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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fixed : how to charge Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse ?

Question :

The Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse seems a great product, but I can’t get it to work.
It seems to come straight from Asia, as the user manual is in Chinese only.
Luckily scanning the QR-code that’s in de manual downloaded the Mi Fit-app, and since the app is in English figuring out how it works was easy.

Only problem was that the app doesn’t include directions on knowing how to charge and when the battery is full…

…the battery pre-charge it came with lasted for less than an hour, so it turned out that the first thing I have to do is charge it…

How do I know ? How can I check ?

 

Answer :

The Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse (a.k.a. Xiaomi Mi Band 1S) is a very high-value-for-money activity tracker indeed. It’s not an extremely accurate top-quality activity monitor, sleep monitor or heart rate monitor, but at this moment it can be considered as the best low-budget activity tracker for people who would normally use the iOS Health app because they want to stimulate themselves into moving or exercising more and want to keep track of their activity during swimming, sporting, exercising and sleeping, even when they can’t keep their iPhones with them.

Secret Trick #1 : Charging :

  • just take the sensor from the bracelet
  • put it in the USB-charging cable the right way round
  • hook it up to a powered USB-port or charger (not included)
  • wait for all 3 leds to light up continuously

Secret Trick #2 : The Missing Manual :

Secret Trick #3 : resetting the Mi Band Pulse / Mi Band 1S :

Secret Trick #4 : try the continuous heart rate app also :

Secret Trick #5 : use it with the iOS Health app also :

  • install the Mi Fit app first and make sure it works with your iPhone
  • then, open the Health app on your iPhone
  • in the Dashboard screen, click on the “Sources” button on the bottom side
  • on the next page click on “Mi Fit”
  • then on the next page choose which data you want to sync between Health app and Mi Fit app
  • then click “Health Data” at the bottom, next to “Sources”
  • then repeat the following for each type of data you want to exchange between the Mi Fit app and Health app :
    • for Sleep Analysis sharing, choose “Sleep” –> “Sleep Analysis” –> “Show on Dashboard” & “Share Data” –> “DATA SOURCES: Mi Fit” –> delete any individual data that you don’t want taken into account
    • for Weight sharing, choose “Body Measurements” –> “Weight” –> “Show on Dashboard” & “Share Data” –> “DATA SOURCES: Mi Fit” –> delete any individual data that you don’t want taken into account
    • for Heart Rate sharing, choose “Vitals” –> “Heart Rate” –> “Show on Dashboard” & “Share Data” –> “DATA SOURCES: Mi Fit” –> delete any individual data that you don’t want taken into account

That’s it 😉

enjoy !

Note/update : there seems to be a German language unofficial manual for the similar Mi Band (so not the Mi Band S1 Pulse), that you can get here :

Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

A preview excerpt of this book (which might give you some answers also) can be found here :

Google Books preview – Xiaomi Mi Band – Anleitung, Tipps & Tricks – das inoffizielle Handbuch

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