I’ve been on a tear recently, testing and reviewing a number of fitness devices. From the high-end to the low-end, I’m starting to get reviewers fatigue. At a certain point the features all seem to run together. And, at the end of the day, every fitness wearable manufacturer is essentially just trying to provide the exact same features as everyone else. These days unless you provide the basic tenets of health monitoring, you may as well go back the drawing board. The basic tenets are: steps, sleep, and heart rate.
Higher-end bands like those from Microsoft and Garmin will offer more functions like built-in GPS and all-day HR monitoring. But, for most people, they are simply curious how many steps they take a day so they can compare at the water cooler. Sleep is an interesting piece of the equation. Few understand how important it is, but anyone who looks at the collected data for the first time always starts with “wow…I sleep like crap.”
So, the Cubot Smart Band v1 is an interesting device. It’s a wearable bracelet like most, and very similar to the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 I tested and reviewed recently. The Cubot offers many of the same features you’d expect in a low-end device. It offers steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep monitoring.
The Cubot lacks a great app interface, but its built solidly. It uses the same type of band clasp as the Xiaomi, which can be infuriatingly hard to get to the right tightness around your wrist at times. As shown in the images, the USB connector for charging is – for lack of a better word – strange. Instead of using the band material to hide the connector for a truly waterproof experience, it uses a rubber “door” to keep water and sweat out. It’s also a bit bulkier than the Xiaomi, but not by much.
The best part about the Cubot is that its half the price of the Xiaomi. You can grab one from Amazon for around $20: CUBOT Wireless Activity Wristband