Life Watch Review: Is The Health Tracking Accurate?

Life Watch Review: Is The Health Tracking Accurate?


| |
| |
Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Life Watch is a smart watch that syncs to the phone and claims to track a number of health metrics including blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and more. The brand describes their product as “The Incredible New Smart Watch That Does It All!”

But is Life Watch proven to be accurate at tracking these health metrics or are these just marketing claims? Are health-tracking watches even necessary for the average person? How does Life Watch compare to other smart device brands like Fitbit? And how do real users rate and describe the benefits of Life Watch?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the accuracy of Life Watch, compare it to the Fitbit, give our take on whether or not smart watches are worth the money and share Life Watch customer reviews.

Is Life Watch Proven to Work?

As stated in the intro to this article, the Life Watch website claims that the device tracks five different health metrics: body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and sleep patterns.

However, the brand provides no proof that its device is accurate in tracking these metrics. Life Watch doesn’t appear to have been tested in any clinical trials, nor does the brand compare the accuracy of their device to other popular smart watches or health trackers on their website.

The accuracy of portable health devices and smartwatches has been an issue in clinical studies.

A 2019 clinical trial on a different smart watch brand called Everlast found that the average differences between the device and the accurate blood pressure (BP) data was 16.9 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure which is substantial. The researchers concluded that the device was “not accurate enough to be used [for] BP measurement.”

A medical review published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal analyzed data from a large number of clinical trials on sleep tracking devices. The study authors concluded that the devices were not accurate enough to be useful and they should be interpreted “cautiously.”

As we discussed in our Oura Ring sleep apnea review article, there are some wearable devices that are clinically shown to be accurate for specific outcomes like sleep apnea tracking, but on average, the research we’ve come across for the accuracy of smart watches is unconvincing.

Overall it seems unlikely in our opinion that Life Watch will be accurate given that the manufacturer publishes no clinical data proving it to be accurate, and because the accuracy of other commercial health-tracking smart watches is highly questionable based on a research review.

But how does the device compare to the more expensive Fitbit? We’ll review in the next section.

Life Watch vs. Fitbit

Fitbit is one of the most popular health tracking devices that also functions as a watch.

The Fitbit is more expensive than Life Watch (ranging from around $150 to around $350 compared to Life Watch at $79.99) but as we documented in our review of the Fitbit Sense, it’s actually clinically shown to work and to be somewhat accurate.

A clinical trial published in the Journal of Sports Sciences compared the heart rate tracking accuracy of various commercial devices, and the relative error rate of the Fitbit ranged from 3.9% to 13.5%.

A 2020 medical review found that the Fitbit was the most accurate of commercial health tracking devices for sleep tracking. 

Based on the available data, we would recommend Fitbit over Life Watch. But how do real users rate and describe their experience using Life Watch? We’ll analyze in the next section.

Real People Try Life Watch

Life Watch is manufactured by a company called InvenTel Products LLC. This company has an average review rating of 1 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, which is the lowest rating possible.

A user named “Katherine W” claims that the watch didn’t work and that getting a refund was a frustrating experience:

“I bought a Life Watch for my brother with a warranty. When we couldn't get it work, after numerous times, I called to talk to a representative. They gave an address for return, which was not correct by a postal employee. So I called a representative again after so many days. Now I want a refund and they are telling me my warranty has expired. I've bought 3 of these from this company, yet they do not want to honor this request for refund. I paid $94.97 for each watch. I just want a refund.”

A user named “Amy K” claims that they never received the product and were sent a fake tracking number:

Never received item. Don't bother calling the 888#, it's just a recording. The tracking # was fake. Got no help from the customer service I email. I got 1 response with another question that I answered over 2 weeks ago. Terrible. Going through the credit card company now to get my money back.”

To their credit, InvenTel responds to customer complaints and appears to resolve the issue, so we would recommend that dissatisfied Life Watch customers leave a review explaining your situation on the BBB site and the manufacturer may rectify the situation.

We can’t find any video reviews on YouTube or TikTok, but the manufacturer does have an unboxing and setup video that may be useful for potential customers:

Are Smart Watches Really Necessary?

In theory, more health data is better than none, because it can help alert potential health issues or health emergencies. However, for the average healthy person, we haven’t come across much convincing evidence that smart watches at the current stage of technology are necessary or useful.

Health metrics like heart rate and blood pressure can be checked at no cost at a doctor's office during an annual or bi-annual checkup, and for those who get stressed in-office, the doctor may recommend purchasing at-home monitoring devices that are more accurate than commercial smart watches (and often cheaper and covered by insurance).

We haven’t come across any large-scale medical studies finding that smart watches prevented deaths or improved health, nor does Life Watch cite any, so it seems to us like a product category that’s a solution in need of a problem.

A YouTube creator named “AnthonyKings” shared an honest review of his experience with a smart watch, and why he thinks it may be unnecessary for the average person:

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We don’t recommend Life Watch because we can’t find any evidence that the device is proven to be effective and accurate in clinical trials. This is an important criteria, because clinical studies on other commercial smart watchers and portable health tracking devices have found significant accuracy issues.

Without proof that the device is accurate, we consider it to be a waste of money.

We would recommend Fitbit over Life Watch to consumers intent on purchasing a health tracking device. While Fitbit is not as accurate as medical devices either, it is clinically shown to be reliable and somewhat accurate, and is highly accurate in regard to sleep data.

Life Watch has highly negative reviews on the BBB website, although it’s a small sample size.

We haven’t come across any convincing medical evidence that the average consumer benefits from use of smart watches or other health tracking devices, but they’re certainly not harmful in any way.