If you've been holding out for a new activity tracker that lets you share contact information by bumping your wrist to another and is made by a company known for more for its gaming devices than anything else, well, this is your lucky day.
Razer is rolling out the new Nabu smartband, a $100 activity tracker with an OLED display. The "Nabu" name might not sound familiar to you — it doesn't have nearly the brand awareness that Fitbit or Jawbone do. If you do recognize it, you might be thinking, "I thought the Nabu came out last year." And you would be right: Razer announced the first Nabu band at CES 2014, and then later shipped the Nabu X, which we reviewed here.
In the end, maybe the only thing the Nabu has to set itself apart from the Fitbits and Jawbones of the world is marketing. So Razer put together this video, which uses the Zombieland joke about rules for the zombie apocalypse. Honestly, it might be the best thing about the Nabu:
But back to the specs of the Nabu itself. The newest Nabu has been redesigned so that the main button is in a more intuitive place — next to the display instead of being integrated into it. The clasp is now magnetic and opens from the side, and the charging port has been moved. It has a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that can last up to six days and is splashproof (not waterproof).
Perhaps most interestingly, the new Nabu a contact sharing feature that lets you share your contact information with other Nabu and Nabu X wearers just by bumping wrists, something that a couple thousand gamers will get to try out for themselves this week at PAX Prime in Seattle. But the Nabu X also has that feature — so it's probably not worth the upgrade.
As with many other activity-tracking wearables, the Nabu band syncs to a Nabu companion app that runs on both iOS and Android devices. This companion app shows daily activity logs as well as sleep patterns; the band itself will show notifications when paired via Bluetooth with your smartphone. Both the Nabu and the Nabu X will receive "major updates" through the app, the company says.
Could this catch on with gamers? Sure. But it looks super similar to other wearables, aside from a couple things. And as wearables become commodities, incremental changes (like the placement of a button) and one stand-out feature might not be enough. Preorders kick off on September 15th, and Razer says the new Nabu will start shipping in October.