Dozens of companies make devices to quantify your body’s inner workings. The Oura Ring has reined king since its inception years ago.
Today, however, a promising new company makes a device even more powerful that also tracks workouts and additional biometrics throughout the day. I’ve tested 9 devices that claim to be the best biohacking wearable. So far, Biostrap has been the most accurate and serves all audiences. Helping:
- Biohackers thrive
- Athletes gain the edge
- Chronically ill take control
If you’ve tried the basics like Fitbit or Amazon Halo and are looking to optimize your brain and body, this next-generation technology might be your answer.
Biostrap bills itself as your solution to:
- Quantify your health
- Track your sleep
- Manage your recovery
- Maximize your performance
In 2021, the team behind the original device put out version 2.0, dubbed EVO. This Biostrap EVO review will walk you through everything you need to know before buying and help you decide if it’s the right all-in-one wearable for you.
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What is the Biostrap EVO & How Does it Work?
Biostrap EVO is the latest wearable designed with high-performance, recovery, fitness and running, and sleep tracking in mind. Though they offer different hardware and software add-ons, the core of Biostrap EVO is a wrist-mounted device. should you not like the standard look or feel, their sensor is compatible with different wrist bands. This gadget goes well beyond typical heart rate monitoring and offers advanced biometric tracking (explained later).
Unparalleled accuracy comes from their industry-leading three-axis accelerometer paired with a smart engineering choice to use red LEDs (rather than the standard green). Humans today move in complex and novel ways. To accommodate the modern lifestyle, Biostrap offers different packages. Each additional sensor generates more insightful data.
The Powerful Biostrap EVO Update
The new EVO model is the latest version of their original device. This update includes heavily requested features and design enhancements:
5X faster sync times
Enhanced data resolution
IP68 water and dust resistance
Minimalist strap 2.0 design
Making it a compelling alternative to devices like the WHOOP Strap or Oura Ring.
The Biostrap Team is diligent about providing timely firmware updates. Constantly unlocking new features and abilities from your EVO. Where the aforementioned incumbents evolve slowly, this product improves with time.
Best of all, the Biostrap EVO is the same price as the original but packed with more.
Biostrap Science & Technology
Biostrap EVO Technical Specs Overview
Tracks: 100+ Activities
Algorithm: 29 unique parameters assessed for every data point captured
Heartbeats Captured: 2,000+ per day
Biometric Capture Frequency: Every 10 minutes
Daytime Readings: Yes
Sensor: Clinical-quality PPG sensor with RED and InfraRed LEDs
Band Material: Food-grade silicone rubber
Strap Size: 3/4″ W x 9.5″ L x 1/2″ H
Sensor Size: 3/4″ W x 2″ L x 1/2″ H
Wrist Size: Fits 6.75″ – 8.75″
Hardware: Cypress ARM Cortex-M0, Integrated Bluetooth
GPS: Location data from phone
Integrations: Apple Health, Google Fit, Heads Up Health
Biostrap’s technology initially convinced me to test it out. Three things particularly stood out that I’ll explain below:
- LED sensor type
- Captures raw PPG waveform data
- Number of metrics captured and tracked
They use clinical-quality a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor with RED and InfraRed LEDs, where most others use Green LEDs. Red and Infrared penetrated deeper into the issue which increases biometric accuracy. Red is also the most consistently accurate across skin tones and blemishes. That’s why medical-grade equipment relies on similar technology.
If Red LEDs are so great, why don’t more companies use them?
Green LEDs sacrifice accuracy for the ability to capture real-time active heart rate. Green can withstand motion and light exposure better than red.
In short, sensor LED color is a tradeoff between accuracy and features. Biostrap sidestepped the issue by offering additional sensors to capture active heart rate, so you can get the best of both worlds. Red is also more biologically compatible and thus healthy.
Now that you understand the importance of LED color choice, a special data capturing process differentiates it from the competition. Biostrap constantly collects PPG waveform data from the sensor. Rather than extracting just the components necessary for calculating your basic metrics, they chose to keep the waveform data in its raw state. When scientists discover powerful new measures of your health status, Biostrap can run your existing raw data through them to generate insights. Without needing months of data to get value. Researchers use Biostrap’s high-definition data to develop their own biomarkers, which has led to a partnership with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Unlike other advanced wearables, Biostrap constantly records 60+ different biomarkers (described in detail below). Every heartbeat (or pulse-wave as it’s called) generates readings throughout the day so that you can see the impacts of different lifestyle choices. Should you choose to work out, the EVO tracks 100+ different types of activities and even has a mode designed to automatically log your workouts (including weight lifting reps and sets).
