Fitbit Blaze: Longer, nicer, better

Fitbit Blaze.jpgWith so many offerings in the market, have you ever wondered which smart fitness watch to purchase, or what features to look out in your search for a smart fitness watch?

A recent purchase of mine — the Fitbit Blaze — was the answer to my questions. But how did I end up purchasing it?

Here are some of the features that enticed me:

  1. Long battery life. Having owned a Garmin Vivosmart 2 and a Samsung Gear Fit 2, the Blaze offered a similar lifespan to the Garmin Vivosmart — a single charge could last for three to four days, and with active heart rate and sleep monitoring to boot. Really impressive! The Samsung Gear Fit 2 had a significantly shorter battery life which was a great hassle.
  2. A watch face. Many smaller bands do not have a watch face but I prefer having a watch face to my smart fitness watch as it can easily double up as a watch instead of just a band. The Fitbit app does not boast many watch faces but the few they have are sufficient for me. A change every month or two helps change up the watch’s look-and-feel.
  3. Notifications. – Paired with my iPhone 7 Plus, I receive notifications easily from the watch that allows me to glance at a preview instead of looking at my phone. Something I like about the watch is that it provides pretty subtle vibrations which are not repeated constantly if it comes from the same source (for example, WhatsApp messages from one chat does not keep appearing as multiple notifications on the phone).
  4. Heart rate monitoring. Fitbit is known for having good heart rate monitoring and while the light beams from the back of the tracker may be a bit bright at night (if watch is not worn properly), it provides constant heart rate monitoring once every five minutes. The app on the phone also shows the trend of my heart rate in a neat graph.
  5. Sleep tracking. The sleep tracking on both the Garmin Vivosmart 2 and Samsung Gear Fit 2 were not as accurate as I’d like (compared to the data captured on my iPhone) but the Fitbit Blaze provides good insights on my sleeping trend which helps me to keep track of my sleeping patterns. The occasional extra insights it provides is also a plus.
  6. Ability to pair with both iOS and Android devices. I had poor pairing experiences with my previous two devices as the Bluetooth pairing drained a lot of battery and pairing was not as constant as compared to the Fitbit blaze. In addition, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 did not pair well with the iPhone and constantly dropped connection. The Fitbit Blaze, however, has not failed me in my two months of usage and has constantly been paired with my phone. While the Fitbit Blaze is being charged, it still continues to be paired with my phone and my phone receives a notification whenever the Blaze is fully charged, allowing me to disconnect the charging and to continue using it.
  7. Exercise tracking. If there’s an area of improvement for the Blaze, it’s exercise tracking. This feature does not seem as seamless as it is supposed to be on my device. However, the workaround of manually tapping the watch and logging the exercise is not of much a hassle as it may sound. I appreciate the insights it provides while exercising.

All in all, I do enjoy the experience of using the Fitbit Blaze and I would definitely recommend it to others looking for a mid-range smart fitness tracker.

You can get the Fitbit Blaze at http://amzn.to/2GJRwXA.

Keep cool with Solove fan

Solove fanComing from a country with only two seasons — rain or no rain — the weather is relatively hot throughout the year. How I’ve always craved for cooler weather.

In Singapore, it’s winter indoor and summer outdoor. The air conditioner keeps us cool in the home and office.

However, with global warming and rising cost of electricity, that may not always be the best alternative, especially when at home.

That’s why I appreciate the Solove N-9 portable fan. The USB-chargeable device keeps me cool while working on the computer.

The truth is that I’m not a fan (hahaha!) of portable fans. I’ve always found them to be poorly made, noisy and impractical — most don’t generate enough wind.

But the Solove fan changed my mind with its ease of use, looks and power.

Here’s why I like this fan:

  1. Powerful: It packs quite a breeze on even the hottest day. The fan comes in three speeds though I seldom need to go beyond the first level.
  2. Sturdy: A base gives the fan stability when placed on flat surfaces. The fan can also be removed from the base and is light enough to be hand carried without straining the wrist.
  3. USB charging: Charging is a breeze (pun intended). All it takes is to stick the USB cable to the computer or a power point and the fan is charged while being used.

If you’re keen on getting one, check out this link.

 

 

Bak kwa to die for

Lim Chee Guan.jpgBak kwa or pork jerky is a must-have this time of the year. With Chinese New Year coming up this week, some people take leave just to queue for their favourite bak kwa. And the queue can take hours at Lim Chee Guan, one of the more famous brands.

I used to be one of those who would crave for Lim Chee Guan bak kwa during Chinese New Year.

The barbecued meat is sweet, saltish and succulent and oozes  goodness with each bite.

Thankfully, I did not have to queue for my fix this year. A friend just gave me a pack of these to-die-for goodies.

Anyway, I have learnt my lesson and decided that I can enjoy the bak kwa at other times of the year when it is less pricey.

But, if you must, do go early before the queue builds up and prices start soaring. The outlets are at 203 New Bridge Road, People’s Park Complex and Ion Orchard in Singapore.

 

 

 

 

Palladium World: Underrated but a gem in its own right

Palladium.jpg

In a city with so many shopping malls, it’s understandable why Palladium World does not ring a bell. The mall is diagonally across the road from the world famous Platinum Fashion Mall.

It’s hard to fathom why the mall is not drawing more crowd especially as it’s connected to The Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, a huge hotel with great conference facilities.

But, a look at the stores the mall inside show that they can compete with their more illustrious neighbour in terms of pricing and offerings. OK, there aren’t as many stores but there are enough to keep most happy.

Besides stores selling clothes, accessories and souvenirs, there are also many massage parlours where shoppers can take a short breather, be massaged and recharged for another round.

The top few levels are filled with IT shops selling computers, gadgets and lots of IT and phone accessories.

What I like about Palladium:

  1. Space: The corridors are wide enough to walk without having to rub shoulders with others.
  2. Shops: There are enough stores here to keep me occupied for a few hours.
  3. Smaller crowd: Don’t think this is good for the mall as a whole but I enjoyed the ability to move around easily without having to be rushed.

The one area of improvement is the food option. The food court in the basement has limited offerings and doesn’t look appealing.