Home Tech The first fitness tracker for women is running out of time

The first fitness tracker for women is running out of time

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nobody was More excited than I am to try the Movano Evie ring. When it was first announced, I added it to our best of CES in 2023 list. I was excited to finally find a fitness tracker that solved a real problem for an underserved population! Many women find it really difficult to keep track of their menstrual cycles, and this is especially relevant if you are a woman in perimenopause. The 10 to 15 years before your period ends are usually characterized by health problems such as hot flashes and lack of sleep. Monitoring these conditions would be the first step to treating them effectively.

However, in the past year, almost all fitness trackers have introduced a similar cycle tracking feature. Apple debuted the skin temperature sensor and automatic ovulation detection with the Series 8 (8/10, WIRED recommends), and so did the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Withings ScanWatch (7/10, WIRED recommends). Several months ago, period tracking app Clue introduced a new set of features, Perimenopause trackwhere you can manually track perimenopausal symptoms.

Most significant for biological women in the United States, Roe v. Wade was annulled. Depending on where you live, maybe you don’t even want to to track your period online. Assuming you still want to track your period on an app and don’t have menstrual cycle features on your existing fitness tracker, is the Movano Evie ring worth purchasing? Now it probably isn’t.

Affordable price

The Evie ring has several great features. At $269, it’s relatively affordable (as far as smart rings go) and doesn’t require an additional subscription fee. I used the free sizing kit and got my usual size 8, and the fitting room had a gold finish (there’s silver and rose gold too).

The ring itself is injection molded and has a titanium finish that feels comfortable and high quality, with small sensors located inside. It has a notch cut out, which makes the sizing a little more flexible than it might otherwise be. It can accommodate your hands changing size when you exercise or have hormonal fluctuations, but the downside is that the notch gets caught in my hair.

The ring’s sensors include red and green LEDs, PPG infrared sensors, skin temperature sensors, photodiodes, and a 3D accelerometer. It also comes with a small portable charging case that holds up to ten additional charges and charges via USB-C. When I first bought the ring, I had several charging issues that were only resolved with frequent updates to the app and the ring.

Right now, I have a little less than 3 days of battery life, which isn’t much, especially compared to the Oura ring’s 5 days. I also don’t get any notification that the battery is dead, so I lose a lot of data if I don’t check the app every morning. Recharging takes between 2 and 3 hours.

The app itself seems pretty superficial. It is currently only available on iOS 16 or higher and does not sync with Apple Health. The Daily Summary shows your day as a circle, but that circle does not appear to correlate with your activities that day. For example, half the circle is sleeping, even though I only sleep 6 to 7 hours a night and not 12. A 40-minute run makes up almost half of my daytime hours. You also have to log workouts manually in the app, and you can’t note what type of workout it was, only the duration.

It’s also quite disappointing that the much-vaunted skin temperature sensor only shows deviations from the average, and not a monthly graph. A monthly chart is the only way to see the minimum temperature drop that occurs at the end of your cycle. You can see and record the drop on an Oura ring, but not with Evie.

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