Hydration. We’re told time and time again that drinking water is good for your skin and overall health, but sometimes drinking enough water is a challenge, whether because of forgetfulness or not having it on-hand at all times.
I had the opportunity to test out the Hidrate Spark 2.0, a smart water bottle that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and tracks your hydration. You can manually set daily goals or let the app automatically determine this for you based on gender, age, weight, height and even location. It can also sync up to fitness apps and tech and adjust goals accordingly. It glows throughout the day and sends push notifications to your phone to remind you to drink, turning hydration into daily challenges with a satisfying celebratory glow when you’ve reached your daily goal.
But does it work? Is it effective? And is it worth the $55 price tag? Read on for my thoughts on the Hidrate Spark after using it for a month.
Assembling the water bottle simply involved snapping the sensor stick into place and attaching the optional finger loop to the back of the lid. Ensuring a watertight seal for the sensor stick by lining up two triangle notches was a little tricky and required a bit of force, but setup was pretty seamless otherwise. To pair the bottle with your phone, download the Hidrate app and follow the setup instructions, then you are good to go.
As a naturally competitive person, making water consumption a game that you could ‘win’ worked – for the most part. There were days when I didn’t meet my goal, but overall I have been drinking more water on a daily basis since using the Hidrate Spark. The glow reminders and cutesy push notifications, both of which you can control the frequency of, acted as friendly nudges to help me stay on track to meet my daily goal.
The water bottle itself is stylish and makes for a great conversation piece when you bring it along everywhere you go.
Drinking more water helped me to feel more healthy overall, and I noticed that my skin became better balanced and took on a natural glow that I (and others) noted.
I experienced a few minor glitches with the app:
On the first day of using the water bottle I had achieved my goal, with the celebratory glow and all, but upon checking the app the next day, the goal for yesterday had increased overnight and indicated that I had not, in fact, met my goal.
There are a variety of glow patterns that you can choose from, but these cannot be previewed and are only viewed when it is time for the bottle to glow. I changed this setting a few times before settling on a pattern that I was happy with, but the change sometimes took a while before showing the updated glow pattern.
No progress indicators:
You receive glow and push notifications when you’re falling behind but have no sense of your progress unless you open the app itself. It would be nice if there was a way to let the user know how close they are to achieving their daily goal without constantly opening and checking the app.
On the bottle itself:
The Hidrate Spark has a semi-transparent/matte finish, parts of which had already rubbed off in shipping and since using for a month more of the matte finish has rubbed off despite fairly gentle/light use on my part.
Like a Fitbit, the Hidrate Spark is not cheap but motivates you to reach daily goals. Admittedly, the constant glowing and push notifications can get annoying after a while, but I find myself reaching for water more and my hydration habits improving so to that end the Hidrate Spark 2.0 has been effective in helping me to achieve a positive lifestyle change.