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Christmas calories – should you trust your fitness tracker?

The average Briton will consume more than 5,000 calories on Christmas day alone, according to research by Wren Kitchens. So when you’re trying to burn off that festive excess, you’ll want to know that your fitness watch or tracker is giving you the right information. The research by Wren Kitchens surveyed 2,000 people about their typical Christmas dinner, and found that the average person eats as many as 5,240 calories in just one day.

With such indulgence, it’s understandable that some people want to begin a health kick to start the new year – and a fitness watch or tracker could provide the perfect motivational tool to help you get fit.

If you want to keep an eye on how many calories you’ve burned, which a lot of people do after the festive period, then most trackers will provide you with this information. Or if distance is the way you’d like to track your fitness, there are plenty of trackers that can do that, too. But we’ve found some fitness watches and activity trackers that greatly overstate or understate your data.

Here we reveal the dramatic differences between actual calories burned and what your tracker tells you. And we’ve worked this out based on your favourite festive treats. Best Buy fitness watches and activity trackers[1] – find out which models aced our accuracy tests

Calories burned – what we’ve found

Some trackers simply aren’t accurate enough when it comes to tracking calories burned.

One device overstated this by a whopping 105% during our testing, so you’ll think you’ve burned more than twice the number of calories that you actually have. This means that instead of killing enough calories for four glasses of Christmas prosecco[2], you’d only have burned off enough for two.

Another device understated calories burned by 28%, which means you’re actually burning off more than it says you have. If you want to indulge in our Best Buy mince pies[3], this tracker would tell you that you’d worked off enough for less than three, when you could actually scoff four (it is Christmas, after all).

It’s not all bad news, though, as we’ve found some trackers that measured calories burned with almost no error.

To find out more about the way we test fitness watches and trackers for accuracy, head over to the how we test page[4].

Distance tracking – what we’ve found

According to the Wren Kitchens research, you’d need to run two marathons to burn off that 5,000-calorie festive feast, but we’ve found trackers that failed to track distance accurately, too.

While we don’t recommend running two marathons, and certainly won’t be trying this ourselves, the graph below shows how far you would have run before the most inaccurate trackers from our tests tell you that you’ve reached the two-marathon mark.

If you want to track distance while out running, then built-in GPS is a good feature to look for, as it means you can leave your phone at home and still track your route.

See our pick of the top five fitness watches and activity trackers with built-in GPS[5].

References

  1. ^ Best Buy fitness watches and activity trackers (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Christmas prosecco (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Best Buy mince pies (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ how we test page (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ top five fitness watches and activity trackers with built-in GPS (www.which.co.uk)

Y-Cam now charging for previously free cloud storage

The UK-based home security company Y-Cam Solutions has changed its free unlimited cloud storage service. Previously, if you purchased a Y-Cam smart security camera, you received unlimited storage in the cloud for a rolling seven-day period. Under the new terms, existing users will have the seven-day cloud storage limited to one year with effect from the date of activation.

To continue using the storage after that they will have to pay a monthly subscription fee of GBP2.99 per camera. Y-Cam customers can’t use alternative options for storing their recorded footage, such as third-party cloud storage (DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive) or their own networked hard drive. Existing camera owners were sent an email on behalf of Y-Cam giving them 14 days’ notice of the changes coming into force.

Essentially, important features are being rescinded unless people are willing to pay. New customers will also get free cloud storage for a year before they have to pay. Best Buy wireless security cameras[1] – find out which models topped our tests.

As you can expect, Y-cam customers are not happy with this development, and have voiced their criticisms via Twitter:

@ycamsolutions[2] very disappointed that you’re charging for all camera storage. I feel like I’ve been suckered in with little option and very little time to decide. You always promoted yourselves on the free 7 days storage and now you’ve taken that away.

