OPPO is betting that the Continuous SpO2 monitoring feature on its all-new fitness band sets it apart from its competitors.

Oppo fitness band with white strap
Atom Review Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 18:46

SpO2 monitoring. If you asked most folks in 2019 about this wellness feature you might have elicited a blank look. But not in a post-COVID world, where monitoring blood oxygen saturation or SpO2 tracking has become a key wellness metric. It’s not just a big part of the sales pitch for many smartwatches (the Apple Watch 6 included), even old-school pulse oximeters are being used in many spaces like gyms to track customers. The fitness band segment – especially the budget end of the spectrum, is one of the most crowded gadget categories right now. OPPO is betting big on Continuous SpO2 monitoring to break the clutter, with its all-new fitness band. But that’s not the only reason this band has our attention.

It begins with the band’s style quotient. It’s not an expression that one associates with budget fitness trackers, where most customers put the price tag above all other purchase considerations. This is an elegant tracker that gets its oomph from the metal buckle that clasps the display. OPPO’s ‘Style’ suffix is not an exaggeration. Our review unit featured a vanilla coloured strap that complements the metal band. OPPO also bundles an extra all-black band with its own case that allows you to accessorise. There’s also a choice of over 40 watch faces to add to its design appeal. A tiny display means that not all these watch faces play out well but still there’s enough on offer to keep you engaged.

Set up is quite a breeze. The device currently only works with Android devices though. You need to grab the Hey Tap Health App to get this device going. I tried this out with an OPPO and Samsung device and it worked well. The user interface on the app is not too cluttered but this is where brands like Fitbit still have the edge with a UI that’s more easy on the eye. You get most of the standard fitness band options in ‘connected’ mode. This includes text and call notifications, weather updates, music and camera controls aside from custom watch faces.

OPPO offers the option of tweaking the brightness of the 1.1-inch AMOLED display (126 x 294 pixels). This is one of the more vibrant displays at this price point with excellent visibility in all lighting conditions. Even though I set the brightness levels close to maximum, the band didn’t disappoint in our battery life tests. After a week’s usage, our tests validate OPPO’s 12-day battery life claim.

The band’s big USP – Continuous SpO2 monitoring worked quite well. You do have the option of ‘On-demand’ SpO2 readings where you need to follow the same drill like the other wearables that includes placing your hand on a flat surface and holding still. The band constantly keeps a tab on your blood oxygen levels that you can view on the Hey Tap Health App. OPPO claims that the band runs non-stop SpO2 monitoring (28,800 times) during an eight-hour sleep cycle. That’s not the only wellness metric that is monitored constantly; there’s also continuous heart monitoring aside from sleep tracking.

This band has other features that you’d expect from a fitness-focused wearable in 2021. There’s a choice of 12 workout modes (we think the Cricket mode is a cool India-focused option) and 5ATM water resistance. But aside from these features it’s the form factor and the SpO2 feature that make the OPPO Band Style a solid contender in the budget fitness band segment. 

The OPPO Band Style costs Rs 2,999.

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