New fitness technology always makes me a little skeptical. Humans have been working out for decades with the same general pieces of equipment: treadmills, cycling bikes, yoga mats, hand weights and barbells. And before we created objects to move with? We had our two feet and the road in front of us. Moving doesn’t need to be complicated, and yet in our modern age of constant recreation and endless optimization through technology, it seems like there’s always a new piece of fitness equipment to try that promises to help you reach your goals better than anything that precedes it.
So, naturally, when I heard about fitness mirrors I wasn’t sold. They seemed too futuristic for how I like to workout, a.k.a on a bike or under a power rack, and unnecessary. Their exorbitant price tags rendered them a splurge at best in my mind. That is, before I tried the MIRROR.
I will share up front that my stance on fitness mirrors has changed drastically since trying this product. I tried the ProForm Vue, a competitor fitness mirror, last year and wasn’t as impressed. I found the design, usability and quality of the MIRROR to be much higher. You can find my full review of the ProForm fitness mirror here.
MIRROR Basic Package
MIRROR Rower: The Specs
The MIRROR was one of the first fitness mirrors to hit the market in 2018, and has since been acquired by Lululemon and become massively popular amongst the luxury home gym crowd. When I was offered the chance to try one, I jumped at the chance, especially since I had just finished testing the ProForm Vue, and wasn’t thrilled with my experience.
SPY Readers should know that currently MIRROR is offering their basic model for $300 off its original price plus free delivery, with a total discount of $550 for a limited time only with the code “NEWYEAR22.” Set a New Year’s goal to workout more? Now might be the perfect time to splurge.
The MIRROR delivers on the promise of its name, it’s an unassuming mirror that looks just like a sleek reflective surface when turned off. I’d recommend mounting it somewhere with plenty of space in front of it, but unlike the ProForm it doesn’t stick out like a piece of exercise equipment when you’re not using it.
It’s very thin, and comes with a carbon steel frame and a bronze powder coating that’s neutral enough to match most decor. It’s got a 5 megapixel front-facing camera so you can see friends during a workout if you choose to and get live feedback from instructors.
The 1080p full HD display is 43″ long and it’s got a 4x 15W high-fidelity stereo speaker system with six drivers and two woofers. You can sync it via Bluetooth with a pair of headphones, but I had trouble getting my AirPods to connect. That could be a software flaw, or a problem on my end.
MIRROR: The Setup
Getting the MIRROR set up in my apartment was a bit of a debacle. First off, it’s designed to be mounted on a flat surface. Since most of my apartment is exposed brick, this presented a problem for the installation team. You can also attach the included stand, essentially an extension of the carbon frame, and lean it up against a wall, so that’s what I ended up doing. It worked just fine.
The problem came when trying to turn it on. The MIRROR is not a touchscreen, you control it via an app on your phone, and in order to sync with your phone the MIRROR creates its own WiFi network upon booting up for the first time which you then connect to with your phone. If this process sounds clunky and a bit complicated, it’s because it is. My MIRROR’s WiFi network would not show up on my phone for about an hour or so, and we had to completely reset the MIRROR’s system in order for it to work.
The reason they do this is so you only have to connect your phone and MIRROR once, as after they’ve synced your MIRROR connects to the same WiFi network as your phone every time. This has continued to work for months, so I understand the design. It’s a shame the initial installation wasn’t smoother.
MIRROR: Using the Machine
The MIRROR is super simple to use. All you need to do is pick a class, press play and follow along, all while looking at your reflection in the mirror itself.
Searching For, Filtering and Picking a Class
Selecting a class, pressing play, adjusting the volume and the music all happens on your phone in the app. They have over 50 different types of workouts from barre to dance, strength, HIIT, kickboxing and more. Within each category are sub-categories, and you can filter by instructor, difficulty, length, equipment and even impact if you’re recovering from an injury. Their search filters are some of the most granular and extensive I’ve seen, definitely a pro for this product if you like options.
On Screen Metrics During Class
On the screen during your workout is what’s called a “Health Score,” basically a numerical judgement of how well you’re doing. If you connect a heart rate monitor, or a pair of MIRROR’s smart weights, those help with this calculation. I did neither, so the MIRROR just gave me an estimation of my score during each of my classes. I’m someone who doesn’t need a lot of metrics to push myself during a training session, so I didn’t mind not having this particular gauge of my progress.
