So let’s get right into the unboxing, we get the band in a small box with transparent front covering which allows us to see the band in black color. Some features are also mentioned on the front of the box.
On the back of the box we have some more features and specs on the band. It also shows an image of the application that we need in order to store the data and its compatibility with iOS 7.0+ and Android 4.3+.
Inside the box, the band is held inside a plastic container with some labels informing us about the battery usage. And also inside the box was the instruction manual.
Removing the top covering reveals the charging cable that wasn’t visible because of the battery label on the front. The charging cable is really small in my opinion. They should’ve gone with larger cables.
And that’s how the watch actually looks like. The screen is covered with plastic to prevent any unwanted scratches. The whole band is in black color. The strap is made up of light weight rubber material which also makes it easier to keep it in one position on your hand.
The clipping part of the band consists of around 13 holes and a metal/steel lock. The metal part of the lock consists of 2 pointers that lock inside the holes. So having 13 holes on the band means you have plenty of room for slim to healthy hands.
If you were wondering how is the Activ+ charged, you can snap out the screen from the band by pealing it a little bit from the side and applying force to remove it from the band. Doing so will reveal the microUSB port on the side of the screen.
Removing the screen from the band also unveils the button that is used to toggle through trackers.
To power up the Nuband, make sure to charge the Nuband, and press down the button for a while to power it up. The Nuband Activ+ has a digital LCD, it shows the times and counts in numbers. First press on the navigational buttons shows the time and charge remaining. Also, the band I have has green LED colors, the new once that are being sold now have blue LED color which look more attractive and are easily to look at in sunny days.
Second press on the button shows the steps you’ve taken.
Third press shows the distance you’ve traveled.
Fourth press shows the amount of calories you’ve burned.
And fifth press shows the goal you’ve achieved set in the Nuband application.
Double tapping the button will take the watch in sleeping mode. During this period the watch will track your sleep timing. And if any of the readers have sleep walking habit, I’m sorry but the watch doesn’t count steps in sleeping mode ;) Also the watch comes back in active mode itself if you’re walking for a while without changing the mode.
The Nuband Activ+ is really lightweight that if you have a habit of wearing watch, you won’t even feel it there. The rubber straps also help in keeping the band at a stationary position. And the 13 holes on the strap make it easier to be worn by people of different health. So in comfortability, there’s no cons to be mentioned.
The battery timing on the Nuband Activ+ is amazing. It just takes about 1:30-2 hours to charge from 0%-100% and lasts more than 10 days. Which means you won’t have the trouble of charging the band again and again in short periods.
Nuband Activ+ is also splash proof. I’ve worn the watch and have washed my hands many times and there doesn’t seems to be any malfunctions so far. Though I won’t take it deep underwater as they warns us not to take it more than 33 feet deep in water.
The Nuband is fairly accurate on the tracking. I’ve taken steps and count them manually and with the watch and they have a margin of error about +-3 usually. It depends on how you move. The watch uses a accelerometer that tracks the steps with the motion of hands swinging when we take steps. So if you have the hand in your pocket while moving, the watch just wouldn’t track any steps at all. About the distance and calories burned, we can’t be so sure because we might hitch a ride off of a friend or travel in our own transport which will make the watch unable to tell the total distance or the calories burned in different activates. But it only shows the distance travelled and calories burned while on foot.
The smart alarm lets you set the watch to vibrate at a specific time giving you a hint you’ve got to do some task at the specific time. No, the application does not let you set the task in the application so you have to brainstorm and remember what task you had to perform at that time. Also I consider the smart alarm to be quite useless as a wakeup alarm. The alarm is set using the Application; the alarm goes off as a vibration on the watch which is pretty much unnoticeable when you’re in deep sleep. You won’t even feel the watch vibrating in deep sleep. So if I were you, I wouldn’t trust on the smart alarm of the Active+ for waking me up in the morning.
Application and Reports:
The Nuband application is available for both iOS (7.1+) and Android (4.3+) devices on itunes and googleplay. Launching the application first time, takes you to the My Profile tab if I’m right where you can set your weight/height/age and gender. Doing so will provide you a better calculation of calories burned. On the same tab you can opt to show the time on Activ+ in 24 hours or 12 hours’ format and also to change the language. At the bottom we can see 3 different tabs as, currently we are in setting tab and we’ll look into the other two in a while.
Pressing back takes you to the setting tab in full form. From here, first of all, you can change the standard of calculations from imperial to metric (Feet to cm, pound to KG) and further down, you can set the workout goals of the steps you want to take, set smart alarm which vibrates on the time you’ve set which isn’t really useful for waking you up but might be a good feature for reminding you to do something while awake. The reminder settings is the feature which lets you know to do some activity after being inactive for the time you’ve set like 1 or 2 hours. Going further down we have useful tips or FAQs and instructions that are mentioned right into the application so you don’t really need a manual and then we also have the About Us tab.
Now to use the Activ+, first you need to sync the band with the application to match the timing and profiles and distance unit. To do so, enable the Bluetooth on your device (or the application will ask you to do so anyways) and press the circular button which somewhat refresh like logo on the application and press the navigation button on the band on after another. The Band will now sync with the profile and time set on the application. In case you fail to sync, try a few more times as there’s some bug that shows timeout error.
Now once you’ve synced the watch with the profile and time, you’re ready to go out with the band. Take a walk or play some sports or run after a dog for no reason. As you progress through the day, you can keep track of your tracks by using the navigation button on the watch. And once you’re done with the day and about to sleep, you can sync the band with the application to see the detailed report of your day by going to the history tab in the application.
The history shows how many steps you’ve taken at a specific hour, total distance, the hours of activity and calories you’ve burned. It also shows you the hours you’ve slept through the day. In the closer look section, I’ve demonstrated how you take the Activ+ in sleeping mode and that’s where the sleeping data comes from. You can also watch the reports of other days or watch the report as in week, month or year. Pretty awesome to know how much you walk while doing a specific activity as the application shows the history in steps/time graph.
User Experience and Conclusion:
The Nuband Activ+ does it’s job well as it was supposed to be. You have the counts of your steps tracked pretty accurately including the calories you’ve burned and distance you’ve traveled while walking. The Reminder alarm is a great feature as well which keeps you reminding that you’ve been inactive for “X” hours and need to move. The real problem begins with the habit of wearing the watch and having it switch between modes.
Mostly at nights, before I go to bed, I’d usually forget to switch to band mode to sleeping. That leads the watch to have no track on my sleep timing, that’s why I’ve also mentioned the result with 0 hour sleep. That’s not a big concern really as you can just have a look at the watch before sleeping and measure the time after waking up, also if you’ve got a scheduled sleep timing then there’s no need to worry about it. The second concern was that if I’ve switch the watch in sleep mode at night, I’d usually forget to switch the watch in active mode when I wake up :D
Well that’s not a big issue as the watch switches to active mode itself if you’re walking for 5-10 minutes, but it won’t count the steps for that time. So if you think you can make a habit of switching the modes at night and morning, then this might be a perfect watch for tracking your sports activity and keeping a tab on your calories.