SmartHalo Review – Bike System

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SmartHalo Review – Bike System Review Facts

When you look at the state of technology, it is incredible what is being produced seemingly left and right. Who would have thought 50 years ago that we would be sitting here talking about a small little device that pretty much transforms your bike into a smart bike? Indeed, that is precisely what the SmartHalo Cycling Computer brings to the fold.

It merely looks like an innocent gadget that you attach to your bike for aesthetics! But do not be fooled as the functionality it packs into its small stature is genuinely extraordinary. However, it does not work alone as it has a sidekick, and the sidekick is the accompanying app.

Yes, the SmartHalo does rely heavily on your smartphone and the compatible app. However, it is also not as if you will need your phone out at all times. Still, snatching up a smartphone attachment for your bike, alongside this device, would be the recommended option. If you are looking for one we can recommend you check one of the ten best phone bike mounts.

As for the device itself, let’s take a closer look at it and see what is the buzz that follows this product. Equipped with so many basic features and enhanced with even more advanced ones. Easy to track your fitness level; arrange your calls and navigate with the help of integrated GPS. It is helpful even in nighttime conditions as this accessory represents an automatic front light too. Take time to read more in our detailed review.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Equipped with a front light for nighttime riding

Can work as a fitness tracker

Seamlessly connects to your smartphone

Equipped with GPS navigational technology

Everything is controlled via the app

Points toward the direction you need to go

Features a motion-triggered alarm

The battery life is pretty good

Will not add much weight to your ride

Cons

Not exactly a self-explanatory device

Way too easy to overtighten the screws

The mounting bracket it comes with is cheap

Basic Features

Basic Features

For sure, this cycling computer is advanced, but first, let’s take a look at some of the basic features as they are some of the most compelling of this design.

First and foremost, this can track several different fitness metrics related to biking. The best part is as soon as you start biking, the device is going to keep track of specific parameters such as your average speed (similar to speedometers), total distance and time, and even your calories burned.

And, straight from the app, you can also set certain goals for yourself. Once you set a goal, you will then be able to view your progress straight from the computer itself (in real-time). Past this, this device is also equipped with a front light. Better yet, this light can either be turned on manually or automatically.

If you plan on biking in low-light conditions, this will come in handy. Heck, with as powerful as this light is (it is visible over 750 meters), even if you already have a headlight equipped, you can take it off and store it away.
Connectivity

Connectivity

Indeed, with this type of device, you will be required to have a smartphone. But, you need to understand that not every single operating system out there is going to be compatible with this computer. To sync with this, you will need a smartphone that is either running iOS 9 or later or Android 4.4 or later. This means that both Google and Apple devices and smartphones are compatible.

Though you may experience connectivity issues from time to time, if you keep your smartphone and this device within a few feet at all times, you will typically never have any problems. When synced, outside of being able to utilize the app (which is vital), there are a few extra features that you can take advantage of.

For starters, if you ever lose your bike, then the app will remind you where it was last located (granted you have this device attached to it). Additionally, this computer will inform you when you have received calls or texts from your smartphone.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

This is where the SmartHalo is just really, really cool. You see, it has been designed with GPS technology, but the real joy comes when you understand what this technology is capable of. There are two different types of navigation that you can utilize. The first is taking advantage of the GPS technology as you can program this device to use turn-by-turn signals.

You set your destination in the app, and then the computer will do the rest. Right on the interface of the device, it will guide you towards the safest routes possible. Now that this computer runs off of Google Maps, it is even better at this than it was in the past. However, you can also opt to use the compass.

The same general concept applies, but instead of being guided step-by-step, the interface will merely point to which direction your destination is at. If you are feeling a little adventurous, then you will want to check this neat little feature out.
Face

Face

What you are going to notice about the interface of this computer is that it lacks many of the functions that you would expect from a device of its nature. But, this is not a bad thing, though it does depend on what you are looking for. The interface lacks an LED screen of any kind and also any physical buttons to press.

There is not much to interact with on the actual device itself. This is where the app comes into play, and it is the most crucial reason why it is needed. What you may be asking yourself is, does the interface have any purpose at all, though? Indeed, it does as it utilizes the power of lighting.

