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Hardware & Gift Guide

Recommended apps & devices for the best Gyroscope experience

We have tried almost everything out there. Certain trackers seem to provide a better experience for our members.

If you’re shopping for something new, this can help you decide what will work best. Here are our rankings of the common health and fitness trackers. They’re graded by many metrics including data, API quality, company history, compatibility and overall experience.

Almost everything has its pros and cons, so identifying your specific goals and what your main goal is will be a useful starting point. If you have any questions, send us a message in the app!

Apple

Apple Watch

A

  • Some bugs, but mostly solid experience
  • 24-hour battery but fast charging
    • Longer than 24 hour battery has diminishing returns since it still needs to be charged some days, so the latest generation is sufficient. Charging for a few minutes a day as a habit is the proper solution here.
  • Series 4 or newer should be sufficient. The blood oxygen in Series 6 is a nice extra but not-essential. Measuring heart rate at night and during workouts is one of the primary sensor benefits.
  • Screen may distract if not configured to hide notifications
    • However, this is easily fixable by turning on theater mode and do not disturb
  • HRV measurements are every 1-2 hours at night
    • These help make the Health Score accurate

iPhone

B+

  • Apple Health is a centralized repository for most apps and devices
  • Background location tracking is quite reliable & low battery
  • Specialized chips for steps tracking, bluetooth syncing, etc. for seamless experience
  • iOS14 has a variety of bugs around data quality, but is still the best current option
  • Needed for Apple Watch, Dexcom and other accessories that sync to HealthKit

Oura Ring

A-

  • Web sync relatively reliable (requires polling, but still works fine)
  • Sleep detection is quite accurate
  • Not intended for tracking workouts or daytime activity, more of a specialty nightime device
  • Gathers HRV reliably in 5 minute intervals at night
  • Finger measurement more efficient than from wrist, so battery lasts multiple days
  • Temperature is a nice extra metric that most others don’t track, though not actually displayed in absolute value or exported elsewhere

Oura data comes in through a couple ways: from their Apple Health export as well as directly through their API. From Apple Health we get the Oura sleep times (with more detailed segments split up by the night) and heart rate measurements (which can then be computed into resting heart rate). This happens on the phone so it is quite quick.

HRV is not saved there, so to load HRV from Oura the API needs to be connected. This means the HRV may take a few more hours to come in and update the sleep score, it checks for new data about every 2-3 hours. From the Oura API directly we get the sleep start and end time, and the HRV minutes checked every 5 minutes.

Fitbit

Fitbit has been acquired by Google recently. While we have recommended them in the past, it is unclear what the next few years will look like or how the data and API quality will be impacted. Fitbit has historically been pretty good API responses, but Google has been really bad with that (with Google Fit), so it is unclear what the final merger will result in.

Fitbit Wearables (Charge, Versa, Sense, etc.)

C

  • Longer battery life is nice
  • API is quite reliable, though does require opening their app first to sync
  • An affordable and simple step and heart rate tracker
  • No timezone handling, so things can break or be incorrect on switch
  • Not recommended if you nap or travel frequently! Due to limitations with timezones missing and limitations in API, we only sync one sleep session per night.
  • Limited data quality due to times being stored without timezones, older history may be inaccurate. We don’t load workouts from Fitbit for that reason, as it would be very common to have duplication
  • No Apple Health sync
  • Sleep in API is not always synced reliably
  • Sleep and HR tracking works great if you sleep uninterrupted

Fitbit Aria Wifi scale

B-

  • Pretty comparable to Withings Body+
  • Hardware is solid
  • Measures weight and bodyfat well
  • Syncs directly to Gyroscope reliably
  • Doesn't save to Apple Health
  • A bit expensive ($100+) but works well

Fitbit Aria Air

D

A lower budget scale that doesn’t check bodyfat. It is better to get a cheaper scale that checks bodyfat when getting a scale.

💡

Scales that check bodyfat are not extremely accurate, but it is still a useful data point to have. Over time the average is very meaningful, even if one single measurement may not be extremely precise, and it is almost always directionally correct (ie. if you are losing bodyfat then the bodyfat number will also likely go down). Without bodyfat measurements, checking weight can be challenging since it is harder to know what the changes mean or what is a healthy amount.

Garmin

C-

  • Steps data is often good and syncs to Gyroscope
  • Heart rate data is good and syncs to Gyroscope
  • Web syncing adequate, but not always solid
  • No HRV data tracked (limiting sleep score accuracy)
  • Major outages in past
  • Major data quality issues (REM sleep not saved as sleep, for example)
  • Have to open separate app for it to sync
  • On Android it is a decent option, but on iOS much better options exist

Android

Depracated — this device can still be used with Gyroscope but additional support or maintenance may not be provided in the future.

D+

  • While the quality of the phone hardware has improved, the health tracking and Google Fit API is mostly unchanged from 6 years ago when we started.
  • Not using modern API techniques like push notifications leads to us having to manually check every few hours for new data.

Withings/Nokia

Also labeled as “Nokia” depending on when you bought it. They make many different devices, we really like their wifi scales but don’t recommend the other devices.

The company history has been a bit unstable, with the company being acquired multiple times and the API structure changing considerably in each switch. The API has had many breaking changes over the years and can lose connection every few months.

While it is currently working very smoothly, it is possible there will be a change in the future that makes it much harder to sync data directly.

