Smartwatches don’t seem to be taking off but people still seem to want some sort of fitness tracking. Enter fitness bands like the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, UA Band, and the FitBit. These bands all do the same thing but at different prices. Today we’re reviewing the Meizu Band, Meizu’s first foray into the fitness tracking world. See why the Meizu Band takes a Top Pick of 2016 award here at Techaeris.
The Meizu Band has the following specifications and features:
- Integrated body design
- OLED touch screen
- Heart rate monitor
- All day activity monitor
- Smart reminder
- Incoming calls and messages
- IP67 splash resistant
- Skin-friendly TPU material + reversal buckle belt
Fitness bands these days generally all look just about the same and the Meizu Band toes the line in this regard. Made from a good quality TPU material — think Apple Watch band but not as supple, it’s pretty comfortable and fits well. On the back of the device are the heart rate monitor and the magnetic charging port. On the front is the OLED screen which is integrated into the body itself so it doesn’t look like there’s a screen at all. The buckle is very nice and is made from a shiny metal with the Meizu branding on it, but I do wish it was a bit longer as it barely fit around my big wrist. I had only one hole left in the band after fastening it, so if you have large wrists this may not work for you. Overall the design is basic but that doesn’t make it ugly, it just makes it look like every other fitness tracker out there.
Meizu sent me the iOS app version that was not a finished product for testing. The company had yet to get their iOS app approved for the U.S. App Store so I had to use a Chinese version of the app. After some navigation and help from Meizu in understanding how to get the app set up (it was literally in Chinese) I was able to get the language set to English. Switching the Chinese version of the app to English still doesn’t make the entire app English. There were still some elements of the app that read in Chinese but for the most part, I could get through it. The official English version of the app should be much easier to use once Apple approves it.
The app consistents of three main screens: the steps screen, the sleep screen, and the heart rate screen. The steps screen does exactly what you think it should do nd keeps track of your daily steps, distance, and calories burned. Tapping the circle shows you your history which you can scroll through to see how you’ve progressed. The sleep screen keeps track of your deep sleep, light sleep, and wake-up times if you wear the Meizu Band to bed. Tapping on the square brings you to your history where you can see how you’ve been sleeping. Finally, the heart rate screen allows you to take your heart rate and, again, tapping details displays the history.
Tapping the settings cog brings you to settings where you can tick the following parameters on or off.
- Goal reminder: Displays a reminder of the goal you set in your steps and sleep screens.
- Calling reminder: Displays phone calls on the Meizu Band so you can see who’s calling.
- SMS reminder: Displays SMS numbers allowing you to leave your phone in your pocket if you don’t want to reply.
- Find my phone: Rings your phone should you misplace it, just tap the search icon on the Meizu Band
- Anti-lost: I couldn’t figure out what this was for, I chalked it up to the app not being the final version.
- Wear habit: Another function that didn’t seem to do anything.
- Smart reminder: This one connects to WeChat and QQ, which I assuming are a China thing so probably won’t be on the U.S. version.
- Sedentary reminder: This reminds you to get up and move if you’ve been sitting too long.
- Heart rate monitor: You can set this to auto or manual, allowing the Meizu Band to automatically take your heart rate or letting you do it on your own.
- Vibration: This adjusts the intensity of the vibrations.
- Time display: This allows you to toggle the display from time or date, you cannot have them both.
Overall the software is pretty simple to use, a little harder to navigate when most everything is in Chinese but once Meizu gets the U.S. version approved by Apple navigation should be much easier.
Ease of Use
Meizu calls the pairing process “binding.” Binding the band shouldn’t be hard but since I was using the Chinese app, I had to bind the band before I could change the language to English. Thankfully Meizu did assist me through the Chinese characters but it did take some effort. Again, the U.S. version of the app should make things go much smoother for end users. Once you have the band bound to your phone, just slap it on and start moving. Set up your goals, choose whatever settings you want, and you’re good to go. You can even share your results directly to social media from the app.
The Meizu Band performs exactly as advertised and as a fitness and health tracker, it does really well. I actually prefer this band over the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 I reviewed before. I like that the components are integrated into the band and not removable. I also prefer Meizu’s charging method over Xiaomi’s. Overall this fitness tracker performs really well and should be even better with a proper app.
I’ve had the Meizu Band for about a week and the battery is still at 80%. That’s an entire week and only 20% drained after I interacted with it many times a day on a daily basis. I can’t say how much battery life this will actually have but I’d say this will go for a long time before needing a charge. The charging method is nice as well, it’s a simple USB stick with magnetic charging pins on one end that snap on the back of the Meizu Band. Much better than Xiaomi’s method of taking the module out of the band and inserting it into a charging cradle.
At $33USD this is much more affordable than a FitBit and it does pretty much everything a FitBit does. It’s well worth the money.
For $33USD, this is a real value and is the major reason this takes a Top Pick award. The Meizu Band should be available on December 8th on Meizu’s website.