The Amazon Halo Band Helped Me Form Healthy Habits and Stay Active — and It's On Sale

This membership-based fitness tracker by Amazon measures how you “move, sleep, and sound” — and gives you access to over 200 fitness classes — for just $4 per month.

I-Tested-Amazon-Halo-and-I'm-Better-For-It-Courtesy-of-Amazon
Photo: Courtesy of Merchant

Fitness trackers have been a popular staple among active people for years. And given that I'm a sporadic runner who could use some regiment with fitness, buying one to stay motivated should have been a no-brainer for me. But the idea of adding another screen to my already heavily digital life kept me on the outskirts. That is, until I learned about the Amazon Halo Band.

Amazon's minimalist device differs from traditional fitness trackers by not having a screen. Instead, a sensor on your wrist monitors things like your steps, heart rate, calories burned, and time asleep. You can check your metrics on the Amazon Halo app, which is also chock-full of healthy recipes, mindfulness modules from Headspace, workout classes from Orangetheory, and more. All these features are included in the $4-per-month subscription, which begins after a six-month free trial.

But other features have given some consumers pause, namely the tone analysis function, which listens to your voice throughout the day and categorizes how you might sound to others. Then there's the body composition feature, in which users upload pictures of themselves in minimal clothing to measure their body fat percentage. Invasive? Possibly. Effective? That's up to you (though both features are optional). While some reviewers were discouraged rather than motivated by their results, I wondered if being confronted with an objective assessment of my body and habits could help me commit to being more active.

Here's my honest review of the Amazon Halo:

My Overall Rating: 8.7/10

Pros:

  • No screen (though this may be a con for some)
  • Long battery life (up to seven days on a single charge)
  • Sets weekly instead of daily goals, allowing for rest days
  • Access to 200+ fitness classes, guided meditations, and 450+ healthy recipes
  • Provides personalized workouts based on your movement
  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Sleek, minimalist design

Cons:

  • Tone analysis is a bit creepy
  • Body composition can be discouraging
  • The band takes awhile to dry while wearing it
Amazon Halo Band
Allaire Nuss

Amazon Halo Band: Sleek and simple

The first thing that caught my eye about the Halo Band was its minimalist design and lack of screen. A soft-woven fabric band secures a small metal sensor to your wrist, making the device look more like a bracelet than other more techy fitness trackers. The band is available in three color schemes: black/onyx, winter/silver, and blush/rose gold. You can also purchase additional fabric and sport bands separately in 15 additional colors and styles, which you can easily attach to your sensor. I personally opted for the blush option, and I love how its subtle hue blends in with my pale skin. The band also comes in small, medium, and large sizes. It's comfortable, too. The lightweight design and soft fabric are barely noticeable to me anymore, especially with how much I've been wearing it.

But if you still want a screen, fear not. There's also the Amazon Halo View, with all the same features as the Band (minus tone analysis) and a screen to track your stats in real time.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Buy It: Amazon Halo View, $80, amazon.com

Signing Up for Amazon Halo: Automatic upon purchase

Signing up for an Amazon Halo membership is almost deceptively easy. Upon ordering your Halo Band from Amazon, your Amazon account automatically begins your six-month free membership to the wide range of perks shown in the graphic below. After your trial is up, you'll be charged $4 per month through your Amazon account. If you decide you can do without the membership (core features like steps, calories, and sleep time don't require a subscription), you can cancel it through your Amazon account's Your Memberships & Subscriptions tab.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Amazon Halo Band
Allaire Nuss

Amazon Halo Band Delivery and Packaging: Like any other Amazon product

It's no surprise that Amazon's take on fitness trackers ships like any other product on its storefront. Amazon shipping is famously prompt, though the exact amount of time depends on where you live. Those with an Amazon Prime membership will have the fastest shipping, along with a myriad of other Amazon benefits. The packaging is also standard for Amazon, with mine arriving in a padded paper envelope. The band itself is in a cardboard box along with a charging cable (but no outlet plug) and a brief user guide.

