Hands-on Gear Review

AVANTEK Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker Review

Price:  $129 List
Pros:  Simple and reliable
Cons:  Inaccuracy and no heart rate tracking
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   AVANTEK

Our Verdict

The Avantek Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker is compact, simple, and reliable. As compared to the entire market of Fitness Trackers, it is an excellent product. Given the widely discounted availability of the Avantek, it is also a great value. Other products we tested are flashier with better attachment methods, greater accuracy, and additional features. If you are looking for "state of the art", something like the Garmin VivoFit 2 or FitBit Charge HR may serve you better. If you are looking for a basic, no frills step tracker, the Avantek is excellent.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Friday
November 27, 2015

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The Avantek activity and sleep tracker is a solid product often available at a reduced price.

Performance Comparison


Avantek with accompanying charging cord. Not shown here is the entirety of the cord  which is thankfully compact and relatively tangle free.
Avantek with accompanying charging cord. Not shown here is the entirety of the cord, which is thankfully compact and relatively tangle free.

Interface and Data Management


In examining the interface and data management of the various Fitness Trackers we tested, we looked at a few different criteria. Mainly, in this metric, we looked at sync style, data viewing experience, and the social networking capacity of the device and associated app. The best products in our test, like the Editors' Choice Fitbit Charge HR, sync automatically with the associated app, show some data on the device itself, and allow comparison of activity from one day to the next and from one user to another. The Avantek does well to display data on the device and clearly in the app while syncing basically automatically, but it does not have a ready social media aspect. We also looked, in this scoring metric, for devices that provided motivational feedback. While the Top Pick Garmin VivoFit 2 has the best on-device motivational tool (specifically, a "move bar" that turns red when the user has been inactive and doesn't go away until the user moves around enough), the Avantek device screen shows, when prompted, a couple different fields that serve to motivate further activity.

The display on the Avantek requires pushing the button to access. Once accessed  the user can scroll through this standard time and date screen as well as screens indicating progress toward your daily step goal.
The display on the Avantek requires pushing the button to access. Once accessed, the user can scroll through this standard time and date screen as well as screens indicating progress toward your daily step goal.

Depth of Data


  • Sleep Tracking
The Avantek sleep tracking system requires that the user press and hold the main button on the device to enter "sleep mode". When the user awakes, the button must be pushed and held again. Once in the habit, this works effectively. However, when most other devices on the market, including our Best Buy Misfit Shine, automatically sense a change in movement patterns to enter sleep recording mode, the manual change required by the Avantek seems out of date. When one is in the habit of recording sleep data one night to the next with the Avantek, the data it collects seems to correlate effectively with the user's subjective self-assessment of sleep quality. Given inherent difficulties in confirming the quality of sleep a person gets on any given night, our assessment of all the devices in this category was confined to an analysis of the relative sleep quality experienced and recorded over the time we consistently used each device.
  • Heart Rate
The Avantek does not record heart rate.
  • Distance/Step Count
The Avantek Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker does a great job of recording distance and step count.

The main  "home" screen of the Avantek is clean  clear  and simple. We like that.
The main, "home" screen of the Avantek is clean, clear, and simple. We like that.
  • User Entered Data
Neither the Avantek nor the accompanying app offer any option for including subjective user-entered data like overall mood or food and fluid consumed. In this category, the Jawbone UP3 leads the pack with a whole host of possible data to enter and correlate with activity and sleep quality.

Accuracy, Durability, and Construction Quality


Overall quality of a fitness tracker is a function of, among other things, the attachment integrity, instrumentation accuracy, battery life, and app/software reliability.

First, when it comes to step count accuracy, we must make some qualifiers. Inherently, no device will count perfectly every single step a wearer takes. Basically, most will use their step counter to compare one day to the next for motivational and recording purposes. Given the inherent inaccuracies in the field, as long as a device's margin of error is consistent, it doesn't matter too much. If it is off of actual by, as with the Avantek, 12% in use and testing, every day's data is apt to be off by 12%. The 12% error percentage of the Avantek was the highest in our test, but it was consistent. One user's data, compared from one day to the next, was still useful even though it varied from actual by a fair amount.

Next, we considered the wrist-band attachment integrity. The best products, like the Charge HR, attach with a secure and simple wrist-watch style band. The Avantek uses a simple and low-profile clasp, but is vulnerable to dislodging. It was more secure and simple than the UP3, but less so than the Charge, Garmin, and Mio Fuse.

Lastly, we initially had some troubles with the Avantek app. Our testing, as it should, lasted long enough to allow Avantek to improve their software. Sure enough, they offered an update that has addressed all of our concerns. You may read reviews elsewhere, conducted on a shorter timeline, that reference a non-functioning app. With the patient and thorough OutdoorGearLab testing timeline we were able to test the Avantek with an updated and fully functioning app.

Ease of Set-up and Use


Of all the devices we tested for 2015  the Avantek has the most complicated set up procedure. With other devices the app walks the user through set up. With the Avantek  we needed the multiple manual pages dedicated to the procedure.
Of all the devices we tested for 2015, the Avantek has the most complicated set up procedure. With other devices the app walks the user through set up. With the Avantek, we needed the multiple manual pages dedicated to the procedure.

After the app issues were fixed, we have had no problems with the use and set up of the Avantek. The set up isn't as slick as some of the other products, and we were thankful for the detail in the users manual, but the ongoing use has been clean and intuitive.

Portability and Wearability


The Avantek is squarely in the middle of the pack, in terms of portability. It is bulkier than the Misfit Shine, and smaller than the Mio Fuse. Only one tester found the Avantek to be uncomfortable while typing on a computer. Everyone else found it to be unobtrusive and compact.

This tester found the bulk and rigidity of the Avantek to be painful while typing. She much prefers the ultra low profile of the Best Buy Misfit Shine.
This tester found the bulk and rigidity of the Avantek to be painful while typing. She much prefers the ultra low profile of the Best Buy Misfit Shine.

Best Applications


The Avantek is a slick, readily available all-around fitness tracker. The casual or first time fitness tracker user will have more than enough data to play with and the technophobe will appreciate that step count and daily progress information is available right on the device's built-in screen. One need not access one's smartphone to see progress information. As a "middle of the pack" product, the Avantek will have wide application.

Value


The initial retail price of the Avantek is more than any other device in our test that does not include heart rate monitoring. However, through the months we tested, we never saw the Avantek for sale for more than half its asking price. Based on the sale price, it is an excellent value, though for the full retail price we would recommend one of the other products we tested.

Often discounted online  the Avantek was a contender for our Best Buy award. Coupon-clipping savers might appreciate the available deals on the Avantek.
Often discounted online, the Avantek was a contender for our Best Buy award. Coupon-clipping savers might appreciate the available deals on the Avantek.

Conclusion


The Avantek is solid, but not flashy.

Jediah Porter


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 27, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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