If you’re looking to buy a fitness band, there are now plenty of options available In India. While Fitbit, Jawbone and TomTom are now easily available, some cheaper fitness bands have also made an appearance. Starting at Rs 999 and going up all the way to Rs 2,999, these bands promise to track your daily steps, sleep, calories burnt and help you get fitter.
We recently tried out the Intex Fitrist band, the Noise Tracer band and Amzer’s Fitzer band, and here’s what we think of the three fitness bands.
Intex FitRist Band
First up, we are starting with the Intex Fitrist band since this is the cheapest of the lot, at Rs 999. The band can track steps, calories and sleep, get notifications from your smartphone, etc. It is also splash-proof.
Intext FitRist has an 0.86-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 96×32 pixels and is compatible with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and above as well as iOS 7 onwards. It supports Bluetooth 4.0 and weighs 21 grams.
Its got a more rectangular design with a silica band, and comes with a special charger, not a micro-USB one like the other two. The design might remind one of a Jawbone UP3 and the screen has a button on it to connect the band with your phone.
Our big problem with this band: Syncing with the smartphone gave constant trouble, and it would keep disconnecting ensuring that the data for the day got lost.
On the sleep front, it was pretty accurate, and in sync with what the other two bands showed. I know I get eight hours of sleep daily, and the band reflected that in the app.
The daily steps reflected by this one were significantly lesser than the other two bands, although the total distance walked appeared to be higher for the steps.
The disconnecting problem meant that I couldn’t really test the band to show calls, notifications, etc. At one point the battery died randomly for this one, and it took several attempts to re-start, even though I had charged the band for an hour.
Noise Trace band
Priced at Rs 1,599, the Noise Trace band is detachable and the round device can be worn as a wristwatch or a pendant. I mostly wore it as a watch on my hand, and I must say the plasticky strap is not at all comfortable; it keep opening at times and I was afraid the round Noise Trace would fall off. The band can count calories burnt, distance walked, and works on Android and iOS. It is splash resistant, and supports Bluetooth.
What I liked was that the battery didn’t take long to charge (half an hour at max) and it easily lasted two-three days. It has a OLED display and you have to keep tapping twice to see the data. It’s really not convenient, and there were times when I kept tapping the screen and nothing would show up.
The other big problem with the band: it kept losing data as it would not connect with the smartphone. Even though I wore the band the whole day, I often found that the data had not transferred to the app on the smartphone, which is annoying.
It also took some time for this band to detect sleep. It did so only once though I slept with the band on for some days. On the steps front, I didn’t see the band randomly increasing the count, which is always a good sign and I think it got a pretty accurate picture of the daily count. Sadly, the app didn’t always reflect all that data.
Amzer’s FitZer is a Croma exclusive and costs Rs 2,999, by far the most expensive. The band looks nothing extraordinary and might remind you of other fitness bands you’ve seen in the market, perhaps the FitBit One but in a thicker and less appealing form.
The fitness band is capable of recording distance, calorie burned and sleep. The band also differentiates sleep as light and deep sleep. Users can sync the data with the Apple Healthkit data sync.
Like the other three FitZer would also keep losing data, and the app layout for reflecting the data is weird. For instance, when I go in history, Fitzer says no data for the day, months, but there is a graph for the year. Not sure how the UI has been designed.
I noticed that when it came to step count, Fitzer was racing ahead of the two other, at times showing a lot more steps, even when I had not moved at all. Also according to this, I had only one hour of deep sleep.
So are these budget fitness worth your investment? Let’s face it, all three struggled with accuracy and with syncing the data, which is a problem. If you are serious about your health, then personally I don’t feel that steps taken, and the subsequent calories burnt function does much for your overall fitness. You might think 350 calories burnt is a lot in one day, but if your diet consists of junk food, then sorry that number is not good enough.
Also the accuracy on the steps is iffy, and I was never entirely sure which one has the right number.
Sure all three detected sleep, and these might be a cheaper solution for those who just want to track this particular function. However, the problems with data syncing means there is a chance that the bands might not reflect everything on their apps.
Unlike budget smartphones which are more than capable of addressing a buyer’s daily needs, I’d still give the budget smart-bands a miss.