Leaf Urban: Combining Fashion With Function
About one in five Americans uses some form of activity or fitness tracker, and women are more likely than men to use these devices. Designed just for these health-conscious women, the Leaf Urban from Bellabeat is a unique entry into the tracker market. Disguised as a piece of stylish fashion jewelry, the Leaf Urban is more than just a fitness tracker – it’s a multifunctional wellness tracker that monitors sleep, stress levels, cycles and more.
What Are Fitness Trackers?
Since the earliest days of waist-clipped pedometers, fitness enthusiasts have sought out devices to help them track steps taken, calories burned and other metrics related to health and fitness. In the digital age, wearable activity trackers measure not only movement, but also heart rate, blood pressure, and even sleep time. Connected to online fitness apps, these trackers connect users with a larger community of fellow trackers as well as other resources for health and wellness, including information on workouts, diet and overall wellness.
Smartwatches can share many features with activity trackers, too. But the real function of a smartwatch is communication, not monitoring fitness metrics. That’s why many fitness-focused people opt for a dedicated tracker backed by an app designed to support fitness goals and a healthier lifestyle overall.
Depending on the brand, fitness trackers can be customized in a variety of ways to meet specific goals and lifestyle needs. Many are waterproof, so users can track activities like swimming and water aerobics. Others can monitor sleep patterns by detecting movement and changes in heart rate. Some include in-app features for encouraging meditation and other stress reduction techniques. Data collected by the tracker can be shared with others for fitness challenges or even reporting to a doctor’s office.
Fitness trackers come in multiple colors and styles, mostly intended for wear on the wrist or arm. But the Leaf Urban looks nothing like a typical tracker. And it includes a number of extra features designed to support the many dimensions of women’s wellness.
The Leaf Urban: A New Kind of Tracker
Shaped like a leaf and wrapped in silver, gold or rose gold, the Leaf Urban tracker doesn’t even have a visible screen or button. It comes with both a matching necklace chain and a wristband, and it also has a clip back for attaching directly to clothing. Users can switch up the look with added accessories such as a leather wristband or different styles of chains.
The Leaf Urban tracker is made of hypoallergenic stainless steel and wood composite, and it’s water resistant and shower safe. It’s compatible with both Android devices and iPhones, with smart wireless syncing through Bluetooth. Those features are essential for using the Leaf Urban, since many of its important functions are accessed through the Bellabeat app.
The Leaf Urban includes the essential features of any activity tracker, with options for tracking steps and movement, as well as essential biometrics like heart rate. Users can set goals and share their progress with other users on Bellabeat. But Bellabeat maintains that fitness is just one pillar of good health – and the Leaf Urban includes features for managing other important aspects of wellness, tailored to a woman’s unique needs. Along with general activity tracking, the Leaf Urban also tracks:
Sleep. Although many fitness and activity trackers include features for monitoring and assessing sleep time and sleep patterns, the Leaf Urban’s sleep tracking feature offers a more in-depth picture of a user’s sleep time and how it impacts overall well-being. The Leaf Urban collects information on sleep quality as well as sleep duration, and includes options for incorporating nap times and setting alerts for waking and bedtime.
Meditation. In partnership with the Bellabeat app, the Leaf Urban offers options for setting up meditation sessions and tracking their duration. Users can set meditation goals, manually add their own tracking information and access a trove of guided meditations and breathing exercises from Bellabeat’s extensive library of wellness guides and videos.
Stress. Most fitness trackers and apps acknowledge that stress can have a powerful effect on wellness, and many trackers have features that help people to lower their stress levels. But the Leaf Urban takes stress management several steps further, with a Stress feature that produces a “stress prediction” based on a user’s lifestyle, habits and other life events.
These predictions can help users to become more aware of the factors that contribute to stress, and to be proactive about reducing their effect. To do that, the Stress feature includes tools for measuring overall stress sensitivity, as well as the impact of sleep, activity, meditation, monthly cycles, and even pregnancy.
