X9 Plus is a smartband that tries to make ease of use a strong point. Unfortunately, however, it carries with it a defect that profoundly limits daily use. In this complete review I will explain if it is worth buying it or betting on something else
In a market saturated with wrist devices with the most disparate features and functions, the most accessible proposals in economic terms come from China. The possibilities are varied: from the very complete smartwatch, ai fitness tracker to simple smartband with few more features than a digital watch.
X9 Plus is a smartband that for the proposed functions and the selling price enters involuntarily but inevitably in competition with the much more famous one Xiaomi Mi Band 2. Unfortunately, however, on balance, efficiency in everyday life is deeply affected by a real big defect.
X9 Plus Smartband: design and construction are not its strong point but they let themselves be appreciated – Review
Upon opening the package, your attention will focus directly on the smartband. To tell the truth, it could not be otherwise since inside the sales box there are only the smartband, a magnetic battery charger and an instruction booklet written in Chinese and translated into English.
X9 More it has a central body consisting of a case completely in metal from the weight of 59 g inside which there is a display da 0,95” which unfortunately extends only for a low percentage of the available surface. However, the total black of the case, with the display off, provides a sensation of continuity and elegance. There is a defined area inside the lower frame of the dial “point touch”, the only real touchable part that will allow you to navigate between the various functions of the smartband. Speaking of the metal case, I must admit that its construction is one of the aspects that I liked the most about the smartband. No creaking, feeling of strength and attention to detail given by a beautiful milling on the sides. A really good job for a product of this type that can be worn with absolute comfort despite the considerable weight.
The back is made up of the magnetic charging pins and the sensor capable of detecting heart rate, blood pressure and percentage of oxygen in the blood. The strap of the smartband is characterized by a rubber with a particular striped texture which in a week of intense use has not hinted at any deterioration although it tends to accumulate a fair amount of dust. Honestly, the thickness of the strap leads me to recommend the purchase more to male than female users. There is also one IP67 certification which makes it resistant to water splashes.
X9 Plus Smartband: the display is the only feature that does not do justice to a product otherwise perfectly consistent with the selling price – Review
The smartband display is a unit OLED at 0.95 “ with a resolution of 128×64 pixel. The switching on of the display is entrusted to the special “point touch” key or it is possible to reactivate it by rotating the wrist. In daily use this feature is absolutely unusable as in our experience, the rotation of the wrist reactivated the display about 3 times out of 10 and never when we really needed it.
From the technical characteristics of the display it is clear not to be able to expect particularly interesting performances but it could still be sufficient considering the graphic simplicity of the various screens. What really fails to be minimally sufficient, however, is the backlight. In an indoor environment it is not difficult to consult the information on the display and the backlight is able to be sufficient (as long as you keep it at the maximum of its three possible settings) but it is precisely when you need the smartband outdoors that you cannot rely on it. I have never been able to use this X9 Plus outdoors, whatever the degree of sunlight present, not even to see the time in the dullest days. And it is precisely this limit that leads me to advise against buying it.
X9 Plus Smartband: the software on board the band is sparse but manages to easily manage the few functions available – Review
The X9 Plus smartband is certainly not a smartwatch with infinite customization possibilities and not even a fitness tracker. As a low-cost smartband, it provides the possibility of using some predefined functions trying to make the best use of the available hardware. The various functions are shown in the various screens that can be navigated through the touch key and are: date and time with battery status and bluetooth connection, pedometer, calories burned, distance traveled, hours of sleep (to be set manually), counts beats / pressure / oxygen percentage, Wake Up, smartphone search and shutdown. The navigation between the various screens is always very fluid and we have never had obstacles.
In the examination of the daily functioning of this product, I would focus on the pedometer, heart rate meter, blood pressure and oxygen percentage in the blood functions as they are obviously among the most interesting functions and with the most uncertain functioning.
Starting from pedometer, I had the opportunity to test it on several occasions before comparing the X9 Plus with mine now very faithful Moto 360 capable of providing rather realistic data. X9 Plus comes out of this challenge with dignity, proving to overestimate the step count by about 10-15%, thus remaining in an acceptable range taking into account that the Moto 360 does not represent absolute perfection. The same goes for the measurements of the heartbeat. The results obtained by the smartband certainly cannot be considered reliable from a medical point of view but are nevertheless useful for verifying the pulse trend in certain contexts with acceptable value differences. In this regard, in addition to the comparison with the Moto 360, I had a doctor measure the pulse “on the wrist” at the same time as the smartband and the calculated difference was only one pulse, really well done.
The same cannot be said for the values of blood pressure e percentage of oxygen in the blood. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to compare the smartband with a professional medical device but, testing it several times during the day even on different subjects and in different states of health, I was able to see that the values are more or less all comparable and fluctuate in a range that immediately highlighted its lack of truthfulness. On the other hand, I could never have expected something different considering the absence of a dedicated hardware for these measurements.
The smartphone software
The software that manages the connection of the smartband with your smartphone via Bluetooth is “iwear” and is available on the Play Store as it should also be present on the Apple although our test was carried out with a telephone Android. The application is minimal (following the trail of the companion apps of all Chinese products in this price range) but fortunately it is translated into Italian. Among the various functions, the possibility of viewing the historical measurements of steps, sleep, heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen stands out.
In the settings, however, it is possible to change the display brightness of the smartband (choosing between three settings), the time format, the unit of distance measurement and which applications to receive notifications from. Why yes, it is also possible to set some applications for which to receive notifications on the smartband characterized by a vibration and an appearance on the screen of the app logo. Nothing more, it is not possible either to see who sent a particular message or to read the message received. Honestly it is an option that I deactivated immediately as it is not possible to exclude particular contacts or groups from the list and the smartband often entered a state of perennial vibration due to groups WhatsApp too active despite having set the absence of ringtone and vibration for these.
X9 Plus Smartband: infinite battery… or almost – Review
The included battery is by yourself 105 mAh but, thanks to the low energy display and the freedom to use the smartband without necessarily being connected to the smartphone, we were able to conclude almost 20 days of medium / intense use with various readings of heartbeat, blood pressure and oxygen percentage. Really a good result that will free you from the thought of having to charge an additional device daily in addition to the smartphone.
X9 Plus Smartband review: sufficiency on a tightrope
Ultimately, X9 Plus is a smartband with no particular pretensions that still manages to be sufficiently effective in the functions it offers but which finds its greatest enemy in the quality of the display. At a selling price of around € 20-25, a price range in which Xiaomi Mi Band 2 reigns supreme, I wouldn’t feel like proposing it as a first choice.
The device is on sale in the colors: white, green, blue and red in addition to the black one we reviewed. We thank the GeekBuying team for providing us with the device reviewed here, which can be purchased at this link.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a fitness tracker, you may be interested in our guide to the best Fitbit.
Points in favor
- Good construction
- Pedometer and heartbeat acceptable
- Long-lasting battery
- Inconceivable display
- Anonymous and uninspired design
- Unreal blood pressure and oxygenation meter
- Limited functionality