People have been using bike computers for decades. But as technology has improved a lot over the past couple of years, a modern bike computer can do much, much more than its predecessors. It can even take on some tasks that your smartphone is incapable of handing. At least, depending on how often you end up riding, and where you end up going.
The original SmartHalo launched on Kickstarter back in 2005. Since then, they’ve made a number of advancements in preparation for the SmartHalo 2. What kind of advancements? Well, compared to the first, you’re not only looking at a device with added features, but a device with a far more streamlined design. It’s thinner, lighter, and stronger across the board.
At the same time, the SmartHalo 2 isn’t supposed to be overly complicated. Rather, it’s supposed to show you what’s out there on your path without distracting you in the process. How well does it get that job done?
Design & Layout
If you’re not familiar with the original SmartHalo, it might be worth starting with the basics. As this is a biking tool, it shouldn’t surprise you to find the unit is pretty much totally waterproof. You don’t have to worry about rain, sleet, snow, or mud.
The center of the device has a PeekDisplay unit. Contrary to your expectations, this display is not actually a touchscreen. But it does allow you to keep a close and detailed look at your metrics while riding. The outside around the PeekDisplay is called the Light Halo, which is basically just a ring of LEDs that can help animate the data that’s available on various viewing screens.
It’s below the screen and light-halo where you’ll find a touch surface. The touch surface actually looks like nothing at all – merely like a piece of plastic that’s sticking out of the bottom of the display. But it’s here where you’ll tap, swipe, or otherwise interact with the display and the various metrics it can track.
For positioning, the SmartHalo 2 is locked onto your handlebar. The only way to remove it is a unique HaloKey. Since the locks are a little atypical, and the device is strapped to the handlebars, it’s actually pretty tough to steal or extract the device. Since it’s fairly subtle, the device also won’t draw much attention from passersby.