The Indian market is flooded with smartwatches that have support for calling over Bluetooth. PLAY, an Indian start-up popular for its accessories, launched the PLAYFIT SLIM and PLAYFIT STRENGTH smartwatch models last month. I have been using the PLAYFIT STRENGTH that supports the Bluetooth calling feature for a couple of weeks now. Let us check out the review to find out what it has to offer.
- PLAYFIT STRENGTH in Black colour
- Charging cable
- User manual
Design and Build
The watch has a stainless steel round dial and a composite body structure made with Polycarbonate and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene that offers a sturdy build. The smartwatch has IP67 ratings for dust and water resistance. There is Accelerometer, 24h Heart Rate and SpO2 monitoring. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to Android and iOS devices.
It weighs 57 grams with the strap. The watch comes with a 22mm interchangeable strap that has a silicone finish. There is an ‘OPEN’ button on the top right side that will return to home on a short press, and lets you power the smartwatch on or off on a long press. The other button is the ‘DOWN’ key that lets you change the menu on a short press and change the watch face on a long press. You can also press and hold the screen to change the watch face.
On the back, you can see the rate sensor that uses glowing green LED light when you are using it to measure the heart rate, but it uses the same sensor for blood oxygen monitoring unlike other smartwatches that use a red LED. You can see the speaker on the left side and the microphone is present on the right side.
Coming to the display, the watch has a 1.3-inch (240×240 pixels) 261 PPI LCD glass colour touch screen. The company doesn’t say if it uses any kind of scratch resistant glass. The pixel density of the screen is less compared to some watch models, so you can see the pixels when you look closely. You can set it to turn on the screen when you lift your hand, and the screen turns off in a few seconds to save power, but there is no option to extend the screen timeout limit. The touch screen is smooth to use, but the brightness is less even when you set it to full, so the sunlight legibility is less.
You can adjust the brightness by swiping from the top or from Settings→Adjust Brightness. You can adjust it from level 1 till 5, but there is no auto brightness adjustment since it lacks an ambient light sensor. During night, level 2 is good, and level 5 is needed for daytime or outdoors. There is also an easy notification shade option when you swipe from the bottom. You can’t clear individual notification, and the only way is to clear all. You can read the notifications, but can’t reply to them. Swiping from the top opens a quick settings shade, which has ‘Theater mode’ that turns off vibration and turns the brightness down. There is also brightness adjustment, vibration toggle, weather and settings. It also shows the date, day, Bluetooth connectivity status and the battery.
Swiping from the left shows all the features that includes weather, heart rate, SpO2 monitoring, stop watch, music controls, steps, camera controls, calling and notifications.
The main highlight of the smartwatch is the built-in calling feature, since it has a microphone and a speaker. It shows call log, and there is even a dial pad, in addition to contacts option, but you can only store 8 contacts in the watch. Calling experience is good indoors, and the microphone is able to pick up the voice well, and speaker output is also loud, thanks to 2W EBEL speakers, but it could have been a bit louder outdoors.
It runs proprietary software compatible with both Android and iOS (8.0+) running Android (4.4+). Pairing the device with your mobile phone is pretty much easy where you need to install “Playfit” app from Google Play Store or App Store. It also asks you to register an account, and you will also have to fill your physical details, such as height, weight, gender and birth year.
It has separate sections. The first one shows activity details, sleep and heart rate and heart rate tracking with data that is shown on the second section that also offers data for 7 days, 15 days and 30 days.
The settings option lets you set notification alerts, music control, find your watch and set favourite contact to call. You can add up to 8 favourite contacts that are pushed to the phone, so that you can make a call directly from the watch when it is connected to the phone, but you can only select one number from the contact.
Others option has a lot of options include on screen time limit (5, 10 or 10 sec), camera control and time format. Alert settings have call alert and alarm. The account settings let you manage your profile, check for update, set target, track weight, change password on log out. I couldn’t find an option to change the watch faces, even though the company says that the watch supports over 99 cloud watch faces. It also doesn’t have the female cycle tracker, which the company advertises. Hope the app gets updated with these features soon.
Fitness and sleep tracking
The watch has 7 workout modes that includes Walking, Running, Cycling, Skipping, Badminton, Basketball and Football. You can open the workout mode just with a press of the ‘DOWN’ button.
Steps tracking is decent. When you launch the running mode from the watch directly, it doesn’t get the GPS data from the app, instead it uses the steps to track, so the data is not 100% correct compared to other smartwatches which use dedicated GPS, so I this is not the best best to track outdoor workouts. Sleep tracking is okay, but it is not 100% accurate. It only shows deep sleep, light sleep and awake data.
Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring
The smartwatch uses LED lights and photo-diodes to illuminate the blood vessel for a while and monitors the heart rate via the change of green light absorbed. Heart rate data is fine when compared to other models, but the SpO2 or blood oxygen data always shows 96 or 97 when the other smartwatches and Oximeter shows 99. There is no SpO2 option in the app, and it is present only in the watch. The app looks like a half-baked one with a lot of features missing.
It has a 400mAh battery, and the company promises 4 to 5 days of battery life with calling and up to 15 days standby time. With mixed use of calling enabled for a few days, I got about 5 days of battery life, which is good. This might vary depending on frequent use of the display with increased brightness, use of the heart rate monitor and all the notifications turned on.
The PLAYFIT STRENGTH is just an average smartwatch with calling capabilities over Bluetooth and a good build quality priced under Rs. 5000. However, the display is not the best compared to the other models in the price range since some even offer Bluetooth calling and an AMOLED screen in the price range. The smartwatch is available from worldofplay website for Rs. 4999, and you can get it on Amazon.in for Rs. 4,600.
- Good build quality
- Bluetooth calling is good
- Good battery life
- Display is not bright for outdoors
- Outdoor activity tracking is not accurate
- No option to get more watch faces in the app (yet)