• Friday, August 23, 2019

Smart bands – Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi Band 3 vs Huawei Color Band A2

SMART BANDS

Today we have here three smart bands – The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Band 3 and Huawei Color Band A2 that we’ll test and compare all at once. Right of the bat, we have to say that the Samsung band is much better than the others, but it’s also much more expensive. Let’s see whether it justifies the price difference compared to alternative options.

All these bands are, essentially, fitness trackers, the main role of which is to record your exercising data. Their build quality is pretty good. Let’s start with Samsung.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN

Its chassis is built of plastic, and it’s quite solid. On the right, much as with other Samsung smartwatches, there are physical buttons, the back and the home buttons. A feature that makes the Fit 2 Pro a desirable device is the curvature of its display due to which the band sits on the wrist phenomenally. It also makes the watch look futuristic, and really good. The band itself is made of silicon, and it comes in two sizes – Small and Large. The watch sadly doesn’t come with both band sizes, just with the one specified on the box. This shouldn’t be an issue though, since there is a lot of different bands made of different materials that you can find online.

It’s pretty much the same thing with the Xiaomi Mi Band 3. Inside the box there is a single silicon case, but if you wish to change the color of the band, its size or material, simply head over to online shops – there are many different bands out there. The Mi Band 3 is available almost everywhere in the world, and it’s much more common compared to other bands. Xiaomi’s fitness tracker is shaped like a pill, which is why it’s super easy to remove it from the band. It doesn’t have any physical buttons, but it has only a single capacitive touch button instead. This device is also made of plastic and weighs only around 20 grams, so you won’t even notice that you’re wearing it.

The Color Band is a smart band by Huawei which is also very light at 22 grams. Just like the other two, it also has a band made of silicon, and it’s also very easy to remove. Personally, we liked this band the most due to its 3D pattern.

DISPLAYS

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro the only band of the three which is a color display. Its resolution of 432 x 216 pixels is stretched over a 1.6” AMOLED display. The display itself is the ace up the sleeve of this smart band. It is, in fact, the thing that separates this band not only from the others here, but also from other similar devices on the market in general.

Both the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 and Huawei Color Band also have OLED displays with the diagonals of 0.78 and 0.96 inches respectively. These displays can’t reproduce any colors though. These displays are very similar, they are touch-sensitive and serve for swiping interaction. Navigating through the interface of the Mi Band 3 can be a bit difficult, and sometimes you’ll be forced to repeat certain moves just for the band to recognize what you did. This process is simples on the Huawei band, but mostly due to the fact that it only offers several basic features.

All these bands, sadly, suffer from the same problem, which is sunlight legibility. None of them are particularly bright due to OLED panels and small batteries, which is why you’ll be forced to cover the display in order to read anything off it.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE CAPABILITIES OF THE BANDS

Hardware-wise, all these bands are powered by different platforms, however, we are only familiar with the one in Samsung’s band. There we have an Exynos 3250 chipset, which has a dual-core CPU clocked at 1 GHz built inside of it. It also comes paired with 4GB of storage memory as well as 512MB of RAM. Thanks to the internal memory, you can send music to the Gear Fit 2, and you can also download additional watch faces on it. This is truly a great feature since, if you have Bluetooth headphones, you can listen to music while running without the need of having your phone on you. Also, on the watch you can install some fitness tracking apps such as Under Armor Record, MapMyRun, Endomondo, etc. Unfortunately, we couldn’t install Strava since not too much third party apps are available for this watch.

SAMSUNG GEAR FIT2 PRO

Samsung band is very good for swimming too because it’s rated to endure depths of up to 50 meters. An additional Water Lock option is available from the dropdown menu which will lock the phone and prevent additional touches when swimming. This band can track several types of exercises automatically, while you can turn on the tracking for additional exercises through the interface. When it comes to tracking itself, we can say that it’s really precise and interactive, so when you’re, for example, running, you can see your running speed, your heart rate, how much calories you’re burning up and similar info, and when you finish your session you can see a very precise running map due to a great GPS sensor.

XIAOMI MI BAND 3

When it comes to exercise tracking, the Mi Band 3 is no worse than the Samsung band. This band uses a special proprietary system that offers some good features. It can record the number of your daily steps, calorie consumption, it has an automatic running mode as well as an additional mode that tracks other exercises. It has the same heart rate sensor as Samsung’s band which doesn’t work constantly, but rather when you turn it on. It’s not that precise while you’re moving, however, when you’re standing still, it does a good job. The Mi Band 3 also records your sleep data, and inside the app, you can see information about your REM phases, when you have fallen asleep and when you have woken up. You can also see the weather forecast and use the stopwatch, while on the phone you can choose which notifications you want to be pushed from the phone to your band. This band is also waterproof.

HUAWEI COLOR BAND A2

Huawei Color Band can also track your daily activities, including daily step count, calorie consumption, sleeping time and heart rate. In another mode it can track three exercise regimes, walking, running and cycling. The biggest flaw of the Huawei band is that it lacks other exercise types that could also be tracked, which is essentially the main purpose of a fitness tracker. It is waterproof and has IP67 certificate. When connected to the phone, it can show notifications from various different applications. Inside the Huawei Wear interface, you can see raw data about captured exercises. When you receive a call through your phone, you can pick it up on this band, however, the band doesn’t have a mic or a speaker so you’ll still have to make the call through your phone.

CONNECTIVITY

The main way to pair these devices with your phone is through Bluetooth, but the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro has the option to connect to the phone through a wireless signal, and you can even stream music through wireless via Spotify.

All bands have an option for the so-called, standalone mode, which means that they don’t necessarily have to be connected to the phone to work normally. Only, in this mode, you can’t use certain features such as notifications.

BATTERY

On paper, these smart bands have very small batteries, but they really don’t need them to be any bigger. Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro has the biggest battery with a capacity of 200 mAh. Xiaomi Mi Band 3 has the capacity of 110 mAh, while Huawei Color Band A2 has the capacity of 95 mAh.

A device’s autonomy is generally determined not by the capacity of its battery, but rather by its use optimization. Samsung Gear has the autonomy of up to 5 days if you don’t use it too much, but if you’re a demanding user, you can expect it to last a day or two. It charges through a special magnetic charger with pins and it takes around 90 minutes for a full charge.

Xiaomi has optimized its Mi Band 3 really well. As we’ve already said, it doesn’t have a big color display and it doesn’t permanently keep track of your heart rate, which is why you’ll honestly forget when the last charge took place. It can last up to 20 days, or even more. It also charges through a special charger with pins, and it takes around 75 minutes to fully charge up.

Huawei Color Band A2, does constantly track your heart rate, but its power management is quite good, which is why it lasts up to a week on average. It also charges through a small wireless charger, and takes about 90 minutes to charge fully.

FINAL WORDS

Little by little, we come to the end of this comparison, or rather 3 in 1 review, since Samsung’s band is much more advanced and can’t quite be compared to the others. The question is whether it is really worth the price of seven Xiaomi Mi Band 3’s or even ten Huawei Color A2 Bands, and we honestly think that it’s not. It depends on how you wish to use your device though. Everybody demands different features from their fitness tracker. Maybe that music player feature of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is exactly what you need and you’ll opt for it despite the cost. We advise you to think about what you need your device to do for you though since the difference between 20 and 180€ isn’t exactly small.