At first look, it would look like the $25 Wyze Band is superior in each method to the $100 Fitbit Inspire HR. It’s obtained the identical fitness-tracking sensors and a equally small physique however brings a shade show, two-week battery life, built-in Alexa, and naturally, a particularly low value. But although you should buy 4 Wyze Bands for the value of 1 Inspire HR, you’ll be higher off paying extra for a Fitbit.
Granted, Fitbit’s been on this recreation means longer, so it stands to purpose that its merchandise could be extra polished. But even grading the Wyze Band on a curve, the Inspire HR nonetheless crushes it in each means, from match to, properly, bits. Case in level: whereas the Wyze Band’s full-color show is definitely prettier to take a look at than Fitbit’s monochrome tracker shows, it’s not practically as responsive, whether or not you’re elevating your wrist to see the time or swiping to see your stats.
But it’s not simply little nagging issues that hold the Wyze Band from reaching its full potential. Through my testing, it constantly miscounted my steps and sleep, didn’t ship notifications, and woke me up at night time, even with sensible don’t disturb turned on. In quick, the Wyze Band acted like a $25 health tracker.
Clunky design with an important display
When I heard that Wyze was making an inexpensive health tracker, I used to be intrigued. I’ve lengthy been a fan of the corporate’s low-cost security cameras, which deliver premium specs and ease-of-use for a tenth of the value of the Nest Cam, and the Wyze Band’s specs appeared too good to be true for the value:
- Size: 40 x 17.5 x 12.5 millimeters
- Display: 0.96-inch AMOLED full-color, 120×240
- Sensors: Heart price, accelerometer, vibration
- Processor: Dual-core Cypress PSoC 6
- Battery: 120mAh
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Water resistance: 5ATM
- Bands: Swappable
However, these better-than-basic specs are extra engaging on paper than in observe. While the Wyze Band is thinner than Fitbit’s Charge 4, its boxy design makes it really feel like a tank on my wrist compared to the Charge 4’s properly tapered design. I often obtained it caught on garments and corners, and it was fairly uncomfortable to put on at night time once I shifted positions.
The included strap is oddly designed and extremely troublesome to placed on, however Wyze can be bundling a regular watch strap with orders. However, altering bands isn’t as practically as simple as it’s on the Inspire. You have to come out a plastic pin on both sides to take away the strap from the physique they usually’re very small and simply breakable. Thankfully, Wyze supplied me with a spare set as a result of I instantly broke considered one of them whereas attempting to change out the band.
The shade display is well its greatest beauty function. It’s a contact oversaturated on the highest brightness however very seen in vivid daylight, and the darkish UI helps the OLED show mix properly into the sizable bezels surrounding the display. I want it was a bit wider, as some screens are very cramped and notifications will be robust to learn, however the vary of background choices make the black-and-white screens on the Inspire and Charge look positively historic.
Navigation is generally completed by tapping and swiping on the display, however there’s additionally a nifty digital again button that’s constructed into the bezel. Since it’s all the time current as a small white line beneath the display, it creates a visible distraction that breaks up the large bezel. Tapping it supplies a little bit of nice haptic suggestions and whereas it may benefit from extra features, it was usually extra responsive and simpler to press than the digital aspect button on the Charge 4.
The Wyze Band is powered by a Cypress processor, probably just like the one in Fitbit’s trackers. Switching between apps is pretty easy and speedy, although elevating to wake is much extra dependable on my different units. You can’t lock it with a passkey, however you’ll be able to set a slide-to-unlock function that forces you to swipe up on the underside of the display earlier than you should use it. I finally turned it off as a result of it was far too finicky.
The Wyze Band will be worn for practically two weeks with no need a cost, handily besting the Charge 4 (seven days), and Inspire HR (5 days). With a shade display, the longevity of the Wyze Band is really spectacular, sipping simply 5 p.c of battery life on most days. Add to that 5ATM water resistance and also you gained’t be taking off the Wyze band fairly often in any respect.
Smarter than its price ticket
The Wyze Band has two predominant features: monitoring health and controlling sensible units. It does the latter through built-in Alexa, which is accessible by holding down the digital button lengthy sufficient to set off a second vibration. Alexa on the Wyze Band isn’t as quick or dependable as Google Assistant on Wear OS or Siri on the Apple Watch, but it surely works properly sufficient for primary duties.
I don’t have any Wyze related dwelling units, however the sensible plugs and bulbs I do have related to the Amazon Echo app responded properly to my instructions. My saved routines labored too, although the messages on the display didn’t all the time correlate with the motion. However, since there’s no Wi-Fi connection on the Wyze Band, it’s essential to be in fixed Bluetooth vary of your cellphone for it to work, so Alexa isn’t practically as helpful because it might be.
The reliance in your cellphone is problematic even once you’re not utilizing Alexa. The Wyze Band wants a continuing reference to the Wyze app, and if it doesn’t stay open and operating in your cellphone, you gained’t get notifications in any respect. So once you take the band off to cost, you’ll probably have to re-sync once you strap it on once more, in addition to everytime you restart your cellphone or the app quits. I often wanted to relaunch the Wyze app to remind my cellphone to push notifications to it, one thing that has by no means been a difficulty with my Fitbit trackers.
On the health finish of issues, the Wyze Band has heart-rate and movement sensors for monitoring steps and sleep, and when you’re operating, it has a devoted mode to calculate time and distance. Even for a $25 tracker, that’s fairly primary.
With such easy monitoring, the Wyze Band ought to carry out in addition to the Fitbit Inspire with out a heart-rate monitor, however that’s merely not the case. In repeated checks on each wrists, the Wyze Band was not less than 10 p.c off in step totals as in comparison with my Fitbit trackers (often beneath however some days over) and the guts price was constantly decrease than it needs to be. In explicit, my coronary heart price throughout train was extraordinarily hit and miss, usually displaying beneath 100 whereas my Fitbit registered 150 or extra.
Sleep monitoring was equally confounding. The Wyze Band by no means as soon as efficiently tracked my sleep, saying I went to mattress earlier and awakened later than I did, typically by a number of hours. In one other bizarre glitch, the app’s acknowledged occasions was extraordinarily wonky within the morning—at some point it stated I slept for 15 hours—however reset to a extra affordable (however nonetheless inflated) quantity as soon as I manually synced with the app. The watch additionally woke me up just a few occasions once I unintentionally lit up the display by rolling on it regardless of having “smart mode” don’t disturb turned on.
For $25, the Wyze definitely has some issues going for it. The display is improbable. The battery life is stellar. And the smart-home management is best than anticipated because of built-in Alexa help. And whereas the overreliance on the app is lower than ultimate, however when it really works, the Wyze Band is not less than pretty much as good because the Inspire or Charge for primary notifications.
However, even with a low value, the Wyze Band is tough to advocate over the Fitbit Inspire HR or Charge 4 for anybody who desires a stable health tracker. Some inaccuracies may be anticipated in a $25 health band, however Wyze has constructed its title on delivering high quality merchandise for low costs and the consequence with the band have been stunning. Yes it’s spectacular that the Wyze Band has a heart-rate sensor for $25, but when it’s not correct it turns into a detriment.
I’m hopeful that train and sleep monitoring will be mounted with future firmware updates, a number of of which arrived whereas testing the band however didn’t seem to handle the difficulty. But till they arrive, you’ll be higher served with a Fitbit, even when it’s essential to wait till they go on sale.