Team Biostrap has an entire page designated to the latest clinical research backing their devices complete with a short synopsis of the studies. Access it here.
Or learn more about the technical details here.
EVO measures and tracks a host of useful biomarkers.
Biometrics Biostrap Measures
As mentioned above, the Biostrap EVO records your vitals 24/7. Each data point is assessed against 29 different unique parameters and run through their AI-driven algorithms. Resulting in the best understanding of your individual biometric signature.
Biostrap’s core biomarkers showcased on the app’s primary dashboard include:
- Activity score
- Recovery score
- Sleep score
- Blood oxygen saturation (SPO2)
- Heart rate variability (HRV)
- Resting heart rate (RHR)
- Respiratory Rate
- Active calories burned
You can click into any of the measurements for more detail and additional scores.
Biostrap’s sleep biometrics include:
- Sleep score
- Sleep time
- Time in bed
- Time awake
- Light sleep time
- Deep sleep time
- Nocturnal heart rate variability (HRV)
- Average heart rate (HR)
- Number of awakenings throughout night
- Sleep onset time
- Wake up time
- Resting heart rate (RHR)
- Sleep quality
- Sleep feeling
- Sleep stages graph
- Graphical breakdown of HR, HRV, SPO2, and RESP throughout the night (including min, max, and avg)
Biostrap’s recovery biometrics include:
- Recovery score
- Sleep time
- Resting heart rate (HR)
- Nocturnal heart rate variability (HRV)
- Sleep efficiency
- Total sleep duration
Biostrap’s activity biometrics show a timeline of your day’s activities and the HRV and HR of each.
I quickly discovered that my Biostrap EVO effectively identifies naps and stationary relaxing activities. My Oura Ring, on the other hand, classifies things like reading as light sleep. Oura completely tanks different measures of sleep quality before my actual night of sleep even began.
One other cool unique Biostrap component is arterial health insights. These metrics include:
- Arterial elasticity
- Peripheral elasticity
- Estimated arterial age
An easy, non-invasive way to measure cardiovascular health over time.
Where to Buy Biostrap EVO Sets (& Get a Discounted Price)
Biostrap wearables are only available on their website and are not on Amazon or other online marketplaces.
They offer three different packages:
- Recover Set ($249): Biostrap
- Move Set ($299) : Biostrap + Activity Pod
- Active Set ($329): Biostrap + Activity Pod + Heart Rate Monitor Band
Each caters to different needs and budgets:
- Biostrap Recover Set only includes the strap. Great for tracking all recovery metrics, sleep, and basic movement stats.
- Biostrap Move Set (which I purchased) includes both the strap plus an additional leg-mounted sensor for enhanced movement and sleep tracking. If you’re active or want the best sleep tracking, the Move Set beats the Recover.
- Biostrap Active Set includes the strap, the same leg-mounted sensor, plus an additional heart rate monitor. This is the ideal packages for athletes or those serious about tracking their workouts with the highest fidelity.
I would have purchased the Active Set if I didn’t already own a different heart rate monitor. If at any point you want to upgrade, Biostrap sells the additional sensors on their website.
No matter what package you choose, use the exclusive Biostrap coupon code NICKURBAN10 to save 10%.
Biostrap EVO Review: Initial Impressions
I bought the intermediate-level Biostrap Move Set to get data from my workouts at the best price (you save on the bundles versus purchasing them separately). It arrived quickly, and the instructions were simple enough.
It suggested I start by charging the device. While I waited, I downloaded the Biostrap app, created an account, and clicked through the different tabs to learn their app’s user interface. Slightly under 90 minutes later, I got a 100 percent charged push notification.
The setup process felt like any other fitness wearable. Several minutes later, I saw the first data points on my dashboard.
On my wrist, the Biostrap EVO feels light and minimalist; about half the size of my Garmin Fenix smartwatch. Roughly equivalent to the Amazon Halo, but built from higher-quality materials. The Biostrap EVO silicone strap features a wavy pattern and looks similar to a Fitbit. It’s the width of my index finger and protrudes equally high above my wrist. The band itself is one-size-fits-all and easily cinches down for bumpy workouts.
Should you want a more fashionable style, the sensor is easily swapped into a different band. Between its low profile and light weight I found myself forgetting that I had it on. The clasp system works well and I don’t worry about it falling off. Though I have had it snag on a few of my tighter fitting dress shirts.