You can also see the name of the current exercise above the instructor, a timer counting down in the upper right, with time remaining for the whole class as well as the current exercise. You can see your estimated calories, and a running stream of members who have also taken this class. You can adjust and customize your class screen via the app easily, and add or delete certain information based on your preferences.
MIRROR: The Review
I will be judging the MIRROR based on the following criteria, giving each a score out of five:
- Design of Machine
- Quality of Functionality
- User Friendliness
- Instructors + Variety of Classes
- Health Routine Factor
Overall, I wanted to see how practical it was for the home of the average fitness enthusiast, how easy it was the use and how likely it is that you’ll use it often after purchase. With a large, high ticket piece of gym equipment the question in most people’s minds is — “But will I use this?” My answer for the MIRROR is yes, if you’re an active person who loves variety. Continue reading to find out why.
Design of Machine: 5/5
The MIRROR is beautifully designed. It’s simple, easy to use, the syncing with the app is seamless and it’s super thin. You could mount it almost anywhere in your home and it would fit in. Leaning it up against the wall is also a solid option, and the frame it comes with makes this an aesthetically pleasing option too. The app is designed very intuitively, and selecting a class is very straightforward.
User Friendliness: 4/5
The setup of my MIRROR wasn’t a smooth process, but MIRROR’s customer service was very helpful, and we were able to solve the problem quickly. The MIRROR is ready to meet you where you’re at with your fitness journey — whether you’re new and have zero equipment, or a seasoned professional with a full gym in your house. Upon installing the app, it asked me what equipment I had, which classes I was interested in, if I had any injuries and how often I exercise. Then, they built a recommended program for me as well as a “Weekly Drop” of classes for me to check out. You definitely don’t need to be an expert in the fitness world to use and love MIRROR.
Instructors + Variety of Classes: 5/5
You almost can’t ask for more from the MIRROR when it comes to variety. They’ve got classes for almost every type of movement under the sun, and subcategories underneath each general class type. For example, you can filter by kickboxing classes, and then select strength classes underneath that umbrella. So you can take kickboxing classes with a strength component in them. It’s that granular, and it’s impressive.
I haven’t tried every instructor yet, but the ones I have worked with have been top notch energy-wise, provided helpful cues throughout class and given clear instructions throughout the movements. Plus, the MIRROR’s design makes them very easy to see during your workout.
Health Routine Factor: 4/5
By “Health Routine Factor” I really mean — how realistic is it that this machine will become a regular part of your health and fitness routine? When splurging on a piece of equipment, I think this is one of the most important question consumers are asking themselves.
Admittedly, this category is a bit unfair, since I don’t think I can ever give a perfect score and guarantee you’re going to use a certain machine for the rest of your days. However, I will say the MIRROR does a great job of keeping you coming back. Their classes are fun, music well-curated and the design of the machine makes it easy to use even in small spaces. If you love or like working out already, I’d say MIRROR does everything it can to make sure you get your money’s worth and use it consistently.
The MIRROR is not nearly as expensive as it could be. It’s a beautiful piece of machinery with a huge variety of classes. The MIRROR membership does cost $39/month, and your purchase of the MIRROR comes with an automatic one year commitment. However, it’s less expensive than most spin bikes, treadmills, and other smart home gym systems. If you’re willing to splurge, I’d say it’s more than worth the price, especially with the current discount.
Currently, MIRROR is offering their basic model for $300 off its original price plus free delivery, equaling a total value of $550 for a limited time only with the code “NEWYEAR22.”
MIRROR: My Verdict:
I love the MIRROR. I’ve made it a regular part of my home workout routine, which was already pretty regimented to begin with. If you’re someone who loves to move and wants an easy way to do HIIT cardio, strength work and other workouts you can’t get on a bike or treadmill, it’s a great option. It’s more immersive than an app on your phone or tablet, and the reflective surface really does help improve form and keep you present during the training session.
I still use my Peloton app for many non-cycling workouts, but I’ve interspersed MIRROR ones in as well and haven’t regretted it. The two programs are interchangeable when it comes to quality.
If you love variety with your workouts and don’t want a huge piece of bulky equipment ruining your apartment aesthetic, I’d strongly recommend you choose MIRROR. If you haven’t splurged on a piece of smart home gym equipment yet, and hate spinning, I’d recommend you choose MIRROR.