— Stewart Bamford (@camcanary) November 30, 2017[3]

.@ycamsolutions I bought two y-cam Evo cameras based on your promise of *free forever* 7 day cloud storage.You CAN NOT yourself change the original terms of sale for existing customers, either refund or grandfather existing customers! pic.twitter.com/qzcEs6yf6H[4][5] — Jean-Pierre Deckers (@JPDeckers) December 1, 2017[6]

@ycamsolutions said…”when purchasing a home security camera that cloud storage is an essential, otherwise you are just buying a live streaming machine, so basically a web cam! Because of this, at Y-cam, we believe Cloud storage should be provided to customers free of charge” pic.twitter.com/uabPwDDMPk[7][8]

— Graham J Phillips (@phillipsjgraham) November 30, 2017[9]

The tweet above shows older marketing material used by Y-Cam highlighting the differences in ongoing costs between its camera and those of its competitors. Some customers say they have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards about Y-Cam’s marketing material promoting lifetime storage at the time they bought their security camera. Y-Cam has responded to complaints from customers by releasing additional information:

We have received lots of feedback following our recent announcement and we feel it necessary to address some of the reaction we have seen https://t.co/d95g7Jn5BI[10]

— Y-cam (@ycamsolutions) December 4, 2017[11]

Since Y-cam announced its decision to limit Y-cam’s free cloud recording service to 1 year we have been very aware of the disappointment and frustration that this decision has caused. So without any reservation we want to say sorry. https://t.co/7f8VGNkyOF[12] — Y-cam (@ycamsolutions) December 7, 2017[13]

Devin Chawda, co-founder and CEO of Y-Cam told us: ‘Y-Cam has been a trusted British security brand since 2007 and apologises to all customers that feel let down by its decision.

Whilst regrettable, the move was necessary due to the increasing cost of providing the infrastructure and remaining compliant with the ever-increasing burden of data security. ‘Unlike cheaper IP and CCTV cameras, the Y-Cam system operates through a central cloud-based technology platform that requires hundreds of servers processing over three million videos for its customers every day. It is a fully managed system with highly qualified engineers looking after it 24×7 to ensure customer accounts remain online and secure, which is more important now than ever before as internet security threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated.’

Y-Cam has also said it will honour a separate three-year free cloud storage offer that was available to customers who activated their cameras between 15 June and 15 December 2017. The three-year deal was originally due to expire on 30 November but Y-Cam chose to extend it to 15 December to provide extra time to customers.

What to do if your Y-Cam is affected

Existing Y-Cam customers now have three options once their period of free cloud storage ends:

  1. Subscribe to the Y-cam Plus service, which offers 30-day storage and a number of alarm benefits for GBP9.99 a month or GBP99.99 a year (discounted to GBP4.99 and GBP49.99 for the first year).
  2. Subscribe to the seven-day storage plan for GBP2.99 per camera.
  3. Take no action and still receive notifications and be able to access live video and audio footage. However, the camera will no longer record.

As a comparison, the Netgear Arlo Q Premier plan, which supports up to 10 cameras and gives you 30 days of recordings, costs GBP6.49 a month or GBP64 a year.

The Nest Indoor Cam Standard plan, which gives you 10 days of recordings, costs GBP8 a month or GBP80 a year. So, while some customers might be unhappy that they have to pay for a service that was previously free, it is significantly cheaper than other popular camera plans.

Is this a one-off case?

Y-Cam is not the only smart security company to recently fall foul of customer backlash regarding free and paid-for services. Canary also changed the features that are included in its free and paid-for subscription packages, removing camera abilities that were once free and placing them behind a paywall.

We’ve updated our first-look Y-Cam Evo review[14] and Canary Flex review[15] to reflect the changes.

