If you like boxing, or workouts that generally involve punching things, an Apple Watch or a Fitbit just isn't going to cut it. For those of you actually want insightful stats while pounding the heavy bag, wearing something bulky on the wrist isn't all that comfortable, either.
So, that's where Corner comes in. The pair of wearable devices serve up real-time metrics, including punch speed and power, and will even break down your best punch combinations.
Essential reading: Boxing wearables to help you dominate the ring
Corner is not the only boxing wearable out there, though. It joins Hykso and PiQ's Robot, both of which impressed when we slipped them into our hand wraps. One of the most notable differences with Corner, in comparison to its closest rivals, is the price. At ¬£89.99, it's half the price of the Hykso and PiQ wearables.
But does the cheaper price tag mean you're getting an inferior pair of punch trackers? We've been putting them to the test to find out. Here's our full verdict on Corner's boxing trackers.
Corner boxing tracker: Design, features and getting set up
When these trackers are going to spend most of the time hidden away, looking good is perhaps not high on the list of priorities. That being said, these dinky little devices are much nicer to look at than Hykso and PiQ's trackers. They're small, look a bit like tiny SD cards you'd stick into a camera and they just feel like they're well made.
Speaking of SD cards, that should give you an idea of the size you're dealing with here. Pile a couple of those SD cards on top of each other and that will give you a sense of the tracker's thickness. These feel smaller and lighter than the competition and crucially you just don't feel or notice them when they're sitting in the accompanying armbands or inside of your hand wraps.
Those armbands are comfortable, too, with a velcro strap keeping them around your wrist and a small pocket to securely hold the trackers in place. It's a tight squeeze to get them into that little pocket, but once they're in, they're simply not going to budge. These armbands don't get sweaty under the gloves either and no doubt the ventilated design plays its part so they don't become uncomfortable to use for long sessions under the gloves. As mentioned, you can bypass the armbands and wrap the trackers inside of hand wraps; just make sure you wrap them a couple of times to ensure they stay in place and deliver accurate tracking.
There's not a lot to the trackers themselves. There's a 3-axis accelerometer inside each to track motion, while two thin red and blue LEDs on the outside can be awakened with a simple double tap on the top surface of each tracker. This is your way of knowing when the trackers are powered up and successfully paired to the companion app. The only other notable feature is the micro USB port. Thankfully, the charging cable in the box is the dual micro USB kind so you can charge the trackers at the same time.
Before you get punching, you'll need to go through a pretty painless setup process with the companion app. We tried them out on both iOS and Android apps and the experience is largely the same. Once you've created your login, you'll be asked to select your stance (Orthodox or Southpaw) and then you'll be prompted to wake up the trackers to connect them to the app. That is pretty much it.
Corner boxing tracker: Performance
Corner keeps things really simple when it's time to track, letting you focus on getting your session up and running as quickly as possible. You've got your pick of a Quick Start mode to jump straight into a workout that delivers automatic round timing. There's also an Interval Training option that will let you set the round and rest intervals to create a more customised session.
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There are some pretty basic settings here you can toggle on and off too, such as audio cues, screen lock prevention and a hands-free control option that lets you use hand gestures to control screens, instead of having to remove your gloves to check the data.
Once you've picked your workout mode, the app will search for the trackers to start the session. In my experience, that worked every time without issues using the iOS app. With the Android app running on a Pixel 2 XL, it did on the odd occasion have some trouble connecting to the trackers. I'm going to put that down to Bluetooth connectivity issues I've experienced pairing devices to this phone, but it's worth mentioning if you're planning to pair with an Android phone.
Your first punch will start the tracking and you'll know instantly if the trackers are picking up the punches. From an accuracy point of view, the Corner trackers appear to do the job. I spent most of the time testing them in heavy bag sessions, making it easier to check on accuracy, and there was no cause for concern on this front.
In terms of that real time data you'll see, the app will show you total punches, average speed and average power. Between rounds, you can additionally view work rate during the round and whether your punch count, speed and power has dropped off from the previous round. You can also see a breakdown of punches per hand and where the power in the punches is coming from. Unsurprisingly, being a southpaw, most of the power came from my left hand. While I know my right hand isn't as powerful, it did have a tendency on occasion to display 0 power punches for a session.
When you're ready to put the gloves down, it doesn't take long for that session to be synced to the app where you can start to dig a little deeper into the data.
Corner boxing tracker: App
Corner's app is very, very basic. All you have here is a profile, a training setup screen and an activity feed. That's your lot. From the activity feed you can look back over previous sessions with a snapshot of your overall punch count and workout duration.
Tap to expand the session and you can see overall punch count, speed and power scores. You'll also get style insights giving you a punch breakdown. This feature is currently in beta, and gives you a combination breakdown showing you single, 2-3 punch and 4+ punch combos. Assessing the accuracy of this data is trickier, as you're placing a lot of trust in the trackers identifying different punches. At the very least, it's nice to have these additional insights.
That's really all there is to the app at the moment. Corner is promising to add the ability to follow friends that use the Corner trackers and take on weekly challenges. But even in its most basic form, it's an easy to use app and by no means daunting for anyone to get to grips with.
Corner boxing tracker: Versus the competition
So how does Corner compare to Hykso and PiQ's Robot trackers? I'd say it fares pretty well. From a design and comfort point of view, it's on the money, too. Punch tracking seems accurate and data is well presented, but where it perhaps lacks is richer training modes or options that make something like Hykso more accessible.
It also lacks the AI smarts of PiQ's setup, as well, which works to improve technique based on your workout sessions and make it far more appealing for anyone new to boxing. Corner feels more like an option for someone who already has a grasp of the boxing basics and is able to know whether they're making the most of their sessions.
- Small, light and comfortable to wear
- Accurate punch tracking
- Insightful data
- Some flaky Android app connectivity
- Could do with more training features
- Shorter battery life than other trackers