Remember the brand Zeblaze? The last product I reviewed from the brand is the Zeblaze Crystal square-face smart-looking smartwatch. Zeblaze is back on my review list, thanks to GearBest who sends me a ZeBand fitness band for my review.
From far, the ZeBand looks familiar, probably inspired by Fitbit Alta. Even the strap clip design looks uncanny, short of getting another Alta to actually test the fit.
Other than the aluminium bezel frame, the ZeBand overall body frame is different. Unlike Alta, the ZeBand back is made of plastic and houses the heartrate sensor which the Alta lacks.
The overall ZeBand feels a little weighty due to the aluminium construction. The strap seems to come undone rather easily, which is a rather annoying occurrences, not to mention the fear of losing the entire band during the course of the day.
As a fitness tracker, the ZeBand has everything: pedometer to track steps, active distance, calorie burn, sleep tracking. On top of that, ZeBand has a feature not many smartbands have: swimming mode. Yes, the ZeBand is IP67 rated and you can wear it to swim or shower – but not diving. When swimming mode is activated, ZeBand will track by acceleration sensor to determine the number of strokes, calorie burn and swim duration. Of course, this form of tracking is merely a gauge since having more swim strokes might not directly translate to higher calorie burn. I’m sure Joseph Schooling takes fewer strokes than me to swim the length of the pool but that doesn’t mean he burns less calories.
Due to the waterproof nature, there are no physical buttons, and the entire monochrome LED display is not touch-sensitive. Only a small area below the screen is touch-sensitive, and there are only 2 gestures that the wristband recognise: tap to toggle the screens, tap-hold to enter options, tap to toggle the options, tap-hold to select.
There isn’t a lot of customisation options on the watch other than enabling or disabling the wake-on-gesture. Even so, the gesture is quite sensitive. Only when I lift my wrist display at a horizontal position would the display turn on. If I tilt the screen vertically, the display would turn off.
The ZeBand is running on HPlus OS, and HPlus Watch app is used to connect ZeBand to the smartphone. The HPlus Watch app syncs the watch data to displays all the data in graphs. The dashboard displays only detailed data for the day and breakdown of yesterday’s data in pie chart. Older data is available in the data summary, with each dataset (steps, distance, calories, etc.) in separate graphs, which I find less engaging. The realtime heartrate page will display the ongoing heartrate if all-day heartrate is enabled.
As a smartband, the ZeBand supports notification of incoming calls, messages and all app notifications. There does not seem to have an option to cherry-pick the apps that I want to be notified, even though there is an option to do so. It didn’t seem to work on Android devices. As a result, the band gets notified for every event happening on the smartphone.
Notification display on the ZeBand is not that useful and varies from app to app. Gmail notifications appear with the recipient name on the watch display, while Instagram displays the entire message content. If I do not tap the notification as read, the watch will vibrate regularly to remind me. There is only one alarm clock setting, so I will not be able to set a different alarm for weekdays and weekends.
The ZeBand survives 3 days with a single battery charge, though on paper it should last 5 to 7 days. Charging is via a proprietary charging clip, though a magnetic dock would be more convenient.
The ZeBand smartband is built primarily as an activity tracker. The smartphone notification functions are not as extensive as other smartwatches, nor is there much customisation on the display.
But think of what you are getting for US$29.30: an IP67 waterproof fitness band that you can wear to swim and track your swimming stats, with real-time heart-rate monitor, and aluminium body that makes the ZeBand one of the better-looking fitness bands.
For a limited time, the ZeBand is for sale on GearBest at US$19.99. Available colours include black, blue, purple and green.