I was killing time at Challenger the other day, when I saw a very cheap wearable – Actxa Swift / Swift+. They were going for $49.90 (Swift) / $69.90 (Swift+).
If you’re not familiar with the name Actxa, National Steps Challenge™ first season used their tracker – the Actxa Stride, a simple but really nice tracker – to link up with the official app, Healthy 365.
The Swift / Swift+ models got me excited – they seemed to be the upgraded version of the Stride model. Seeing how the National Steps Challenge season 2 has begun, I got that itch – when you don’t need something but you just want it. (On a side note, if you have not signed up for season 2, do sign up now! No loss and more to gain. More info here.)
So I went to google for reviews. Sadly, the model is so local that I could find only one review, which wasn’t enough for the insatiable me.
So I went out and bought it.
This review is a compilation of what I found out and my thoughts post-purchase.
The most important question
Question – Can it be cheaper? Yes!
I was checking out the prices, and there are two very good deals going on right now – while stocks last I guess.
$10 off purchase on Hachi.tech From now until 31 Dec 2016, you can get $10 off if you use the code ACTXA10 when you purchase any Actxa product from Hachi.tech.
$15 off if you trade your old Stride at Challenger retail stores. http://www.actxa.com/trade-in/This was the deal-maker for me. Because newer is better, right? It also got me running around to several Challenger stores and calling Challenger hotline. So here’s what I know for sure, that is not correctly updated on Challenger system, apparently.
You can trade at any Challenger store it seems, despite what it said in the link or what the Challenger hotline guy said.
Not all stores have Swift+ model – I saw some models at Plaza Singapura and Tiong Bahru Plaza.
The aqua model looked nice and bright on screen but dull in real life. Disappointment to the max. It is also only available at the Tiong Bahru Plaza if you’re buying from retail store. Don’t be disappointed if you order it online and it doesn’t look like the colour you expected it to be.
I have one other wearable, Misfit Speedo. This very cool minimalist tracker makes it near impossible to replace its battery, which is not cool at all. In fact, I have diminished its aesthetic value in my attempts to pry off the back of the tracker to replace the battery (as instructed in the guide).
I was already shopping around for an easier-to-maintain wearable since the beginning of the year, and had my eye on either Garmin Vivoactive or TomTom Spark Cardio. Both put me off with the general body bulk. I would have considered fitbit and jawbone but neither supported swimming. I was also considering Pebble 2, but since there were no reviews as of yet, so there’s that.
Swift+ had me sold on these:
waterproof (swim up to 1m depth. As of the time of this writing, I have not tried swimming with it. Shall update it soon enough, I suppose. Edit: It worked fine at at 1.2m pool and in hot shower.)
lesser than $100
supports National Steps Challenge ($5 vouchers for the win!)
The tracker comes packed in a transparent box which I failed to take a photo of because I was so excited that I completely ravaged the packaging on public transport.
Here’s a tip for buyers… open the packaging from the bottom.
What’s in the box?
Usb charging cable (you will have to plug it into a usb charger.)
License (on the booklet. Do not lose it. You will need to retain your receipt for warranty as well.)
Wearing Swift+ vs Stride
With Stride, a twist of the wrist would activate the time on the wearable face. This is the one thing I miss most. The Swift / Swift+ requires the wearer to tap on the marked area on its surface to activate the surface. Tapping more toggles between the different data being collected by the tracker, such as number of steps, calories and distance walked.
Swift+ wears awkward. I don’t know how to describe it any other way. So here’s a couple of photos to show you why.
With Stride, the wearer inserts the band through the loop at the end of the band which is sort of the buckle of a standard watch, before pressing down the metal bit through the hole to secure the band.
Swift+ has the user securing the band with the metal piece at the inner part first before putting the rest of the band through the free loop. This kind of cause the band to jump around.
In the first season, one of the issues that was quite an irritant was the fact that the account was locked down to a single physical device. I had the misfortune of causing my Stride to go swimming and I had to go through the lengthy process of contacting the programme administrators to assist in the changing the device.
With the season 2 roll out, or maybe slightly before, the user is able to use other devices and health apps to track the steps.
Swift+ was not one of the HPB-issued devices. However, I should be able to sync the steps through the Actxa app option. The key word – should. It took a while before the steps were synced at all, and even so, it did not sync from the Actxa app, causing me to lose out on some 1500 steps.
All in all, I would say that I have quite a bit of a gripe with the software and hardware, but I can live with those, so I won’t give up on the brand yet.