review

Lenovo HX03F Spectra Smartband Review: Color Display on a Budget

Lenovo launched HX03F Spectra Smartband last month at a price tag of Rs 2,299 which highlights color display, heart rate sensor, and an IP68 Waterproof grade tracker. Aiming to reach more consumers as the sale of fitness trackers have increased in India over the years, we find out if it’s worth buying or not.

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It’s a general fitness tracker

Let’s clear few things right off the bat. This tracker is not a high-end product which will tell you everything about your body and is not here to compete with fitness trackers from companies like Fitbit. It’s a general fitness tracker for those who would like to keep track of their steps, heart rate, sleep patterns and a bit of notification from there phones.

It’s a companion device which can motivate you to move, but if you are sportsperson who would need a lot of details post workout sessions, you should not be opting for this.

Design & Build

The tracker is built using silicone. The hard plastic casing packs its main hardware. The display uses colored TFT Screen with clear visuals and offers easy charging by plugging it directly into a USB port. The charging part is very convenient compared to the custom charger used by other companies. You can just plug into a wall charger or your computer, and it starts juicing up.

The front of the tracker offers single touch button which helps you navigate between Home, Sports, step count display, HR display, Find my phone, and info section. More on this later.

Now let’s talk about how well it fits around the wrist. It snugs fit nicely, and there is no chance you would lose it. The USB charging port is hidden under one of the straps, and it offers a tight fit. I had no issues when using it for a workout, with sweat, and even wearing it all night.

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That sorted, the only complaint I had is I could feel the tracker always on my wrist. Even though HX03F Spectra offers a curved design, there is something which keeps marking its presence. I believe this experience might differ from person to person. Also, the straps are silicone, and just like any silicone straps, it will wear out with time.

The display visibility is clear when you are indoors. As you move out in broad daylight, it becomes difficult to see what’s on the screen. This is particularly annoying when using sports mode, and you wanted a sneak peek into the stats. You will need to stop, and check it in the shade.

App & Software Features:

Tracker Display Section:

  • Home: Offers multiple clock face which keeps changing from time to time. It displays time, step count, Bluetooth connectivity, battery status, date and day.
  • Sports: Long press on the touch button and it can start tracking step count, HR, km traveled, calories burnt. The HR tracker constantly tracks through the workout.
  • Step count display.
  • HR display.
  • Find my phone: Long press on the touch button, and when the progress bar fills in, it will start buzzing your phone.
  • Info section.

App Features:

The app, once synced with the tracker, shows detailed data for that day including time stamps & distance covered. The older stats don’t show, but you get an overview of steps, distance, calories, and duration.

Compared to this, heart rate details offer a better view of the daily breakup. You get to see Average HR, and Sports HR separately. As a tip, the app does brief you on your daily activities.

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The same goes for the sleep tracking. You get to see daily deep sleep, light sleep, wakeup minutes and your heart rate during the state.

Notification Features:

It offers pre-selected apps for notifications which include Calls, SMS, WeChat, QQ, Email, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Line, and Skype. You get one line notification with a brief preview of the message. This works well most of the time, but is still a little flaky!

In the settings, you can configure a Smart reminder to make sure you are not idle for very long, change vibration intensity, set alarm, wrist up display to save battery, and goal reminder.

Battery Performance

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While Lenovo claimed to have ten days of battery life, sadly, it lasts a maximum of 4.5 to 5 days when regularly used with Sports tracker. I used the sports mode when working out every time to make sure data collected by tracker will make more sense. Without the Sports mode, it lasts for another day which didn’t make any difference.

Accuracy

When compared with the tracker I have (Fitbit), it seems to be off by at least 1000 to 1500 steps. That’s on the higher side. I tried the band on both the wrists and the results were almost the same.

The missing PAI:

I workout every day, and the incomplete information from the stats disappoints me. Yes, you can see stats and works for most of us, but unless you get an idea what to do next with it, it’s pretty useless.

In its previous bands, Lenovo had PAI or Personal Activity Intelligence available with their app. It’s a central place which takes in account of your age, weight and heart rate data, and tells how healthy your heart is, and if you are working out enough. It takes a week stats to share the insight, and if you reach a score of 100, it personalizes recommendations for you.

Final Words

This smart tracker is good enough if you are looking for a quality tracker to count your steps, HR, sleep patterns, and so on. Color display, HR tracking, and decent build quality make the device worth it for the casual fitness tracker. There are rumors about the Mi Band 3 coming with a color display, until then this is the best choice at its pricepoint.