It’s a common advice that you need to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. While not entirely accurate (it’s actually more like 11.5-15.5 glasses, according to Mayo Clinic, and even that is highly suspect), we wanted to see exactly how much water we were drinking daily over the summer. And for the task, we were given an Ozmo Active smart hydration bottle to review.
Made by Hong Kong-based Groking Lab, Ozmo Active is a 16 oz. ABS plastic bottle with sensors on the inside to detect changes in water levels. It can also tell if you’re drinking coffee or water, which allows you to use the same bottle as you head from the gym to the office break room in the morning. Three LED lights and a vibrator alert you and let you know of your water (or coffee!) drinking goal progress. The whole thing is rechargeable via Micro USB and communicates with an iOS or Android smartphone app using Bluetooth Low Energy.
Setting up and pairing Ozmo Active was a breeze, thanks to Bluetooth and an easy process through the Ozmo app. Aside from pairing the bottle, you’ll enter in some demographics about yourself, as well as how many minutes of exercise you do each week. It appears this activity metric, as well as your gender, age, height, and weight, determines suggested hydration goals. You can choose from an easy, medium, or hard suggested goal (measured in fluid ounces), or type in your own number. We’re not exactly sure how these calculations are determined, but they at least give you a good starting point.
Using the bottle is also pretty simple. After unscrewing the cap, you add up to 16 oz. of water, coffee, or other liquid, then screw the cap back on. The bottle will vibrate to let you know that the cap is securely tightened and the water level has been measured. There are seven sensors at different levels on the inside of the bottle; the spacing of the sensors decreases toward the bottom, so your first sip has to be at least 4 oz. in order to be detected.
We think it was kind of an odd decision to design the bottle to basically become more accurate as your drink more water, but nevertheless, the Ozmo did a decent job at detecting the water we consumed and updating the app with the data appropriately.
The bottle, however, often had issues detecting when we had switched to coffee; most times we had to manually switch from “water mode” to “coffee mode” in the app if we filled it with coffee. Our only other problem with Ozmo is that it’s heavy, clocking in at a hefty 350 grams when empty. Compare that to a 1 liter SIGG aluminum bottle which weighs 150 grams. Completely filled, the Ozmo weighs 820 grams, or 1.8 pounds, which we think is too heavy to bring on the trail or the gym.
The app is your primary source for viewing all of your drinking stats. The home screen displays a progress meter accompanied by a serene ocean illustration and a not-so-accurate weather forecast. Other pages in the app give you a daily, weekly, or monthly breakdown of how much you drank and how close to your goal. You can also adjust the app and goal settings, and make programming changes to the bottle itself.
If you choose to use Ozmo for a drink other than water or coffee, you can scan a barcode with your phone or manually enter information about your drink of choice. The barcode scanner is a nice touch; it was able to identify most of the bottled beverages we scanned, even some of the more potent potables in our fridge. The Ozmo app also links with Apple Health, Fitbit, Garmin, and Misfit, so you can sync your data with these wearable companies. Overall, the app has a lot of features, but it looks a little dated; it isn’t optimized for larger iPhones, and there’s some padding issues with text running into the side of buttons and icons.
- Long battery life
- Fitbit and Apple Health integration
- Bulky and heavy
- Automatic coffee detection didn’t always work
- Unattractive app design
The $70 Ozmo Active smart hydration bottle is certainly a novel health and fitness device, but it’s tough to say how helpful it can actually be in improving one’s health. While it is true that hydration is important for healthy living, there isn’t a well-defined healthy vs. unhealthy level that is understood by most people, which we think limits the appeal of such a product. But if you’re the type of person who’s goal-oriented in every aspect of health and fitness, or you need to be reminded to drink more water, then Ozmo just might be what you need to drink up.