Cycles. The Bellabeat wellness system is designed with women in mind, so the Leaf Urban includes a far more detailed system for monitoring women’s health than most other fitness trackers. With its Period feature, users can track menstrual cycles, fertility and ovulation. If a user becomes pregnant, the app can track her progress throughout the pregnancy. There’s even a built in reminder to take birth control pills.
The Bellabeat App
The Leaf Urban and other Leaf products depend on the Bellabeat app for many of their features. Calling itself “your pocket wellness coach,” Bellabeat offers users access to a full-featured wellness library that includes recipes, workout tips, meditations, and numerous articles on mind/body wellness.
Bellabeat also invites users to join a large and growing community of health-conscious, environmentally active women around the world, who come together through the app to share their goals and progress, offer support and connect with each other over a wide range of shared interests. High-profile Leaf Urban users such as actor Amanda Seyfried, rock climber Sasha DiGiulian and athlete Lolo Jones are featured on the site.
How to Buy a Leaf Urban
The Leaf Urban is part of Bellabeat’s family of trackers, which also includes the crystal-studded higher priced Leaf Crystal bracelet and the Leaf Chakra, which can be worn as a necklace or clip.
The Leaf Urban is available from the Bellabeat site and a number of other retailers including Walmart, eBay and Engadget for around $119 USD. The basic setup includes the tracker itself, plus a matching neck chain and wristband for three different wearing options. Users can also purchase other accessories for the Leaf Urban, such as a variety of necklace, bracelet and leather wristband styles, clips and a battery replacement tool. The Leaf Urban comes with a one-year guarantee and a 30-day easy return option.
Leaf Urban Alternatives
Bellabeat’s Leaf Urban and other Leaf products stand alone in the fitness tracker market with their unique combination of stylish wearability and focus on women’s wellness.
In terms of cost, they’re similar to the Fitbit, a full-featured fitness tracker that’s worn on the wrist. But while the Fitbit shares the Leaf Urban’s ability to track activity and sleep, it doesn’t include the additional wellness features of stress management and meditation, or the Leaf’s detailed cycle and pregnancy tracker.
For a similar design concept at a slightly lower cost ($99 USD), the New Luxury Waterproof Fitness Tracker bracelet from Smart Moderns is a woman-focused smartwatch/tracker that features a jewelry-style metal bracelet in several colors, including purple. But although its watch face displays essential fitness metrics such as steps, distance, heart rate and sleep, the New Luxury emphasizes smartwatch features rather than tracker features, and doesn’t sync with a larger fitness and wellness community.
What Users Are Saying
The Leaf Urban is a specialty product, and users love it for that reason. Reviewers on the Bellabeat site say that they like the look of the Leaf Urban and appreciate the fact that it isn’t focused on weight loss, but on overall wellness. Some say they like the on-demand availability of stress-busting features like guided meditations and breathing exercises. Others point out that the Leaf Urban is often mistaken for jewelry and gets lots of compliments. The Bellabeat company also gets high praise for its prompt and responsive customer service and technical support.
Should You Buy a Leaf Urban?
The Leaf Urban offers many of the key features found in most quality fitness and activity trackers, and some that aren’t, such as its comprehensive cycle, fertility and pregnancy tracker and the detailed section for stress management.
But the Leaf Urban doesn’t offer specific features for monitoring calories and nutritional content such as carbs, or for tracking weight loss. That means it may not be the best choice for people using a tracker specifically for losing weight.
The Leaf Urban’s jewelry like design appeals to those who don’t want to wear a sporty looking wristband, and it’s an attractive addition to just about any style. But because it has no displays or visible buttons, users can’t view essential metrics at a glance, and its functions are heavily connected to the Bellabeat app.
The Leaf Urban is a mid-price wellness tracker with a highly targeted audience, and its elegant design instantly sets it apart from other products in the rapidly growing fitness tracker marketplace. For active, fashion forward women, the Leaf Urban may be the perfect partner in the journey toward wellness.