Man holding the Contour Next ONE glucose meter
Ascensia Diabetes Care

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The little details that are not obvious can be the difference between a good and bad diabetes program.

That was top of mind for me after trying out the Ascensia Contour Next ONE meter, the latest in the line of Contour meters from the company formerly known as Bayer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared this meter in November 2016.

This is a simple and easy to use meter for those who use fingersticks to check their blood sugar levels.

“Let’s look at this particular meter.”

The first app-enabled meter in the Contour line is the Contour Next ONE, and it is sleek and modern. The test strips used in this product line are the same ones used in it. Here are some of the features.

Slim design

The form factor is mostly unchanged, but it is a bit thinner and sleeker than earlier models from Bayer that had three buttons on the meter face. The button for scrolling through commands has been scaled down to a single circle button.

Easy-to-read display

The meter has a black and white display with icons. The display does not have a built-in backlight, which is a pity since the screen lights up enough to use efficiently even in the dark.

Port light

You can illuminate the spot where the test strip is inserted with a port light. If you only look at the meter or read the marketing material, you might not know that the port light is not a feature. You will never see a mention of the fact that you can make the port light work for up to 40 seconds before turning the meter on in the manual. The port light is on if you double-tap the round OK button. This is a factor that can affect people with diabetes who like to test in the middle of the night or go to a movie.

Second-chance sampling

“If the first attempt was not large enough, you have 60 seconds to apply a second drop of blood. It’s handy for people who need extra time to redo the sample after a finger poke. This can help those trying to conserve test strips and not waste them.”

Color-coding results

This meter embraces the industry trend of attempting to help PWDs answer the key question, “What do my blood glucose numbers mean?” Ascensia’s trademarked smartLIGHT feature lights up in these colors after the result is displayed to indicate how your blood sugar is faring:

  • Green: Indicates your blood sugar is “in range,” which is the glucose targets you and your diabetes care team set.
  • Dark yellow: High
  • Red: Low

According to Ascensia’s internal market research, 92 percent of users surveyed on the Contour Next ONE found it quicker and easier to interpret their blood sugars using the smartLIGHT feature than those who didn’t. This 2017 study also showed that people with diabetes using color range indicators like this one offered on Contour Next ONE help improve blood sugar management and slightly improve A1C results.

Meal markers

People can choose from three apple symbols on the screen before taking a blood sample.

  • Before meal: If a person tests their blood glucose 1 hour or less before a meal, they should choose this symbol.
  • After meal: This symbol is for testing blood glucose within 2 hours of the first bite of food from a meal.
  • Fasting meal: A person should choose this symbol if they test their blood glucose 8 hours after eating.

Battery charging

The round watch battery is used for the Contour ONE meter. I like the fact that I can plug and charge my meter wherever I want, without having to buy batteries or pay for a meter. The micro-usb is not for charging. It is designed to plug into a computer to download data and use the software. The cable is not included in the box so you have to buy it separately.

The test strips used by the Contour Next meters are the same as those used by the other meters.

The most accurate product Ascensia has produced is the Contour Next ONE meter.

This meter uses the Contour Next test strips, which meet the minimum accuracy requirements of the ISO 15197:2013. Clinical data also shows that this Contour Next ONE meter and test strips meet the FDA’s tightened accuracy requirements: 95 percent of the time, it has the smallest error range within 8.4 mg/dL of reference results, whether the test result is above or below 100 mg/dL.


  • The design can fit into a pocket.
  • It is easier to test in dark settings with the port light.
  • Unlike other meters that only last for a short time, this one gives you 60 seconds to apply a drop of blood.
  • It connects to a mobile app on a compatible device.
  • The smartLIGHT feature shows whether your blood sugar is in range, high, or low.
  • Meal markers allow you to tag results based on when you eat or not eat, and within 8 hours of not eating.


  • The watch batteries are not a rechargeable cable.
  • “The port light that illuminates the test strip area is hidden and can be overlooked if you don’t know about it.”
  • Users often report that the results of this meter differ from other meters.
  • The cost of test strips is more than other brands.

The Ascensia app uses the same technology as the one on the Diabetes meter to display data on compatible devices.

The mobile app allows you to add notes and record health information, such as blood sugar patterns and weekly logs of glucose readings.

  • There are medications.
  • food intake
  • activity
  • Photos.
  • The voice notes are recorded.

You can also give your diabetes care team the results of your blood sugar tests.

“The Next ONE meter has built-in data sync with the mobile app, but in my test run, it didn’t always sync like it was supposed to. I encountered issues with the internet. I have heard this complaint from other users, but it is also a common problem with other diabetes devices that connect with companion apps.”

Image via Ascensia Diabetes Care

The app is easy to use. It has all the features you would expect in a diabetes logging app, such as a log, average, trend- tracking, photo uploading and data-sharing.

The home screen has a menu called “My Readings” which shows the latest readings and a 3-day overview graph. You can easily see averages over the past week to 3 months by simply flipping the phone to horizontal orientation, and you can also see a standard day\’s view or a time block for specific data over 3 to 30 days. Very nice!

In particular, I like the ability to add Photos. within the app — whether it’s my morning Greek yogurt with blueberries that rings in at roughly 16g carbs or a picture of the meter next to my Dexcom G6 CGM.