Amazon Halo Band
Amazon

Amazon Halo Subscription: A holistic approach to wellness

Amazon's fitness tracker isn't just for counting steps and calories burned. Instead, the Amazon Halo takes a holistic approach to your health by emphasizing mindfulness alongside fitness. It measures the intensity of your activities, how you move, your sleep quality, and even your mood based on your tone of voice. All of these metrics help the Halo provide a balanced snapshot of your health and are displayed through ring meters on the app. These rings help you visualize various aspects of your wellness and track progress over time. But the Halo goes beyond the numbers, providing personalized healthy habits to help you improve your metrics, such as meditations to help you fall asleep quicker or stretches to help your shoulder mobility (which I apparently need to work on). ​​I personally love the Halo's holistic approach to health. Because wellness isn't only achieved through getting 10,000 steps a day; feeling good and whole comes from plenty of sleep and productive reflection just as much as it does from exercise. So, I appreciate that the Halo is challenging me to improve my lifestyle beyond calories burned.

An Amazon Halo subscription also grants you access to over 200 fitness courses, multiple meditations, and over 450 healthy recipes. This content comes from Headspace, Orangetheory, BetterSleep, Aaptiv, Weight Watchers Reimagined, Openfit, 8fit, and Sweat. Yep, all of this is included in your flat membership rate of just $4 per month. You can still use your Halo Band without a membership, though that will limit your features to sleep time, calories burned, heart rate, steps, and activity sessions (no classes or modules). I, for one, am loving the wide library of content. It was a big selling point for me; instead of just telling me to be more active, my Halo actually provides me with resources to get me moving.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Amazon Halo Band
Allaire Nuss

Amazon Halo Activity and Movement: Holds you accountable

Rather than giving you a daily steps target like other fitness trackers, Amazon Halo instead sets weekly activity goals measured through a points system, with an initial goal of 150 points. You earn points based on the intensity and duration of your movement. Here's the catch: After eight hours of sedentary time, you'll lose one point for each additional hour where you don't move. Your score resets to zero every Monday, but the data remains in your app so you can track your progress.

How You Earn Points:

  • Intense activity: two points per minute (e.g., running, playing soccer, etc.)
  • Moderate activity: one point per minute (e.g., speed walking, cycling, etc.)
  • Light activity: one point per 20 minutes (e.g., walking, household chores, etc.)

Beyond scoring your movements, Amazon Halo will also offer personalized exercises based on a movement assessment, which has you perform various poses and exercises on camera to measure your stability, mobility, and posture. From there, Halo analyzes areas for improvement and suggests week-long modules to help you improve.

But what truly makes Halo special is that it tailors workouts and fitness modules to you based on where you need to make progress. My movement assessment identified weakness in my shoulder mobility and immediately recommended a week-long course to get me up to speed. I've also enjoyed testing out the various workouts on the app, including barre, cardio, HIT, pilates, strength, yoga, and more. You can filter for type of activity, duration, and difficulty, and partner (like Aaptiv or Openfit). I've only scratched the surface of this mountain of content, but the few classes I've tried were positive experiences — plus, you can't beat the convenience of on-demand fitness. An upper body workout from Orangetheory had me drowning in my own sweat, but of course, that was the goal all along.

My Halo Band has been extremely useful when I work out at my local yoga studio, where I use the live feature to track my calories and intensity in real-time. But other than those exercise classes, I didn't previously move much on my own. After getting the Halo Band, I wanted to get some easy steps without working up a sweat, but the snow outside makes walks unappealing. I also don't want to just pace monotonously inside my house. So, I've resorted to mall walking with a friend to earn activity points, which is actually a blast (don't knock it till you try it). Without the Halo Band, I wouldn't have given my lack of movement in the winter a second thought. But now that I own one, I feel an intrinsic duty to stay moving and complete my weekly rings.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Amazon Halo Band
Allaire Nuss

Amazon Halo Sleep Features: Relaxing and full of resources

A good night's sleep is paramount to a healthy lifestyle, lowering stress and depression while aiding memory and mood. And Halo wants to help your sleep better by calculating your rest. Your "sleep score" is tracked through rings, just like your activity and movement. Halo calculates your score by assessing the quality and quantity of your sleep on a scale of 0 to 100. It measures how long it took you to fall asleep, the time spent in each sleep stage, and how often you woke up during the night. I've found that I'm excited to check my sleep score in the morning, especially how much time I spent in REM, the stage where dreams occur. A score of 85 or higher signifies a good night's sleep, while anything under 70 means you may need to adjust your night routine.

