This gadget knows your heart better than you do

The SmartBand 2 is Sony’s latest wearable with inbuilt advanced heart monitoring sensors that keeps track of your busy lifestyle – it can even tell when you are stressed out! It automatically tracks your activities like walking and running and charts your heartbeat along with it.

Similar to the many other fitness wearables in the market, the SmartBand 2 is a wrist wearable measuring 40.7 x 15.3 x 9.5mm, weighs just 25g and in keeping up with Sony’s waterproof features, the SmartBand 2 is waterproof for up to 3m. It can be connected via Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth functions.

The SmartBand 2 comes with two companion mobile applications, the main application named SmartBand 2 and the other named Lifelog. The main application gives you access to the SmartBand 2’s settings and a brief summary of your sleep cycle, heart rate, steps you have taken today and the time you have taken to run.

The Lifelog mobile application gives you a more detailed breakdown of your daily activities and even chronologically tracks your activities. Here it gives you insights on everything that the main application does but with additional details like cycling time, travelling time, amount of time you have listened to music or watched a movie as examples.

I wore the SmartBand 2 for a total of five days before I gave up trying to keep up with my supposed physical requirements – yes looking at your ‘active numbers’ really does give you a certain type of stress. It did help in a sense that, knowing how low my numbers were, I would make an effort to walk more in order to chalk up the numbers on the pedometer or sleep more. So here’s my personal take on it.

The Good

  • Simple Setup – A quick download (that would not take more than five minutes or so) of two companion mobile applications and you are set to monitor your life in greater detail with the SmartBand 2.
  • Durability – The SmartBand 2 is lightweight (25g), waterproof and rugged.
  • Battery Life – A full charge takes roughly an hour and can last up to two days with heart monitoring mode turned on.
  • Material – Having sensitive skin is a problem when fitness wearables are involved, I have tried on a couple only to end up in rashes. The SmartBand 2’s soft silicon band gave me no rashes or skin issues.
  • Alarm Clock – For those who have trouble getting up in the morning, the SmartBand 2’s vibrations are so strong that it will wake you up no matter how deep of a sleeper you may be – even if it doesn’t wake you up, you would be so annoyed by the vibrations you will eventually get up.

The Bad

  • Bugs – The SmartBand 2’s main companion mobile application crashed three times on me when I was trying to sign in.
  • Time Function – Although it serves the main purpose of a being a good heart rate monitor and fitness wearable quite well, I do feel that a clock display of sorts was missing on the SmartBand 2.
  • Comfort – The SmartBand 2 is supposed to be worn throughout the day even when you are sleeping. However, wearing it to sleep could be a mistake. It needs to be positioned on the boniest part of your wrist, it tends to get a little uncomfortable in the night and I found myself waking up to adjust the SmartBand 2 before trying to fall asleep again.

The Final Say

If you are looking for a fitness wearable that specifically manages your heart rate and acts as a pedometer, then this is the one fitness wearable to get your hands on. However, for those who are active in sports other than running, you might want to give this a miss as it doesn’t track swimming or crossfit activities.

The SmartBand 2 is only compatible with Android devices. It is now available at a recommended retail price of US$141 (SG$198) and in four colours, Black, White, Pink and Indigo.

This article by Geralyne Kaye was reproduced with permission from techstorm.tv.

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