Fitness bands have evolved quite a bit over the years and today they are more than just a tool to count your steps. One can measure walking or running distance, calories burnt, sleep pattern, heart rate and even various sports activities using a quality fitness band. Now the Indian market is flooded with a number of good fitness bands to choose from, but what really constitutes a good fitness band? Let’s have a look…
Things to consider when buying a fitness band
One can find a wide variety of fitness bands by doing a quick search online. But, not all fitness bands are the same. It is highly recommended to choose one from a reliable and established company, even if it costs you more. Not only will you get a quality product with a robust set of features, but a better user experience and also better after-sale service in case the device is damaged or stops working as intended. Additionally, beware of cheap knockoffs that are showcased as high-end fitness trackers.
Design and Display
The early age of fitness bands didn’t include any displays. Rather they were just a bunch of sensors crammed into bracelets and silicone straps, while users relied on the smartphone app to analyze their data. Today, even the affordable fitness bands are equipped with tiny OLED displays offering deep blacks and bold colours. Make sure you purchase a band that offers a bright display that is visible both indoors and outdoors, especially while you are working up a sweat.
As for the design and durability, a majority of fitness bands come with silicone-based straps that are usually comfortable, last long and easy to swap. Also, make sure that you check the IP rating as it ensures that the band can withstand water and dust. This is especially important if you are into swimming or tend to sweat a lot during workouts.
Fitness bands usually offer long battery life as opposed to smartwatches. The primary reason for that is due to the smaller screen size and the lack of high-end sensors. Most bands should last anything from 3-15 days depending on the usage and battery size.
As mentioned earlier, fitness bands offer way more features than they used to a few years ago. Apart from counting steps, you can expect features like heart rate monitoring, SpO2 or oxygen saturation tracking, activity and sports tracking, women’s health tracking, stress monitoring, sleep tracking and more. There might be some ambiguity when it comes to accuracy, thus we once again suggest that you go for a reputable brand. For instance, Fitbit has been a pioneer in the health and fitness tracking business, and the Fitbit Charge 5 is indeed one of the best premium fitness bands.
Apart from tracking health and fitness, you can expect them to offer useful features like getting notifications from your smartphone, controlling your media, getting alerts, checking the weather, unlocking your phone, and so on.
List of the best fitness bands in India 2022
|Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6||Rs 3,499|
|OnePlus Band||Rs 1,599|
|Redmi Smart Band Pro||Rs 3,999|
|Huawei Band 6||Rs 4,490|
|Realme Band 2||Rs 3,499|
|Fitbit Charge 5||Rs 14,999|
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi’s Mi Band series is not only popular but also one of the highest-selling fitness bands in the country. Their current offering is the Mi Smart Band 6 which, like the previous models, is affordable and works quite well. It comes with up to 14-days of battery life, a 1.56-inch AMOLED display capable of up to 450-nits of brightness, a PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2 tracking and much more. The band hooks up with a dedicated app which can be used to set up the device, customize it and maintain your health data. For something that is priced at Rs 3,500, the Mi Smart Band 6 is quite loaded with features and our pick of the best budget fitness band.
Buy: Mi India Store | Amazon
-Large AMOLED screen
–Comfortable & lightweight
-Packed with useful features
-Value for money
-No always-on display
-Advanced features drain the battery
OnePlus entered the wearables market with its own fitness band last year. There are certain similarities with the Mi Smart Band in terms of design, but overall OnePlus has done a good job if not the best with the OnePlus Band. The contoured strap with a dual-tone finish and the 1.1-inch AMOLED display both look great. It comes with heart rate and SpO2 sensors along with 13 exercise modes. You can even track your sleep, which is surprisingly well implemented. Like most fitness bands, it also offers dust and water resistance with 5ATM IP68 ratings. Overall, if you are looking for a cheap alternative to Xiaomi’s Mi Band series, this is not a bad option.
Buy: OnePlus Store | Amazon
-Good looking design
-Fluid UI navigation
-Accurate tracking capabilities
-No Stress tracking
-Inconsistent battery life
Redmi Smart Band Pro
With the success of its Mi Band series, Xiaomi introduced another fitness band under the Redmi brand. The Redmi Smart Band Pro features a wider 1.47-inch AMOLED panel, compared to the Mi Smart Band 6, and also features an Always-on display option. It also comes with heart rate and SpO2 monitoring, over 110 workout modes, women menstrual health tracking, stress tracking, sleep monitoring and much more. Battery life is rated at 14-days with up to 20-days when used with the power-saving mode. It also comes with a 5ATM rating which means you can swim while wearing the band up to 50m.
Buy: Mi India Store | Amazon
-Comfortable and lightweight
-Tons of sports modes
-Good battery life
-Small issues with iPhone connectivity
Huawei Band 6
Like the Redmi Smart Band Pro, the Huawei Band 6 also comes with a wide AMOLED display that almost makes it look like a smartwatch. In fact, it is a solid competitor for Xiaomi as it comes with a ton of features including heart rate and SpO2 tracking, sleep tracking, and up to 96 workout modes. Available in four colour options, the Huawei Band 6 comes with a 5ATM rating which means it has a water resistance rating of 50-meters. It can also track your sleep cycles as well as stress, along with features like getting call and app notifications, controlling media, etc. Huawei claims a battery life of 14-days, and in our testing, we found that to be correct provided continuous heart rate monitoring, automatic SpO2, and automatic stress tracking are disabled.
-Attractive and large AMOLED display
-Superb battery life
-Plenty of workout modes
-You cannot reply to messages
-Straps not changeable
-SpO2 tracking is iffy
Realme Band 2
Realme is also quite active in the affordable fitness tracking market and the Realme Band 2 is currently their best fitness band offering. It looks like a cross between the Huawei Band 6 and the Redmi Smart Band Pro, having a 1.4-inch display, but notably, this one doesn’t make use of AMOLED. It pretty much offers a similar set of features though including 90 sports modes, heart rate and SpO2 tracking, sleep tracking, and stress tracking. The good thing about the Realme Band 2 is that it comes with non-proprietary 18mm straps, so you can easily swap them out. Other notable features include a 5ATM rating for water resistance, 12-days of battery life and smart AIoT controls.
Buy: Realme Store | Amazon
-18mm universal strap
-Long battery life
-Realme Link app
-No calling or message reply option
-Connected GPS only
-No women menstrual health tracking
Fitbit Charge 5
Coming down to the most expensive fitness band on our list, we have the Fitbit Charge 5. Fitbit is a popular name in the fitness and health tracking space and the Charge 5 is our pick of the best premium fitness band for 2022. The design is quite premium with an aluminium casing as opposed to using plastic. The vibrant OLED display is great to use and the dedicated app comes with an excellent interface to track your health. Speaking of which, the fitness band features an ECG sensor for heart rate tracking along with a SpO2 sensor for tracking blood oxygen saturation. It can also track your sleep cycle, stress, and even menstrual cycle tracking for women. It comes with a comparatively lower battery life of about 7-days, but that is definitely not a deal-breaker considering the premium styling and variety of health features on this device.
-Stylish, comfortable design
-Good battery life
-Can track a host of fitness activities
-Good sleep tracking
-Cannot revert to notifications
-EDA scans can take a long time
-No on-demand SpO2 monitoring