That's where Amazon Halo's sleep modules come in. There are various week-long programs to help you unwind before bed and fall asleep, such as nighttime stretches, guided meditations, and relaxing bedtime stories. I often listen to podcasts and audiobooks as I nod off, and though it was cheesy, a bedtime story series about a magic train traveling through the Arctic genuinely lulled me to sleep. I don't often struggle with getting a good night's sleep, but I love that I now have access to a library of audio specifically designed to relax me before bedtime.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Amazon Halo Band
Allaire Nuss

Amazon Halo Tone Analysis: Interesting but a little bit creepy

Tone analysis is one of Amazon Halo's exclusive services that sets it apart from other fitness trackers. It operates by listening to your voice through a microphone in the wrist sensor and computing how you might sound to others. Your speech's perceived positivity and energy are then rated on a scale of one to 100. Later, you can check a comprehensive bar graph of the percentage of times your voice sounded delighted, pleased, down, and angry. There's also a live feature where you can speak in real-time for instant analysis.

I tested the tone analysis for one day before opting to disable it. It decided I sounded "delighted" for 20 percent of the day, noting I seemed especially "appreciative" at 6:41 p.m. I'm not sure what I should do with this information — I have no clue what I was talking about then or to whom. It was interesting to see, just not enough for me to keep the feature (it drains the battery way faster).

Though Halo deletes your audio after processing it and never uploads it to a cloud, I'm still uneasy about this feature. It just feels invasive to know something is always listening. That said, this isn't a deal-breaker for me. I simply disabled the feature and continued to enjoy my Halo without it. Whether you want to use tone analysis is up to you, but I'll probably keep mine off.

Amazon Halo Band
Amazon

Amazon Halo Body Composition: An economical option (if you opt for it)

Getting a professional body fat assessment isn't exactly cheap, with many tests priced at well over $100. But a study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that Amazon Halo's body composition scan can be just as accurate at measuring body fat as systems used by doctors. That's a sweet deal, given that it's just one feature of the $4-per-month subscription.

Its accuracy can be intimidating, though — and it sure was for me. Here's how it works: The app asks users to upload pictures of their bodies (in shorts and a sports bra, if applicable), which Halo uses to calculate your body fat percentage based on your sex, age, and weight. It then processes these images in the cloud and deletes them (except for the copies on your phone), which still gives me an odd feeling. I didn't like the idea of submitting revealing pictures of myself to a service by one of the world's most prominent companies, but I complied out of curiosity. It digitally constructed a model of my body on the app, complete with a "body estimate changes" feature in which I could see how my own figure would look with more or less fat. If that sounds like something you don't need, that's more than OK. You can still enjoy all the other features the Halo Band offers without doing the body composition assessment.

While I'm at a healthy weight, I'm definitely lacking in the muscles department. Because of this discrepancy, my body fat percentage teetered on the edge of being almost too high. Yes, this hurt my feelings, but it also made me reassess my lifestyle. I used to think that the number on my scale meant that I could get away with not exercising regularly, but my view has since shifted. Not for the sake of changing my appearance, but rather to work towards a healthier me, or at least that's what I tell myself.

Learning my body fat percentage helped nudge me to break bad habits, like sitting at my desk for hours without movement breaks. And despite my initial uneasiness, I opted for reminders to rescan myself every two weeks to track my progress, which I hope will hold me even more accountable.

Amazon Halo Price: Honestly, a steal

Amazon currently has the Halo Band on sale for New Years at 15 percent off, down from $100 to $85. In comparison, the newest Apple watch can cost you $429, and nicer Fitbits can also rack up hundreds of dollars, depending on the model. The main difference with the Amazon Halo Band is its lack of screen, but again, that's a bonus for me as I seek to live more in the moment. But if that's a deal-breaker for you, Amazon also offers the Amazon Halo View with all the same features (minus tone analysis), complete with a screen and priced at $80.