Withings Wifi Scale (Body+)

B

  • Body+ is a happy medium that checks bodyfat but is good value
  • Sometimes costs $100+ but is often on sale
  • Beware of the low-end scale that doesn't check bodyfat, and the more expensive scales that have heart rate monitoring (not needed in a scale).
  • Good build quality
  • Wifi sync is quite reliable and needs no app to send to Gyroscope
  • Saves to Apple Health, but app needs to be opened for that
  • Frequent API outages or changes can require reconnection

Withings Sleep Tracker

C

  • Form factor of being in your bed is convenient if you are at home
  • Doesn’t track HRV, so sleep score is of limited accuracy
  • Apple Watch can do much of this tracking too
  • May be great fit for people who hate watches and rings

Withings watch

D

  • We think the best Withings product is their wifi scale
  • The watch is stylish but doesn’t add much useful data — for most people steps can be tracked from the phone already
  • Doesn't measure HRV which is the primary heart metric we want
  • Doesn’t export heart rate to Apple Health
  • Frequent API instability makes this an unreliable source
  • Apple Health syncing exists but very incomplete, saves a few things but not most of what you will want to track in Gyroscope like steps or heart rate.

This partial approach of saving some things like weight to Apple Health, but not other things like resting heart rate, can cause significant confusion or inconsistency in data.

Renpho Bodyfat Scale

We have less experience with this one in terms of accuracy, but it seems promising and better value.

A-

  • Syncs Bluetooth not wifi, which can be a bit more of a hassle
  • It is only $20 bucks rather than $50–100 for other comparable wifi scales
  • It seems like they have done a good job bringing the cost down
  • If you don’t have a scale and don’t want to pay a lot for the Withings, this is a great option
  • You have to open your phone to sync it rather than using wifi, but it is a lot cheaper to do so

Samsung

Depracated — this device can still be used with Gyroscope but additional support or maintenance may not be provided in the future.

D

  • Limited API only allows access in the United States (or via VPN)
  • Doesn’t track HRV data for best sleep scores
  • Syncing can be unreliable

Whoop

F

  • Doesn’t have a developer API
  • Doesn’t save to Apple Health
  • Data cannot be used in Gyroscope

Glucose Monitors

There are two main categories, "continuous" (which is not really continuous, but every 5 minutes) monitors and fingerprick monitors (which are more accurate).

If you are focusing on fasting or on a ketogenic diet, then the decision is made for you — it must be a fingerprick monitor since only those can measure ketone levels. (Other sensors via pee or breath also exist but are basically not significantly more accurate than guessing)

If your diet is extremely unhealthy, then a continuous glucose monitor will definitely be useful and can be a really powerful wake-up call about the effects of your diet. There’s nothing quite like getting a high blood sugar push notification from your Dexcom a few minutes after starting your meal.

Otherwise it comes down to what feels more painful to you: pricking your finger, or losing $10 a day.

Fingerprick Monitors

Abbot Precision Xtra

A

  • The industry standard for checking glucose and ketone levels
  • Can do both ketones & glucose with the same system, and is quite reliable
  • If you are already optimized (on a ketogenic or well balanced diet), then the blood sugar may be quite boring and without significant spikes. However, then you can check ketones.
  • Since it is popular, the strips are easy to find and relatively cheap
  • Glucose strips are about 50 cents, ketone strips about $1 — so even if you continuously check after meals it is much cheaper than a Dexcom
  • Requires a fingerprick to check levels
  • The lancet it comes with is super uncomfortable. Using a better one is recommended for a painless experience

Keto Mojo

A

  • Does both glucose & ketones
  • Comes in a nice kit with all the essentials
  • Bluetooth on a fingerprick monitor is a cool luxury, but often more work and frustration to pair and sync than just entering in the one number
  • Useful for fasting or a low carb diet
  • Bluetooth doesn’t help for ketone levels anyways

One Drop

C+

  • Doesn’t track blood ketones, but nice for blood sugar
  • Extremely painful lancet, be careful when doing fingerprick
  • Cool looking design (everything is chrome)
  • Looks less clinical than the other monitors
  • Their app saves to Apple Health

We highly recommend using fingerprick monitors for a while before needing a CGM.

Continuous Monitors

Dexcom G6

C

  • Very Expensive (about ~$10/day) (for comparison, Gyroscope X is about $5 a day and can provide most of the same insights)
  • Bluetooth sync to Gyroscope makes it really easy to see your history (3 hours later per FDA guidelines)
  • Doesn’t actually measure ’blood‘ sugar but interstitial fluid, data reflected is about 30 minutes delayed from what happened in your actual blood
  • You can get all the same insights by working with a Gyroscope X coach, but if you don’t believe them then this can be a more convincing way to see the results of imbalanced meals.
  • If you are already optimized (on a ketogenic or well balanced diet), then the data may be quite boring and without significant spikes.
  • The system can be a bit fragile — if you get a lot of water in it, bump into a wall, the sensor can lose accuracy or stop working.
  • Convenient in public or at restaurants when you may be too shy or distracted to check your blood sugar otherwise
  • Available over the counter in Europe, prescription needed in US
  • Can also be purchased on Amazon with sensor & transmitter separately

Abbot Freestyle Libre

D

  • Available over the counter in Europe, needs a prescription in the US
  • The cheaper CGM option (about $100), this one is often rebranded by many companies (ie. Nutrisense, Levels, etc.)
  • Doesn’t save to Apple Health, so the data is not automatically synced to Gyroscope
  • Any glucose data can be manually entered into Gyroscope from the + button in the app
  • Doesn’t sync with bluetooth, needs to be manually scanned every 8 hours to see data
  • Despite those limitations, it is a great nice 1 week experiment that most people could benefit from