This meter has a feature called “Smart Testing” that allows you to set a custom alert to check your blood sugar during the day, remind yourself of upcoming doctor visits, or other things you might want to remember.

You can share diabetes data with your healthcare professional or anyone else you want, through the app. The app will alert you if there is a critical Low, which will help you to get assistance if you need it.

In addition to this app, users can integrate data with the Glooko platform, with glucose and related diabetes data directly accessible through Glooko’s mobile app and clinical products.

The strips are priced at $41.55 for a 50-count box, which is 83 cents per strip, while the meter is priced at $19.99.

You can purchase the Ascensia Contour Next ONE meter (and other models) in mainstream chains like Costco, CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, as well as on Amazon.

I have used this meter for several years and have given it 2 thumbs up.

Many people with diabetes prefer the traditional fingerstick meters that they can carry with them, whether in a purse, pants pocket, or small carrying case. I always have this meter with me on the way out the door. I use a small lancing device and a thinner container for a small amount of test strips, rather than the larger round container of test strips.

“It is important to me that it has a bright display with large numbers and a light-up port for testing. It’s significant because I often need to check my blood sugars at night or in darkened rooms, which can be more difficult to see and maneuver a diabetes device.”

The Contour Next One on Amazon has an average customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Many customers state that the device is high quality and easy to use. However, others say they had problems pairing the device with their smartphones.

Since 2016 Ascensia Diabetes Care has existed. It was known as Bayer before that, and it was the name of the first home glucometer ever made.

The full line of Contour meter models are currently available, and they took up the mantle of diabetes technology when they became Ascensia Diabetes Care.

Here is a look at the meters.

Contour Next ONE Contour Next Contour Next EZ Contour Next Link 2.4
Design horizontal orientation
(slim with 1 circle button)
vertical orientation (resembles Simon game) vertical orientation (simple, black-on-gray) horizontal orientation (slim, white-on-black with color icons)
smartLIGHT yes no no no
Port light for test strips yes yes yes yes
Backlight N/A N/A yes no
2nd sample 60 seconds 30 seconds 20 seconds 30 seconds
Readings 800 results 800 results 480 results 1,000 results
Averages 7, 14, 30, 90 days 7, 14, 30, 90 days 7, 14, 30 days 7, 14, 30, 90 days
Meal markers yes yes yes yes
Charging two 3-volt
coin cell batteries
two 3-volt
lithium batteries
two 3-volt coin cell batteries built-in USB charging + cable option
Bluetooth yes no no wireless beaming to Medtronic Minimed pumps
Connectivity Contour Diabetes app, 3rd party platforms Contour Diabetes app, 3rd party platforms (using connection cable) Contour Diabetes app,
3rd party platforms (using connection cable)
Links to Medtronic Minimed 630/670 insulin pumps; includes USB connector

“All of the models use the same test strips, so you don’t have to worry about finding different strips for each meter. The Microlet lancing device and universal lancet needles can be used with these meters.”

You can find these meters in most retail U.S. pharmacies and online shopping sites, and the Ascensia Diabetes Care website has more info on each device.

There are many different fingerstick meters beyond the Contour NEXT models. Many people with diabetes use a continuous glucose monitor to keep their blood sugar under control. The first model of these devices evolved in 2004. They measure the levels of the blood sugar. A CGM can be used to check for diabetes instead of checking for it in a drop of blood. Results are displayed on a separate handheld receiver or a mobile app if they are generated by the particular device.

“A fingerstick meter is often described as a snapshot of a moment in time, whereas a CGM is a complete picture of one’s diabetes trends.”

When to talk with your doctor about blood sugars?

You can talk with your doctor and diabetes care team about your personal goals for glucose levels. Talking with your diabetes care team and endocrinologist and diabetes care team may be especially helpful if you’re experiencing any trends in higher or lower glucose levels, particularly if you experience any hyperglycemia symptoms that might signal dangerous diabetes ketoacidosis.

What’s the difference between Ascensia and Bayer?

The full line of Contour Next meter models were taken over by Ascensia Diabetes Care. The first home glucometers were available in the 1980s, and the Clinitest for urineglucose testing was manufactured by Bayer.

How accurate is the Contour Next ONE?

“The most accurate blood sugar meter is the Contour Next ONE. The data shows that 95 percent of the time, the Ascensia Contour Next ONE meter uses the Contour Next test strips and has the smallest error range within the FDA’s tightened accuracy requirements.”

Does the Contour Next ONE have more features than the Contour Next?

The Contour Next ONE is a smart meter with built-in wireless and color coding that helps people with diabetes better understand their blood sugars in the context of target range.

What meters work with the Contour Next strips?

Four fingerstick meters made by Ascensia Diabetes Care work with the test strips.

Can the Contour Next ONE help lower my blood sugar?

One of the most important parts of diabetes management is checking the levels of blood sugar. Clinical research and healthcare professionals note that people who are more active in their daily management of their blood sugar do see improvements in their diabetes care.

The meter is a nice little one. It shows results in any setting, dark or light. It is the most complete product in the lineup. The color coding for results is a great way to see where your blood sugars are.

This meter is a great choice for those who want an accurate meter with some data- tracking tools.