Another Fitbit knock-off? Show me something new.
Well hang on there for just a minute. Sure, the Band looks suspiciously like a Sony SmartBand, has the features of a Fitbit Flex and costs the same as a Jawbone Up Move - but this tracker is anything but a copycat. Made by Meizu - a Chinese smartphone giant - it’s all about taking active tech to the masses.
So, you're telling me it hasn’t taken a rather large page out of Fitbit’s playbook?
Only as much as the rest of the wearables crowd. No other tracker to date can offer a touch-sensitive OLED display, heart rate monitoring and notification alerts for US$33. Oh, and it’s waterproof, too - with an IP67 rating - so you don’t have to take it off for the shower.
That hardware actually doesn’t sound so bad…What does it track?
It’ll do the usual duty of step counts, as well as tracking sleep and offering movement reminders for the couch-happy. The Band also monitors heart rate responsively, logging static beats throughout the day and taking real-time readings when you get sweatier.
Pretty much everything, then. Do I have to have a Meizu phone to use it?
Of course not. Much as Meizu would doubtless love buyers to pick up one of its iPhone rivals, it’s smart enough to know that most users will be playing with iOS or Android - so the Band is compatible with both. The Band has a partner app, though there's no word on whether it’ll be possible to export data to HealthKit or other fitness apps.
Hmm, I’m tempted. Will it last past Christmas?
We haven’t touched one in the TPU flesh, but the stainless steel buckle certainly suggests toughness - which is good because you’ll probably wear it a lot: the Meizu Band weighs just 20g and, even with HRM enabled, has a battery life of 7 days.
Sounds like a band on quite the run. What’s the catch?
From what we’ve seen, nothing - as long as you can get one. Meizu's Band will hit Chinese shelves on 8 December - but there’s no word yet on whether it’ll be made available in the UK or, indeed, how you might be able to import one. Still, you can always try and decipher the Chinese by visiting the website.