The Ascensia Contour Next One is quite simply one of the best glucose meters out there, thanks to accurate glucose measurements, smart phone app connectivity and affordable testing strips. But that's just pricking the surface, forgive the pun, there are lots more features worth mentioning here, which this review will do - so you can decide if this is the right glucometer for you.
The wireless capabilities of this glucometer set it apart from the competition, but the Contour series is already well established, showing this is more than just a smartphone gimmick.
The already impressive meter adds lots of data metrics which allow you to get a broader image of your blood sugar levels over time in a clear graph with lots of detailed information which you can add in to manage your longer term targets.
Contour Next One review: Design and portability
- Pocket-friendly size
- High contrast digital screen
- Light for testing in dark
Memory: 800 test results
Time to results: 5 seconds
Blood sample size: 0.6 microlitres
Battery life: 1,000 tests
The Contour Next One is clearly a more modern unit than most of the competition with a sleek black build that not only looks good but is portable too. Designed to look like a USB drive, the testing unit is a pocket-friendly size but crams in a large, high-contrast and backlit display. It's sleeker than the Dario LC, our top pick.
There are button controls which make for easy navigation regardless of wearing gloves or being unable to see clearly in the dark. That said, this also features a testing strip light so you can easily take a reading without fumbling around when in the dark.
Readings are simplified with color coding for an at-a-glance result. Red is for low, green for in range and yellow for high. Even the port light will flash with the corresponding colour to show you blood sugar even more clearly, if you decide to turn that option on. Yup, this can be shut off if you find it annoying or want to be less obvious.
Contour Next One review: App and connectivity
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Smart app support
- Automatic sync
The big sell for the Contour Next One is its Bluetooth connectivity to a very comprehensive smartphone app. This means that not only are your raw blood sugar levels recorded but also extra information can be added like photos, voice memos and notes.
The Contour app is available on Android and iOS devices and allows you to directly upload blood glucose data from the meter to the app via Bluetooth. We say allows you to, when it actually happens automatically, so you don't need to worry about doing a thing.
When synchronised you'll get a good 90 days worth of data allowing you to see trends and averages without you having to do a thing. What you can do is add data yourself including diet, activity and medication so the results make more sense when you read them back.
All these results can then easily be shared with healthcare professionals so your doctor is kept in the loop on your progress, or indeed you insurer where this might even save you money.
There are also smart alerts which remind you to check your glucose levels during the day. These can also be set to remind you of upcoming doctor visits or any other area you need reminding about. This is nice to have all in one app, allowing you to manage your blood sugar maintenance all in one place. It's a market-leader when it comes to tech, even beating out the likes of Fora 6 Connect, which is one of our favorites.
Contour Next One review: Lights and battery
- Light for dark blood sampling
- Colored for feedback
- Port light
The handy smart light on the meter is a great feature. You can use it to make taking readings in the dark more easy, but it's the feedback that's a real winner.
Using a color coded system the light is able to quickly give you feedback on your blood glucose results. This allows those who are new to diabetes, or those that like simplicity, to see at a glance what their number readings actually mean. The colors work like this:
GREEN: levels are within target range
RED: levels are below target range
ORANGE: levels are above target range
There is also a dedicated port light which can be used to illuminate the spot where the test strip is inserted, making low light or dark use possible. Oddly this isn't made clear in the manual so if you want to use it just double press the main round button.
Battery life is decent with the included battery going for months before needing a change. Even then you will be able to send off for a replacement for free as this is included as part of the company's offering. Technically, this makes the battery 'unlimited', which out-does the OneTouch Verio Flex, the glucometer with the longest battery life.
Contour Next One review: Sampling and accuracy
- Adjustable lance
- Second-chance sampling
- Affordable strips
Strip sampling is an area where the Contour Next One excels. The lance is a funky multi-color device, which looks nice and also allows depth variability so you can keep pain levels to a minimum. Should you go too shallow you won't need to worry as the strip can be reused.
This means that the strip can have more blood added if the first reading was not blood heavy enough for an accurate reading. You have 60 seconds to add more blood which is enough time to get it working and save you money on more test strips. The blood sample size is a pretty standard 0.6 micrometers and time to results is just five seconds. Not the quickest (that would be the True Metrix), but not the slowest either.
That said, test strips are affordable and are readily available in most stores you'd expect to find them in, and online too. Accuracy is impressive with readings working every time, quickly. This meets the FDA's tightened accuracy requirements of 95% within 8.4 mg/dL of reference results, whether the test is about or below 100.
Should you choose the Contour Next One?
The Ascensia Contour Next One is quite simply one of the top glucometers out there, not only thanks to the meter itself but the app that backs it up. The meter is super accurate and offers a wonderful second-chance use of the strip. Strips are affordable and readily available while the battery, which lasts 1,000 tests, is replaced for free when needed. The smart light allows for quick at-a-glance results where the numbers meaning is clear based on the colour. The addition of a port light for the strip is also a great touch.
The app could have more integration, and it could be quicker, but this is a tough glucometer to fault. The fact you can apply directly to get one for free and it's otherwise cheap and easy to get hold of makes it even more appealing.