The Amazfit Band 5 is slim, powerful, and affordable, with the option to choose from dozens of smooth faces.
Rick Broida / CNET
Are you looking for an inexpensive fitness band that you can slap on your wrist? The Amazfit Band 5 deserves careful consideration, and not just because it only costs $ 50. It is because only today, and while supplies last, that. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen.
If that sounds a little familiar to you, you might be thinking of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5. You’re not wrong: the two are practically identical. (Fun fact: Amazfit is owned by Huami, a manufacturing partner of Xiaomi.) In fact, I’d say they are indistinguishable, although there are some key internal differences:
Band 5 on the left is slightly better than band 5 on the right. And they’re priced at around $ 5.
Volume 5 – the Amazfit Volume 5 – offers an impressive number of fitness boxes. It measures heart rate, blood oxygen, steps, sleep, women’s health, and more. It can also monitor your stress level and perform guided breathing exercises.
On the front of the watch, you can choose from 45+ colorful faces as well as the typical things like notifications, call notifications, meeting reminders, etc. You can’t reply to a text message but you can decline a call. You can also control your phone’s music playback and camera shutter. Good stuff.
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Amazfit promises an operating time of up to 15 days against charging with typical use or 25 days of energy-saving use. (That means no staff monitoring or anything like that.) I couldn’t test the battery, but even if those estimates are high, Band 5 will outlast many other fitness bands.
Another notable feature: built-in Alexa. This was very much in beta during my testing and it showed: a while after the Band 5 app was authorized to work with my Alexa account, that authorization was lost; I had to set it up again. After that, I would get “Server is busy” or “Could you try this again” when trying to issue certain commands. It just didn’t work reliably.
In the meantime, it’s not a hands-free implementation. To use them, swipe directly from the clock screen. Since the Band 5 does not have a speaker, you will not hear any audible responses. Of course, your phone also needs to be nearby for the Zepp app to run.
Yes: Zepp. That’s the name of Amazfits app, just to keep things good and confusing. I don’t like it, but it’s fine for use with a $ 26 fitness band. It is wrong to expect the sun, moon, and stars at this price.
CNET hasn’t fully reviewed Volume 5 yet, and I’ve seen pretty mixed reviews on the interwebs. If you’re just looking for a watch that has basic fitness features, phone alerts, and solid battery life, this is well worth a look.
Originally published last year. Updated to reflect the new retail price. Expired bonus deal removed.
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