After a five-day calibration period (more on this later), indeed the data better matches how I feel compared to the other devices I’ve used.
Biostrap EVO Review: Battery Life & Charging
Battery life is top of mind with any new wearable. One of my biggest problems with the Apple Watch is the need to tether yourself to a charger nightly. Then you have an important decision: do you sacrifice sleep tracking or daytime activity tracking while the watch recharges?
The device itself doesn’t have any USB charging ports and instead uses wireless induction charging. Both my Activity Pod (previously called Shoe Pod) and Biostrap fit onto the same charger. All you do to charge them is just set them onto the stand and wait for the LEDs to change from white to red which indicates charging.
From completely dead to 100 percent battery take about 90-110 minutes. I consistently get 48-72 hours between charges. However, the more often you manually capture live biometrics throughout the day, the quicker the battery drains. Advanced subscription features like Sleep Lab and Meditation Plus drain the battery too.
Battery life of the Biostrap products:
- EVO Wristband: 48-72 hours
- Activity Pod: 72-96 hours
When battery gets low, the app sends a push notification to your phone to remind you to charge your wristband. Then it provides battery life status updates while charging.
Biostrap EVO Review: The 5-Night Calibration Process
Any worthy modern device takes time to generate insights uniquely tailored to your lifestyle. With the Biostrap EVO, the calibration and personalization process takes five full nights of data collection to adapt. During those nights, their algorithms establish a baseline to compare subsequent nights against.
Until then, you’ll only get basic movement and recovery metrcis. Your baseline isn’t set in stone though. After the initial calibration process, Biostrap re-calculates your biometric baseline based on your scores from the previous 30 days.
When playing with a new gadget, waiting five days can feel like an eternity. But in my experience, the fine-tuning is worth the delay.
Biostrap EVO Review: App & Dashboard Review
Apps powering Garmin and even Oura feel unintuitive and lacking.
Biostrap’s app, and especially their Dashboard Tab, neatly fits a staggering amount of data into an easy-to-use interface.
Once you click into one of the Dashboard sections, you’ll notice two different colored data points. Purple dots indicate data collected throughout the night, while the white dots indicate daytime measurements. This distinction makes spotting sleep and wake patterns easier.
Most of the different sections include graphs with an ability to toggle your view of different metrics. If you want more information about a metric, a question mark icon in the top right brings up useful graphics and interpretations.
The app’s tabs include:
Biostrap also sends out useful push notifications regarding battery life, data sync progress, and at-a-glance scores from your night or processed events.
Biostrap EVO Recording Live Biometrics
Biostrap offers several ways to manually record your biometrics. Modes include:
- Biometrics which automatically captures every 10-minutes
- Sleep Lab (subscription only) which captures advanced sleep data
- Activity which captures data from exercises sessions
- Meditation which captures throughout a session
- Meditation Plus (subscription only) which captures every 1-minute and breaks down the physiological effects of your meditation in what they call the “Zen Score”
To get meaningful data, you must keep the EVO very still. At the end you rate your session, add any necessary tags, and get your results after waiting a few minutes for them to crunch the data.
The Biometric Results shows stats like:
- Heart rate min
- Heart rate max
- Heart rate average
- Oxygen saturation
- Stress index
Meditation mode includes far greater detail and graphs.
While interesting, I’ve found the Dashboard and Insights tabs are Biostrap’s most useful components.
Biostrap EVO Health Insights
Of the entire app, the Insights tab impressed me most. Beautiful Garmin-like charts and visual compare your personal data to your choice of any population subset. With the click of a button, you see how all your biometrics stack up against other healthy users.
Then you can get a snapshot of your most important comparisons with a well-designed Radar Chart. Quickly and easily identify areas to prioritize improvement.
Biostrap Insights highlights your strengths and areas to prioritize improvement.
Every additional day that you wear it, the more data and thus accuracy into your health. Innovations like this excite me about the future of Biostrap even beyond the EVO.
Biostrap’s Sleep Score & Analysis
Upon examining your sleep, you’ll quickly notice a glaring difference compared to other sleep trackers. Biostrap breaks down sleep stages into:
Notice something missing?
The current research shows that sleep trackers cannot accurately differentiate REM sleep and deep sleep. To preserve data integrity, Biostrap opted to combine REM into the deep sleep score. Rather than providing you with your REM and deep sleep ‘best guesses’ as their competitors do. Some people prefer the two separated out. But I find Biostrap’s approach prevents me from obsessing over why my current tracker says that I (impossibly) got just two minutes of REM sleep throughout an entire eight hours of sleep.
