The announcement of Amazon Halo View surprised me. I admired the first Amazon Halo Band’s originality, headlined by a discreet, display-less design and astute tone analysis feature. The $79 Halo View, a rather ordinary-looking activity tracker with a display for seeing the time or mid-workout metrics, ditches both those trademarks.
Colors: Black, Lavender, Green
Display: 0.95-inch color AMOLED (120 x 240 pixel)
Water resistance: 50 meters
Battery life: 7 days
Sensors: Heart rate, SpO2, step counter, skin temperature
But the Halo View isn’t just a fitness tracker. It’s the hardware to match a growing collection of Amazon Halo wellness services. Previously Amazon Halo’s $3.99/month membership offered basic actionable data and outsourced labs to help you reach your health goals. Now, the added Halo Fitness proprietary workout programs and Halo Nutrition guided eating plans show Amazon is serious about its share of the health space – without raising the membership fee.
As most workout machines rely on a paid membership, the Halo View is only as good as the companion app, which offers body fat percent readings, mobility scores, sleep insights, guided meditations, listening exercises, trainer-led workouts and recipes for every dietary need. So I’m hesitant to call Halo View one of the best fitness trackers, because the top alternatives are excellent standalone devices with features like GPS, NFC and apps. Still, this Amazon Halo View review scores how the company’s continued fitness efforts stack up in an ever-saturated market.
Amazon Halo View price and availability
The Amazon Halo View is available as of December 8, 2021. It costs $79.99 and comes in three colors: Active Black, Lavender Dream and Sage Green. The color options refer to the straps, which can alternatively be swapped out for a variety of sport, fabric, leather and metal bands at an additional cost.
When you buy the Amazon Halo View, you get a complimentary year of the Amazon Halo membership ($79.99 value). It costs $3.99/month afterwards.
Amazon Halo View review: Design
The Amazon Halo View looks like several of the best cheap fitness trackers. It features a rectangular case with a compact, touch-sensitive display and a capacitive touch control button. Looks-wise, it reminds me most of the $25 Wyze Band, but the design is generic.
Thanks to a lightweight build and thin, flexible straps, the Halo View has a barely-there feel. That’s what I like to see from a fitness tracker. Though I will say the color display makes it much less subtle than the first Amazon Halo band, it won’t distract you much. While I wish the .95-inch (120 x 240 pixel) display was a smidge larger, or allowed for more than one exercise metric to be seen at once, it never got in the way of my workout.
Amazon Halo View review: Fitness tracking
Unlike many trackers, the Halo View’s supported workout types are limited. Your on-wrist options are Walk, Run, Cycle, Fitness Training, Rowing, Swim, HIIT, Weight, Yoga and Other. You can retroactively log a few more sport types within the app, though there are fewer choices compared to the Fitbit Inspire 2, which has more than 20 workout types on your wrist.
While you’re working out, you can see the time elapsed in addition to one of your metrics at a time, whether it’s heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and points earned. The heart rate readings fell 1-2 beats lower than my Polar OH1 heart rate monitor, but this didn’t seem to impact tracking my heart rate zones. With heart rate readings, the Halo View identifies your workout intensity level. As a fan of heart-rate-based training, I appreciate being able to see how much time I spend in the light, moderate or intense activity zones.
Halo uses a points system that’s like Fitbit’s Activity Zone Minutes. When you exercise at a given intensity for a given duration, Halo will reward you with activity points. Your goal is to earn 150 activity points each week, with the risk of losing points for extended periods of time without movement. You score more points for higher exercise intensity levels, though. I earned 57 points after a 30 minute indoor bike class and 37 points for a 40 minute walk, and once lost a point after not moving for 8 hours.
The Amazon Halo View doesn’t have GPS, nor does it pull GPS data from your phone to tell you how far you’ve walked. It only pays attention to your steps, heart rate and time elapsed. I wouldn’t wear this over any of the best running watches or best GPS watches if outdoor activity is your thing. Without knowing when you’ve traveled a mile, it’s impossible to pace yourself.
When you’re not working out, but want to know your health metrics, you can take SpO2 readings manually, but not skin temperature. The premium Fitbit Sense has on-demand skin temperature readings — on the Halo View, skin temperature is only applied for sleep tracking. More on that in a minute.
