Oppo Band review: solid budget option

Oppo's first fitness tracker makes a good first impression
Oppo Band
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The Oppo Band is a budget fitness tracker that launched in China back in 2020 not long after the Oppo Watch. Now it's gone global and landed in the US and the UK.

Joining the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor and Samsung, Oppo is promising to offer big features for a low price. The Oppo Band costs roughly $40 and for that money gives you an AMOLED touchscreen display, a heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor, smartwatch features and up to 12 days battery life.

Oppo impressed with its smartwatch debut, so while the Band comes in at significantly less, we had high hopes to see what it could bring to the cheap fitness tracker party.

We've been living with the Oppo Band tracking steps, sleep, workouts, monitoring blood oxygen levels and more to find out what it's made of. Here's our full verdict on the Oppo Band.

Oppo Band: Price and competition

The Oppo Band costs $40 although US availability is limited. There are a few resellers offering the Oppo Band in the US, but there's no official suppliers, and you should be careful that you're getting a global version.

Alternatives around the same price are the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, Amazfit Band 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, all of which retail around the $50 mark.

There's also the excellent Honor Band 6, which is more readily available in the US, and surprised us in our review with a great mix of features and accuracy.

Oppo Band: Design and screen

Design and screen

We should start by saying that with the Oppo Band, there's also the Oppo Band Style, and it's been teasing a new Vitality edition, that seems to switch things up in the band department.

Our Oppo Band was the standard version, which measures in with a 40mm case body and is 11.95mm thick when you factor in the optical heart rate sensor. It's available with either black or white colored bands and the tracker element pops out of the band, which you'll need to do to charge it.

It's smaller tracker than something like the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, but actually slightly smaller and slimmer than the Xiaomi Mi Band 6.

While it might not be most the exciting looking, there's actually something quite neat and tidy about the basic look that we liked. The Oppo Band Style essentially adds a metallic frame around the tracker if you need some metal to go with that plastic. For us though, we could live without it.

Oppo Band design

One thing you'll need to get to grips with here is that there's no physical buttons, which makes getting this tracker an interesting one to initially set up. The screen responds to taps to wake the display.

There is raise to wake gesture support here, which you'll need to activate in the companion HeyTap Health app. We'd suggest spending some time in here first before you start using the tracker, as there are some settings that should be enabled out of the box that aren't.

Day-to-day interactions with the Band are fine on the whole. Even without raise to wake enabled, a couple of taps will wake that screen up. If you're using it for exercise tracking, you'll likely want it turned on. The lack of a physical button isn't hugely missed, especially as the screen is nice and responsive.

The display is a 1.1-inch, 126 x 294 pixel resolution AMOLED display. That matches the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2's display for size and resolution. It's a great screen at this price. Visibility indoors is great, but like a lot of AMOLED screens, it can struggle in bright outdoor light. It's not impossible to read, but you'll need to jump into the shade on a sunny day to see it more clearly.

Oppo Band screen

The band holding everything together is made of TPU plastic with an aluminium clasp. It has a generous amount of holes in the band to make sure you can get a good, snug fit. It's not caused any skin irritation or shifted out of place during our testing, and we have no have complaints from a comfort point of view.

It held up in the water too, with the 5ATM water resistant rating letting you dunk it in water up to 50 metres depth. The screen offered good visibility in the water too, which isn't always the case with some fitness trackers at this price.

So the Oppo Band plays it a little bit safe on looks, but ultimately has a good quality screen and a band attached to it that hasn't caused us any problems while wearing it.

Oppo Band: Fitness tracking and health monitoring

Oppo Band fitness tracking

Oppo pretty much all of the things you'd expect from a fitness tracker and on the whole offers a solid and reliable tracking experience.

The 3-axis accelerometer tracks steps and enables automatic sleep monitoring. The optical heart rate monitoring will continuously track heart rate 24/7 and that includes sleep.

There's also an SpO2 sensor, letting you take manual blood oxygen measurement readings and also monitor them during sleep. This is something you can do on Fitbit's trackers and is a feature that's in beta on Huami's Amazfit watches too.

Daily activity tracking can be viewed from the dedicated app or directly from the watch screen with a simple tap. Oppo displays steps, calories burned, workout minutes and inactivity alerts with an X, which is Oppo's equivalent of Apple's Activity rings. You'll get hit with inactivity alerts when you don't move for an hour, but that's all you're getting as far as keeping you motivated to move.

Step tracking compared

Step tracking compared: Oppo Band (left) and Garmin Enduro (right)

Accuracy-wise, we put it up against Garmin's fitness tracking and above is a sample shot of one day. It showed a similar breakdown of when steps occurred and daily totals weren't far off the Garmin in general.

When it was time for bed, we had a very mixed experience from an accuracy and tracking point of view.

The Oppo Band can track sleep stages and indicate breathing disturbances with SpO2 monitoring. You'll also get a sleep assessment score offering insights into sleep quality and a breakdown of the quality of your sleep stages.

Sleep tracking compared

Sleep tracking compared: Oppo Band (left) and Fitbit Sense (right)

Above is a sample of good night's tracking compared to the Fitbit Sense's sleep tracking. While sleep duration recorded wasn't identical, they were pretty close. It broke down similar deep and light sleep stage durations and the insights into the quality of those stages felt nice to have.

There was also some bad nights of sleep tracking where it recorded less than an hour of sleep and also struggled to capture SpO2 data – as we apparently moved too much in our sleep, which impacts on getting a reliable reading. The spot measurements were in line with an iHealth pulse oximeter with all readings viewable in the MyTap Health app if you want to try to identify trends.

