Lifestyle

Redmi Smart Band review: Gets the bare minimum done

Staying healthy isn’t a costly routine!

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Xiaomi has dominated the wearable segment in India for a long time thanks to its Mi Band lineup. The affordable fitness tracker sells like hotcakes because its price is significantly lower than Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, and Apple.

Even though many companies have tried to grab the affordable market, none have come close to Xiaomi’s dominance. Now, the Chinese gadget maker wants every piece of the wearable market and has launched the Redmi Smart Band, an inexpensive fitness tracker that costs just INR 1,599 (US$ 22). It has also launched the Mi Watch Revolve to grab the premium share while the Mi Smart Band 5 sits in the middle.

The price of the Redmi Smart Band makes it a lovely product to have, especially when we consider its display, fitness functionality, and battery life. I’ve used the fitness tracker for almost a month, and there’s a lot to love about it, but that doesn’t make this a perfect gadget. If you’re considering a purchase, this review will help you determine whether this tracker is fit to be your GadgetMatch!

It has a boxy design that feels very light and comfortable

The Redmi Smart Band has a very boxy design that almost looks like you’re wearing a rectangle display module on your wrist. However, it’s very light at just 13 grams, and after a few hours, it’ll just become a part of your body. The natural placement is comfortable for extended an duration and perfect for natural sleep tracking.

The band material is soft, and there’s no irritation or decay. Thanks to 5ATM water resistance, you can wear it while doing the dishes or take a swim whenever you want. The metal buckle is tight enough and didn’t open up accidentally even once. Considering how light it is, having a secure strap is important because you may not realize when it falls off.

Another great feature of the band is its direct USB charging capability. No need to carry along a tiny wire or charging pod along because a USB is located on the tracker’s body and can be directly plugged into an adapter by removing one side of the strap. It takes approximately two hours to charge completely.

I’d advise being a little careful with the USB port because it’s made of plastic. While removing the strap, don’t apply a lot of force. A few adapters were having trouble charging the band due to loose connection, but this wasn’t widespread. Just ensure you have a trustworthy brick when on the go.

A disappointing display

On the front is a 1.08-inch color and touch display with a resolution of 128 x 220 pixels. Unlike the Mi Smart Band, it isn’t an OLED panel, and the maximum brightness is disappointing. Under direct sunlight, you’ll have to keep one hand over it and strain your eyes to see a notification or activity.

The brightness is still manageable though. The display’s touch detection is terrible and doesn’t work half the time. This isn’t a remote incident because other users have reported a similar problem. It’s UI is based on gestures, and there’s a capacitive button on the bottom. The swipes are barely registered, and the accuracy is all over the place. Cutting corners, Xiaomi ended up with an appalling display that’ll test your patience.

This is the only aspect of the band I didn’t like. Even though it has a very pocket-friendly price, the screen is a major turn-off. It doesn’t do justice to all the other features that make this a very potent fitness tracker.

Lastly, the display is sufficiently big, but the notifications are hard to read. Pixels are very easily seen, and I’d have to pause and focus on the display to read the notifications. The process doesn’t feel natural, and while driving, the notifications are seldom easily visible. This kind of defeats the wearable’s purpose because it’s supposed to be an extension of my phone while I’m driving or riding. The text size cannot be changed.

It has some nifty features that come in very handy, like Raise To Wake, Watch Faces, Weather, and Alarms. It isn’t a smartwatch, so there’s no app store. But, you can select a watch face from a wide collection and even customize to your preference. This adds a convenient layer of personalization and doesn’t look old or boring.

What about fitness?

This is where things get interesting. Xiaomi has years of experience making inexpensive trackers, and this is clearly visible here. The Redmi Smart Band can accurately track your steps, distance, calorie burn, and heart rate. The small tracker is very accurate and gets the job done perfectly. It comes with five preloaded modes — outdoor running, walking, treadmill, cycling, and freestyle modes.

Sleep tracking is also very accurate and works flawlessly in the background. A cool feature is, the band can detect when it’s worn, and the heart rate sensor will work only when it’s on your wrist. So, if you remove it, the sensors won’t drain your battery. However, workouts will be tracked only if your phone is connected, so don’t forget to take along your phone everywhere. This isn’t a standalone wearable, and I wouldn’t expect one at this price. Lastly, it doesn’t have a swimming mode despite being water resistant.

The tracker connects to your phone via the Xiaomi Wear app, and it’ll compile all the information from the band simply and elegantly. The depth of displayed information is actually beneficial, and the app is seamless to use. The band supports Bluetooth 5.0 and works with any Android phone.

A more than decent battery life

Lastly, the Redmi Smart Band has a 130mAh battery that the company claims can last up to two weeks. While Xiaomi’s battery claims are usually spot-on, this tracker doesn’t even come close to the stated figure. It lasts me a week with notifications switched on and full-time heart rate tracking.

One week’s battery is honestly, very good. Especially when we compare it to a premium gadget like the Apple Watch, that barely gets you 24 hours. Even though the band doesn’t stand true to its claims, seven days is a perfectly fine time period and I don’t hold anything against the product. It doesn’t have an OLED display, so I’m pretty sure that’s where a majority of the electrons are headed!

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that’ll help you maintain your health regimen, the Redmi Smart Band is a very competent tracker that’ll never disappoint. The tracking is accurate, it has sufficient features, and the color display looks enticing.

However, if you’re looking for a general wearable for instant notifications and time, the Redmi Smart Band isn’t for you. The screen is pathetically bad in registering swipes and gets very annoying. Adding to this, notifications aren’t even easily visible under direct sunlight.

