When it comes to health matters, people are lately becoming more conscious and proactive in tracking their fitness activities. What’s more interesting is the advent of technology has enabled more means to build and nurture healthy habits. Enter fitness bands, which are smart accessories you strap on your hand to monitor various fitness metrics. You know the usual brands in the market and there are plenty. Well, here’s a new player from a Delhi-based startup named PlayFit 53.

Being new isn’t a reason to brush it aside, right? Or is it? Could it be the budget fitness band that fits your bill? Find the answer to your concerns down in our review.

But, before that, let’s have a quick glance over its price and specs.

PlayFit 53 Price in India and Specifications

Model  PLAYFIT 53
Display 0.98-inches Colored TFT LCD touchscreen
Dimensions and weight 24 x 2.2 x 1.3 cm; 22.7 g
Color Sporty Red and Black and a trendy Green and Black
Battery Life 7-10 days
Dust and Waterproof Yes, IP68
Heart rate sensor Yes
Sleep tracking Yes
Sensors Accelerometer, Pedometer, Sleep tracking from the app
Price Rs. 1,999

PLAYFIT 53 Review: Design, Display and Build

Right off the gate, this one’s a beauty. Kudos to PlayFit design team for inculcating ritzy neon green stripes with a gentle grey accent. The rubber material used is flexible and fits nicely on hand. The belt has 15 slits which should be enough to suit most hands. It’s lite and compact form does favor a distraction-free workout session.

Coming to the fascia, it has a Colored LCD touchscreen spanning 0.98-inches diagonally. This display felt small for our liking. Another pain point is the outdoor legibility, which is a major miss here. You have to hover your hand to view the screen contents, which is rather stone age-ish at this point. Even the display was hasty to go dark, which was always annoying. But on the flip side, this might aid better battery life. We also appreciate the fact that the device is IP68 Dust and Waterproof certified.

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PLAYFIT 53 Review: Connectivity and UX

The device is compatible with android (4.4 & above) & iOS (9.0 & above) devices. It is equipped with Bluetooth version: 4.2. Sorry, No 5th gen here! The pairing is pretty easy using the PlayFit app downloadable from the Google or Apple app store.

Once you sign in to the app, you’ll be welcomed by a pleasing user interface. It presents real-time and progress on 14 activities (which will discuss in the next section), your sleep routine, and your heart’s health. It also exhibits periodic stats of your activities, sleep, and heart health on different useful metrics. There is even an activity logger to custom-meter any activity.

It also populates your performance against other users of the PlayFit band. If such a healthy competition fires you up, great! However, for those who don’t want such a comparison, an option to opt-out would’ve been appreciated.

Moving to the actual device interface, you get a tiny round icon on the screen, tapping which turns on the display. There are time, date and battery meter on the first screen. You can swipe from the leftward to initiate the heart tracker. The menu and rest of the features can also be accessed via swipes and taps. The menu contents comprise of various training activities, dedicated mindfulness training, notifications, stopwatch, alarm clock timer, mobile phone finder and more.

Speaking of notification, PlayFit syncs your call and smartphone app notifications on its display along with vibration alert. These are some of the apps it support – SMS, WeChat, QQ, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, LinkedIn, Email, Calendar, Skype, etc. In our testing, certain features like the remote camera access didn’t work as advertised. There is an option to control the music navigation from the wrist band itself. However, it works with selected apps like Google Play Music only. No support for Spotify, it seems! All that said, a fitness band will still get our approval if it does well where it’s supposed to. Here’s how it performs on fitness grounds.

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PLAYFIT 53 Review: Fitness Features and Battery Life

Let’s begin with what’s offered.

It supports a host of sports modes (14 to be exact) like Walking, Running, Cycling, Skipping, Badminton, Basketball, Football, etc. Now, you may already know that the fitness bands, for the most part, project guesstimates. But, we didn’t understand the lack of swimming mode, even though it has waterproof certification. Further, like many of its peers, it also fails to detect our erratic daytime naps. Similarly, PlayFit 53 confuses vehicle rides for walking, which is also something that cripples other bands.

But in all due fairness, the fitness tracking functions accurate enough to be useful. And as aforementioned, it covers every major sports activity. The Sedentary Alert lets you know of your prolonged inactivity. Mindfulness training is also a unique coach to have. It’s there and might come handy to some. After all, it’s said, “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

In our usage, it did live for a whole week, which is more or less on par with the claim. To refill it, detach the straps and the capsule. Then dock the latter inside any charger. It tops to full in a jiffy. Overall Playfit has done a good job in case of battery life.

PLAYFIT 53 Review: Verdict

The PlayFit 53 is priced at Rs. 1,999, which is decent for an entry-level smart band. But, there are plenty of alternatives available in the market like the Mi Band 3, which retails at Rs. 1,599 and brings more bells and whistles on to the table.

That said, considering it’s from a fairly new company, we are ready to cross off many of our quibbles. It is by no means the best fitness tracker out there. Even the remote control of music and camera needs to be refined. But, the bare essentials packed within could prove valuable, if you use them to monitor your general levels of activity and progress. This will help in identifying areas where you could be doing better.

Summing up, PlayFit 53 is an aesthetically sporty band that boasts of many useful features. But, it could have done better in several areas that are pointed thus far.

Pros

  • Rad Design
  • Fine battery life
  • Simple App interface

Cons

  • Lackluster display quality
  • Minimal 3rd-party app support
  • Missing custom faces

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