As for the $4-per-month membership, I haven't decided whether or not I'll renew it once my trial is up. That's not because it's expensive; rather, I think it's an extremely reasonable price given the scope of fitness classes and meditations, not to mention features like movement analysis and sleep stage breakdowns. But I mainly use my Halo Band to track steps, calories burned, and time asleep. All these features are free, so I might do without the subscription when the time comes.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Buy It: Amazon Halo View, $80, amazon.com

Amazon Halo vs. Whoop

Whoop is the fitness tracker competitor most comparable to the Amazon Halo. Both lack screens and are subscription-based, but there are also many key differences. Whoop's band is free, but its service is much more expensive at $30 per month, while the Halo membership is just $4. But Whoop has positive features the Halo lacks, such as tracking your body's recovery after workouts and a customizable journal that records lifestyle factors, like alcohol consumption, so that you can compare them with your physical performance. Whoop optimizes as it learns more about you over time, hence the price difference between these two fitness trackers. But whichever is best for you depends on other factors. Though I haven't tested Whoop, I sense that it's geared towards more serious athletes, while the Halo is better suited for the average person looking to be more active. So based on my limited comparison of the two, the Halo is a better fit for me, but your fitness needs may be different than mine.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Amazon Halo Band Customer Reviews: Mixed but mostly positive

Many buyers love their Amazon Halo Band, which has nearly 10,000 five-star ratings. The positive reviews rave about the access to virtual classes and how motivating the points system can be, with one happy user writing, "Since I got the tracker, I started walking my dog more because I did not want my points to go down (the dog is happier also, so bonus points on that, too)."

That said, the average rating is 3.7 out of five, meaning some weren't so satisfied with their purchase. One of the main complaints is that it's inversely demotivating. "What a person like me doesn't need is something that punishes you by subtracting points," one reviewer wrote. "For me, I need something kinder and gentler." Others weren't impressed with the design and felt the metrics could be inaccurate, saying it was difficult to gain points throughout the day despite being active. I don't relate to these criticisms, but it's worth knowing that the Amazon Halo Band isn't one size fits all.

My Take: I'm glad I bought an Amazon Halo Band

I love Amazon Halo's holistic approach to wellness, with your goals set weekly rather than daily. Because, hello, not everyone walks five miles every single day. That doesn't mean you aren't active; it just means you can strive for balance instead. And the fitness and meditation modules nudge you into forming habits instead of trying something new just once.

That said, Amazon Halo doesn't exactly shy away from shame. The full-body scan was a wake-up call for me. And though I found it motivating, it could easily discourage or even trigger others. So, buyer discretion advised: You may not like what you see.

I wish the Halo Band would remind me to move like other fitness trackers do, but the lack of a screen doesn't allow that. And I truly love that it doesn't have a screen. That was honestly what sold me on buying this product in the first place, and the 15-percent-off deal didn't hurt either. Still, an iPhone notification encouraging me to get up and stretch would be nice.

In summary, I'm glad I bought the Amazon Halo Band. While I wasn't huge on the tone analysis or the body composition feature, I easily disabled the first and learned to appreciate the second. Overall, I love that I can monitor both my mind and body without my wrist buzzing every time I get a text.

Buy It: Amazon Halo Band, $85, was $100, amazon.com

Who Is The Amazon Halo Band Good For:

  • Those seeking motivation to be more active
  • Those looking to form and keep healthy, holistic habits
  • Those wanting a cheap entry into subscriptions like Headspace, Orangetheory, and more
  • Those who want a fitness tracker without a screen or wrist notifications
  • Those interested in tracking their quality of sleep

Who Is The Amazon Halo Band Not Good For:

  • Those with a history of body dysmorphia and/or eating disorders
  • Those especially concerned with privacy
  • Those who want wrist notifications or a screen

How I Rated This Service:

Factors What it means Numerical ranking (1-10)
Ease of use The fitness tracker and its app are easy to understand and operate. 10
Design Both the physical product and its digital interface are functional and aesthetically pleasing. 9
Shipping The product arrived on time and in good condition. 9
Price The price is reasonable for the quality of the product and service. 10
Customization The features can be tailored to the user and easily disabled. 10
Class and module variety The courses and modules cover a wide range of wellness areas. 9
Motivation and incentive The fitness tracker is encouraging, with incentives to meet goals. 8
Privacy The fitness tracker is not invasive to the user and is transparent about data privacy. 5
Accuracy The fitness tracker accurately assesses the user's activity level. 8
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