There was a time when I could just about eat anything that I wanted to. Dinner, followed by a huge bowl of ice-cream and finish it off with a caramel doughnut and some fruit for good measure, unfortunately those days are long gone I only have to have a whiff of a cream cake and I feel like I’ve put on two stone.
I’ve always been athletic but after a football injury and two ACL surgeries later, those days are behind me.
The problem is I’m predominately desk based at work and when I get home I’m either on the computer working on the blog, learning something new or watching mindless TV. This never used to be a problem as I could go for a walk at lunch and would walk to my car after work.
Now I’ve been toing and froing for some time whether to buy an Apple Watch or Fitbit just to get me moving again, but I like a bargain and neither of these devices could be considered that, with Apple’s watch starting from £329 and the Charge 2, the device that I would most likely get costing £100+
Do I really need all the bells and whistles?
The Apple watch would be all very well if I needed a smart watch that worked seamlessly with my phone, but I probably wouldn’t use a majority of the functions I’d be paying for.
With the above in mind, it dawned on me that I would probably be better off just buying a fitness tracker but which one? My decision to buy an apple watch would have purely come down to the way it looked and that I couldn’t justify to myself
I knew that I wanted to measure steps and sleep tracking would be a benefit. After reading of numerous reviews about the best fitness trackers online, I decided upon the Mi Band 2.
The device did everything that I needed it to to do. Not only would it count my steps but it would also alert me to notifications when I receive a call or a text, something that I knew I wanted. It would also show my calories burned during the day and track my sleep.
All this for a little over £20, what did I have to lose? I thought I’d give it a go and my wife purchased it for me.
A little more about it
Released in June 2016, it’s not a new device by any stretch of the imagination in technology terms, but old isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I’ll keep on telling my wife that with every new grey hair that I get.
Though the device might be two years old now, it doesn’t mean that the tech is bad and can’t be dismissed.
It’s also splash resistant, so there is no danger of it stopping working when you’re washing your hands.
How does it work?
You won’t find a touch screen on this device, instead the Band 2, uses a touch button to scroll through the information that you have chosen to display via the app. Many of the reviews said that this was a little hit and miss, but I’ve not experienced any problems yet.
Like most of the devices out there you just stick it on your wrist and forget about it, all the magic happens behind the scenes, so once you’ve charged it, put it on there and changed your settings there is nothing more for you to do.
I ordered the device on a Wednesday and when it was delivered it had no power whatsoever so charged it with the enclosed charging until to full, this took about two hours, as at writing this my battery life is showing 82%, I’m not sure that I would have had the same result with any of the more expensive devices out here and probably would have charged them twice already.
What can you see on the device’s screen?
The option to choose what you see comes directly through the app and they include:
- Battery life
- Calories burnt
- Distance walked
- Heart rate
The text and call notifications also show the identity of the contact.
If you’re into it any other social network you can also get app alerts from a number of social networks, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat
The Mi Fit app
I ordered the tracker before actually checking out the app, probably something that I wouldn’t recommend.
Setting up was unfortunately hit and miss, I’d input my information and it just didn’t want to connect, I tried this a few times and after a few attempts, I was able to use the app. This became quite annoying to the point where I was actually considering cancelling my order or sending it back when it arrived.
The app shows a wealth of information, but I’m inclined to say that I prefer Fitbits app, it is a lot cleaner and you’re also able to log what you’ve eaten.
Mi Fit syncs to the device every time it is opened and shows you your sleep pattern, heart rate, weight and a graph showing you whether you’ve hit your target number of steps, which you set in the app.
All of the devices settings are set within the app which isn’t a deal breaker for me, it also syncs with the ios health app if you’re into that kind of thing.
Within the app you not only set what you can see on the device, but you can also see how friends that also have the band are getting on, set a number of alarms, which vibrate on the wrist. Set your weight goal and how many steps you want to do during the day.
Would I recommend it?
If you’re looking for a simple device that can give you a rough idea about how many steps you’re doing in a day and want an idea what you your heart rate might be, for £20 you can’t go wrong.
I’m sure if you ask any health professional they are going to tell you that any device that you can buy online isn’t going to be the most accurate, regardless of the price.
As strange as it seems, while I give my eyes a rest occasionally from my computer I can sometimes forget to move and the reminder to move also comes in handy not only for my health but for my knee too.