Zepp Z gets ECG heart rate monitoring boost

Chinese version of the budget smartwatch has ECG tracking out of the box
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Earlier this month Zepp has announced its latest smartwatch – the Zepp Z – and now owners in the brand's homeland are about to be treated to an ECG update.

The ECG feature does come at a cost though. Compared to the regular 'global' Zepp Z's $349 price-tag, the extra heart rate monitoring smarts bump the price up to ¥2,649 in China, which is just over $400.

ECG (sometime referred to as EKG) monitoring is the big thing in health-focused smartwatches right now.

ECG arrived on the wearable tech scene when it was included on the 4th-gen Apple Watch a couple of years back.

It can now be found on many high profile smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Fitbit Sense.

Unlike a regular heart rate monitor, which can be found on even the cheapest of smartwatches, which use flashing LEDs to penetrate the skin and detect blood flow and BPM, ECG monitoring is a far more accurate process that is designed to measure how well your heart is working.

An ECG sensor records tiny electrical signals under your skin, to understand more about how your heart is functioning and, crucially, determine if there are any abnormalities.

Guide: ECG wearables - How they work

When selling a smartwatch in the western world proclaiming ECG readings, brands have to get clearance from the likes of FDA in the US.

That's why Zepp - just like Huawei and its GT2 Pro ECG model - have opted for a China-first launch for its advanced smartwatch variant. We await news on whether we'll get the ECG Zepp Z globally... we wouldn't recommend holding your breath.

Zepp, owned by Amazfit’s parent company Huami, followed up its Zepp E Circle and Zepp E Round with the Z.

The Zepp Z boasts SpO2 tracking, stress detection and all-day heart rate monitoring courtesy of Huami’s BioTracker 2 PPG module.

That sensor also delivers the PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) score, that grades your activity to help you determine you’re getting enough exercise.

With ECG now in the mix, it's a pretty compelling health tracking option.

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Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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