Wearables have become a pretty cool thing to have. I’ve rooted my LG G Watch and I use it on a regular basis. The only thing that I found missing from it was a heart rate monitor. While a myriad of smart bands exists in the market, they are not exactly cheap to make me purchase one just for that particular need. That was until I came across the M3 Smart Band aka the Yoho Band 2.

What’s so great about the Yoho Band 2?

The packaging is not exactly stellar and feels a tad on the cheap side. But then again, given that the Yoho Band 2 cost me only LKR 1,900, that was nothing to complain about. Inside the package, you get a user manual in both English and Japanese, as well as a charging dock, wrist strap and the device itself.

Yoho Band 2
The packaging of the Yoho Band 2

First impressions: strangely familiar

Straight off the bat, the Yoho Band 2 looked a lot like the Xiaomi Mi Band 3. It even has an almost identical strap design and the device itself fits into the wrist strap in a similar manner. Added to that, the charging dock looked exactly like the one that ships with the Xiaomi Mi Band.

Yoho Band 2
Even the charger of the Yoho Band 2 looks like a Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Leaving all that aside, I plugged in the Yoho Band 2 to charge. According to the instruction manual, it needed around 2 hours to be fully charged. Speaking of charging, the Yoho Band 2 can charge either of USB or via a wall socket with a USB port. The former will be comparatively slower as USB current is a lot less than what a wall socket or regular charger provides.

Once the Yoho Band 2 was fully charged, I was ready to begin using it. This is where the fun part comes in. A single indented circular button is what you use to control the functions on the Yoho Band. The display is a standard TFT display that is neither IPS or AMOLED.

Yoho Band 2
The display is a TFT. Not particularly visible in sunlight, but gets the job done

After all, given the price, I wouldn’t expect it to be. Pressing the button once wakes up the band and each successive button press cycles through each of the features. To activate a certain feature, all I need to do is to long press the button. The device can actually act as a standalone health monitoring app without the need for a mobile app.

Getting up and at em

As I said, the Yoho Band 2 can function perfectly well without ever being connected to a smartphone. As a standalone smart band, the Yoho Band 2 is able to monitor your steps, heart rate, blood pressure and sleep cycle. I decided to take each of these features for a spin to see exactly how accurate they were.

Kicking off with the step counter (pun intended), the Yoho Band 2 was actually quite accurate in showing how many steps I had walked. It was then that I realized that me walking around my house once accumulated around 800-900 steps. So far, the Yoho Band 2 was performing quite well.

Yoho Band 2
The step counter on the Yoho Band 2 was extremely accurate

The next feature I decided to test on the Yoho Band 2 was the heart rate sensor. This too can be done from the band itself. Navigating to the BPM feature, I held down the button to launch the BPM sensor. It takes around 10-15 seconds to get a reading and my heart rate was displayed onscreen. I ran the test multiple times to make sure that the results were more or less accurate and they actually were.

Yoho Band 2
The Yoho Band 2 can display your heart rate in a heartbeat (pun intended)

Blood pressure was the next feature I decided to check out. The average Systolic and Diastolic levels are 120/80 so I used that as my base mark to check my own pressure. Once again, the results were quite accurate across multiple tests. For a band that costs this much, I was happy.

Yoho Band 2
When under pressure, the Yoho Band 2 gets the job done (again, pun intended)

What else can the Yoho Band 2 do?

Apart from measuring steps, your heart rate and your blood pressure, the Yoho Band 2 is also able to monitor your motion for workouts. This includes motion for a treadmill, skipping and for sit-ups as well. I tried a few and the Yoho Band 2 was able to measure all three accurately.

There are a few features that require the use of the mobile app for the Yoho Band 2. Called Yoho Sports, the app is available for both Android and iOS. Pairing the Yoho Band 2 to the app is simple as switching on Bluetooth on my phone and pairing it. Once paired, additional functionality of the Yoho Band 2 can be configured.

Yoho Band 2
The Yoho Sports app is easy to use and looks kinda cool too

For example, the Yoho Band 2 has a sleep monitor, an alarm and even a sedentary reminder. The sleep monitor kicks into play when there has been no movement for a while. While there’s no record of it on the band itself, the details are all in the app interface. Similarly, the alarm can be set from the app itself. The alarm is not audible, rather it uses the built in motor to vibrate the band to wake you up.

Yoho Band 2
The Yoho Sports App allows you to configure some advanced features of the Yoho Band 2.

The Sedentary reminder was perhaps the coolest feature of them all. Rather than measure how much time I have been inactive, it measures how long I have been seated in a place for a while and then generates an alarm to make me get up and stretch. Being a writer, I find myself seated at my desk for hours at a time so it’s nice to have the Yoho Band 2 remind me to take a break once in a while.

How cheap is cheap with the Yoho Band 2?

There’s a saying that “good things no cheap and cheap things no good”. The Yoho Band falls into the middle of these two statements. It’s cheap in terms of price and to an extent, cheap in terms of build quality as well. While the step counter, sedentary reminder and other features worked flawlessly, there were a few issues I saw.

One issue that was confusing was the name of the device itself. While the packaging calls it the M3, the Yoho Sports app refers to the device as the “Yoho Band 2”. But then again, if it performs as well as it should, it can be called an ice cream cheese kottu as far as I’m concerned.

Yoho Band 2
The amount of cheap knockoff health bands are over 9000

Another issue that I saw was with the heart rate sensor. While it does a good job while being worn, the heart rate sensor and blood pressure monitor also kept giving random values while not being worn. This is literally not possible, as if there’s nothing to monitor, the results should come back as zero. But having tried it multiple times, I confirmed that this flaw actually exists.

Is the Yoho Band 2 really worth it?

For the price I paid, even with its potential flaws of false data when not worn, I actually like the Yoho Band 2 (or whatever its actual name is). The heartrate sensor and blood pressure monitor have their moments but they are accurate when required.

The step counter is also extremely accurate and I find myself just walking small distances to see if the band can track it, and it does so quite well. The Yoho Band 2 also shows notifications from apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp which is an added benefit.

If you’re in the market for a cheap smart band, then you can give the Yoho Band 2 a go. It’s available both locally and on international websites as well.

Have you used the Yoho Band 2? What are your thoughts on it? We would love to hear from you.

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