The wearable market has seen a consistent rise in popularity in the recent years, despite having a slow beginning. Part of that success has to be due to highly affordable fitness bands — the lot that manages to give half the thrills of the fully-equipped expensive ones for a fraction of the price. Xiaomi initiated the trend with its Mi Band, following which several other players started jumping into the bandwagon and cashing in on the opportunity. However, the affordable fitness band segment has seen stagnation in the recent months, with hardly any point of differentiation between the products — they look pretty much similar and offer almost identical features. Noise wants to change that.
After making a name for itself in the extremely affordable smartwatch segment, Noise has ventured into the fitness tracker market with its Colorfit fitness band. It costs Rs 1,999 and offers a ton of features, chief among which enhances its appeal is a segment-first colour display. But is it as good as the offerings from the established brands? Let’s find out.
The only way fitness trackers distinguish themselves from each other is design. Fitbit does it with mostly square-ish designs whereas Xiaomi makes copious use of curves on its Mi Band trackers. The Colorfit has a more Fitbit-esque design for the tracker, especially with its rectangular shape, which when paired with the silicone strap, lends it more of a bracelet look. The silicon strap has enough adjustment options to fit even the healthiest of wrists. However, the tracker is pretty sizeable, which doesn’t sit as snug on the wrist. The strap is thicker and it often starts causing skin irritation once you wear it for almost half a day — at least in our case. Maybe the Silicone strap did not agree with our skin.
Coming back to the tracker, there’s a 0.96-inch colour display on top accompanied by a capacitive touch button similar to all other trackers. There’s a fair amount of bezel around the display, but there’s a very good reason for that. The Colorfit band uses an LCD panel, unlike monochromatic OLED panels on other fitness trackers. LCD screens need some space to house the drivers — this is the reason why smartphone with LCD display still have chins. It’s the same reason why the Colorfit band has to have thick bezels around it. The tracker is IP67 water and dust resistant, which means it can survive the occasional splashes and light rain without bothering you.
Since the display is Colorfit’s USP and Noise has made sure the band excels in that regards. For an LCD panel, the colours and contrasts are high, which makes reading information on the tiny display very interesting and easy. It’s also easier on the eyes as the tracker can use colours to differentiate between image and icons.
The fonts are legible, although reading messages on this tiny display is preferable only if you aren’t in a circumstance to read it on your smartphone. Sunlight legibility is surprisingly good, considering the extremely pocket-friendly price. The tracker doesn’t support emojis, which is a bit of a letdown. But at such an affordable price, it is justifiable to be satisfied with what’s being offered.
As with many fitness trackers in the segment, the Colorfit comes with a slew of features that will appeal to fitness freaks. While the standard functions of tracking steps, calories and distance are present, the Colorfit band can also track heart rate, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure — courtesy of the optical heart rate tracker. The tracking functionalities are almost accurate when it comes to steps and calories. We also tested the blood pressure data for consistency with a sphygmomanometer and found the data to be reliable for a majority of the time.
However, the productivity of the Colorfit band increases once you pair it to its companion app. The Da Fit app is available on both the App Store and PlayStore, and is free to download. It connects with the tracker via Bluetooth and lifts all the data it has collected. Unlike companion apps for other fitness trackers, Da Fit doesn’t bother you with making an account by registering your information. All you need to do is fill your physical details, such as height, weight, gender and birth year. Once you fill up, the app gives you a plethora of fitness tracking options as well as the device settings.
For the fitness section, you get to see a detailed graph on your steps, burnt calories and distance. The app also plots the level of workout the user has had over a week. You also get similarly detailed graphs for heart rate, blood oxygen and running. What the app brings new to the table is sleep tracking, which uses the tracker's sensors to detect motion and analyse data for sleep. The sleep data is divided into a light sleep and deep sleep.
Do note that the sleep tracking is erratic as it starts to detect a sleep as soon as your wrist is detected to be immobile for a few moments while you are lying — this leads to counting the moments even when you are lying on the bed while using your smartphone. Similarly, you can also track your gains during an exercise session by tapping on the ‘start training’ button, which uses all the sensors and algorithm to determine whether the exercise was light or vigorous.
The app also allows you to configure the tracker in various ways. You can choose from three watch faces showing varying levels of information (we wish Noise allowed us to add custom watch faces). Additionally, you can choose which apps can show notifications and how the tracker behaves when you lift your wrist up. Do note that certain messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Messages can completely show content.
The tracker can also show the caller ID in the event of incoming calls. You can also use the Shutter function to remotely snap photos from your smartphone for a blur-free quality. For commuters, the music controller function can prove to be highly helpful — long tap on the play/pause and track change functions to control your music. One feature that we loved was the weather information on the tracker display through cute icons.
After going through all the features, it easily comes to the mind that the Colorfit band could struggle with its stamina. Noise claims that its 90mAh battery can last up to 3 days if all the tracking functionalities are working fulltime. However, in our usage, which involved full-day connection to the smartphone, all-day heart rate measurement and health tracking, and tonnes of notifications, the Colorfit band managed to stretch easily for up to 5 days without any issue.
And when the tracker needs a refill, it can be topped-up within two hours by taking off the strap that hides the USB port and plugging it into a computer or USB charger.
The Colorfit fitness band shapes up to be an attractive option for those who want the thrills of a feature-rich smartwatch on a tight budget. The colour display separates it from the competition, offering an interesting angle to all the fitness information while the notification system makes it easier for commuters to glance at the messages while on the move. However, users could be looking for a better battery life as rivals can stretch it easily up to two weeks. Additionally, Noise could have worked on the tracker's design for a lighter and more compact footprint. Maybe a Colorfit 2 could address these issues.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for a unique and fun wearable without burning a hole in your pocket, then the Noise Colorfit is a worthy option that will definitely satisfy your needs....