Whether you’re trying to get fit, just increase your daily step count, or trying to keep an eye on your sleep patterns – there’s a fitness tracker out there for everyone. YAMAY’s offering comes in at the budget end of the spectrum whilst still providing some of the mid-range functionality. I’ve been on the lookout for a cheap, yet sturdy, fitness tracker since I broke my original Fitbit Flex.
- TPE strap (plastic/rubber)
- All-in-one design – no removable parts, lowering the risk of breakage
- Heart rate sensor
- 12/24 time display
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- Rechargeable 70mAh Li-Po battery
- 7 – 15 days stand-by time (dependent on use)
- 0.49″ B&W OLED screen
- Phone notifications for SMS, Calls, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- Notify when phone is out of range
Design and build quality
The YAMAY HR Fitness Tracker is pretty well built. The wristband is made out of TPE, which is essentially a combination of rubber and plastic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means the band is flexible yet hard-wearing. The band clips together using two “pins” as opposed to a standard watch-style clasp. It can be a bit of a pain to get on, but once you get the hang of it you’ll have no issue whipping it on and off once a week to charge.
The main body of the fitness tracker is actually built in to the band and is non-removable (unless you go at it with a small screwdriver). With fitness trackers, you typically find that the main body of the tracker has to be removed to be charged. This allows them to keep slim and modern designs and also allows you to swap wristbands as and when. However, this does mean that you have to snap/bend/mash the tracker in and out of the band on a regular basis – which, overtime causes issues due to the gradual misshaping of the band.
On the rear side of the device, you find the heart-rate sensor and the two pin power connector. The power connector work pretty well, clicking firmly into place and I’ve had absolutely no issues with putting the device on charge. Once clicked in, that’s it – it’s charging!
The screen on the YAMAY is pretty small. At 0.49″ and black and white only, it’s not going to be competing for any awards. However, it’s basic functionality is pretty good! The fact that the screen is an OLED means that everything displayed on the screen is clear and easy to read – even in direct sunlight.
There are two buttons on the tracker: on the right hand side there is a physical, clicky button and in the centre of the front of the device there is a capacitive touch button. Both provide the same functionality, with the physical button’s only different being that it can put the device into “Ultra Standby Mode”.
The YAMAY HR Fitness tracker does a pretty good job of counting steps and monitoring heart rate. After a week of use, I found that the step count was accurate and pretty close to that of my iPhone (although my iPhone had less steps recorded due to the fact that I don’t ALWAYS have it with me). The heart rate monitor is one that’s a bit trickier to compare, however based on my usual resting heart rate, the YAMAY was never far off (2 – 3 bpm tops).
One thing to note is that the YAMAY displays “Distance” as one of the screens. I have distance in quotes as it’s not accurate in the slightest and I’m not really sure how they calculate the distance, although I’m assuming they have a preset “step length” and simply multiply the number of steps you do by that length. It’s also a very similar case when it comes to the “Calorie Counter” – take these figures with a handful of salt.
I don’t keep devices on at night as I generally find I wake up in the morning with pins-and-needles in my hand, however the YAMAY does include sleep tracking functionality as well as alarm functionality. The alarm is the “silent”/”don’t wake your partner” type, that gently vibrates your wrist to annoy you into consciousness.
Other general functionality that is quite useful is the displaying notifications that occur on your phone. The YAMAY is able to pass-through SMS notifications, incoming calls, WhatsApp notifications, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media notifications. The YAMAY can also notify you if you’ve been sat still for too long, encouraging you to get up and increase that step count! There’s also an “Anti-Lost” feature – a.k.a. your tracker has disconnected from your phone’s Bluetooth, likely due to you having gone out of range.
The app is fairly well designed, if not a little cluttered/pushed towards the bottom. When initially launching, I felt like there were a fair amount of figures being thrown at me, some of which I didn’t really care about or want to see. There’s not really any customisability in terms of the app and its layout – you see everything all at once in the three main tabs. Whilst I appreciate this is what a lot of people will want to see, I wouldn’t mind the ability to have a couple of key metrics, then scroll to see the in-depth figures.
Once you get used to navigating to the areas of the app you want, the experience is pretty smooth. The only area the app seems to bog down/get confused is when you try to amend some of the extra features/functionalities of the wristband. I found that everytime I turned an option on or off, the app would display a loading icon for what seemed like an age. Eventually, the device would complete it’s 100% sync (it would sync the entire device and data each time, not just the new feature) and I’d be able to continue to enable or disable something else. In an ideal world, I’d like to see this changed so that the only thing that syncs when enabling/disabling functionality is the functionality. This would drastically improve general UX and give the impression of speediness!
There’s no denying though, the app is very cleanly built and easy enough to navigate! Colour choice is good and options stand out and functionality is pretty obvious.
To summarise, the YAMAY HR Fitness Tracker is a great device with some incredibly useful extra functionality. The ability to see who is calling you without having to get your phone out of your armband whilst running, or the ability to track your sleeping patterns is great. When you take into account the cost of devices that have similar functionality, but with a well-known brand name – the YAMAY is a solid and competitive product and incredibly attractively priced.
At £15 to £20 ($20 – $25), I can’t really find much to fault here. Despite my grumbles about the app being a little “all or nothing” in terms of the data you see, I guess most people want to see those figures – it’s the nature of the device! I’d also like to see the ability to set custom stride lengths, in an effort to try and make the “Distance” figures slightly more correct.
In reality though, the device is sturdily built, and strong enough that I wouldn’t worry about wearing it wherever I go (although I’d keep it well away from water!). It’s also not too significant of an eyesore – it is a little chunky when compared to some other fitness trackers, however it fits well on the wrist and doesn’t stand out!
I also really like that you only have to charge the device once every 7 – 10 days dependent on your usage. If you’re receiving tonnes of notifications through it, then expect less time. I don’t think the wristband will replace your smartwatch any time soon, but it’s functionality is definitely pretty useful and saves you wearing both!