With a quick scroll, you can review all the important biometrics. In addition to the industry standard, I like that they include:
- Number of awakenings
- Sleep onset time
- Wake up time
Biostrap EVO Review: Meditation Plus & Sleep Lab
To get the full functionality of the Biostrap EVO, you’ll want to subscribe to their premium plans. Doing so unlocks two other features:
- Meditation Plus
- Sleep Lab
Both advanced services seek to replicate clinical testing from the comfort of your own home.
For Sleep Lab, the primary benefit is that you increase your reading frequency from every 10-minutes, down to every 2-minutes. Giving you 5-times more sleep data. The Biostrap Sleep Lab was designed to help track:
- Arm movement
- Leg movement
- Conditions like Sleep Apnea, Restless Arm & Restless Leg Syndromes, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
All of the data generated is available via a nicely designed PDF that you can share with your health coach or medical professional.
For Meditation Plus, the selling point behind premium is also increased frequency biometric recording to every one-minute. You also gain access to a “Zen Score” to quantify the quality of your sessions**.** Biostrap also teamed up with the makers of a special type of brain enhancing music to further boost your meditations. The other features don’t do much.
Should you want to upgrade…
Both Biostrap Premium plans are priced at:
- $9.99 monthly
- $47.99 for six months (20% off)
- $83.99 for twelve months (30% off)
These features are cutting edge, but I’m still hoping that they decide to roll the paid features into the core free software.
Other Biostrap EVO Features
You’ve now read about the core functionality that make the EVO a special device.
Biostrap, however, has more unique and useful features.
Remote Monitoring For Trainers, Clinicians, & Coaches
You can share your data with multiple parties. Biostrap makes it easy by going to:
- Settings > Remote Monitoring > Agree > Enter Email
Coaches can keep tabs on their players status’s to ensure that they receive the optimal training load.
Personal Trainers and Health Coaches can use this data to see how their clients recover, spot important trends, and identify areas needing improvement.
Family members and significant others can hold each other accountable changes indicating trouble or a job well done. Social gamification is one of the most powerful drivers of peak health!
On the free plan you can monitor up to five remote users.
Athletes & Exercise
Competitive athletes need reliable and detailed data. If I’m going to base my training around specific readings, I need to know that they closely match my physiological needs.
I find that readings from my top-of-the-line Garmin, designed for heart rate monitoring, can fluctuate wildly. I’ve done sessions of sprints (here is a guide on sprinting, its benefits, and how it works) where the GPS clock me at over 20 miles per hour, yet my heart rate never goes above 100. Other times, it’ll shoot up to 140 during a brisk walk.
Biostrap considered fitness and athletics in their product design. To start, they sell additional sensors to collect more data points. Each additional point better informs your decisions.
In my experience, the wrist strap withstands chaffing, awkward positions, and scratches inevitable during intense gym workouts. I must remove other devices before working out (including two Apple Watches that I’ve broken).
You can pair and sync data from other third-party heart rate monitors. Sadly, the pairing isn’t yet compatible with my Garmin Fenix.
Overall, the Biostrap EVO is one of the top wearables for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Athletes will need the Active Set to fully capitalize on their potential.
Full Body Tracking & Automatic Activity Classification
Biostrap has introduced an automatic exercise-tracking feature. It can detect, monitor, and analyze any form of repetitive exercise. Whether jogging or lifting weights in the gym.
Their algorithms can classify 100+ different activities, tracking your workouts down to the reps and sets. To unlock greater capabilities, clip on the Activity Pod to track lower-body and full-body movements as well.
I haven’t found any other wearable with this technology.
If you’re the type to want to log exercises in an Excel sheet, Biostrap will automate the process for you.
Connected GPS With Phone
Biostrap does not feature a built-in GPS within the wrist strap itself. However, it can access your smartphone’s GPS and overlay your data on top. If you carry your cell phone while exercising, you can capture metrics such as time, distance, pace, track, and altitude. I found this particularly useful for bike rides.
Biostrap API & Web App
If you’re into data and software engineering, you can access measurements programmatically via the Biostrap API.
The API is an awesome way to make the best use of your personal data and have it flow into other applications.
I haven’t played around with it much, but the API docs look promising. Check it out here.
Those that spend most of their day on the computer can rejoice that Biostrap now has a fully functional web app. You can log in here. This is HUGE for coaches, trainers, and those taking advantage of their remote monitoring feature.
