Fitness trackers are quickly becoming a dime a dozen. Or at least that is how it is starting to feel, as this is one of the fastest-emerging markets with a number of new additions becoming available over the last twelve months. Of course, the benefit of such an abundance of new arriving tech is that consumers are given the option to choose a device which better suits their needs and also their budget. However, there is still the issue that you have to aim for a high-priced item for the best fitness trackers or agree to a limited level of functionality by aiming low with the cost. One newer arrival though is looking to bridge the difference by offering a highly-informative fitness tracker that won't break the bank. This is the Hesvit S3 Smart Band and priced at $99.99.
The Hesvit S3 smart band comes equipped with a number of sensors and offers feedback on barometer pressure, calories, heart rate, mileage, sleep duration, steps, wrist humidity, wrist skin temperature and wrist temperature. Connections are made using Bluetooth 4.0 and the smart band is compatible with Android devices running 4.4 (KitKat) or higher. The Hesvit S3 smart band comes powered by a 60 mAh battery which is said to offer between 7 and 10 days worth of usage. While in terms of its physical properties, the Hesvit S3 measures 9.4-inches in length, 0.9-inches in width, 0.3-inches in height and weighs in at 0.031 KG. Last but not least, the Hesvit S3 smart band is available in black, blue and white color options.
Hardware & Design
When it comes to the design of the Hesvit S3 smart band, there is not exactly any major design awards to be won. In fact, the Hesvit S3 looks very much like a traditional fitness tracking band. Which in truth, is probably not a bad thing. A sheer majority of smart bands adopt a similar design, as it is a design which works. So on that note, there are no major issues with the Hesvit S3 band, although there is nothing majorly positive or unique - design-wise - to commend the Hesvit S3 with.
The main aspect of the Hesvit S3 consists of the screen which is positioned dead center on the band. The display is accompanied by rubberized straps falling away on either side. This is a fitness tracker which makes use of a smartwatch-style clasp which also allows for the ability of the smart band to be adjusted to fit different size wrists. The Hesvit S3 is listed as offering a strap adjustment of between 150 and 230 mm. While this does offer a decent level of adjustment, it was noted that the main body of the tracker is a little on the big side - so this might not be the most tight-fitting for those who have a very small wrist. For the majority of users though, the level of adjusting should be more than enough to offer a tight enough and comfortable fit.
Positioned just below the main screen is a single button. In spite of the generally low functionality of the Hesvit S3, this button does act as a hot key button for all of the limited features that are on offer. So for instance, quick pressing the button activates a backlight so that you can better see the display in more light-sensitive conditions. Pressing the button for about two seconds will activate the heart rate monitor and record your heart rate for the present time. Holding down the button for about ten seconds will allow for you to edit aspects like the time, manually. Moving on and much of the rest of the design is rather generic. On the side of the smart band you will find the charge point which comes in the form of a microUSB slot. While underneath, is where you will find the main sensor point, which is made up of multiple smaller sensors which read the various levels of information on offer including heart rate.
Software & App
When it comes to the software, there is both very little and a lot going on with the Hesvit S3 smart band. One of its big selling points is that the Hesvit S3 makes use of only one visible screen. This does mean that for those who like a more interactive approach to their wearables, this might be seen as a disadvantage as the S3 is not a directly interactive device. There is no touchscreen and the first page you are seeing is pretty much all there is.
That said, for a device which comes boasting only one view, it is an extremely comprehensive view on offer. The display is largely split up into four horizontal sections. The first is essentially the 'device' section and displays the time and the current battery status of the device. The second section is more to do with exercise monitoring and shows steps made, calories burned, mileage and also the most recent sleep duration count. The third section looks at the biological aspects and highlighting the heart rate and the skin wrist temperature. In terms of the heart rate monitor, this can be checked or updated at any point by simply holding down the hot key at any time. Holding down for a couple of seconds will start the unit flashing and during this stage the heart rate is measured. While the last section looks to identify external or environmental factors, including the likes of 'skin humidity' as well as general 'environment humidity' and 'barometric pressure'.
So while the functionality of the Hesvit S3 is rather limited, the onscreen information is extremely detailed and during testing, this actually proved to be a very useful way to use a fitness tracker. You never have to deal with flipping from screen to screen or pressing any buttons. All the information you need, is right there, in view, all of the time. Of course, like virtually all fitness trackers, the Hesvit S3 smart band is fully compatible with Android devices and there is an app which can be downloaded from the Play Store for free. For those running iOS, there is also an iOS app which can be downloaded too.
For those who do like to press and see various screens, then the app is very much more in line with what you would expect. The app makes use of a minimal look, but is extremely easy to navigate and easy to initially set up.
Like the actual smart band, the first and main screen displays all of the same info you find on the actual smart band for easy viewing. This page also highlights the current battery level remaining on the smart band with all the one-page data updating each time the app is opened. As this primarily works as a standalone device, syncing of data does only occur during app opening and is not offered in a real-time updating format.
