Gadgets zensorium

Published on April 24th, 2014 | by Greg


Zensorium Tinke Fitness Monitor: A Healthier Accessory

Fitness trackers are all the rage, but there are some serious downsides. For starters, some of them require a heart rate chest strap, and others have the battery life of an ancient smartphone, barely able to make it through a jog let alone a marathon. Others require a thick manual to use, or include a ton of buttons that leave you breathless simply trying to figure it all out. And there are plenty of models that we’ve found to be inaccurate.

Enter the Zensorium Tinke, a different sort of fitness monitor. It’s an accessory to your iPhone or Android device, self-contained, and powered by the phone itself, so need need to worry about any other cables or chargers or batteries. And it syncs automatically too. On the other hand, it requires a bit of focused attention to use; it’s not always-on and only runs your checkup when you request, plus it takes some time to do so. The only device of this size we’ve seen that can track heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen level, the interface is simple and tracking is easy. Plus, you can use the Tinke to lower your stress level with some practice, thanks to a heart rate variability indicator that corresponds with relaxation.

We’ve been testing the Lightning model for the iPhone 5 and 5S, but a 30-pin edition is also available, as are several different colors. As you might expect, you’ll be prompted to download and install the free app, and there are some social features that allow you to compare your ratings against others, or earn badges for various achievements. They are fun, even if they aren’t for everyone, much like the interesting facts that pop up (some of which are a little… unusual). You’re assigned an overall ‘Vita index’ rating based on the factors measured by the Tinke, and can view your record over time in the “diary”. Of course, it’s another profile to create and keep track of, but we appreciated that the initial setup asks for more than simply your age and gender. And the heart rate portion, at least seemed quite accurate, in line with other measuring devices we’ve seen. The oxygen level too, was very close to that measured by the Masimo iSp02 sensor.

Overall, we quite liked the tiny size of the device and it’s stylish design. Those who only want an occasional check-in will find it simple enough to connect, focus, and test. More serious fitness buffs might want a wearable device instead, but the Zensorium Tinke is aimed at casual use, especially an audience who might want a bit more Zen in their life. Available now for $120 or so, online and in stores.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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