February 5, 2023

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Fitness trackers are used as silent alarms

Inbox It is the monthly column in which an editorial board is edited Consumption Answers the most intriguing email questions from readers looking for valid purchases, unexpected gifts, and savings opportunities. is called Inbox Like the email inbox we get from you, but with dashes because the things we talk about often arrive in a box.

I’ve always been cool about buying a bracelet to wear at night that has an alarm function, perhaps with vibration, without a ringtone. Since I often get up before my girlfriend, she finds herself getting up early and can’t go back to sleep. The world of smartwatches and smart bracelets is very vast and complex: I am looking for something that will meet this exact need, without having to wear it during the day or have information about the quality of my sleep. The only other feature that would come in handy is the stopwatch and heart rate monitor when I’m training for a run.
Thank you,
number.

Dear N. , Your requirement is a requirement that others also had in drafting Mail. In general, an alarm clock with vibration is a function that many smart watch models have Fitness trackers existing in the market. For those like you who intend to make limited use of it, i.e. are only interested in the alarm clock and other basic functions, we recommend one Xiaomi smart bandsa line in which there are now several fairly recent models that have the advantage of being cheaper on average than other brands on the market.

In general, the main functions for which fitness trackers are designed and marketed are recording steps, calculating times, movements, and heart rate during workouts, tracking sleep and calorie consumption, and sending notifications when you’ve been down for too long. In short, the function of the alarm clock is secondary, even if practically everyone has it.

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As for the wake-up function, many Post editors who use it agree that it’s both effective and discreet enough not to wake those sleeping next to you. In general, this, along with the fact of wanting to turn off the phone at night, is among the main reasons for using it. It must be said that you have to get used to wearing a bracelet in your sleep: those from Xiaomi are generally comfortable and not bulky, but someone used otherwise might be upset.

– Also read: There are still those who prefer the traditional alarm clock

Among the various options, there’s also the ability to set the vibration tempo and choose between a continuous vibration and an alternating one (two seconds yes, one no, five yes, for example), based on what works best for each. However, one editor said he worries he’s getting used to the vibration because lately he tends not to hear it or ignore it and go back to sleep: Once he said he took off the fitness tracker in his sleep while it vibrated, but we feel it. It is not a risk that most people would take.

An editor using the Mi Smart Band 6 model argues that for a cost (32 euros on Amazon35 on Mediaworld or Unieuro) does a lot: in addition to the classic functions of a fitness tracker, it allows you to control music on your smartphone and see notifications from various applications.

He finds it reliable at counting steps, but slightly less so at calculating heart rate, after comparing the data to more specific tools: For running, he says he prefers to use a band (This is amazing in particular) to obtain more accurate data. Among the Amazon reviews, on the other hand, there is enough satisfaction on this aspect as well, always bearing in mind that the data is indicative.

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The latest Xiaomi Mi Smart Band model on the market is the 7, but it costs a little more (50 euros on Amazonbut also up media world And Unieuro) And most reviews agree that the differences with the previous model — eg the larger and brighter screen, or the continuous measurement of blood oxygen — aren’t so great as to be liked.

For those who want a more basic model we have found This is amazing The TabTime wristwatch, which works only as a clock and alarm clock (therefore it does not have a stopwatch function nor the heartbeat counting function that N. asked for), but which costs 30 euros, however, does not seem relevant to us compared to the Xiaomi smart distance wallet.

Another popular and well-reviewed brand of fitness trackers is Fitbit. We report it for completeness, due to the simplicity of the functionality required by a reader Consumption We think their products are quite expensive. wire cutterthe trusted review site for The New York TimesAnd has been entered the FitBit Charge 5 Among the best Fitness trackersfor tracking accuracy and functionality, but their price is much higher than Xiaomi’s Smart Bands: they cost between 119 and 147 euros depending on the colors on Amazon And euronics120 on Mediaworld.

– From our archives: We tried five wrist counters

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