracker is for you.
You will receive two different trackers that you can place underneath the mattress so that you and your partner will both be given useful information to improve your sleeping habits.
It is pretty accurate and you can find that it works by reading the comments on different forums and directly on the product’s website.
Not only does this integrate with Amazon Alexa for better functionality, but it also helps give you information that is easy to understand, charts about your sleep quality, and it also provides trend reports that can help you find out if you have been sleeping soundly at night for a considerable amount of time or not.
10.Eight Sleep Mattress Cover
Unlike all of the previous sleep trackers on this list, the Eight Sleep Mattress Cover is an actual bed cover that you use to help track important statistics about your nightly rest.
The good thing about this is that it actually tracks data on both the left and right sides which means that you get key information about you and your partner’s sleep quality.
The cover itself is quite comfortable and you will undoubtedly be sleeping soundly while you rest on top of it.
It is quite pricey but with its features and its overall comfort, this is a worthwhile investment.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.
It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.
Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?
One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.
You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.
Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.
The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.
I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.
Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.
An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.
So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.
3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.
I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.
To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.
The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.
You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.
Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.
Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball.
For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.
You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.
You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.
Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.
The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.
You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.
Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?
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