Oppo is still a relatively unknown brand in Europe, but its good quality phones are helping to change it. The Band is the first bracelet of aptitude from the company, which arrives with the Oppo Watch.
Both devices went on sale in China almost a year ago, but are now available in Europe. The model analyzed here is the Sport, but you can also buy the Style model, which is the same monitor but with a more elegant strap.
As you might have guessed from the design, this activity tracker is similar to those from Fitbit and other rivals including the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, Honor Band 5 and Amazfit Band 5 ( no, we are not mistaken: they all have the same name for lack of imagination).
The device portable Oppo stands out for the inclusion of SpO2 (or blood in oxygen) monitoring, which we don’t find in the Mi Band 5, but the other two do.
Considering that for Apple this was the main asset in promoting the Apple Watch Series 6, it’s surprising to find it in an activity tracker that costs so little.
Design and performance
Available in any color you want (as long as it’s black), the Oppo Band fails to stand out from the crowd. It has a beautiful, bright 1.1 inch touchscreen, which shows the time, your steps, date and other basic information.
You can slide your finger in multiple directions to navigate menus and switch between multiple watch faces. There are plenty more (which you can get in the HeyTap app for Android), but you can only save five at a time. (Note that the Band only works with Android, not iPhone.)
If there is a complaint, it would be that, unlike the Mi Band 5, you have no control over the information displayed: you must select a sphere that displays the information you want, namely the heart rate (which is not not continuous reading, by the way) or your not. I couldn’t find any with the current temperature or the weather forecast, for example.
The rubber strap should be fine for everyone except those with very large or very small wrists, but having to remove the monitor from the wristband to charge it is a bit frustrating as it prevents the charger from fitting properly . This does not happen with the Mi Band 5.
Oppo claims that the 100mAh battery lasts for up to 12 days, but it might be less if you get a lot of notifications or the screen is on for a long time. I think this statement is quite correct.
By default, the screen only activates when you tap it. You can change it by enabling the “ Get up to wake up ” option in the app so that it lights up when you turn your wrist to look at the screen.
Simply by wearing the bracelet, it will monitor your steps, calories burned and your sleep. But you can also do specific workouts (there are 12 in total), like running, cycling, walking, rowing, swimming, yoga, free training and, interestingly, cricket and badminton.
Now you will have to start and stop these workouts manually as there is no automatic workout detection.
Using the sensors on the back of the device, it can also monitor your heart rate when you need it or your blood oxygen levels, but it will only do this continuously when you start. during a workout or when you sleep (handy because it’s automatically detected; you don’t need to start and stop sleep tracking).
As you exercise, depending on the type of exercise you have chosen, you can view statistics such as distance, current intensity, pace, and more.
Although the Band does not have a GPS, it does use an accelerometer to measure your steps and track your route if you take your mobile with you and use its GPS (i.e. connected GPS).
Beyond activity tracking, the group can do a lot of other things, like waking you up in the morning, timing your pasta cooking, giving you a weather forecast for today and tomorrow, controlling your music, and more. .
By default, the playback controls will appear in the Band when you are using your mobile’s music player (whatever app you are using).
There is also a tool to make your mobile ring ring when you don’t know where it is, but it could be improved. For starters, it’s hidden in the Tools menu, which you can access by swiping five times and tapping once, plus another tap to use the feature.
It could be improved if a shortcut appears when you press the face of the watch. What you actually see when you do this is the battery percentage, steps and calories burned, and the date. You can’t even turn on Do Not D isturb, which shows up in the Settings menu.
Coming back to the function to find the mobile, it depends if the volume of your mobile is high. If it is weak, you surely will not hear when it rings and it is totally useless if your mobile is silent. At the very least, that’s how it worked with the Huawei P30 Pro that I used to test the bracelet.
Finally, there is the Breathe app which works like the one on the Apple Watch: guides you to inhale and exhale, and monitor your heart rate at the end.
There is no way to use it to make payments, which is disappointing considering that it works with Alipay in China.
Some parameters, such as the choice of the alarm time, are found in the HeyTap application: you cannot adjust them directly from the Band.
Although you can see some information on the screen, such as the hours of sleep the night before, you will need the app to see more details.
HeyTap has a neat interface but is pretty basic. You’ll get an overview of your progress towards your daily step, calorie, and workout goals (using the ‘X’ graph, which is also one of the spheres of the group), and you can also view your history per week, month and year.
In ‘Preferences’ you can turn off any of the main menu items that you do not want on the bracelet, such as ‘Breathe’ or ‘Weather’.
In the HeyTap app, you also have to choose whether or not you want to see notifications from each of the apps you have installed on your mobile. You cannot reply to messages directly from the Band (or take calls), but you will know when someone is calling you and see a preview of the messages.
Obviously, to receive notifications, you will have to be within range of the Bluetooth of your mobile and, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, it is quite large.
In addition to enabling the feature of tapping the screen to activate in the app, you can also enable Night mode so that the screen does not glow when you move around. This happens because the screen brightness is not adjusted automatically: either you are adjusting a brightness or you are using Night mode.
Pricing and availability
As we mentioned at the beginning, the Oppo Band costs only 49 $ on the Oppo site (it’s the Sport model; the Oppo Band Style costs 69 $). That’s a good price for an activity monitor with a good OLED display and the ability to monitor SpO2 levels.
It is also available on Amazon.
The Oppo Band Sport costs around $ 10 more than the Mi Band 5 at launch, so unless you want to monitor your blood oxygen levels, the Xiaomi device will be your best option.
And even if you want this function, the Honor Band 5 costs $ 34.90 and is also compatible with this type of monitoring, as is also the case with the Amazfit Band 5, also cheaper.
For more options, check out our pick of the best activity trackers.
Aside from the buts that we mentioned above, the Oppo Band is a perfectly acceptable activity tracker. The problem is that its rivals have been offering the same features (in some cases, even longer) for a long time, and Oppo has done nothing to make the group stand out from the rest.
Part of the problem could be that it’s really nothing new: it can be purchased from Chinese suppliers from June 2020. The Oppo Watch, a smart watch Based on Google’s Wear operating system, this is arguably the best laptop in the business, so it’s worth betting on this other one. If you want to use Oppo technology, of course.
- Display: 1.1 ” AMOLED (color, 126 x 294 pixels)
- Features: heart rate monitor, SpO2 monitor
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 100 mAh (up to 12 days of autonomy)
- Size: adjustable strap 130-205mm
- Black color
- Compatibility: Android 6.0 or later
Original article published on Tech Advisor.