"Mirror's beautiful design offers exciting workouts for all skill levels."
Stunning looking design
Diverse training options
Provides 1-to-1 personal training
The heart rate monitor is disconnected
You need to provide your own exercise accessories
It's been a minute since I took on a real fitness challenge. Having had foot issues for the past few years and being quarantined this year, I'm far from the peak of my super-fit days. Despite all the setbacks, adjustment is key to overcoming the adversity we all face when trying to stay fit and active.
This is exactly what fascinates me about Mirror, a $ 1,500 home fitness solution that offers a wide range of on-demand and live workout classes. As the name suggests, it looks just like an ordinary full length mirror. It is one of the many connected fitness displays for the time looking to revolutionize the fitness experience. But is it enough to convince people that it is standard fitness membership?
Absolutely beautiful design
Mirror looks amazing! That's partly because it looks like a mirror you might already have. The reflective plate measures 52.6 x 21.1 x 1.7 inches, which is a little misleading on paper as it weighs a whopping 70 pounds. It's pretty heavy in any case, so I would recommend getting help if, like me, you choose to do it yourself – but every Mirror purchase comes with a white glove delivery service.
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Installation was actually a breeze than I originally thought. The entire process took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I installed the mirror with the "wall anchor and stand" option because it requires a lot more drilling with straight wall mounting. Instead, just drill two holes in the wall, insert the anchors and fasten the mirror with a hook.
Back to the design, it is hard to believe that it is a technical device when you stand idly against the wall. I placed it in my living room right next to the front door – so it's the perfect thing to check me out before leaving. It is interesting that this reflective plate has a 40-inch 1080p display with a viewing angle of 178 degrees, a 5-megapixel camera, two 10-watt speakers, a quad-core processor, Bluetooth and dual band 802.11 A / B / G / N has Wi-Fi. All of this is crammed into a seamless chalkboard with hard lines that blends beautifully with any decor.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
The two speakers are a delight as they provide clear directions from the trainers – while producing some suitable melodies at the same time. The Mirror app allows you to adjust the volume of the music and the teacher to your liking. And finally, with a 5 megapixel camera embedded in the top of the mirror, trainers can see you during the live class (when you log in). The mirror comes with a cover that extends over the camera if you have privacy concerns.
Diverse training variety
It's difficult to get into a solid workout routine. Ask an expert about the best training exercise. The answers can be very different. However, I know that what matters is what results you want to get. Living in quarantine has added a few extra pounds since the beginning, but I focused on micro-workouts. Despite my weight gain, constant strength training resulted in more muscle mass.
I thought I was in some shape before I used Mirror, but boy was I wrong – it kept kicking my butt! That's an understatement because now I see the benefit of doing these group classes at home: I'm just ashamed instead of people seeing me buzzing around while I struggle with some workouts. But that's understandable for anyone starting a new training routine.
Mirror offers a wide range of workouts, from full-body strength training that covers broad muscle groups to more specific classes like yoga and pilates. There is something for everyone, and I appreciate how you can customize the workout to your liking via the Mirror app. Don't have much time? You can filter classes by 15-, 30-, 45-, and 60-minute sessions. The lessons are fun and informative, which is only complemented by the helpful, motivating instructors.
It's convenient to watch them do exercises, but I wish there was a way to look at them side by side (front and profile) to better distinguish which shape is correct. Though some instructors switch to a profile view to give me a better picture of the exercise. While some classes require equipment, like free weights, a chair, or yoga blocks, you can filter to leave them out.
If you are not shy, you can keep your camera active during live training. This gives the trainers a brief insight into you. Conversely, you can leave the camera switched off and even cover it with the supplied attachment to ensure that nobody can see you.
A couple of nuances
Long before I did more research on Mirror, I always thought it was a giant touchscreen – it isn't. A smartphone is required to interact with Mirror. You need it to start classes, send notes or emojis in real time during training, take selfies after training, and rate classes. Luckily, it's minimal interaction during exercise, which I like because it is more important for me to focus on exercise, but instructors occasionally ask to hit that 100% or fire emoji in the app when you do that Feel the burning.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
I ran into a few minor nuisances with Mirror. First, you need to be connected to the same wireless network in order to start Mirror. In one case, I didn't realize I was connected to my secondary wireless network and couldn't connect. It's strange in my opinion, but something to remember when you're in this dire straits.
Second, I noticed Mirror randomly stop showing my heart rate on the screen while I was exercising. I later found out that this was related to my smartphone timeout. This is weird because you believe that the bluetooth connection will remain intact when my phone's display is turned off. However, this is not the case. Finally, I set my Android smartphone to time out after 30 minutes to prevent the heart rate monitor from disconnecting.
These are two problems that I would like to see solved. Because the last thing you want to do before jumping into a live class is messing around with the mirror.
Who is Mirror for?
I think this is the most basic question to ask yourself while looking for the best solution for your needs with in-home workouts. Mirror does a fantastic job and appeals to a wide audience thanks in part to its diverse classes and ability to tailor classes to suit your needs.
Since most of the classes are mostly about strength and cardio exercises, it's the type of workout that will make you sweat, burn yourself off, and burn off some calories. For most of the 45 minute classes I've taken, I generally burn around 550 calories. This is because the workout involves a mix of routines done in three to four sets that focus on different muscle groups. Full body training is a prime example of this. Of course, if you've never tried this type of workout, regardless of how physically fit you feel, they'll be challenging. I know this firsthand from a yoga workout as I must have broken muscles and joints that I rarely test with my usual workouts.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
While Mirror's workout can be supplemented with additional equipment like dumbbells, a skipping rope, kettlebells, and more, I love that without them you can still get a solid workout and make improvements. Sure, it would be nice if Mirror could somehow track progress with this accessory, such as knowing that you are improving every week by adding more weight to your bench press exercises, but I hope this is a prospect that will be taken into account in the future.
The best thing about Mirror is that it doesn't take much to get started, have fun, and feel comfortable while exercising.
Mirror has the foundation to offer a well-rounded training experience for every level of experience. You don't have to be a fitness junkie to enjoy this at home. The combination of beautiful design, various training courses and a proactive community make it one of the connected home gyms that should be on your radar.
I thought I was in some shape, but Mirror's workouts kept kicking my butt!
It's priced at $ 1,495, which seems like a lot on paper, but the gear itself is on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to the alternatives – like the $ 3,000 tonal or the $ 2,300 carbon Trainer. The other cost involved in owning it is the $ 39 monthly membership cost, impressively enough to cover up to six household members in total. All in all, it's one of the cheaper options out there right now.
How long it will take?
Mirror's design deserves recognition; it looks beautiful and is pretty well done. Since it is stationary and doesn't necessarily have moving components, it should hold up because it is wall-mounted or anchored.
If something goes wrong internally, there's a one-year warranty that covers the mirror for defects and labor costs related to repairs.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes and no. There are other networked home fitness solutions that are similar to Mirror and can target a specific person. For example, if you are looking to gain muscle mass, you should look at Tonal or Tempo, which focuses on weight lifting to increase muscle mass. Mirror does to some extent include strength training with some of its workouts, but it doesn't do it on the same level and focus as the alternatives above.
Should you buy it?
Yes, especially if you enjoy group classes in a traditional gym.