Echelon Reflect Mirror Review
If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve likely been targeted with an Echelon Reflect ad. And if you're like me you're probably wondering what makes the Echelon different from Lululemon's Mirror and FORME Life?
For one, the price. The Echelon Reflect is the way to go as it is the most affordable option on the market compared to the Mirror and Forme Life. The 40 inch model is priced at $1,039 and the 50 inch model is $1,639. Similar to its competitors, it does not come with any weights or equipment so you’ll need to factor that into your budget if you’d like to take any strength training or toning classes.
Challenging set up but easy to navigate once installed
Other smart gyms like Mirror, Tonal and Tempo provide a white glove delivery service so your delivery person will set it up for you. Being the more affordable option, you’re on your own with The Echelon Reflect. It took me about 1.5 hours to set it up as Echelon’s manual wasn’t the most informative. There were many parts involved and since it hangs on your well, you want to make sure its secure.
Once it’s installed, you’ll need to download the app and pair the Echelon with your phone. The phone acts as a remote throughout your experience since the 40 inch version does not offer a touch screen (but the 50 inch does). The Echelon offers a variety of class categories so it’s easy to find a workout without too much digging. However, compared to other smart gyms they offered less classes and their overall class catalog could use some beefing up.
Entertaining classes but more description
The first workout I tried was a short strength-training workout focused on your upper body. I figured I needed a pair of dumbbells even though the class description or app didn’t mention it. The class ended up requiring three sets of dumbbells (light, medium, and heavy) and unfortunately, I didn’t have anything heavier than 15 lbs. It would have been nice to be warned ahead of time so I could select a workout that paired well with the equipment I had.
The instructor did a great job leading the class and had a strong presence on screen. I moved through a variety of circuits designed to pump up my biceps and triceps. I felt energized when the class was over, although I didn’t feel like I worked that hard as I didn’t have the proper weights. Honestly though, I’m spoiled after trying smart gyms like Tempo who use artificial intelligence to offer weight recommendations based on your performance.
It only offers heart rate tracking
I paired my Apple Watch with the Echelon Reflect before class began so my heart rate was present throughout the entire class. Compared to smart gyms like Tempo or Tonal who offer more detailed guidance around your performance, I was disappointed that this was the only metric they track. This isn’t unusual though as mirrors like Forme Life and The Mirror share similar limited experiences. Their marketing tends to sell an innovative technology experience but in reality, offer no differentiation compared to a much cheaper fitness tracker.
Live classes are few and far between
As a big Peloton user, live classes are one of the reasons why I got so into connected fitness products. It feels like you’re working out with a massive community of people although you are just at home. While Echelon does offer live classes, they only have a few a week which is a let down compared to Mirror who offers multiple per day.
And there really isn’t a reason to take Echelon’s live classes as the instructors don’t give shoutouts like Mirror or Tempo’s instructors. They still feel pre-recorded and no different than taking an on-demand class.
So, is it worth it?
While the Echelon is the most affordable version on the market, it has a lot of work to do. It felt like it was from a company that hadn’t been around for very long, when in fact, Echelon is one of the most tenured fitness companies around. They needed to build up their class library and provide more detail in their class descriptions. Without equipment or performance tracking, their fitness mirror provided no differentiation than my Samsung Television screen.
Compared to Mirror, Echelon is much cheaper but less effective. And that's saying something if you've read my review on Lululemon's newly acquired smart mirror. If you're going to invest in a smart gym-type product, make sure you're buying something that's more than just a pretty vertical screen.