References

  1. ^ Best Buy wireless security cameras (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ @ycamsolutions (twitter.com)
  3. ^ November 30, 2017 (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @ycamsolutions (twitter.com)
  5. ^ pic.twitter.com/qzcEs6yf6H (t.co)
  6. ^ December 1, 2017 (twitter.com)
  7. ^ @ycamsolutions (twitter.com)
  8. ^ pic.twitter.com/uabPwDDMPk (t.co)
  9. ^ November 30, 2017 (twitter.com)
  10. ^ https://t.co/d95g7Jn5BI (t.co)
  11. ^ December 4, 2017 (twitter.com)
  12. ^ https://t.co/7f8VGNkyOF (t.co)
  13. ^ December 7, 2017 (twitter.com)
  14. ^ Y-Cam Evo review (www.which.co.uk)
  15. ^ Canary Flex review (www.which.co.uk)

Best sat navs for stress-free driving this Christmas

It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re counting sleeps until the 25th, or you’ve already lost your patience with the retail advertising onslaught, there’s one thing a lot of us will be doing in the run-up to Christmas day – travelling to see friends and family. We test dozens of sat nav apps, as well as dedicated sat nav units that fit onto your windscreen or dashboard.

Our independent testing means we aren’t swayed by big brands on name alone, such as TomTom and Garmin. We test every sat nav impartially, so you can trust our reviews to help you find the perfect model to guide you to where you want to be. Best Buy sat navs[1] – check out the sat nav apps and devices that have excelled in our tests.

Here’s our pick of the models we’ve tested, at a range of budgets, that are sure to get you there safely when the weather and traffic are against you. Click on the links to the full reviews to read more about each sat nav, and find out how they scored in our tests.

Free: TomTom GPS Navigation Traffic (Android)

This free navigation app for Android smartphones brings TomTom’s clear audio guidance and easy-to-read maps to your mobile device. It’s easy to use and has clear audio and visual guidance.

You get 50 miles’ worth of navigation included free each month, and upgrading to a one-year subscription costs GBP14. Worldwide map and live traffic services are included in that price, although be aware this will form part of your phone’s monthly data allowance. Read our full TomTom GPS Navigation Traffic (Android) review[2] for our in-depth verdict.

Under GBP100: TomTom Start 20

You don’t need to break the bank to get hold of a decent sat nav unit, as the budget TomTom Start 20 proves.

Despite not having the live data and Bluetooth connectivity of the brand’s newer and more expensive models, the Start 20 is a solid model thanks to its excellent guidance and simple menu structure. It gives you hassle-free navigation on a budget – it’ll even receive basic traffic information through a TMC receiver (sold separately). To find out whether this model is good enough to be a Best Buy visit our full TomTom Start 20 review[3].

Under GBP150: TomTom Via 53

TomTom offers a strong line-up of standalone navigation devices across price points.

The five-inch Via 53 improves on the functionality of basic Start models with the addition of wi-fi connectivity, so you need never attach your device to a PC again to update the maps or software. It can also handle hands-free calling via your phone’s Bluetooth connection. Both the audio and visual guidance, as well as the speed of route recalculation, are top drawer – as we’ve come to expect with TomTom.

To find out how this sat nav scores, visit our TomTom Via 53 review[4].

Under GBP200: Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D

At the more premium end of the market, the Garmin Driveluxe 50LMT-D is a standout model. It’s very easy to use, with a responsive touchscreen and nippy processor. You can even use it hands free, as its voice recognition is accurate and quick.

The device’s build quality is high and it’s easy to install and remove, too. The only minor niggle we had is the screen is quite glossy and can cause reflections in certain conditions. Visit our full Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D review[5] to find out more.

GBP200+: TomTom Go 5200

Along with the slightly larger 6200, the TomTom Go 5200 is the brand’s flagship device for car users.

It comes with a Sim card built in, offering automatic connections to real-time live traffic updates and a speed camera location database. Smartphone users will also enjoy an extra degree of functionality, as not only will the Go 5200 handle calls and display text messages, but it’s also compatible with Google Now and the Apple iPhone assistant Siri. These features haven’t come at the expense of its core navigation quality, which is up to the usual excellent TomTom quality, but it is pricey.

Find out whether this sat nav is worth investing in with our full TomTom Go 5200 review[6].

References

  1. ^ Best Buy sat navs (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ TomTom GPS Navigation Traffic (Android) review (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ TomTom Start 20 review (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ TomTom Via 53 review (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D review (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ TomTom Go 5200 review (www.which.co.uk)

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