Breathalyzer Blog

Smartphone vs Standalone: Choosing the Best BACtrack

posted by Andrew | 17 November 2015

There are virtues to both the smartphone breathalyzers and the standalone models - but which is best for you? Your choice is dependent of a variety of factors. Reviewing the virtues of each should make the right choice clear.

Standalone Models

Standalone BACtracks offer the user a simple and easy-to-use interface. Many are essentially foolproof as they only have one button on them. Press that button and you are ready to test within 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 time - great for testing multiple people in succession
  • Sturdy, drop-resistant construction
Standalone BACtracks: Cons
  • No ability to estimate time to sobriety (aka, ZeroLine)
  • No ability to save readings for future reference
  • No way to share readings with others 

Smartphone Models

Smartphone connected breathalyzers have a different set of virtues, appealing 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 battery

Smartphone BACtracks: Cons

  • Requires more set up time (downloading 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 us via phone, email, or chat. We are always happy to help customers make purchase decisions. 

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