Technophile

OnePlus Band: Straightforward fitness and sleep tracking

Mala Bhargava | Updated on January 12, 2021

OnePlus has no intentions of being left out of the wearables race. In 2020 they expanded their wireless audio products lineup, and now they said hello to 2021 with a fitness band calls the OnePlus Band though it seems to be the Oppo band. I’ve been using it for the past week or so.

The OnePlus band looks like a regular typical smart band. It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t have some signature OnePlus element and is identical to the Oppo band and even uses the same app. If it weren’t for the tiny OnePlus printed on one edge somewhere, you wouldn’t be able to tell this band apart from any other. It doesn’t even use the regular OnePlus logo.

No matter: it’s slim and compact, using a silicon strap that is narrow and nice enough. You can buy additional straps in more colours, but we just got the black to check out. Thankfully it isn’t anything chunky and will look fine on both men and women. I’ve encountered some bands that don’t have enough holes to fit small wrists and also allow the screen to spill off the sides because they’re that big, but this is quite the opposite.

The band has a 1.1-inch AMOLED screen that’s really bright and very easy to see. You have to give it a little tap to wake it. The screen fits into a small plastic cradle for charging and that’s something you can’t afford to lose. That has a short small cable allowing you to plug it into a USB-C slot. It’s mostly an unimpressive charging solution. When charged, the band’s battery is supposed to last 14 days. I haven’t used it that long, but after a week it’s down to 39%.

Fitness bands used to be simple and mostly step and calorie counters, but even tiny, inexpensive ones have started to pile on the features. This band has a set of band-faces that you can swipe to change or pick from the app. You can even use your own photos. Swipe down from the top of the band’s screen, and you can see notifications from hour phone and even read entire WhatsApp messages - though obviously not reply. Swipe upward from the bottom, and you uncover sections such as settings,and all the main features. First off, you can see your daily activity stats, then you can check your heart rate and SPO2 level. This was roughly corresponding to the Apple Watch which I actually checked with hospital monitors. It’s off only by a few points here and there. Then you have a set of workouts you can indulge in including several types of runs and walks, cycling, swimming, yoga etc. I didn’t find the band always as accurate when tracking parameters during workouts and even found a big variation in step counting.

I did find the band useful in the few days I’ve used it. Notifications allowed me to stray away from my phone a little, and as a rough indicator of what was happening with my workout it was also not bad. I also rather liked seeing my sleep stats because that’s another thing the band does. You can see the results in the app where I found data and insights on what I suspected all along — I sleep very badly indeed. Bad timing, too little sleep, not enough deep sleep, too many wake-ups: I seem to have had them all. It’s not something I didn’t know, come to think of it, but let’s see if I’ll finally actually do something about it. Rather unlikely.

Price: ₹2,499

Pros: Good screen, slim and narrow, comfortable, waterproof, simple, good sleep tracking, lots of features for the price

Cons: A rebrand of the Oppo band, inelegant charging cradle, not always accurate with tracking during workouts, battery may fall a little short

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Published on January 12, 2021

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