And if you want to know your body fat percent or movement (mobility) baseline, you'll need to refer to the Halo app. When I tried out body fat percent readings for my review of the Amazon Halo Band, I didn't find consider something I'd do regularly. But I liked tracking my Movement Score, especially since I've started incorporating mobility work into my exercise routine.
Amazon Halo View review: Halo Fitness
Rather than devise your own ways to exercise, Halo Fitness can guide you to and through all kinds of workout types. Included with the Halo membership, Halo Fitness is a collection of exclusive classes and programs starring known coaches like Michael Hildebrand and Francheska Martinez. I particularly enjoyed mobility work with Dr. Jen Frabroni, though the collection of core, strength training, HIIT and yoga classes offer a solid variety. The production quality reminds me a lot of Apple Fitness Plus.
But unlike Apple Fitness Plus in relation to the Apple Watch, your Amazon Halo Band or Amazon Halo View won’t automatically launch a workout when you start a Halo Fitness class in your app. You still need to start the workout on your wrist, or log it afterwards. Eventually your band should integrate, showing your heart rate live on the screen like with Apple Fitness Plus and the Peloton app — but there’s no word on when that update will go live.
For now, the best part of Halo Fitness workouts is that you can cast them easily to a bigger screen. I had no trouble casting 10-minute HIIT and 15-minute restorative yoga classes to my Samsung Q80T QLED TV. Most of the classes are 10-15 minutes, making it easy to get a quick sweat on or stack a few together.
Amazon Halo View review: Halo Nutrition
While many Halo Nutrition features won’t launch until 2022, the service as it is now is a sufficient resource for recipes spanning all kinds of diets. When I heard about Halo Nutrition, I was worried about it providing calorie-counting or other tools that could complicate someone’s relationship with food. I definitely had those fears with the Halo app’s body composition feature. I’m pleased to report Halo Nutrition focuses entirely on nourishment and helping people find meals that work for them. There’s no language of restrictive eating or aggressive dieting.
Once Halo Nutrition is rolled out, it’ll feature more than 500 recipes from partners including WW, LifeSum, and Whole Foods Market. The Halo grocery list can also connect to Alexa Shopping, making it easy to get the ingredients you need to eat right.
Amazon Halo View review: Sleep tracking
I wore the Amazon Halo View overnight to see how well (or not) I slept. Like all the best Fitbits, Halo awards a sleep score that should correlate with how rested you feel. I don’t know that I felt I deserved 84/100 with less than 7 hours of sleep, but I did like seeing my time spent in each sleep stage. My Apple Watch 7 doesn't show me as much detail, though the hours asleep lined up.
More importantly, Halo has a slew of programs and reading material for improving your sleep, from nightly meditation to sleep-time challenges. Similar to my experience with Fitbit Inspire 2, you’ll get valuable insights in the app with actionable suggestions for better rest.
The Halo View’s sleep tracking feature establishes a baseline as it learns your routines and regular sleep patterns. After three nights, you can see your average sleep temperature. If your sleep temperature happens to vary one night, it could indicate a health or environmental factor impacting your rest.
Amazon Halo View review: Battery life
The Amazon Halo View is supposed to last up to one week on a charge. In the time I used it, it seemed to drain about 12% per day with activity tracking. That’s pretty competitive by activity tracker standards. The Fitbit Charge 5, Fitbit Inspire 2 and Wyze Band all lasted one week, too. I found the original Halo Band fell short on battery life claims, but that’s because I had the microphone enabled for tone analysis.
Amazon Halo View review: Verdict
Amazon Halo is holding its own against the more-established fitness brands. By continuing to add new features and programs without raising the already-low $3.99/month cost, Halo’s maturation has caught my attention. That said, the hardware – Halo View — leaves me wanting more.
It’s hard not to compare the fresh experience of using the Halo Band last year to my conventional stint with the Halo View. A simple fitness band isn’t a bad thing, but this one is outshone by its companion app, which I’m eager to explore more. I might even return to the Halo Band just to use the Halo app, and keep a more sophisticated wearable on the opposite wrist.
Still for just $79, Halo View is a gateway to the rest of what Halo has to offer, and it lets you see the time at a glance. As long as you don't mind your metrics and Halo's top features tied to an app, Halo View is a solid fitness band.