However, clicking any of the tabs will open more detailed and comparative data. In the more in-depth view, data is shown initially for the current day including a time breakdown of when each step or calorie was earned. However, clicking any of the tabs at the time will open up longer term comparisons for the week and the month.
Likewise, as the Hesvit S3 is able to provide analysis of sleep duration, the information again is displayed in much the same fashion with the main screen offering a breakdown of your nightly sleep including identifying at which times (and for how long) you experienced deep sleep. Once again, the app also offers the option to view sleep data on a weekly or monthly basis.
The same breakdown is also pretty much on offer with each of the other monitored aspects, so for instance, you can compare your wrist skin temperature, barometer pressure, heart rate and so on.
Overall, the reason the Hesvit S3 has been designed to offer this all-in-view look, is that this is a fitness tracker which does not need to be connected to a smartphone to work. As all the info is recorded on the screen, you can use use this as a standalone wearable and still see all your vital information. By being capable of working in a standalone fashion, the Hesvit S3 does essentially offer the best of both worlds, as you do not have to rely on a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. You can leave your phone at home and still use the Hesvit S3 without any issue. Perfect for when you are off to the gym or out for a run. While at the gym, you will have all your information you need in-view and once you return home and open the app, the two devices sync up and all your remote information is recorded. This proved to be of one of the most useful features of the Hesvit S3 as it does give you the freedom and full tracking experience without needing to have a connected device present.
Although it is worth mentioning that there are times when this can become problematic. For instance, if the battery dies in between app syncing, there is no way for the device to store the information locally. Once you power the band back up, you will have lost any and all data since your last sync. So while it does offer a remote ability to be used on its own, you do need to ensure that you sync often enough to guarantee the retaining of the data. Otherwise, you will lose that data.
Battery life is always a mixed bag when it comes to wearables. Taking smartwatches out of the equation, and most other wearables do look to offer a greater longevity when it comes to battery life. As such, very few, if any, require a daily level of charging. When it comes to the Hesvit S3 smart band, this is very much the case. During testing, on average the Hesvit S3 would last for about three to four days in between charges. This is somewhat less than the 7 to 10 days quoted by Hesvit, however, as the adjustable settings aspects of the smart band are quite limited (i.e. brightness and so on), this was considered to be a firm measurement of what you can expect for battery life. In return for those three to four days of usage, the Hesvit S3 typically takes about 2.5 hours to 3 hours to charge (from empty to full). So it does seem fair to suggest that in a pinch, you could easily expect a day (maybe even two days) of usage after a quick one hour charge.
Connectivity & Performance
During testing, there were no real issues noted with connectivity with the Hesvit S3. As already noted, one of the main selling points of this smart band is that it can be used in a standalone fashion. As such, this is primarily designed to work offline. This does result in a minimal level of syncing between the smart band and the watch and as a by-product, a minimal level of chances where things can go wrong or connections drop off. When used as an offline device, the smart band had no issues in being able to effectively know what is going on and was constantly updating the on-screen information to reflect the current number of steps made, calories burned and so on. Likewise, as the heart rate monitor is reliant on the button being pressed to record the current heart rate, there were no issues in this respect either. Although, the heart rate monitor does take a little longer than some other devices to record the heart rate, it was deemed to be a sensor which measured accurately.
Once a connection to your smartphone is reestablished (i.e. opening the app), again, there was no major issues noted with the connection. Each time the app is opened, the app immediately looks to sync with the device and all on-screen information was updated. The process normally took about 2-3 seconds to complete and was consistent in its ability to connect each time the app was opened. So it is fast enough and especially as it is updating all information since the last time the two devices were synced.
In terms of the general performance, there is very little to complain about here. The Hesvit S3, whether intentional or not, is a smart band which actually limits the chances of anything going wrong. Being designed as a standalone device works extremely well with this smart band and the more it was used, the less frequent the interaction with the app became. In fact, it made sense simply to sync the two devices once a day and normally at the end of the day. Come midnight, the Hesvit S3 automatically resets all data recording, so as long as the syncing occurred before then, the app was updated. Overall, this was an extremely well-performing, albeit, unassuming fitness tracker.
In a market which is quickly seeing a number of new additions arrive, the Hesvit S3 proves that sometimes simplicity is the key. This is not a smart band which looks to reinvent the wheel, but instead is one which delivers a extremely reliable experience. Not to mention, its ability to be used as a standalone wearable is executed perfectly. During our time testing, there was very little to complain about. This is a smart band which does deliver what it sets out to do and does so, very well.
Should you buy the Hesvit S3 Smart Band?
In all honesty, for those looking for a straight up smart wearable which can provide monitoring of all the vital information you would expect, the Hesvit S3 is a very good option to consider. While some fitness tracker manufacturers focus on cramming as many features into a wearable as possible and others focus on form over function, the Hesvit S3 smart band provides a very simple to use and low maintenance option. Great option for both those looking for an easy to use wearable and also those who want more detailed health-related information without the hassle of a heavier UI.