Checking your Fitness
As part of its recent marketing activity in the UK, Xiaomi, the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer, announced the release of its Band 3 Fitness Tracker product. This Activity and Fitness Tracker, joining an already crowded market for this type of device, consists of a wristband, Fitness Tracker unit and a USB charging cable plus a User Guide booklet covering numerous languages and making use of a small type face. All the various components, User Guide apart, are matched black in colour.
The Fitness Tracker unit features an OLED touch screen display partnered with a touch-sensitive, depressed, circular button for activating the screen’s feedback facility. This screen will initially provide the wearer with the digital time and date. Swiping the screen upwards will bring forth data regarding the number of steps taken, heart rate, weather, details, exercise and notification displays plus the current battery level. Introducing sideway swiping will reveal data for the distance travelled and energy burned along with local weather forecasts for the next few days.
Situated at the same end as the circular activate button are a pair of contact points for charging the unit using the supplied USB cable. On the rear of the Fitness Tracker is the Heart Rate Monitor which needs to be in contact with the wrist to carry out its duties. Running around the outside edge of the Fitness Tracker is a groove. This channel will allow the Tracker unit to be held firmly in position when placed in the wristband compartment. Once the Fitness Tracker unit is inserted in the compartment, then the wristband can be attached to the wearer’s wrist. I found it easier to slip the Fitness Tracker into the wristband compartment than attaching the band around my wrist.
The wristband is constructed of thermoplastic elastomer. It features a cut-out compartment into which the Fitness Tracker can be pressed. However before carrying out this task, you will need to charge the Tracker’s internal 110 mAh Li-ion polymer battery using the supplied USB cable. This cable had a standard USB connection at one end while the other has a collar-like attachment which will slides over the appropriate end of the Tracker containing the two contact points to transfer power.
In common with other Fitness Trackers, the Xiaomi device works in conjunction with an appropriate app. This app is the Mi Fit app which is available from the App or Play Store depending upon your choice of smartphone brand. Once the app has recognised the presence of a charged Band 3 device, the app will automatically preserve its data and present it in an appropriate format detailing the steps taken, sleep achieved, calories burned and activities broken up into type over various periods of time.
Apart from a slight problem I encountered when using the “pin and hole” method used by the wristband when attaching to the wearer, I found the band 3 comfortable to wear. The unit’s internal battery should give up to 20 days of power and this product is rated at being water resistant up to 50 metres so easing worries about getting the device wet during various activities.
Xiaomi has set a price ticket of £26.99 while those looking for a bargain might like to visit Amazon.co.uk where the Band 3 is listed at £19.99.
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