Whether you use the navigational features or set a goal for yourself, you will notice that the face of this computer lights up one way or another. Once you get accustomed to the lighting and what it represents, you will start to appreciate just how sleek and simple it is.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

As was noted earlier, the physical interface of this device is not designed with external buttons or even a screen, so you technically do not need to interact with it. This cuts out the possibility of feeling overwhelmed when toying around with it. However, this means that everything needs to be controlled within the app.

The question is, how user-friendly is the app that you need to use? Well, as with anything else, the more you navigate around in the app and the more time you spend in it, the more you will familiarize yourself with it, and the easier it will be to operate. Yet, from the first time you access it, you will notice that an emphasis was placed on simplicity.

The color-coded interface makes things a lot easier to deal with, and you should find your footing with the app in no time. Now, with that being said, the lack of user instructions is still a bit frustrating. Hunting down online tutorial videos on the app itself may be required from time to time.
Protection

Protection

With a device of this nature attached to your bike, it is fair if you feel a bit apprehensive about leaving it connected for any average old Joe to come around and steal it. Make sure you secure them with one of our suggested bike locks. Thanks to the built-in motion-triggered alarm, however, that is not going to be an issue. This is one of the fascinating features of SmartHalo.

After starting slow with somewhat of a warning system, this device will blow its gasket and sound off a 110-decibel alarm. Yeah, it is pretty darn loud and will scare off just about anyone. But, here is the good news; it is not going to sound off on you granted you do a few things.

For starters, when this computer is close to your synced smartphone, it will recognize it and will not trigger its alarm. Alright, so what happens if your phone’s battery is dead? No worries, as you can also use and tap a custom code to disable the alarm. Either way, this computer has got your back.
Power Source

Power Source

As you might expect, this does run off of a rechargeable battery. Per the specifications, it is claimed that this can handle up to 20 hours of use on one charge. Also worth noting is the six-month standby time, but that will be talked about here in a little bit. Back to the central battery life, it is pretty good overall.

This is one of the benefits of the fact that this computer does not have an LED screen as it will not drain the battery life. The 20-hour runtime will be sufficient enough for most of you, but if you do enjoy biking every single day for extended periods, you may find the constant need to charge it annoying. Speaking of which, charging this device can be done via a USB cable.

Now, back to the standby mode. This is also commonly referred to as a device’s sleep mode, and it is going to put this computer in a low-power mode. While it will not function in this mode, this is going to save on battery life when you do not need to use it.
Stability

Stability

Everything up until now has been praising this device, but now it is time to talk about one area that vastly needs to be improved. For the record, a base mount is included with your purchase, and this will enable you to attach this to your handlebars. This is where the problem lies, as several former users have heavily criticized the mount for being incredibly cheap.

Not only that, but it has also been claimed that the included screws can be overtightened way too quickly. Now, when you do get the mount secured, it is going to keep the SmartHalo stable while you ride. That is not the issue.

Do yourself a favor and spend some extra money on some spare mounting brackets. Or, find a different one that will work for this device. For such a great design, though, it is shameful that the mounting system is so flawed.
Weight

Weight

There are probably some of you reading this right now that are hesitant to add any accessories to your bike in fear of adding too much weight. After all, if you are a speed enthusiast who is continuously looking to shred the best times, you will want as little weight as possible on your rides.

Even if you could care less about speed, you still may not want a device bogging down your bike. Here is the good news no matter where you fall into this equation; this cycling computer is exceptionally lightweight.

Would you believe it if it was claimed that it is only just less than seven ounces in total weight? That is not even half-a-pound. Yeah, let’s say that there is little to worry about regarding the beef of this sucker.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

When describing the SmartHalo Cycling Computer, it is easy to run out of amazing adjectives to say. It merely is such a remarkable device, and it is one that avid bikers and casual weekend bikers alike can get regular use out of. What is most surprising is how compact and lightweight it is when it is attached to your handlebars; you will probably forget it is there.

From its GPS navigation to its ability to function as a fitness tracker to its front headlight that can be used for nighttime riding, this computer does have it all. It even is backed with a motion-triggered alarm to prevent thieves from snatching your bike.

Of course, you will need to spend a great deal of time with the app, and this is something that some of you will not be too fond of. Due to the lack of a touchscreen or button-based interface, this device relies heavily on the app.

If there is one massively disappointing area, however, it would have to be the mounting bracket that comes with this. You could probably make something else work, but it is also not too much to ask for a well-designed bracket to come with the actual device. Still, this does not prevent us from giving this device a massive thumbs up.