I still vividly recall a woman seated next to me during a wearable tech press event at CES in Las Vegas. What made me take notice was what she was wearing: a simple, elegant small silver leaf attached to a wooden form dangling from a silver chain.
As I soon discovered, this stylish piece was no ordinary necklace though. After a friendly chat with Bellabeat Founder/CEO Urska Srsen, I learned that the LEAF is a women’s health and fitness tracker with a lot of functionality.
We have devoted ourselves to one simple goal: to develop products that will help us learn the science behind our bodies and give us the power that comes with knowing the truth about our body and mind. We want you to be the most powerful, capable, confident woman that you can be.
The product was initially designed to track pregnancy. Once the product found its groove, Urska, together with co-founder Sandro Mur, aimed to develop a second product suitable for all women, resulting in the LEAF, launched last May.
Unlike typical fitness monitors currently on the market, the LEAF tracks women’s reproductive cycles, activity, sleep quality and stress level.
The stylish silver (or newer rose gold on dark wood) piece syncs with the LEAF app (iOS, Android); all data is transferred wirelessly via Bluetooth and collected to give insight on your health.
In the package: the LEAF by Bellabeat monitor, adjustable-length steel necklace, battery replacement tool, a few extra battery cover screws and user manual. At the moment, LEAF is also throwing in a free double wrap bracelet with purchase.
Wearing the LEAF is flexible too: it can be clipped to your clothes, worn as a bracelet or necklace. The leather is relatively comfortable to wear throughout the day but putting the end of the strap through the LEAF’s little side hole can be a bit tricky until the leather softens at the tip. After about eight wearings, I found it went through without problem.
Once on, it looks great! I keep admiring it as I work from my desk, reminded to get out on my daily power walk. Its simplicity is beautiful — it definitely stands apart from typical fitness trackers.
There are four levels of breathing exercises ranging from intro do advanced. Manage and relieve stress while focusing on mental well-being with several two- and 10-minute soothing meditations.
Sessions include inner peace, energy, deep sleep, confidence, focus, SOS, menstrual discomfort — whatever you might need at the moment to get you through (or end) your day on a healthy note.
Want to focus like three-time US Olympian Lolo Jones? They’ve got you covered.
Wearing the LEAF at night tracks the quantity and quality of your sleep cycles, indicating where you had deep and light sleeps throughout the night. I earned a star for grabbing enough shuteye! You can also manually add a nap, adding to your sleep profile.
Steps, calories (resting and active) burned and overall distance are all displayed, along with a timeline showing your most active moments. The LEAF vibrates as a reminder to increase activity or reduce workout intensity depending on preference.
According to the app, the bracelet is the most sensitive to movement while the necklace is the least. A little star above the line shows me that I achieved my goal in the late afternoon.
Not all activities are recognized on their own but the LEAF approximates calories burned based on the time you enter and includes it in the daily total count. The app also integrates with iPhone’s own Health app; any activity gets added into that interface as well.
I like that I don’t have to prepare the LEAF for a walk or run session. It just knows that I’m moving and when I want to sync it to the app, I click the arrow, tap the LEAF twice and voilà, new data is added.
You can also manually add an activity such as aerobics, Bikram yoga, cleaning, cooking, dog walking, gardening, ice skating, playing with kids, sex, shopping, zumba — it all counts!
The LEAF tracks reproductive health via the app’s fertility charts and ovulation calendar. If you’re looking to get pregnant, the app provides a breakdown of fertile days within your cycle. I don’t know of any other smart app/wearable tech combo that achieves this.
There’s also a reminder option for taking pills (oral contraception, vitamins, medicine) and when to expect your next period. Cycle patterns can affect sleep, activity, stress and focus, so this handy little gadget can help keep it all in check.
This setting gives a gentle morning wake-up via haptic vibration motor.
– Dimensions: 48 mm high, 30 mm wide, 13 mm deep (1.89” x 1.18” x 0.51”)
– Weight: 18 g (0.635 ounces)
– Sensors: Tri-axis accelerometer
– Updates: Over the Air (OTA)
Compatible with iPhone 4s and later, iPod Touch 5th gen and later, Android 4.3 and later, iPad 3rd gen and later, iPad Mini and iPad Air.
While the LEAF Silver is made of certified American White Ash wood and stainless steel, the Rose Gold contains African blackwood and hypoallergenic rose gold-plated stainless steel.
The matching double wrap bracelet contains hypoallergenic stainless steel, leather and brass. An included CR2032 coin battery is replaceable and lasts for six months.
Heads Up: It’s Not Waterproof
While you can get the LEAF wet (and sweat while wearing it), it’s neither water resistant nor waterproof. So no pool or bath for this little guy.
I’m wearing the double wrap bracelet in size S/M that fits wrist sizes 14 to 17.5 cm (5.51 to 6.89”). The large fits wrists 17 to 21 cm (6.7 to 8.3”).
TIP: Unless you’ve a really large wrist, stick with the S/M as the leather stretches with wear. A variety of coloured bracelets are designed to match the silver or rose gold LEAF monitors.
Bellabeat Silver Edition retails for CDN $149.99/US $119.99; the new Rose Gold Edition is CDN $199/US $149.99. Shipping is free within the US ($20 for international shipments).
The LEAF is available in Canada at Best Buy, The Bay, Indigo, Amazon and others. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Bellabeat.