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Tempo vs. Mirror: What home gym should you choose?

Tempo and Mirror are the two brands that are synonymous with home fitness. However, while both smart gyms offer on-demand and live classes that's where the similarities end. The two gyms are radically different when it comes to performance tracking, equipment, interactivity, connectivity.

Mirror and Tempo equipment
Mirror (left) offers only heart rate and a calorie estimation. Tempo (right) offers that plus rep counting, form correction and weight recommendations.

Performance Tracking

Without a doubt, this an area where Tempo shines. It tracks your performance to help you improve over time using artificial technology.

Tempo counts your reps, offers weight recommendations based on your performance and can monitor your pace which is key when working out. The best part is that if you’re doing an exercise wrong, or take a position that can lead to injury, its AI will detect that and warn you immediately.

On the contrary, Mirror doesn't track your performance. It connects to your Apple Watch or a smartphone/watch via Bluetooth and keeps track of your heart rate. While this allows Mirror to estimate your calorie burn, it doesn't track your form and give a trainer-like feel that the Tempo has.

Comparing Mirror and Tempo
How the two compare to each other in performance tracking


Equipment

If your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, you're going to need weights.

Mirror does not come with an additional equipment so you're on your own with that.

In contrast, the Tempo Studio comes with a high quality weight set that goes up to 115 lbs and includes weight plates, dumbbells and a barbell.  Furthermore, the equipment is all packed neatly within the device itself so you don’t have to worry about storage. 

While this does boost the Tempo’s price by about $450 above the Mirror, if you were to buy an equivalent weight set - which you would have to if you’re going for the Mirror - it could cost well over that. For context, a barbell alone could cost between $150 - $300. And with Mirror, there's no place to store those weights so you better have a big closet.

Interactivity

Both smart gyms offer large screens which offer the feeling of working out with a trainer IRL. However, Tempo offers a touchscreen which makes it very easy for you to communicate with the device, play with settings, choose workouts, etc. In comparison, to interact with the 40” Mirror, you need to use your smartphone.

When I tested the Mirror, I found myself tapping the screen trying to adjust the volume during a workout. It became painfully obvious that you can’t do that. You gotta open your iPhone, wait for FaceID to recognize you, then find the volume controls, then turn it down.


Connectivity

Finally, let’s talk about connectivity. This is the area where Tempo falls behind the Mirror. Not only is the Mirror capable of connecting to your smartphone but using Bluetooth, it can connect to any smartwatch or other device that can track your fitness. It also has in-built integration for the Apple Watch, if you’re using one of these for your daily workouts.

The Tempo Studio cannot integrate with third-party devices like the Apple Watch, FitBit, etc. just yet, although they claim to be working on that. It does support Bluetooth integration.


Final Words

It's safe to say that the Tempo Studio makes for an overall better home fitness experience with AI-enabled tracking, more efficient memberships, and high-quality equipment. And while the Mirror does offer a less noticeable design, you could get the same results from watching a YouTube video.






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