Basis Peak fitness tracker adds touchscreen, smartwatch notifications

Basis Peak announcement
One of the best fitness trackers gets back into shape

Get ready to climb new heights in your workout routine with the Basis Peak strapped to your wrist. One of the most accurate fitness trackers is due for a redesign in November.

The iOS 8 and Android-compatible watch is being fashioned by Basis, now an Intel company, to be slightly more aesthetically pleasing than the Basis Carbon Steel Edition.

Front and center is a new touchscreen interface that makes it easier to swipe through menus rather than pressing one of the four corners to move about in a confusion fashion.

The touchscreen makes it more like Android Wear, and in that vein is crosses into smartwatch territory via notifications for incoming calls, SMS and email.

Basis Peak fitness features

Notifications won't be available for November's Basis Peak launch, but come in a free software update, according to Basis. Hopefully it fares better than the doomed Fitbit Force notifications we demoed.

What will be part of the fitness tracker from the get-go are five returning metrics: steps, calories, skin temperature, perspiration and heart-rate even during workouts - not just when you ask for it.

Basis Peak smartwatch release date

Due in November sans notifications that are coming at a later date

Sleep tracking is once again automatically detected, a huge advantage over the fairly accurate Jawbone Up24 tracking feature and inaccurate (when it comes to sleep tracking) Fitbit Force and Fibit Flex.

Basis Peak also measures REM, deep, light sleep, which is slightly more advanced than the competition.

If you're under water, it's rated for 5 ATM, which is good enough for normal swimming, and the battery lasts four days. That's the same exact Pebble Steel waterproof and battery life stats.

Basis Peak price, release date

Basis Peak will be available in two colors schemes at launch: a matte black module with black and red-accented straps and brushed silver module with white and gray-accented straps.

It will cost $199 (likely north of £122, AU$227) with a North American release date falling in November. Amazon, Best Buy, REI and Basis' own store will carry the new fitness tracker.

The UK and Canada won't be too far behind with a release date slated for later this year.

Matt Swider