There are two versions of the TRUE METRIX glucometer – the basic version and the AIR, which has Bluetooth. The AIR doesn’t cost much more than the basic version and uses the same test strips, which are the most affordable we reviewed. Both glucose meters are easy to use, and you can find their test strips at most diabetic supply stores and pharmacies. But with Bluetooth, you can sync your readings to TRUE MANAGER AIR, a diabetes management app for Android and Apple phones. This is why it's our pick for the glucometer with the best value.
A glucometer’s test strips are the most important part of the device. You can’t test your blood without them, and they can cost a lot over time. To evaluate test strips, we visited local pharmacies and online stores to check on cost and availability. The average cost per TRUE METRIX strip is about 21 cents, which makes them the most affordable we saw. By comparison, the Accu-Check Aviva test strips average about $1.06 per strip, and the OneTouch Verio strips average about $1.22 each. When you consider long-term costs, the savings with the TRUE METRIX strips is immense.
In addition, the test strips were available in almost every store we checked. They're not carried in Walgreens, and you can't buy them from the manufacturer's website, but otherwise, they are some of the most widely distributed.
The TRUE METRIX AIR meter uses a small blood sample of just 0.5 microliters, which is average. In our tests, however, it seemed to require more blood than others, resulting in the most failed strips (readings that turned up as errors because the sample wasn't enough). Still, when you consider how affordable they are, a failed strip doesn't hurt as much as with more expensive brands.
In our accuracy tests, the AIR received a B grade, which was above average. Our tests were small-scale, and we didn’t use a medical lab to find my true glucose level. Instead, I used all the glucose meters multiple times a day for three weeks. We calculated accuracy by averaging the readouts each day, then setting an acceptable range based on that number and FDA accuracy requirements – FDA-approved meters must be within 15 percent of the true glucose level.
This model tended to test higher than other glucometers, even when it was within the acceptable range. This is common, however, as glucometers tend to either consistently read lower or read higher than the true glucose level. The important thing is that it was consistent.
The AIR has Bluetooth and pairs with your smartphone to transfer your test results to the TRUE MANAGER AIR app. This app tracks your data automatically with charts, graphics and customizable notes. The glucose meter pairs to your phone and syncs data to the app as soon as you take a reading – this connection is seamless and really makes data management a breeze.
The TRUE METRIX AIR performed well in our tests and comes with the most affordable test strips on the market. When you combine this with the availability of the strips and Bluetooth, which syncs your results with a phone app, you have a good glucose meter with excellent performance. While the strips are more prone to failure than others, their low cost and the TRUE MANAGER AIR data management app make up for it.