Feb 18, 2016 ยท 3 minutes

Remember the Healbe Gobe, the miracle calorie counting wristband whose crowdfunding campagin, and apparent junk science, Pando covered at length in 2014?

The device which doctors said was a scam but which Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin refused to pull from his platform?

Sorry, I should say the device which Slava Rubin actively defended and promoted, and which Indiegogo’s own hardware team helped to reach its crowdfunding goal?

If you need a refresher, you’ll find all of our coverage here.

Earlier this week, I got the tip I’ve been waiting for: The device is finally on sale on Amazon. The price:  $249.95.

Yes, for the first time we actually get to find out what real buyers think of the finished device. Does it really work or is it, as one doctor told Pando, “some straight Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman bullshit?” In other words, was Pando’s James Robinson right to call out Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin for standing firmly by an absolute and total scam, or do we owe Rubin an apology?

Let’s take a look at those Amazon reviews to find out!

The first thing to note is that there are almost always a few one star reviews posted by competitors and trolls. Even the most magical electronic devices have the occasional shitty review. Just one or two bad reviews wouldn't be enough to damn the device.

Remarkably, though, after almost 50 reviews, the Healbe has a 2.5 star average rating, with more than 50% of reviewers giving it 1 or 2 stars.

Here are some sample comments:

It simply does not work. This device suffers from numerous problems, but they're all relatively moot points canceled out by the fact that this device doesn't do what it's supposed to.


This is the absolute worst product I have ever purchased and would not recommend it to anyone unless they just simply want to waste a ton of money.


I also walked 200 steps before I got out of bed and consumed 500 calories by lunch time when I had eaten nothing. I really hate to say this because I wanted to believe but this device is nothing more than a computer algorithm that uses your initial setting as a starting point. I guess the doctors who commented over a year ago were right when they said the technology does not exist and this is not possible. We all wanted it to be real but we were deceived.


I had such desperately high hopes for this thing. If it had worked in any way, I would have loved it. It DOES NOT measure calories at all.


I'm including a screenshot as an example. Today at 9:00am I had 2 pieces of bacon and half a cup of plain yogurt. Three hours later, the Healbe shows I've had 1430 calories and 80 grams of protein?! And the calorie count continues to go up. This is the same random, junk info I get every day since I started using it.


It feel really stupid that I fell for this. Sending it back.


I really wanted to like this product...imagine if it really could keep track of how many calories you consumed versus how many you burned. However, it doesn't do this.


battery life is horrible. doesn't last thru the day. Also the calorie count intake is way off. I tested it again and again. One example is that I had a protein shake that was 160 calories and it counted that I had 600 calories.


Sadly the calorie intake will ask you every fifteen min. Asking you if you've ate. And it's not even accurate. For the money I'm extremely disappointed.


“I have owned the Healbe GoBe for approximately a month, but I only just got it working 3 days ago. “

That last comment, by the way, came from a five star reviewer. Make of that what you will.

The saddest thing about all those disappointing reviews (and there are plenty more in addition to the above) is how many reviewers mention how much they wanted to believe that a miracle calorie counting wristband could possibly work. Wanted to believe it so much they were willing to pledge money on Indiegogo, and wanted to believe it so much that they’d blow $250 to buy the device on Amazon.

Those are the people making Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin rich. Maybe someone can crowdfund a miracle pillow to help him sleep at night.