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.

Lifestyle

Amazon Kindle PaperWhite Signature Edition Review

The best Kindle for every bookworm?

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It’s been a while ever since the Amazon Kindle PaperWhite had a refresh. To be particular about it, its 10th-Generation model was released last 2018 — merely three years ago!

This 2021, the new 11th-Gen Kindle PaperWhite offers better upgrades including a larger and brighter display, as well as USB-C and wireless charging support.

But are those enough to make you upgrade? Or should you wait for the next version of Kindle Oasis instead?

Head over to our unboxing and in-depth review of the Amazon Kindle PaperWhite and watch it in 4K too.

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Health

Singapore’s LumiHealth celebrates 1 year with more wellness features

Apple keeping Singaporeans healthy

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Apple continues to make strides in the wellness department. The company has packed in more and more fitness and wellness features into its products. And they’re not done. In Singapore, Apple launched a holistic wellness program called LumiHealth. A year into the program, LumiHealth has helped its users build a healthy lifestyle for themselves.

As part of the country’s Smart Nation initiative. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board helped Apple create the program for individuals and businesses. The program includes several tracking and encouragement features like physical activity, mental wellbeing, sleep, nutrition, preventive screening, and vaccinations. It’s a program that keeps the current state of the pandemic in mind.

Since it launched back in October 2020, LumiHealth has been downloaded 200,000 times and delivered 7 million challenges to its users. Because of its success, the program is adding a few more features. Users will be able to access the new Healthy Weight Habits program: personalized nutrition and activity challenges designed for 30 days. Further, new referrer-based subscriptions will receive 10,000 points both for the user and the referrer.

Currently, the LumiHealth program is more tailored to Singapore. However, with Apple’s focus on wellness programs, it might not be a surprise that Apple eventually incorporates the same features in Apple’s other markets.

SEE ALSO: How to get a good night’s sleep

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Lifestyle

6 sexy gifts for your special someone

Forget mushy, make it spicy!

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sexy gifts
Illustrations by Kris Blanco

Forget rings and other common gifts that make your special someone mushy. Sex inevitably plays a key role in maintaining healthy relationships. Things get a little bit stale after a while, so make sure to spice it up.

Here are some sexy gifts that your special someone will surely appreciate (because you get to enjoy with them, too).

Massage candle

sexy gifts

Get in the mood when you light up Lelo’s Flickering Touch Massage Candle. It helps set the scene with its all-natural scent made of soy wax, shea butter, and apricot kernel oil.

You can turn those foreplays up a notch to heighten the tension.  It may get messy during petting, but that’s certainly the fun of it. Get heated and enjoy the sweat!

Coupon from a sex toy shop

Give the gift of freedom by sending your s/o with a coupon from a sex toy shop. For example, Lauvette. I was once gifted a coupon from the shop for my silver birthday, which I used to buy the cock ring that I’ve always liked.

Let your partner buy the toy that matches their preference and way of pleasure. After all, only you know what’s best for your body.

Couples’ cock ring

Cock rings don’t have to be just a ring. And they certainly don’t need to please only the one who’s doing the penetrating.

The We-Vibe Pivot is a waterproof, vibrating ring that stimulates both partners, aiming to serve a mind-blowing climax that will overwhelm all your senses.

Sex pillow

I can never stress enough how important a sex pillow is. And no, your ordinary pillows — be it from your bed or your couch — won’t make the cut for comfortable and pleasurable intercourse. The Liberator Whirl helps control the thrusts and penetration by rolling at different speeds.

Also, the Whirl looks unassuming with its bolster shape so you can cuddle it and still be discreet. It can be good for your back, too!

Massage Gun

sexy gifts

Anything that vibrates can easily be a sex toy, and that is the case for Theragun Mini — which comes in a Rose Gold colorway. However, don’t think the wrong way: I’m not asking you to use the massage gun for your holes in lieu of an actual vibrator or massager.

The Theragun Mini can help relieve muscle stiffness so you can relax and let loose, so you can perform strenuous positions that really stretch your body. Plus point if you can use the massage gun to stimulate your erogenous zones like the inner thigh, neck, or even your sacrum (that small portion of your back by the spine). Thank me later, folks!

Eye Mask

sexy gifts

Anyone who loves comfort and pleasure will never say no to an eye mask, especially if it looks bold and raunchy, like Sensara’s Eye Mask Jacquard. While you can have a pretty serene sleep, this eye mask can help elevate your sexual experiences to the next level.

Having an eye mask with a velvet-y or silky material can be quite sexy and sensual. It allows you to heighten your senses and focus on touch, smell, and sound — and maybe let your imagination run wild. I’m talking BDSM if you don’t get it.

SEE ALSO: This stimulating ring is divine, I can’t imagine date nights without it | 6 sex toys to help women achieve pleasure like no other

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