It has been a while since I reviewed a wearable, partly because I was pretty jaded with the lack of innovation in this segment. For 3 months, I have been wearing the Garmin Fenix 5 which I reviewed for NXT Magazine. Then the day came when Garmin Singapore’s PR asked to collect it back. I don’t really miss it though. I wore it because it feels comfortable, is confidently waterproof (wore it for swims), and has an amazing battery life of about 2 weeks.
Coincidentally, Lazada Singapore asked if I am keen to write a review on Lifesense Band 2 (discount code revealed at the end of this post). I accepted the offer, and on the same day I returned the Fenix 5, the Lifesense Band 2 arrived. It’s quite a switch, from a large bulky watch to a thin weightless strap, so light that I don’t even feel I’m wearing anything. Suffice to say, it is liberating.
When I accepted the collaboration, I did not know anything about Lifesense. I was expecting a budget-grade fitness band, but Lifesense Band 2 proved to be better designed than the rest. Lifesense is a company that started in 2002 as an electronic scales solution provider. It expanded into other health devices like blood pressure monitors, electronic thermometers, and eventually started manufacturing wearables.
Like many activity trackers in the market, Lifesense Band 2 supports step and sleep tracking, run tracking, 24/7 real-time heart-rate monitoring. notifications for incoming calls and SMS messages. It is IP68 rated, connectors to plug directly into USB port without cables. The Lifesense Band 2 is managed through the Lifesense app on the smartphone (Android and iOS), where it displays data captured on the fitness band.
Features that make Lifesense Band 2 a better product than the other unknown brands I have reviewed:
Lifesense ensures email authenticity before creating a user account. After entering email, it will send the verification code over email to enter during account creation on the app.
Pairing over QR Code
If the app does not detect the band, you can scan the QR code on the instruction manual to trigger the pairing.
The band can display clock, steps, heart rate, distance, calories and run. I can reorder the sequence or remove the items to display, which are toggled by tapping the touch panel on the band. The default view can be any item other than the watch face. If I do not need the band to tell time, I can also remove the clock view altogether.
The display can be set to either vertical or horizontal.
Vertical is more natural for viewing but limited by the width, so information like steps are truncated.
The inconsistent LED brightness on the above photos are not defect. It is due to the refresh rate of the LED that is not in sync with the camera’s shutter speed.
By default, the band sensor will wake up the display when I lift the wrist up. Setting the night mode will disable this function so that it does not wake up the band accidentally while I sleep. To view the info, manual tap the touch panel.
It has the highest IP-rating, certainly one of the few activity trackers that offer such assurance. Public advisory: IP68 does not mean it is guaranteed to be impenetrable to water elements, but the Band 2 has the same rating as smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S-series, Note8 and LG G6.
Auto Running Detection
The band will track exercise automatically if it detects activity for more than 10 minutes. Or you can activate manually by long-press the device button. While running, you get to see separate sets of workout data, like running steps, calories burned, run time, heartrate. At the end of the exercise, the info will be synced to the app.
I enjoy wearing Lifesense Band 2 very much. The device is really narrow, at just 15mm. The app works smoothly, there was no user interface issues when I interact with the app and the band. The wrist sensor wakes up the display intuitively without any false positive response. When I receive incoming calls, Lifesense Band 2 displays the caller ID. To reject, just press and hold the touch sensor, else pick up the phone to answer the call.
The smartphone app presents the activity data clearly and the UI is responsive when I interact with the charts. Battery life is fantastic, sustaining for a week with real-time heart-rate monitoring. Vibration notification is firm and strong enough to wake me up in the mornings and gets my attention during the day.
The 2 pegs that clip to the holes on the strap is really tight, certainly the strongest I have tried. One of them is larger and that really holds the strap in securely.
The strap that clips to the unit is also very tight, and will take great force to remove them to reveal the USB connector for charging. Lifesense claims the Band 2 can be worn for swimming, given IP68 rating.
Notification – The band can only notify calls and text messages. Third party message apps are not available. Also, the text messages scroll once through on the band and cannot be re-read. (Update: Lifesense shared in their Facebook post that a software update this month will enable this feature.)
Integration with Third Party Systems – Lifesense does not support data sharing with any other health apps like Google Fit.
Lifesense Band 2 is a well-designed product for a non-mainstream brand, with good UI that shows design maturity, responsive hardware, and IP68 rating to protect from most elements. There is no need for separate charging cable. The device feels weightless on my wrist and the tight buckle ensures the band does not come off easily. I am happy to recommend it to consumers who want to buy a basic fitness band that is simple to set up, captures walking steps, running stats, sleep stats, 24-hour heart-rate monitoring. Retails at S$88 with 1 year local warranty by Axtro Sports, but scroll down to the end of this post for a discount offer that ends on September 2017.
- Responsive hardware and smooth UI
- 24-hour heart rate monitoring (HRM) with 7-day battery life
- 30-day battery life when HRM is disabled
- IP68 water rating
- No USB charging cable required
- Tight pegs offers assurance that the strap will not come off easily
- Does not support third party app notification (software update to enable this feature soon)
- No data integration to popular health apps
- Pedometer is not as sensitive as other products, resulting in a more conservative step count
10% Discount in September 2017
From now till 30 Sep, enjoy 10% when you enter the promo code “LIFESEN10” when you order from Lazada. So instead of S$88, you pay S$79.20. Plus, if you are a member of LiveUp, you enjoy 5% rebate on all orders. First-time sign-ups enjoy 60 days free trial, which includes priority shipment on all orders and free Netflix subscription over the same trial period, not forgetting you can use the accumulated rebates on your next Lazada purchase. Once 60 days is up, Lazada will remind you that it will start charging you, so don’t worry that you will get a payment shock.
It is a privilege to work with Lazada Singapore on reviewing the Lifesense Band 2 which I am offered to keep. It is one of the better fitness bands I have tested in recent months. Now that I have tried this product and wrote a comprehensive review, you can rest easy to buy with confidence.