test : best sleep tracker next to AppleWatch ?

Question :

My AppleWatch is great. The only thing it doesn’t do, since you need to charge it every night, is sleep tracking.

Which sleep tracker would you recommend next to an AppleWatch ?

 

Answer :

If the only thing you really need is sleep tracking, I would still recommend an armband-like device. Armband-like sleep tracking devices are easier to carry around if you go on a business trip or holiday, they don’t require you to lie nearly still in your bed and they’re far less expensive than the other sleep tracking devices available. The only reason not to use an armband-like sleep tracking device is if you need extremely in-depth sleep tracking because of medical reasons.

Since you already own an AppleWatch and an iPhone (or iPad) to run the Watch-app on, you also have the iOS Health-app, so there isn’t any need for more than an extremely basic display on your sleep tracking armband device. Keep in mind that you don’t need a display while you’re sleeping, you can’t even use it during sleep…

Based on this observation, you’re best option is to choose the most basic and most affordable armband-like sleep tracker you can find. I’ve been testing these 2 side by side for a while now :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S : about €20 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP Move : about €15 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

As an alternative, you might also consider the “upgraded versions” :

Xaiomi MiBand 2 : about €35  : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP2 : about €40 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP3 : about €55 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Fitbit Flex 2 : about €85 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

But, in the end, if it’s mainly for sleep tracking, these “upgraded versions” are quite a bit more expensive, but still, keep in mind that they are only different in features that have no added value for you since you already have an AppleWatch.

Reasons to choose the MiBand 1S over the UP Move (or the other way around) :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the pros :

  • automatically detects whether you are sleeping or not
  • USB-rechargeable battery ; one charge last at least one month
  • good quality armband ; no traces of wear and tear even after extensive use
  • very nice iOS MiFit-app
  • can be worn all day
  • minimalistic design
  • can take over activity tracking and (manual !) heart rate measuring when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the cons :

  • maybe not as waterproof as claimed ; probably water-resistant or splash-proof at the most, but suitable for showering (maybe not for swimming)
  • quality of individual devices differs, some may only last for a month or so
  • reset includes strange ‘put it in the fridge’ procedure
  • if something doesn’t work there’s hardly any feedback to what’s wrong
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed
  • will irritate the skin when worn tightly (which is needed for heart rate measuring, but which you don’t need since you have an AppleWatch)

Jawbone UP Move – the pros :

  • easily exchangeable CR2032 cell battery ; will last up to 6 months per battery
  • very good iOS UP-app includes interactive coaching (sleep coaching also)
  • can be worn nearly all day (not for swimming or showering)
  • simple reset option (just take out the battery)
  • can take over activity tracking when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch (not heart rate measuring)

Jawbone UP Move – the cons :

  • switching to sleep tracking must be done manually
  • quality of the bracelet strap is dubious ; tends to break unrepairable after a few months
  • splash-proof only (not for showering)
  • design is slightly bulky compared to minimalistic armbands
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed

CONCLUDING :

Both the Xaiomi MiBand 1S and the Jawbone UP Move are great choices ar sleep trackers next to your AppleWatch. Personally, I slightly prefer the MiBand 1S because of the fact that it automatically switches to sleep tracking when you fall asleep.

Note :

There is a reason that both the newer Jawbone UP3 and the Fitbit Flex 2 have nearly the same design as the older MiBand 1S : this design is the ‘near perfect’ design for such a simple armband device. In my opinion, the only reason to prefer the Fitbit Flex 2 over the MiBand 1S is the fact that is is very well suited for swimming… but it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth the extreme price difference, especially if you already own an AppleWatch.

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