If you’re looking for an alternative, the Mi Smart Band 5 has just launched in the country. It comes with a heavier price tag, but definitely has more features and looks way more premium. In the same price bracket, the realme Band is a solid product because it doesn’t try to be as fancy as the Redmi Smart Band and gets all the basics done.

Entertainment

Netflix is pulling out Bridgerton sex scenes from porn sites

The actors involved are infuriated

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When Bridgerton launched on Netflix late last year, it had a simple premise: a raunchier Downton Abbey for the streaming generation. All things considered, the period drama fulfilled its promise, streaming to millions of accounts and proving itself one of the most successful titles on Netflix. However, the show’s spicier scenes are popping up where they shouldn’t be. And Netflix is mad.

As expected, Bridgerton’s sex scenes, featuring leading couple Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page, have started emerging on porn streaming sites. Devoid of any romantic context, the sensual snippets have bared the scenes for what they are: sex.

Naturally, the platform and the actors involved aren’t happy with both the piracy and the exploitation. According to an insider statement sent to UK outlet The Sun, “To peddle scenes as pure smut is beyond the pale. It’s been particularly distressing for Phoebe and Regé-Jean, two young actors who signed on for the role of a lifetime and did not consent to being exploited in this way.”

Netflix has its own agenda for the hunt. Technically speaking, the sex scenes, especially when uploaded on porn sites, are pirated. The platform can easily ask the domains to strip the content from the porn sites because of copyright law.

If you’re looking for Bridgerton scenes, you might want to log on to your Netflix account instead. The show is already streaming in its entirety — that is, until the second season comes out.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s ‘To All The Boys: Always and Forever’ is your Valentine’s Day treat

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Accessories

Oblio is a 2-in-1 UV-C sanitizer and wireless charging station

Keeping it clean stylishly

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Admit it or not, UV-C sterilizers and sanitizers are now revolutionizing our home and office spaces. At CES 2021, Lexon Design took cleaning accessories up a notch.

Introducing Oblio, this vase-like UV-C sanitizer helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria found on our smartphones. It has a built-in UV-C LED, which extinguishes the DNA of microorganisms found in viruses, mold, and germs.

Oblio is capable of extensive disinfection, sanitizing your device for a 20-minute cycle. Through lab testing, it has been proven effective to kill 99.9 percent of viruses, including H1N1.

Just like Samsung’s personal sanitizer, Oblio also lets you charge your devices wirelessly. With a 10W wireless charging capability, you can fully charge a smartphone in three hours. Additionally, it comes with an LED indicator. This is so you’ll know the charging status of your device inside.

But what sets it apart from other sanitizers? Apparently, Oblio’s meaning and design. The name Oblio means “forgot” in the native language of Italian designers Manuela Simonelli and Andrea Quaglio.

Its meaning echoes the accessory’s vase shape, ingeniously designed to help people disconnect — literally forgetting their smartphones so they can be more present.

Price and availability

Oblio sanitizes and charges all Qi-enabled smartphones, regardless if it’s iPhone or Android. The 2-in-1 accessory is already available at prominent retailers worldwide such as Best Buy, Nordstrom, MoMA Design Store in the US, Fnac Darty in Europe, and more.

It retails for US$ 79.90 and is available in four colors: White, Gold, Dark Blue, and Matt Black. You can get it through its official online store at Lexon Design.

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CES 2021

Hedgehog protects your smart home from cyber attacks

This homeware keeps people, data, and devices safe

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Protecting your home is more than just smart locks, CCTVs, and firewalls for your digital premises. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) or those appliances and devices that are becoming smarter, life has been easier. However, the price of convenience comes with the risk of a new threat: cyber attacks.

These days, both enterprises and homeowners must increase security at all levels. As such, we need an extra guardian. Meet Hedgehog, the “world’s first whole home” cybersecurity device.

Launched at CES 2021, Hedgehog was described as a home’s digital guardian, protecting the household from possible attacks that firewalls and anti-virus software can’t.

The digital guardian we need?

Unsure how you can possibly be attacked? Imagine if your smart fridge got hacked, or if your smart vacuum malfunctioned. How about if your smart locks break and make it possible for actual thieves to enter your home.

These situations aren’t far from happening in our reality. After all, cyber criminals are actively and increasingly targeting everyday people. Home networks are easy to target to access personal and corporate data, especially at an age where people are remotely working from home.

Hedgehog aims to protect the entire home and all IoT devices inside a network. From phones, fridges, PCs, speakers, webcams, tablets, and Smart TVs — basically anything that’s smart enough to use the Internet and make your life easier.

A smart, functional homeware

Despite being a digital guardian, Hedgehog doesn’t dismiss your existing firewalls and anti-virus software. Rather, it works alongside those security measures and other home security products, offering holistic protection. It simply shields all the people, devices, and networks within a home.

Even though it’s a smart piece of technology, designed to look like homeware. Its unassuming look helps it blends easily. It’s also smart enough to install itself and connect to an existing Wi-Fi connection.

And when it does, it watches the entire household, identifying anything suspicious, and alerts the home-owner via an app. It also neutralizes threats quickly and effectively, protecting both data and people.

Price and availability

The Hedgehog device and its annual subscription are available to pre-order at a discounted price of EUR 99 with no subscription fees. It’s available in two colors: Orange Belly and Midnight Blue. Get more information about the device and its offers through this link.

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