If you want this tracker to reliably dish out 24/7 heart rate data and real time readings, the Oppo Band comes up short. Spot measurements were usually 8-10bpm above readings from the Fitbit Sense and readings from a clinical grade heart rate pulse oximeter. Heart ranges for continuous monitoring offered some unusual spikes at times of the day it shouldn't have been elevated.

So ultimately, it's a fitness tracker that's better built for the basics, but as soon as you try to do more with it, it struggles.

Oppo Band: Sports tracking

Oppo Band Sports tracking

Oppo does its best to give you the option to use the Band for tracking your exercise time here too. It uses that same 3-axis accelerometer sensor to track activities like indoor running and pool swimming. That optical heart rate monitor will measure effort levels during workouts and you can use connected GPS to improve accuracy for outdoor activities as long as you're happy to head out with your phone.

On the Band, you'll need to head to the Workouts screen to pick from the 11 different tracking modes. That along with the activities mentioned also covers indoor rowing, cycling (indoor and outdoor), while badminton and cricket modes will track heart rate and workout duration data only.

treadmill run tracking compared

Treadmill run tracking compared: Oppo Band (left) and Garmin Venu with Garmin HRM-Pro (right)

For indoor runs, the accelerometer-based tracking came up pretty short against the treadmill and Garmin Venu running watch for distance tracking.

It was about 1km off in our testing. For outdoor runs without connected GPS, it was a similar story.

When we used connected GPS run to use for shorter 20-30 minute runs and you can expect good accuracy for core running metrics.

Indoor rowing tracking compared

Indoor rowing tracking compared: Oppo Band (left) and Garmin Enduro (right)

For indoor rowing, it doesn't track stroke count, but will monitor heart rate during those sessions, though the maximum heart rate readings as shown above were generally significantly higher than a Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap monitor we tested it against.

In the pool, as mentioned, the screen offers good visibility in the water but is better suited to shorter swims. It captures duration, individual lap times, average pace and calorie burned data. In a 40 minute swim (pictured below), it tracked 325 metres less than Form's accurate smart swimming goggles.

Swim tracking compared

Swim tracking compared: Oppo Band (left) and Form Smart Swim Goggles (right)

Heart rate monitoring in general for exercise is pretty hit and miss. During activities where you can maintain a secure fit like indoor rowing, it'll capture heart rate data for the entire session.

For some runs though, even short ones, it struggled to capture heart rate for the entirety of the workout. The accuracy in general was off to put you in another one or two heart rate zones for average and maximum readings.

If you want to view your workout history, you'll need to head over to Oppo's HeyTap Health companion app and head to the workout log where you'll find a feed of your logged sessions along with total minutes tracked and calories burned.

It's a pretty simplistic affair, but it's easy at least to get to grips with your data. You can additionally share data with Google Fit here as well if you want to push that data to somewhere different.

Bottom line, it's a capable sports tracker for occasional athletes, but isn't reliable enough for anyone looking for in-depth data or a genuine interest in their performance.

Oppo Band: Smartwatch features

Oppo Band Smartwatch features

Adding smartwatch features to a fitness tracker can be challenging. Especially when you have limited space to play with. The good news is that the Oppo Band handles things well.

There's a handful of watch faces and you can swipe left or right to view the digital and analogue options at your disposal. A double tap usefully will also bring up a snapshot information like daily steps, battery life and whether your Band is connected to your phone.

There's weather forecasts, letting you see current weather conditions and the weather the next day. There's music controls that will let you skip tracks and adjust volume and they don't feel like cramped controls to make use of either. A camera remote is also on board too and you can also set timers and alarms here too. These features work without any real issue.

Oppo Band music

Perhaps the most impressive Oppo Band smartwatch feature is the notification support. While you can't respond to notifications and some notifications like emails will only show you the subject line, they're well optimised to read and scroll through on that slender screen. Reading full messages from apps like WhatsApp is a surprisingly good experience and it handles things better than a lot of other cheap fitness trackers.

If you want a fitness tracker with solid notification support and music controls, then there's a lot to like about the Oppo Band on those fronts.

Oppo Band: Battery life

Oppo says you can get up to 12 days of battery life on the Band, which is two more days than you can get on the pricier Fitbit Inspire 2 but short of the promised 14 days on the Xiaomi Mi Band 6.

In our testing, the battery lasted for closer to 10 days with regular use of indoor and outdoor workout tracking and monitoring sleep. As soon as you turn on continuous heart rate monitoring with one second interval sampling and monitoring blood oxygen during sleep, that drop is pretty severe. With just a couple hours of those features in use, battery dropped by about 20%.

You'll be prompted that continuous heart rate monitoring and monitoring SpO2 during sleep will impact on battery life. If you don't want that information, you should have no problems getting 12 days. As soon as you bring them into play, it's going to be noticeably less.

When you do hit 0%, it takes just under an hour to get back to 100% with a 30 minute charge getting you from 0-70%, making it a rapid tracker to get back onto your wrist.


Oppo Band
By Oppo
As a first attempt at a fitness tracker, the Oppo Band gets a lot of things right, but suffers in some familiar areas. While it doesn't excite in the design department, you are getting a comfortable fit and a great screen to match. The core tracking features work fine and it's a tracker that's easy to get to grips with. When it tries to do something a little more advanced like keeping tabs on heart rate or tracking exercise, it comes a little unstuck. For the price, you could look to the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 or Honor band 6 for a nicer look and all-round package. It's a good start, but there's certainly room for improvement.

Hit
  • Good quality screen
  • Good for tracking basics
  • Nicely displays notifications
Miss
  • Problematic heart rate accuracy
  • Battery drain with all features in use
  • Not the most exciting design