Water resistance: 50 meters
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Display: 0.95 inch
Size: 4.4 x 3.3 x 1.3-inches
Weight: 2.6 ounces
Battery life: 7 days
When I heard about the Wyze Band, I wanted to love it. I really did. As a fan of Wyze’s dirt-cheap smart home devices, the company’s $25 fitness tracker with a long battery life and Alexa built-in sounded like a well-rounded wearable.
After sporting the Wyze Band for a few weeks, though, I’m torn whether I’d continue wearing it every day. Yes, the fact that it offers a heart rate monitor, running data and Amazon’s smart assistant at an affordable price gives it a shot at our best cheap fitness trackers list. But a number of quirks set it back from beating comparable options from Fitbit and Garmin.
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Still, the going rate for a capable fitness tracker is in the $100 to $200 range, so it’s pretty neat what the Wyze Band thing can do for just $25.
Wyze Band: Price and availability
The Wyze Band costs $25, which is incredibly cheap compared to any of the best smartwatches or other fitness-focused wearables, but on a par with Wyze Lab’s typical pricing. The Wi-Fi powered Wyze Bulb, for example, costs $8, while the Wyze Cam is just $20.
There’s only one Wyze Band size and configuration. It will be available to purchase on May 15, 2020.
Wyze Band: Design
As someone who finds certain fitness trackers too clunky, the Wyze Band’s narrow 4.4 x 3.3 x 1.3-inch chasse felt comfortable on my wrist. It weighs an airy 2.6 ounces, including the attached silicon bands.
While the all-black aesthetic is a bit boring, I like how the straps and looped clasp remind me of the Apple Watch sport bands. Wyze’s are more plasticy and less malleable, but I can’t complain considering the entire fitness tracker costs less than an interchangeable smartwatch accessory.
Two digital microphones sit on the side right of Wyze Band, while the top sports a 0.95-inch AMOLED display and an invisible touch sensor that triggers Alexa when pressed for a few seconds. There’s no physical microphone control, but the mics aren’t actively listening for a wake word so I don’t consider the lack of an off switch a major privacy concern.
I am unsettled by the Wyze Band’s haptics, though. The vibration is strong and disruptive, which seems like a petty complaint, except it’s too easy to summon Alexa. When I settled into bed at night, I often and accidentally rested my cheek or other body part on the touch sensor, sending annoying buzzes up my arm while I tried to fall asleep.
Wyze Band: Display and interface
Perhaps my favorite thing about the Wyze Band is the brightness and clarity of its AMOLED touch screen. Despite the display’s small size, I could read it clearly, even in direct sunlight. The colors appeared just as sharp as the ones on my pricey Apple Watch 4, plus I liked how I could set a custom photo background.
Though navigating the miniature screen proved difficult at times, the display felt responsive enough and the raise to wake feature worked well. It also woke whenever I tapped the screen.
Swipes up or down let me peruse my menu options, while a single tap on any card opens more details about the weather, notifications, activity and more. You can arrange your collection of functions and see more personal information in the Wyze app.
In fact, the Wyze app is so crucial to the Wyze Band experience that you’ll want your smartphone handy at all times. If you do leave it behind for a run, though, it’ll take a few seconds to sync your metrics with the app when you return.
Wyze Band: Fitness tracking and health features
The Wyze Band is excellent for keeping track of your walking steps, distance traveled, heart rate and sleep metrics. It’s also great for maintaining a record of running activity, showing your average pace, calories burned, running heart beats per minute (BPM) and total miles ran. On the warm weather days of early spring, I’ve worn Wyze’s wearable on beach runs and jogs around my neighborhood, attempting to improve my pace with each go.
But that’s where the fitness features end. If your workout of choice is cycling, rowing, interval training, weight lifting, yoga or some other style of movement, the Wyze Band won’t be your friend.
That said, I might reevaluate wearing the Wyze Band while swimming as the weather gets nicer. It’s rated 5ATM, which means it’s submersible up to 50 meters, so it’s safe for laps in the pool.
The Wyze Band’s sleep tracking data seemed accurate, if you’re interested in knowing how many hours of shut eye you’re getting. And noted in our Wyze Scale review, the Wyze Band can also show your body metrics when it’s worn during a weigh-in. You’ll need to have both gadgets and a Bluetooth connection to access this feature.
Wyze Band: Alexa features and smart home control
The Wyze Band isn’t the first fitness tracker with Alexa. But unlike the Fitbit Versa 2, Wyze’s Alexa-enabled wearable acts more like a voice-controlled smart home remote than a workout coach. The band doesn’t let Alexa speak aloud, so you can’t rely on Alexa to whip you into shape or hear the latest weather reports.
But I liked the ability to give Amazon’s smart assistant queries right from my wrist. From time to time I beckoned some of the best Alexa skills, like finding the nearest grocery store and setting reminders. I could read Alexa’s response on the display, rather than listen to it.
I found the most use for the Wyze Band’s Alexa when it came to smart home control. A whisper in my wrist turned off my Wyze Bulbs as I walked out the door. If I had the Wyze Smart Lock, I could then Alexa to secure my apartment behind me. For non-Wyze devices, I set up rules in the Alexa app that let me use the Wyze Band to initiate my morning routine and fire up my cooking playlist on the Bose Portable Home Speaker from across the room.
As much as controlling some of the best smart home devices like a secret agent made me giddy, I had a fair share of Bluetooth connectivity issues that dampened my experience. Several times a day my Wyze Band read ‘Connection Lost,’ even when my phone was nearby. I needed to launch the Wyze app to re-establish the communication. If the app isn’t running in the background on your phone, the Alexa connection will not work.
Wyze Band: Battery life and charging
Wyze says the Wyze Band has a 10-day battery life with normal usage, but I didn’t find that to be accurate. Still, my unit lasted 7 days on a full charge before needing more juice. I hardly took the Wyze Band off during that time, wearing it through at-home workouts, long dog walks, showers and sleep. Our favorite cheap fitness tracker, the Fitbit Inspire HR, lasted just 3 days in our review for comparison.
The first time I had to charge it again, I must have misaligned the proprietary charger because my Wyze Band didn’t revive overnight. Most fitness trackers use a custom base, but Wyze’s clip-based one felt particularly fickle. I also wish it showed the time as it charges while perched on my nightstand, like my Apple Watch does.
Wyze Band verdict
Wyze has a knack for designing inexpensive devices that don’t feel cheap, yet the Wyze Band cuts corners a little too much for my liking. The fitness features could be more inclusive, and accidentally triggering Alexa gets tiresome. When the Wyze Band stays connected to Alexa, that is.
But I wouldn’t expect a $25 wearable to be perfect. All things considered, the Wyze Band is a functional budget fitness tracker that also helps you control your smart home, and could work for you if you have a lot of Wyze’s other products or are looking for an inexpensive running buddy with a long battery life. I wouldn’t enjoy wearing it every day, but am glad I have it when I want to turn on my smart lights, James Bond-style.