Aura Strap 2 reviews | Tech Radar
The Aura Strap 2 is one of the few Apple Watch smartbands in existence today and, like the first version, promises to deliver the kind of metrics you’d typically need to step on a smart scale to capture.
With Strap 2, Aura has changed the design of the strap and the method of measurement to monitor and analyze body composition and hydration levels. It now offers a subscription service, which unlocks additional features such as monthly reports, training plans and recommendations to keep you in shape, replacing the measures taken by the Apple Watch itself.
The improved strap is welcome and the way you take the measurements has reduced the number of times it fails to register the reading, although it can still happen. The Watch app is sleek and well-designed, while the companion phone app and compatibility with Apple HealthKit should make it a more attractive proposition for Apple Watch owners.
Besides capturing reliable metrics and breaking down things like fat, muscle, body water, protein, and visceral fat, you’ll have to pay for the subscription to get potentially useful features like personalized recommendations and plans. workout videos, which seem like they should be included already.
If you’re happy to pay a fairly large sum upfront for the wristband and then add the monthly or yearly subscription, this could be a useful wristband to have around your wrist. Ultimately, though, that sounds like a lot of money for something that will have niche appeal and mean you have to ditch your favorite watch strap for life with this silicone one.
Aura Strap 2: price and availability
The Aura Strap 2 is available on the Aura Devices website for $150, which is $50 more than what you can buy with the first Aura Strap. If you want to subscribe to the Aura Plus service, you will have to pay $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Aura Strap 2: Design and Features
- Feels comfortable to wear
- Discrete sensors
- Changing, adding or removing a strap is a pain
Design rating: 3/5
Like the first Aura band, the second iteration mostly looks like a normal Apple Watch band and connects with the same lug design, but in the middle you have a pair of medical steel electrodes that sit on either side of the band. which contain nickel.
Aura has gone from the softer nylon strap it used before to a silicone strap and it also includes extra size straps in the box to make sure you get a good fit. However, fitting these straps is a tricky task. Had to remove screws on the first strap, so the process has improved, but it’s still not great.
There’s a plastic pick shaped piece included which you use to open the case housing the pads where you’ll also release the replaceable button cell battery which powers the smart strap and should give you a good six month battery life depending on how often you use it.
Changing these straps is frustrating and tedious to do and took us a long time to line up a new strap inside the case to get it back in place. It felt like it would be very easy to break that case, effectively forcing you to buy a new one.
Once you get a working strap, it’s as easy as clipping on a standard Apple Watch strap. The positioning of the pads means that removing this strap has to be done by pulling it over your wrist, which can be a pain to do if you have large hands to stretch it.
It’s noticeably more comfortable than the first band and is also noticeably thinner and lighter, which is nice to see. We’ve used it with an Apple Watch Series 7, but it’s something that will work as far as the Apple Watch Series 3.
Overall, the design changes are welcome. It definitely looks like a better strap to wear than the first version and it’s good to see that it’s one you can keep on during swims and showers as long as you don’t go further than 50 yards. Swapping the straps is still tedious and the build quality of the case that holds the pads in place feels a little cheap.
Aura Strap 2: performance and software
- More reliable readings
- Range of workouts to follow
- Many of these features are also on normal Apple Watch.
Feature rating: 3/5
The operation of the Aura Strap has changed slightly. Previously, it used a microphone to communicate measurement data via sound to the Apple Watch. Aura has ditched that approach and now uses low-energy Bluetooth to deliver readings to the watch. He claims that this approach also improves the reliability of getting a successful measurement.
It still performs bioimpedance analysis through these electrodes, transmitting electric current, and then measures resistance to body tissues.
After a 30-second reading, it can tell you your fat percentage, muscle, body water, visceral fat, protein, lean body mass, minerals, BMI, and weight in that single measurement. The method you use to make this measurement has improved considerably, not only from a process point of view, but also in the reliability of the measurement. It’s still not flawless, but it’s definitely more reliable.
Once you have downloaded the Aura app on your iPhone and the Watch app, you can launch the Watch app, check out the tutorial, and take your first measurement. You place the pads on the outside of the strap on the area just below your thumb on your opposite hand, making sure your hand doesn’t touch your other hand and you keep your hands in front of your chest. During the measurement, the app will remind you what you need to do to ensure you get a good reading.
We encountered a few poor measurements initially, but the reliability is improving and it’s nice and simple to do. Part of the watch screen displays small green bubbles that look like the electrodes on the outside of the case that fill up as the measurement takes place and, if successfully measured, display the data in the display. Watch app. You’ll see a breakdown of your data with a pie chart that indicates whether you’re obese, jack, twiggy, or have more or less water and more or less soft tissue.
According to Aura, the change in the way data is now captured gives it 95% measurement accuracy compared to clinical-grade devices. To test the Aura Strap 2’s data reliability, we also took measurements on a set of Garmin Index smart scales at the same time. In reviewing the data, we found that little information matched. Some areas like body water, BMI, and total weight were similar, but never identical based on our measurements. Overall, the data seems more reliable than before, but it still didn’t fit a set of smart scales.
Beyond those metrics, there’s a little more going on in the iPhone app than before. You can track activity, heart rate and see things like calories burned, although the strap itself doesn’t track this information, which is pulled from your Apple Watch tracking.
There is now an Aura Plus subscription service (opens in a new tab), which you have to pay if you want to see historical data. Without it, you can only see the last recorded measurement. With this subscription in action, you’ll see reports breaking down data trends. There are also recommendations based on the goals you set when you first set up the app.
Our measurements consistently told us that we were a bit surprisingly obese despite being a relatively fit person who runs, swims and works out most days and we suggest trying to do 2-3 sessions of workout per week, cut calories by 10-15% and add a fat burner. coaching. It also indicated that we had a good balance between fat and muscle, which seemed like a more reliable insight.
This leads to another new feature, which is a range of workouts you can follow, which is broken down into core workouts, focusing on arms, chest, core and legs. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it does mean you can start tackling some of these ideas and recommendations. Without this subscription, the Aura looks very basic in terms of what you can see. While there’s a definite tendency for wearables to put certain features behind a subscription wall, simple things like monthly reports seem like a feature that should be available in the free version.