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Strike Up A Band

Buying a fitness band will be based on your individual needs. Here's a sneak peak into Xiaomi Mi Band and Goqii. Take your pick.
twitter-logo Nidhi Singal        Print Edition: June 7, 2015
Strike Up A Band
(Photo: Vivan Mehra)

Wearables, including smart watches and smart clothing, could well be on your list of must-haves, but they come at a premium. But, if you want to test the waters with something affordable, smart bands could well be your choice. They have witnessed tremendous growth in sales, and users are not only happy with the design offerings, but also in terms of user experience and value proposition.

Stay on track

Fitness bands, or smart bands, are a great way to live healthy. These compact and light-weight wrist bands can count the number of steps and analyse sleep patterns. Some even have advanced features that allow you to consult an expert, key in your food intake and monitor your heart rate. They have embedded sensors, electronic monitors and an accelerometer at the core. The apps are unique to each smart band, which may or may not come with displays.

Band with the best

There are several smart band options to choose from and it might cost you anything between Rs 999 and a few thousand bucks. While Fitbit and Jawbone, the pioneers, are at the forefront of the smart band technology, other brands are not far behind. Samsung Gear Fit, Timex Ironman Move x20 and HTC Grip, for instance, are constantly rasing the bar with responsive, innovative and nimble technology solutions. Here we will compare two of the most popular and reasonably-priced bands.

XIAOMI MI BAND:

The Mi Band is not flashy but does the job brilliantly. The water-resistant, hypoallergenic band does not have a display, but comes with three light indicators to help you monitor your activities. You will have to install the Mi Fit band, available on both iOS and Android platforms, and create an account before you can start using it. Key in your details, including gender, weight, height, and also mention whether you would like to put it on your right or left hand. The band is activated as soon as you strap it to your wrist. If you remain idle for long, it would interpret it as sleeping time and process the information accordingly. Every movement is analysed with the help of the app to throw up a host of activity-related data, including the number of footsteps, distance walked, calories burnt and your sleep pattern. It can also keep a count of sit-ups, crunches or skips during a gym session.

The Mi Band provides an easy-to-understand format to analyse data. It notifies you about incoming calls, acts as an alarm and also works in the vibration mode. The data collected by the fitness band is near accurate. It has a proprietary charger (unique to the brand and model) and you will not have to worry about charging it every day. Xiaomi's flash-sale model, however, makes it really tough to lay your hands on an Mi Band.

GOQII:

This is not just a fitness band. It comes with smart service. When you buy a Goqii for Rs 3,999, you get a smart-looking fitness band with three months of subscription. The subscription is key to healthy living as every Goqii user is assigned a personal coach who interacts over the app.

Once you download the app and register, it asks you a few questions about your lifestyle, medical condition, allergies, and your goals, before directing you to choose a coach. Once you key in the details, the coach welcomes you on the messaging service at the dashboard followed by a good 10-20 minute call to discuss your lifestyle, preferences and challenges to get started.

The app is comprehensive and allows you to log your food and fluid intake details. The coach keeps track of your daily routine and then guides you accordingly. For instance, my coach pushed me hard to increase my water intake and increase my footsteps from 10,000 to 15,000. He or she also motivates you to improve your eating habits. In case, you are not happy with a coach, you can always register with a new one. Overall, the experience of using Goqii was rewarding.

Goqii has a Karma point feature that translates your activity to Karma points, which can be donated for a social cause. The battery backup of the Goqii sensor is seven days, depending on the num-ber of times you sync it with your phone using Bluetooth. It, however, has a few glitches. The Mi Band's tracking sensor and sleep monitor were far more accurate.

The Goqii requiers you to manually turn on the sleep mode. However, the interactive sessions with the coach drives you to achieve more with this device. After the subscription is over, it is up to you whether you wish to renew the subscription or not.

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