No.1 proudly introduced its first smartband in the market, the No.1 F1. The fitness band is marketed by the company as a better alternative to the popular affordable band of Xiaomi, the Mi Band 2. If you are a fan of Xiaomi and you are not familiar with the No.1 company, you might say No.1 is just making a marketing stunt, and just like other wearable company, No.1’s entry on fitness band will fall short against the Mi Band 2.
But if you happen to be familiar with the No.1 products, I think you will agree with me that last year 2016, No.1 released several great products in the market, with the affordable price and having a good specs and features. This is the reason why I think that No.1 might have a chance to make the No.1 F1 popular, the new fitness band the “No.1 F1 Smartband”. Well we have one in our arsenal and we will introduced some of its pros and cons its features and specs, to help you decide for yourself whether it really is a good contender for the best and affordable smartband in the market.
Design and its Screen
Instead of going with a much slimmer profile, No.1 goes with a much wide and thick body. The smartband measures, 42.5 x 51 x 10.5 mm, it weighs 30 grams with stainless steel body and a proprietary silicon strap.
It is a bit heavy compared to Mi band 2, but its ok, I don’t mind the bit of weight during work-out in exchange with a wide screen and larger battery capacity. The curved body makes it comfortable to wear. The band has a solid built and looks durable than Mi Band 2 or Zeband 2, it is IP68 waterproof and dustproof rating. No.1 even showed a demo video of the band submerged under water for 30 minutes and it is still working, assuring the fans that the F1 is not just waterproof in writing.
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The band uses a regular stainless steel that locked tightly compared to Mi Band 2 that is pin button type which is easily unlocked in extreme movement and workouts. Comparing it with other band in the market, in terms of the design, it is pretty similar to Garmin Vivo Fit HR, the body, the strap and as well the buckle. Just like it, the No.1 looks rugged and tough, it is really is a band for sports.
The smartband display is 0.91” inch OLED screen, it has wide screen and displays several information, it is just not about telling time but also shows battery stats, Bluetooth connectivity, time and date. The screen display is clear and the text is sharp indoor, but outdoor the readability is poor, I have to occasionally cover the screen with my hand just to see the information. What I like about the band is its two touch key point on both side of the screen which makes it easy to select and switch the options, both are responsive, there is also a physical button on one side of the band use to turn on or off the screen.
Under the Hood: Sensors, Battery, Features
The fitness band features a heart rate monitor, which has an option to monitor your heart rate both in dynamic or static. So far when it comes to accuracy, the HRM provide close count of heart beat, with just +or -3 difference, that is if you measure your heart rate in idle mode, but when I’m in constant movement, just like other fitness band the calculation is a way off.
Well for the pedometer, sadly it did not provide an accurate calculation, not even close, most of the time it is not counting, even if I already started walking; I even intentionally marched just to test its accuracy. I’m not sure if there is an error in the band’s sensor or whether it’s a software related (algo issue). In fact I tested it several times along with other fitness band that I have, and at the same time counting manually and the result is still the same, of course when the pedometer did not work as expected, the distance counter as well as calorie counter is also showing false measurement. For those who have the No.1 F1 smartband please feel free to comment below if you experienced the same issue.
Other tracking features of the watch, includes a sedentary reminder, which works good, sleep monitoring, that is able to detect your deep sleep, light sleep or awake. Surprisingly it was able to detect the time I sleep, as well as when I woke up, it somewhat accurate in this area, tested the band for 3-4 days and so far it works as advertise. Well for the deep sleep and light sleep, I am not an expert with how it works; just leave it to the professionals.
No.1 states that the F1 has 100 days of standby time, 3 to 4 times longer than most of the fitness band in the market. With its 230 mAh battery and a power saving hardware, I think it is possible. I just can’t provide an exact estimate on this, after almost two weeks of usage, as the fitness band shows a bar only, instead of percentage. (I will just update you when the band finally runs out of juice). I hope No.1 will update its firmware or the support app showing the battery percentage, instead of just graphical bar interface which provide limited information of the current battery status to the user.
App Support and Options
As I have said before the biggest issue with these Chinese made wearables is the support app for smartphone, we used several wearables before, and they have a good hardware and features, but it still fell short compared to the likes of Fitbit, Jaw bone and Garmin, this is due to the support app. Most Chinese fitness band are using a third party application, yes they work with the wearable but the connection is not stable, and most of the time they lack additional features and options, there is also an issue of app updates. Xiaomi is already familiar with this limitation, and decided to create a dedicated app for its line of wearables, making it successful. Well for the No.1 F1 smartband, it’s a good thing that they have a dedicated app for the fitness band, its current version is 1.0.1 as the time of this writing.
It’s the first version but No.1 already loaded it with several features. When you opened the app, it automatically sync with your smartband. But sometimes annoying message appears” Wear wristband properly and try again” although I’m wearing the band it the right way, but it seldom occurs. There are three focused stats, the Sport section where distance, calories burned is located includes charts. Sleep monitoring and the heart rate monitor. On the settings, you can set-up the band to receive notifications like call SMS, social app notifications, update the firmware as well as connect the statistics to your Apple Health (iOS).
Notifications and Conclusion
Well talking about the notifications, the No.1 F1 shows a message icon when someone texted you, it includes the name of the sender with a message icon, for the incoming call it features a caller ID, this feature was just recently implemented by Xiaomi to its Mi Band 2 with its recent update, but with No.1 F1 it has this feature already. For the social media integration, it’s a miss for the F1 as when you get a Twitter, Facebook or other social app notifications, the band only shows a general icon and doesn’t state whether what social app notified you.
I guess this could be address by a firmware or app update. So far, on the app you can only activate or deactivate the option “More App Reminders”. Additional options include “Find Band”, “Shake to Take Selfie”, “Sedentary Reminder” and “Alarm”. Before I forget, I wonder why No.1 did not include the flip wrist to wake feature to the F1, I think it is a very important feature where I don’t have to touch the screen just to check for the time. It’s tiresome to touch the key or button every time that I have to check for the time.
The band has some hit and misses, but I think most of the issues could be address by a firmware or app update (hope so). The update will not be an issue as No.1 has its own dedicated app for No.1 F1, updating it or pushing a firmware update is easy. So far No.1 did a good job with the app despite that it is the first version, the UI is basic not that professional looking especially on the chart section but it does the job. Price wise, it is one of the most affordable fitness band in the market, well for the feature, as I have said there are pros and cons, it is up to you to decide whether it’s a big issue or not. Anyways see the full specifications here or watch our video below for more information about the No.1 F1 smartband.