The Zebronics Zeb-Fit500 and GOQii bands are affordable fitness wearables & are well suited for newbies. But, which one offers more bang for your buck?
There’s no denying the fact that most of us follow hectic schedules, running hither and dither day in and day out. It would seem that every day we’ve got a million things to do but, sadly, for a majority of us, taking care of own selves - staying fit and healthy that is – is not on our priority list. And, guilty as charged, I am also a part of the same brigade.
For a very long time, I had been thinking to get a fitness band for myself but, for some or the other reason I had been giving it a miss. As luck would have it, though, Zebronics delivered its latest fitness band, the Zeb-Fit500 to our office one fine day. I quickly volunteered to review the device since I was looking to buy one anyway. However, just when I was getting the hang of this fitness band business, another device, called the GOQii, was sent to our office for testing. Since both these bands are affordable entry-level devices that are aimed at first timers – like me – it was decided that I review both the devices. It was as if you wait ages for a bus to arrive, and then suddenly two come along at once…
Since I got my hands on the Zeb-Fit500 first, I’ll start with its performance report before the GOQii. The Zeb-Fit band is offered in three colour options – Red, Blue and Black – and features an OLED display. I got the one with the red band and it looked sleek and funky. As for its functions, it shows heart rate, steps, distance travelled, calories burnt, active minutes and sleep monitor. You can switch between these through a touch-sensitive button on the screen. All of the features work flawlessly and I found the display to be crisp and easy to read. The heart rate monitor calculates BPM every five minutes and stores the data – which you can view on the Zeb-Fit app anytime within 7 days’ time. It also calculates BPM when you’re exercising or jogging, giving you a real time figure. The pedometer works fine as well, albeit when you’re in a car or riding a motorcycle, there’s an error in the steps read out – for example, my office commute is around 25km one way, and I used to see the step count increase by around 500-600 steps during the commute.
There’s also a watch while the device sends call and message alerts once it’s paired to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The device comes with a clip-on type charger, which I thought was quite flimsy to handle. However, since it has a good battery life of around 7-10 days, you don’t have to be dealing with the charger all the time.
After using the Zeb-Fit band for a couple of days, I switched to the GOQii. On the face of it, it has similar features on offer – heart rate monitor, steps, distance covered, calories burnt and sleep monitor. It also sends call/text alerts and there’s a dedicated app as well. However, there’s one area where the GOQii trumps the Zeb-Fit. You see, when you buy this device, you also get a subscription for personal coaching services. And it’s not a bot – you get a real coach who checks on your fitness regime and gives you feedback based on the data shared via the device, or through the information you share using the app. Truth be told, I had been super lazy and didn’t regularly update the data. My trainer, however, kept track of my activities regardless and virtually every day I’d get a message from her, encouraging me to get up and going.
Among things that I don’t like about the GOQii, the device doesn’t seem to be as accurate as the Zeb-Fit500, especially the step count. It shows an error or around 1,000 steps during the same office commute. Also, if the device is not connected to your phone via Bluetooth but your phone’s Bluetooth is on, it keeps on buzzing as if pestering you to connect to the phone. You can turn it off, but it really bugged me. Thankfully, though, the GOQii comes with a USB-type charger – you can just plug the device directly to your laptop or phone charger, it doesn’t need a separate cable. However, compared to the Zeb-Fit500, I found it runs out of battery sooner – a full charge only lasts for 6 days or so.
All told, both the devices work well for newbies. As far as the performance of these devices is concerned, I’d pick the Zeb-Fit500 over the GOQii. That said, the GOQii has more benefits as it comes with a personal trainer and is a lot cheaper – my GOQii device combined with a 6 months subscription plan only costs Rs.2,999, whereas the Zeb-Fit500 is priced at Rs.3,999.