Fitbit just announced their Fitbit Charge 3. Although it has some nice new features (finally water resistance), I am a bit reluctant to spend another 150 euros to replace my Charge 2. Instead of that I went searching for a worthy successor at a fraction of the costs of the Fitbit Charge 3. I found the Elephone ELE Band 5. Let’s find out what it is capable of and if it does stand a chance against the Fitbit.
The specifications as stated on Gearbest:
- General: Bluetooth 4.0 // Language: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese // IP rating: IP67 // Screen type: TFT // Operating mode: Touch Screen // Compatible OS: Android, iOS //
Compatibility: Android 4.4 or above, iOS 8.4 or above // People: Female table,Male table // Available Color: Black
- Type of battery: li-ion battery // Battery Capacity: 90 mAh
Standby time: 10 days // Charging Time: About 2 hours
- Functions: Alarm Clock,Avoid phone loss,Call reminder,Calories burned measuring,Date,Distance recording,Find your phone,Incoming calls show,Message,Pedometer,Sedentary reminder,Sleep management,Steps counting,Time // Notification type: Facebook,G-mail,Twitter,Wechat,WhatsApp // Alarm group: 8 // Alert type: Vibration
- Dial and Band: Shape of the dial: Rectangle // Case material: PC // Band material: TPE.
- Weight and Size: Dial size: 48mm x 20mm x 11.6mm //
Product weight: 0.0250 kg // Package weight: 0.1400 kg //
Product size (L x W x H): 26.80 x 2.00 x 1.16 cm / 10.55 x 0.79 x 0.46 inches
The first thing is noticed on the product page was the product was referred to as a ‘Smart Bracelet’. Okay, it is a product that is worn around the wrist, but to me the Elephone ELE 5 is just an activity tracker. Maybe just a matter of semantics or an overly enthusiastic marketing employee at Elephone. The main feature you notice while further checking the product page is that the display has a color screen. I hope the overall product quality and its features can match an A-brand like Fitbit.
The product is packaged in a black box with the following dimensions: (L x W x H): 12.70 x 8.70 x 3.10 cm / 5 x 3.43 x 1.22 inches.
Does it fit your mailbox?
Yes! Finally an item that does fit in your mailbox.
What’s in the box
In the box you can find:
- The Smart Bracelet
- An English user manual
The following features are specified on Gearbest:
- Nordic 52832 Bluetooth 4.0 chip, low consumption and fast-paced
- IP67 waterproof, not afraid of rainy days or any outdoor activities
- 0.96 inch TFT color screen, show you high resolution images
- Kinds of app notifications, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, QQ, Skype, Twitter
- WearFit 2.0 app, check your health data on your phone
- Functions: Heart rate monitor // Sleep monitor // Step / distance / calories counter // Sedentary reminder // Call and SMS reminder // Camera control // Lift or turn over your hands, light up the screen
Build Quality & Design
The ELE Band 5 feels very light but is actually pretty decent and fits comfortably around your wrist. Both the TPE band as the poly carbonate case are not 100% scratch resistant but normal use will certainly not damage the band. The design of the band is not very extraordinary: it is just a activity tracker with a black rubber band and a black case.
As I said in the previous section: the ELE Band 5 fits very well around your wrist. However this only applies when your wrist is not too small : due too the big length of the dial the watch will not fit comfortably for people with smaller wrists. I have been wearing the band for a a couple of weeks and due to its fit and lightness I kept it on almost continuously. There was one exception: I took it off when I went to bed. But that is because of my personal preference, I really don’t like the feeling of wearing a watch or activity band in bed.
Charging and Using the ELE Band 5
Charging the ELE Band 5 is done in a similar way as the earlier reviewed Lenovo activity tracker: you need to remove one of the straps to uncover the USB charging port. The strap fits pretty tight around the charging port, so removing it requires a sturdy pull. Fortunately Elephone has printed an indicator on the case so you know which side to pull.
The band has only one button with two operation modes: a short press and a long press (five seconds). You use the short press to scroll through the different modes and the long press to enter a mode or start an action. Five seconds does not only sound long but it is long. On the watch you can change the clock face to three different layouts, but these differ only slightly (though it is still better than having no options for dial customization).
WearFit 2.0 App
The App the ELE Band 5 can communicate with is WearFit 2.0. This is just another health/activity app with a couple of cool extra features. Of course it registers all the usual stuff: your heart rate, amount of steps, distance traveled and kcal burned. Also a stopwatch is included and you can start different workouts from your watch. It also can do more with the registered data: it monitors your fatigue level, heart rate and sleep. As a nice extra you can remotely trigger photo’s from your found and find your phone using your bracelet or vise versa. Both functions work when the bracelet is connected to your phone, just as the call and text notifications on your watch.
Comparison with other activity trackers
When comparing the ELE Band 5 with the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Lenovo HX03W, the first thing you notice is how similar they look. All bands are made of TPE and they all have a black watch face. The only tracker with interchangeable straps is the FitBit. The ELE Band 5 is the heaviest (250 gr) followed by the Lenovo (200 gram) and the FitBit (130 gram). This seems relatively a large difference, but in practice I did not notice it. Both the ELE Band 5 and Lenovo only have one (touch) button where the FitBit has two buttons (a physical and a touch button).
Water and Dust Resistance
The waterproof rating differs on each model: The Lenovo has the best rating: IP68, which should be totally water- and dustproof. With a rating of IP67, the ELE Band 5 is slightly less water proof, but it is still protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter. The FitBit is only protected against splashing and sprays (IP44), so anything more than taking a shower with it could damage the tracker.
Activity Tracker Functions
Regarding primary functions they do nearly the same: with their pedometer, hearth monitor, sleep function and activity tracker, and message call reminders. The ELE Band 5 has some nicer features (find my phone, better notifications) and a nicer screen to display the functions on.
The uptime of the FitBit is the worst, with a specified 5 days before you need a recharge. Both the ELE Band 5 and the Lenovo have a Nordic 52832 Bluetooth 4 chipset, which combined with the battery capacity will last a single charge up to 7 (Lenovo) or even 10 days (ELE Band 5).
pro / cons
- Color Display
- No charging cable required
- The design is not that innovative: it looks like a generic activity tracker.
- Only one button (which you can long or short press).
- The length of the dial is relatively large. This makes it less comfortable for people with small wrists.
The number of features you get for less than 25 euros is generous. Combined with the build quality makes this a decent investment.
The market is catching up with the bigger players regarding the technology of the activity trackers. The Elephone ELE Band 5 is an activity trackers that can keep up with its main competitors, at a fraction of the price. So if the high price of an activity tracker prevented you from buying one, the ELE Band 5 should be considered as a serious option. However, if you have small wrists the band will fit less comfortable due to the large dial.
where to buy?