Biostrap EVO Alternatives
If you’re in the market for a new device, you’ve undoubtedly heard about some of the popular Biostrap competitors.
Each has its own pros and cons, and tailors to a slightly different audience.
Here’s how they stack up in my experience.
Biostrap EVO vs Oura Ring
Both the Biostrap EVO and Oura Ring are solid all-in-one wearables. Biostrap has greater accuracy, reliability, and best tracks movement and activity. It also supports adding additional sensors. In the gym, I can leave on my EVO while I must remove my Oura to prevent it from getting scratched and banged up.
I’d choose the Oura Ring if you’re looking for an inconspicuous wearable with best-in-class battery life.
Biostrap EVO vs Garmin
I’ve worn my Garmin Fenix daily for several years. I like that it has a screen, and plenty of third-party apps to optimize the data I collect. I found a Garmin app that can even use the sensors to accurately measure HRV. It has a decent 3-day battery life, built-in GPS, and excels at tracking real-time heart rate. Great for workouts.
The sensor, however, uses the less accurate Green LEDs (as described above). Green LEDs also interfere with the skin’s melanopsin receptors and interfere with sleep (study).Making crucial sleep and recovery metrics like HRV, resting heart rate, and sleep stage tracking unreliable and poorly suited.
Sleep and recovery are foundations of performance and when muscle-building occurs. So I’d give the edge to Biostrap. If you can afford the Active Set, the Biostrap EVO is solid competition against Garmin models.
Biostrap EVO vs Fitbit
Though the Biostrap EVO and simple Fitbit models looks similar, they’re very different beasts. Biostrap EVO generates highly-accurate and reliable data while the Fitbit primarily wins on price.
The other selling point of some Fitbit models is the screen. If you only care about heart rate and step count, Fitbit might be your best option. Otherwise I’d go EVO.
Biostrap EVO vs WHOOP
In my opinion, Biostrap’s biggest competitor is WHOOP. Both consider themselves the choice wearable of high-performers. WHOOP has amassed a following among serious athletes and biohackers.
Both are good choices. If you can afford it, I actually prefer WHOOP. But at the time of this writing, WHOOP requires a pricey $30 per month subscription. That’s $360 per year. My wearables generally last about four years. If I extend the math, that would put the four-year cost of a WHOOP at $1,440.
Biostrap isn’t far behind, and the subscription isn’t at all necessary.
Biostrap EVO Review: Pros & Cons
Highly polished iOS and Android app
Insights feature makes data usable
Powerful sleep biometrics
Automatic workout tracking
Daytime biometric tracking (HR, HRV, SP02, and breath rate)
Simple dashboard overview and drill-downs
Airplane mode feature well designed to minimize EMF exposure
Wireless charging compatible
PDF reports available for “Pulse” and Sleep
Easily share your data with coaches, friends, or doctors
Reasonably priced and doesn’t require a subscription
3 day (or less) battery life
App sometimes fails to stop capturing the meditation on the first try.
Activity Pod needed for automatic workout tracking
Data sync can take several minutes (and longer on Android)
REM & Deep sleep combined into one score
Daytime measurements require absolute stillness
Biostrap EVO Review Final Verdict: A New King of Wearables?
As you can see for this detailed Biostrap EVO Review, I’ve enjoyed the device. It’s an excellent standalone device for:
- Health enthusiasts
- Folks wanting to self-monitor medical conditions
From my hands-on testing, I’m impressed by the highly accurate biometrics, unobtrusive yet powerful dashboards, actionable insights, and granular data.
Privacy-minded folks won’t like that they process the data on their servers. Even though it’s ultimately yours and they claim not to do anything unsavory with it.
The strap’s run-of-the-mill design and mediocre battery life are made up for by cool Biostrap EVO features that I’m enjoying:
- Meditation analysis
- Blood oxygenation (SPO2)
- Nocturnal and daytime data measurements
- HRV breakdown
- Automatic exercise recognition and tracking
- Easy data sharing with friends, family, doctors, and coaches
In this article, I’ve pitted it against some of the other top all-in-one wearable gadgets like Oura, WHOOP, and Fitbit. Against the best-of-the-best, Biostrap holds its own.
Price-wise, it’s middle of the pack ranging from $249 to $329, depending on the package. Though you can save 10 percent using the exclusive Biostrap coupon code NICKURBAN10.
Will I retire my Oura Ring and/or Garmin Fenix in favor of the Biostrap? I haven’t decided yet. Each has pros and cons, but in any case, I’m excited to see how Biostrap evolves.