Recently Play, an Indian brand which focuses primarily on wearable tech and accessories launched its two new products, The PlayGo which is a bluetooth headset and the PlayFit which is an activity tracker/smart band. So we got a chance to review the smart band and here it is. We will be discussing various aspects like design, build, software, accuracy, battery life etc.
PlayFit Smart Band Review
Design and build
A watch is as important as any other apparel one would wear. This one looks much better than any other smart band in this price range. Kudos to PlayFit design team for inculcating ritzy neon green stripes with a gentle grey accent. The rubber material used is flexible and fits nicely on hand. The belt has 15 slits which should be enough to suit most hands. It’s lite and compact form does favour a distraction-free workout session
Coming to the front, it has a Colored touchscreen display spanning 0.98-inches diagonally. This display felt small for our liking. Another pain point is the outdoor legibility, which is a major miss here. You have to hover your hand to view the screen contents, which is rather stone age-ish at this point. Even the display was hasty to go dark, which was always annoying. But on the flip side, this might aid a better battery life. We also appreciate the fact that the device is IP68 Dust and Waterproof certified.
UI & UX
Even though we would wish to have android wear in the smart bands someday, the PlayFit comes with its own custom UI. The UI makes the full use of the coloured display by having every item coloured differently. we really enjoyed the UI though sometimes navigating between the different screen was not easy. There are a limited number of watch faces, 4 to be exact with 2 of them being just a change in colour. The default watch face is the only one which we really liked. In the default screen, if you tap once you will get the heart rate, then the steps and then calories.
While if you swipe from the top, you will get a menu with different screens which include the notifications. Speaking of notification, PlayFit syncs your call and smartphone app notifications on its display along with vibration alert. These are some of the apps it support – SMS, WeChat, QQ, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, LinkedIn, Email, Calendar, Skype, etc. In our testing, certain features like the remote camera access didn’t work as advertised. There is an option to control the music navigation from the wrist band itself. However, it works with selected apps like Google Play Music only. No support for Spotify, it seems! All that said, a fitness band will still get our approval if it does well where it’s supposed to. Here’s how it performs on fitness grounds. There is also an option of more options in which you have settings like lift-up display, camera, alarm etc.
Overall the UI is great and the UX is also very user-friendly. Even for people who are not really tech-savvy.
The device is compatible with android (4.4 & above) & iOS (9.0 & above) devices. It is equipped with Bluetooth version: 4.2. Sorry, No 5th gen here! The pairing is pretty easy using the PlayFit app downloadable from the Google or Apple app store.
Once you sign in to the app, you’ll be welcomed by a pleasing user interface. It presents real-time and progress on 14 activities (which will discuss in the next section), your sleep routine, and your heart’s health. It also exhibits periodic stats of your activities, sleep, and heart health on different useful metrics. There is even an activity logger to custom-meter any activity.
This is where I think this device shines the most. It has more than 10 sport modes like Walking, Running, Cycling, Skipping, Badminton, Basketball, Football, etc. Now, you may already know that the fitness bands, for the most part, project guesstimates. But, we didn’t understand the lack of swimming mode, even though it has waterproof certification. Further, like many of its peers, it also fails to detect our erratic daytime naps. Similarly, PlayFit 53 confuses vehicle rides for walking, which is also something that cripples other bands. But in all due fairness, the fitness tracking functions accurate enough to be useful. And as aforementioned, it covers every major sports activity. The Sedentary Alert lets you know of your prolonged inactivity.
Play claims that this device would last for more than a week however in our usage, it lasted for little more than 4 days which is average is these bands. Do note that the bluetooth connection was always on and we get a lot more notifications than a standard user. So if you are intending to use it moderately, it might last you for about a week.
Overall we are very impressed by the device, at this price, It has to compete with some of the veterans in the field like the Mi Band. If the brand continues to provide support and updates, it can easily make a fair share in the fitness bands market.