Reviews

Razer Nabu X In Depth Review

February 20, 2015

The Razer Nabu X is Razer’s second attempt at a growing, or stagnating depending on how you look at it, market of wearables.

At half the price of the more premium Razer Nabu, the Nabu X loses the screen for a Spartan tri-LED look, display-less look. The social notifications remain and you can still hi-five another person to exchange contact details; if you can find another person with a Nabu band that is.

I got my hands on the Razer Nabu X and here’s what I have to say.

LOOK AND FEEL

razer-nabu-x-back-and-side

The Nabu X is a simple wrist worn style tracker. The removable tracker unit reminds me of the aged Fitbit Flex and the more current Xiaomi MiBand. The dual-tone tracker unit is light, water proof and lasts up to 5-7 days on a single charge depending on your usage level.

razer-nabu-x-LEDs

The wrist band is changeable though finding an alternative is going to prove challenging. Sighting a Razer Nabu X in the wild is rare.

lengthy-razer-nabu-x

There seems to be a design flaw in the wrist band due to the lack of a secondary clip system. The ends of the Razer Nabu X will peek out. It’s not a big issue, just a noticeable one.

razer-nabu-x-LED-notifications

The “face” of the Nabu X has 3 LED lights; red, green, blue. Depending on how you’ve set up the notifications, the colours will light up accordingly.

razer-nabu-x-charger

Charging is through a proprietary cable that ends in a USB port. Takes about an hour plus to go from flat to full.

razer-nabu-x-on-hand

The black bank of my Razer Nabu X is inconspicuous, just the way I like it.

razer-nabu-x

An embossed Razer logo sits on the end of the wrist band. Vibration enabled, users can count on the Nabu X to deliver gentle vibrations once connected and customised to announce smart phone notifications.

FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION

For this review, a LG Nexus 5 running stock Android version 5.0.1 was used.

On its own, the Nabu X doesn’t do much other than notify the user about smartphone notifications and exchange user information through hi-fives and Nabu Pulse.

raxer-nabu-x-market-place

The unique about the Nabu X is that it acts as a hub for compatible apps. By this I don’t mean MyFitnessPal or Runkeeper and so on. With open SDK, Razer has invited developers to create apps for its own line of trackers. As of press, there aren’t many apps available.

My advice? Stick to the apps created by Razer and make sure you download the Nabu Fitness app.

Nabu Fitness App

razer-nabu-x-fitness-app

The main compatible app is the Nabu Fitness apps created by Razer. It simply tracks your step count, distance, calories and sleep. Calories burned is based on Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Goals can be set within the app to a level you prefer.

A double tap on the Razer Nabu X will show the progress thus far towards the daily set goal with all 3 LEDs lighting up indicating 100%.

razer-nabu-distance

Tapping on any of the headings allow more information to be revealed. As to how helpful it is I’m unsure. Users can also see the details by day, weeks, months.

razer-nabu-sleep-calories

Here we see the calories and sleep graphs in detail.

The app, as of press, is Spartan like the band. Functions are limited and the silent alarm has to be set from the Nabu Utility app which is separate from the Nabu Fitness app.

Autosleep and wake

razer-nabu-sleep-tracking

The option to track sleep manually is tedious and I’d rather not.

Nabu X features a time initiated sleep tracking  option. For example, I set sleep tracking at 11:30pm and waking at 6:00am. Once lack of movement is detected after 1130pm, sleep tracking is initiated. Similarly, sleep tracking is disabled once movement is detected after 6:00am.

The sleep graph is a combination of deep and light sleep. Time to bed and time woken.

Smartphone notifications

razer-nabu-x-menu

In my opinion, smart phone notifications is the main reason to buy the Razer Nabu X.

Razer-Nabu-X-blue-and-orange-lights

Users can customise one of 3 colours for ease of identification for notifications from smartphones, alarms or incoming calls; orange, green or blue.

razer-nabu-x-notification

You can choose which app the Razer Nabu X will buzz to from a drop down list within the Razer Nabu Utility. Once connected, you can expect the Nabu X to buzz non-stop with all the Whatsapp, SMS texts, phone notifications and phone calls.

It’s a sure way to deplete the battery which was what happened to me after a paltry 3 days of usage which is no fault of Razer’s.

After a while, I had to disable the smart phone notifications, only keeping the incoming calls, as it was proving a tad too difficult to focus on the work at hand.

Social exchanges

razer-nabu-x-social

By hi-fiving another person with a Nabu Band, the user can exchange contact information for apps like Facebook and Twitter.

There’s also a Pulse feature that allows the Nabu X band to interact with friends and other neaby Nabu X users.

Unfortunately that would require someone with a Nabu band which is easier said than done. I couldn’t find anyone I could high five with and the Pulse feature went about its days quiet.

ANYTHING ELSE?

The Razer Nabu X is water resistant to 1m so by that I understand it should be good for showers and splashes and perhaps the occasional dip in shallow pools.

Battery is supposed to last 5-7 days but I’ve set the brightness level to medium and the vibration level to high. In my case, it lasted slightly more than 3 days; I did receive a lot of text messages during the review.

Syncing of data is automatic and fast. If I changed the colour of the notification LEDs within the settings, I can also expect the change almost immediately.

IN A NUTSHELL

Pros:

  • Tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep.
  • Vibration enabled, silent alarm
  • Customisable smartphone notifications
  • Water resistant to 1m
  • Advertised 5-7 day battery life. 30 days on standby.
  • Razer marketplace for compatible apps.
  • Customisation brightness and vibration strength
  • Social exchange via high-five and Pulse
  • Wireless sync via Bluetooth

Cons:

  • No addition of friends
  • Limited functions
  • Limited number of apps in Razer marketplace
  • Mediocre app interface
  • Lack of widespread adoption hinders social exchange feature
  • No connection to 3rd party apps

The closest competitor would be the Xiaomi Mi Band which at a fraction of the price, is a formidable opponent not to ignore. Other comparable competitiors in the same price range include the Misfit Flash, Jawbone UP Move and the Fitbit Zip and Withings Pulse; the latter 2 being old but gold.

I wasn’t able to test the social exchange features via high fives so let me know if you do manage to try that.

The customisable LEDs for alarms, incoming calls and notifications is a neat feature which I personally found very helpful in differentiating between immediate action required or to check later.

I also found the customisable LED light brightness and vibration strength features which are unique to Razer Nabu X.

Unfortunately, there’s limited functions and other than smartphone notifications and social exchanges, the fitness tracking portion was far from lacking; I’ve seen free apps do more.­ The marketplace was pitiful with only 6 apps as of press and not all work with the Razer Nabu X, a few are for the slightly premium Razer Nabu.

With companies like Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings and even Nike offering users, with compatible phones, free usage and access to their powerful fitness apps, Nabu must up its game­ to attract buyers.

nabu-x

Razer Nabu X is available in White/Gold or Black/Green at $49.99.

You might be interested:

No Comments

Leave a Reply