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OnePlus Band review: A smart health companion

OnePlus Band has a simplistic design - an oval tracker fitting neatly into a silicon band. The 1.1-inch touch AMOLED display is bright, with decent sunlight legibility

twitter-logoNidhi Singal | January 18, 2021 | Updated 21:12 IST
OnePlus Band review: A smart health companion
OnePlus Band

Price: Rs 2,499

Specs: 1.1-inch touch AMOLED screen, IP68 certified, heart sensor, SpO2, activity tracker, 100 mAh battery, 22.6 grams

Colour: Black, Navy, Tangerine Gray

What's in the box: OnePlus tracker with strap, wired charging dongle

Fitness bands are economical and a convenient way to monitor steps, heart rate, sleep, workout, and now, oxygen levels too. With plenty of options, and good ones, from players such as Xiaomi, Goqii, Realme, Huawei and many more in the market, OnePlus might be a little late to the party but has got the basics right.

Design

OnePlus Band has a simplistic design - an oval tracker fitting neatly into a silicon band. The 1.1-inch touch AMOLED display is bright, with decent sunlight legibility. OnePlus branding below the display looks a bit off, purely from aesthetics point. OnePlus could have used its logo instead of writing the full name. The dual-coloured silicon strap looks good and has a soft finish. The tracker and the strap together weigh 22.6 grams, which doesn't feel heavy on the wrist.

Unlike other fitness bands which gets uncomfortable after a while (especially during sleep), this one doesn't. I wore it continuously for days and nights and only removed it for showering and charging.  I accidentally wore it in the shower a couple of times but there wasn't any damage as the band is water-resistant (IP68 certified), which also makes it ideal for pool swimming.  The only thing I dislike is the proprietary charger as the tracker has to be removed from the strap and placed into the charging dongle.

Getting started

To start using the band, I had to first charge the tracker. Post which, I paired it with the OnePlus Health app (available only for Android), which was quick and easy. All I had to do is turn on Bluetooth and follow the instructions on the app. The fitness band was ready to use in less than a minute.

Getting a hang of the tracker was equally easy and it mostly involved swiping up, down, right and tap. A tap on the homescreen shows status - Bluetooth connectivity and battery status. Swipe up shows options such as daily workout, activity, SPO2, sleep, weather, tools, and more. A tap selects the option whereas swiping towards the right takes back to the previous screen.

Performance

Tracking daily activities such as step-count is the easiest. Besides, the band can track 13 more activities including outdoor run, indoor run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, cricket, badminton, swimming, yoga and free training. Of these I tried a few. However, it lacks indoor walk. This seems to be a miss as someone like me who still doesn't step out due to COVID-19 pandemic often walks for close to 30 minutes on the terrace post-dinner. And this workout was recorded as my regular activity and simply added to the step count.

Given the current scenario, having blood oxygen tracking on a fitness band is a nice add-on. OnePlus Band can measure both SpO2 and heart rate with a single tap. Just that the band had to be tightly strapped and I had to hold my hand still for close to 20 seconds. As per the band, my average heart rate was 74bpm, resting 68bpm, lowest was 60 and highest 112 bpm. In was very close to what Apple Watch recorded. The breathe feature on the band helped with quick relaxation. For oxygen level, while the home page displayed between 90-100 per cent, it was mostly between 96-100 per cent. Just once or twice it dipped to 90 while sleeping, which the app says is normal.

Sleep tracking is accurate as it rightly identifies the bedtime and wake time. With my sleep time between 6 hours to 7, my sleep assessment turned out to be average and the app suggested that I am sleep deprived. I usually have an hour and half of deep sleep, and close to five hours of light sleep with a couple of sessions of awake time lasting about 2-3 mins.  With similar stats, there were days where I woke up fresh but many days, I felt tired and drained out too.

All this detailed data was accessible on the OnePlus Health app that had a clean user interface. The home page of the app gives a quick snapshot of all necessary information and tapping on the same displays detailed information. Unlike other trackers, the OnePlus band is quick to sync. There aren't any ads or pop-ups that might spoil the experience. By default, five watch faces have been added that can be accessed either by swiping left or right on the homescreen of the band or Manage option within the app.

All this is backed with a decent battery backup and a neat OnePlus Health app. The band lasted close to a week on a single charge (unlike OnePlus' claims of 14 days).

Overall, the OnePlus Band is a smart fitness band that appraises for the body activity along with some essential vitals and also helps in staying fit.

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