For the water bottle world, 2016 seems to be the year of the digital revolution. We recently spent some time with the H2O-Pal Hydration Tracker, a straight ahead smart bottle featuring automatic water consumption tracking. Able to sync to an iPhone or Apple Watch (Android support is still in beta,) the H2O-Pal automatically tracks how much water you consume from the bottle, organizing it into useful and easy to read charts. It also allows you to set goals and provides reminders when you need to drink more water.
We recently reviewed another smart bottle, the Pryme Vessyl, and we ended up finding it lacking on account of its attempts to do too much with its proprietary hydration tracking algorithm. The H2O-Pal represents the other side of the coin, taking a much simpler and more straightforward approach to hydration tracking. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but accomplishes what it is intended to quite well. Let’s take a closer look.
(UPDATE: We named the H2O Pal our #1 Pick in Best Hydration Tracking Smart Bottles!)
Tracking Your Daily Water Consumption with the H2O-Pal Smart Bottle: Our Review
The H2O-Pal combines an accelerometer and a weight sensor in order to track the amount of water in the bottle. The bottle actually earns its name as a smart bottle, being the most clever one we have used so far. The inclusion of the accelerometer and some clever math in the software let the H2O-Pal know if you’re actually drinking from the bottle or not, so if you dump your bottle out for whatever reason, it won’t suddenly register as having drank a whole bottle full. The inclusion of the accelerometer also is quite helpful in keeping the app synced and data up to date, as it triggers the bottle’s tracking when the bottle is tilted.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the H2O-Pal is that it is not limited to the water bottle it is included with. The sensor which enables the smart tracking is actually detachable and can be fitted to a number of different bottles using its vacuum and magnetic attachment technology. The attachment should fit comfortably on any bottle with a 3″ diameter at the base, meaning there are a huge number of different water bottles to which the H2O-Pal will be compatible with.
The H2O-Pal Bottle Itself
As we mentioned, the H2O-Pal Hydration Tracker is detachable and compatible with a huge number of bottles. However, presently, all purchases of the H2O-Pal include the H2O-Pal Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle. The bottle is pretty stylish, fitting perfectly into the H2O-Pal attachment on its base, featuring a slightly curved design which makes for an ergonomic grip, further complimented by the small silicone sleeve that provides extra grip traction.
The bottle holds up to 18 ounces, which makes it a bit on the small side. It features a screw-on stainless steel cap, which works great for leak proofing. The borosilicate glass is quite durable and fairly thick, giving the bottle a sturdy feel when being held or in use. It is also available in two colors.
The H2O-Pal Hydration Tracking App
Probably the real meat of the H2O-Pal is its app, which is quite brilliantly designed. One drawback is that the app currently only works for iOS. An Android app is available, but it is still in development and a warning is given that it does it work properly with most Android devices. But for those with iPhones, or Apple Watches, the H2O-Pal should work great, and Android support is on the horizon.
Unfortunately for us, the H2O-Pal doesn’t sync with any fitness trackers (read about how my Fitbit is changing the way I drink water.) Apple Watch owners can take advantage of the Apple Watch support to basically do the same thing, but Fitbit or Jawbone owners are out in the cold for now.
Thankfully, the H2O-Pal has such a well put together app that I don’t mind the loss much. Very easy and intuitive to use, the app provides all of the information you need in an easy to digest manner. It generates helpful graphs of your water consumption over time, provides reminders when it knows you haven’t drank enough in the day, has an easy option to manually input any water you didn’t consume from the H2O-Pal, and even offers “gamification.”
Gamification is a neat way to encourage you to drink more water. Making an enjoyable game out of the process of reaching your daily hydration goals, the H2O-Pal can egg you on to meeting your goals, providing you with positive reinforcement and clearly set goals to help you build healthy hydration habits.
On top of it all, the H2O-Pal can even export its data to CSV!
The H2O-Pal doesn’t attempt to do a lot: it tracks your water consumption, and it does it well. The design is remarkably functional. Everything about it is simple to use. Even removing and attaching the H2O-Pal to different water bottles is a simple process, and we managed to fit it on several of our favorites types of bottle. The ability to attach it to glass, stainless steel, or plastic bottles is a huge boon to anyone who wants a hydration tracking bottle. Now you don’t have to give up your favorite bottle for some digitally equipped cyborg water bottle: you can simply attach the H2O-Pal to your favorite type of water bottle, given the right 3″ diameter base.
Equipped with a coin cell battery, the H2O-Pal is advertised to work for multiple months without worry of charging or battery replacement. When you do need to replace it, 3V Coin Cell are as cheap as 10 for $5, so powering the H2O-Pal should never be much of a problem.
Benefits of Hydration Tracking
Check out this short 3-minute video from H2O-Pal on some of the benefits of hydration tracking which can be achieved with a little help from the H2O-Pal. It also shows the H2O-Pal in action.
We like the H2O-Pal quite a bit. As far as smart bottles go, it is one of our favorites we have come across so far. But more than that, the H2O-Pal is actually a product in a class of its own. It is the only hydration tracker which can be easily attached to a variety of water bottles and provide consistent, high quality water consumption tracking.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to give the H2O-Pal a perfect score because we feel it is a little limited by some technological barriers at the moment. The narrow range of compatibility with Apple devices is sort of a bummer for the Android lovers, Fitbit owners, and Windows Phone hardliners who can’t take advantage of the H2O-Pal’s tracking ability. On the bright side, these are issues which we may actually look forward to the H2O-Pal conquering, as the company is hard at work on an Android version and support for other devices may follow along.
Other than that, we give the H2O-Pal high marks on everything else. At $99 on Amazon it is not a cheap buy, but we think it is a worthy investment. The high quality app, the construction of the H2O-Pal itself, and the included bottle all make the pricetag add up to something quite reasonable.
We award the H2O-Pal 4/5 stars.
Learn More About the H2O-Pal Hydration Tracker
You can learn more about the H2O-Pal by visiting the Amazon listing, or check out this brief video from H2O-Pal.
Can be attached to any water bottle with compatibly sized base
Limited Compatibiltiy (iOS only)
- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- H2O-Pal Hydration Tracker
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The H2O-Pal is a versatile hydration tracker capable of being attached to a variety of water bottles, letting you use your favorite bottle and track your water consumption throughout the day.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.