November 19, 2015

Smartphone vs Standalone: Which BACtrack Makes the Best Gift?

bactrack standalone vs smartphone breathalyzers

A breathalyzer is a great gift for anyone who drinks or knows someone who does. BACtrack has an award-winning line of products - but which one makes the most sense for you and your loved ones?

There are virtues to both the Smartphone BACtracks (BACtrack Mobile and BACtrack Vio) and the standalone units (all the other BACtracks on offer). Which one will work best is dependent of a variety of factors. Let's review a few of the most important things you should keep in mind when deciding between these two sets of units.

Standalone Models

Standalone BACtracks offer the user a simple and easy-to-use interface. Many, such as the BACtrack Go, BACtrack S35, and BACtrack Element, are essentially foolproof, as they only have one button on them. Press that button and you are ready to test within a matter of seconds. 

A few of the more advanced standalone models have additional buttons and features, allowing one to access testing options (BACtrack S80) or prior test records (BACtrack Trace). Using these extra features is optional, and gives the user who wishes to delve deeper the ability to do so without hindering those who do not.

Standalone BACtracks: Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Quick testing and turnaround - great for testing multiple people in succession
  • Sturdy construction
Standalone BACtracks: Cons
  • No ability to estimate time to sobriety (ZeroLine)
  • No ability to save readings for future reference
  • No way to share readings with others 

Smartphone Models

Smartphone connected BACtracks have a different set of virtues, and appeal to a different group of people. While they may be a little more intensive to set up (if you can call downloading a free app “intensive”), they do offer a wider variety of options when it comes to saving readings, displaying histories of BAC results, and sharing those results with others quickly and conveniently.

Smartphone BACtracks: Pros

  • Guess Your BAC - sharpens skills of self-assessing impairment
  • Gives estimated time to 0.00% BAC
  • Ability to save readings for future reference
  • Ability to share readings with others
  • BACtrack Mobile offers ability to re-charge batteries

Smartphone BACtracks: Cons

  • Requires more set up time (download free app)
  • Requires user to pair BACtrack to smartphone via Bluetooth before use
  • Somewhat slower testing time 

Which is the Best for You?

If you are still unsure which is best for your loved one, take this into consideration.

Is your loved one tech savvy, a big smartphone user, a social media maven, or a curious tech lover? If so, go for a smartphone connected BACtrack. They will get a lot out of the app’s expanded features. If they own (or have asked Santa for) a Fitbit or another activity monitor, they will probably enjoy BACtrack Mobile or Vio, as they offer similar data saving and reporting features. Smartphone connected BACtracks also connect seamlessly to Apple Watch, Apple Health, and a range of iOS and Android devices.

On the other hand, if they are less tech savvy, or might need to use this device on multiple people (either at work or with friends), it might be best to go with a standalone unit.

We hope this guide has helped you make your decision. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact BACtrack Customer Support via phone, email, or chat. We are always happy to help customers make purchase decisions. 

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