MPOW DS-D6 Fitness Band Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Size
  Power
  User Interface and Operation
  APP
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Having worked with GearBest long enough and built a relationship, sometimes things just… show up in my mailbox.  This is one of those things.  I’ve expressed some interest in bike computers before, and I think this item is trickle down.  Nonetheless, I’m going to give it a look, because step tracking and heart rate monitoring is something that interests me.  This is the MPOW DS-D6.


Official Specs and Features

MPOW does have an official site (linked above) but this item doesn’t seem to be on their official page.  Here’s the item on GearBest.com.

Main Features:
● Your Healthy Sports Recorder
● Visualization of Exercise Effect – Dynamic Heart Rate Monitor
● Improvement of Sleep Quality – Sleep Tracker
● Never Miss Any Important Issues
● No Afraid of Heavy Sweat or Rainy Days
● Admirable Using and Wearing Feeling
● Extra Warm Functions:

Sedentary reminder: automatically alert you to move for long-time sitting.
Find your phone: turn to “Go” interface and find your phone within Bluetooth distance.
Raise to wake: lift or turn over your hands to light up the screen, no operation requested for checking time.
Display mode switch: adjust the display into landscape mode on App, no wearing limitation of left or right hands.
Wake up service: vibrating to wake you up if set an alarm clock on App. Thoughtful design.
USB direct charge: creative detachable dial, can charge for the bracelet directly after disassembly.

Versions

GearBest sells only one color, and as I can’t identify the product on the XMPOW website, we’ll just have to say this is the only option.

Price

There’s a sale currently bringing this item down to $9.99.  That’s a good price for a band that does what this band does.


Short Review

For the sale price of $9.99, this is a good deal.  I don’t love it, but I’m fairly accustomed to Garmin sport watches, so this is to be expected.  It adequately does the two things I want most out of it: Heart Rate, and steps.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • MPOW DS-D6 Fitness Band
  • Manual

Package and Manual

The MPOW ships in a slip fit card board box, wrapped in plastic.  This plastic is printed with some specs and QR codes, but that’s nothing you’ll need to keep – all this information is in the manual.

The manual is a little booklet style paper, all in English, and is useful and descriptive.  The QR codes mentioned above are in the manual too, so the apps for iOS or Android will be easy to obtain.  It’s also well written, with very little Chinglish.  The majority of the manual covers the app, something I’ll do briefly.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The quality of the band and tracker are good.  The band feels slightly rubbery (not silicone).  The tracker has a very smooth glossy front, and a legible OLED display.

It’s a comfortable band.  I’ve worn it on both wrists (including the wrist that always has a G-Shock) and it’s worked out just fine, with little interference.

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The connection is just as with a watch – a metal clasp, and holes in the band.  (The new version looks to have a connector like the Apple watch.)

As far as disassembling the unit, this is basically as far as I took it.  The tracker comes out of the band.  You’ll have to become acquainted with this, because you’ll need to charge the device immediately.

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As for taking the actual tracker itself apart?  I did try.  I tried quite hard if I’m honest…. but these two parts seem to be sonically welded together.  They aren’t coming apart non-destructively.  (Which is good, as we want this to maintain it’s IP67 waterproof rating.)

Size

Officially this is 4.07 x 2.00 x 1.36 cm, for the tracker without the band.  The band is around 1cm in width.

Power

The DS-D6 is powered by an internal cell of claimed 90mAh capacity.  Initially I had some issues getting the device to work but I believe it was an issue of charging.  Once I charged overnight (maybe even longer), I haven’t had any problems since.  The documentation says initial charging should take 1.5 hours, but that was not my experience.

The charging is achieved by a usb plug built in on the tracker.  It’s a thin male USB, which an be installed in either orientation.  The product photos show this device charging on a Macbook Air with the display up.  That’s not the case, at least on a Macbook pro.  The display will need to go down.  When it’s connected properly, the device will display a charging icon.  Even though the plug is sharply angled (because it isn’t retractable, and has to contour to the wrist), it still fits into the female USB just fine.

Charging shouldn’t take more than an hour – it’s only a 9mAh cell.  And the charge should last… a day or few?  Hard to say – I’ve had it last just over a day, and much longer than a day.

User Interface and Operation

On the front is a single capacitive switch.  There’s no tactile feedback on the switch, but the screen responds visibly when an action occurs.

When the button is pressed, the display goes from black (off) to displaying the time, day and date, charge level, and if there is a bluetooth connection. A note regarding the bluetooth connection.  As far as I can tell, the bluetooth connection is the only way to set the clock.  That seems quite a bit less than ideal, and I’m guessing there’s a non-connected way to use this device, but I didn’t discover it.

Device is in an ‘on’ state but the screen isn’t currently displaying anything.

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Button press, this is the first thing seen:

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Then these icons, in this order.  Heart rate is shown twice because the heart pulses

Successive presses of the button cycle the options.  Steps, then Hear Rate, then distance walked/route tracking, calories burned.

When the device is active (screen is on) holding the button brings up the “local settings” menu very briefly and three actions can be chosen: power off, sport, and return.  But to activate any of these options, one must click the circle button repeatedly and the different options are selected, and a second or two after release, that item will be selected.  If you select power off, the unit will tell you “Bye”!  To turn it back on, hold the circle button.  It’ll say “welcome” and vibrate.  If you select and start the “running man” option, a recorded session will begin, and track heart rate, time, and distance.  Holding the circle button again will stop the session.  I have not explored the recorded tracking.  The final option just returns the device to the time menu.

Here’s the local settings menu:

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Regarding heart rate: there’s an optical sensor on the wrist-side, which uses a green light to optically check the pulse.  When pulse is being checked, this light is illuminated.  One thing I found highly frustrating about the heart rate (my primary point of interest using the DS-D6), is that it does not track pulse, it only checks pulse when that option is activated by the user.  I think many fitness bands are like this, but I’d rather have a log of my HR every 5 minutes or one hour or whatever.

20171225-IMG_9010.jpg

The product page on GearBest mentions a bunch of other stuff.  Push alerts from phone, call notifications, etc.

APP

There’s an app for the DS-D6, which I’d consider to be a required app.  I didn’t find a way to set the clock on the DS-D6 without connecting via bluetooth, and when that’s done, the time is set automatically.

It’s possible to change a bunch of settings through the app.

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Here’s a better idea of what can be set.  Reminders, vibration settings, heart rate monitor, alarms, and even the vertical or horizontal orientation of the clock.

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Through the app, one may also track steps and history in general:

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The app is fairly good but could use a bit of refinement to help understand what’s what.

 

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

GearBest themselves describes possibly the biggest competitor to this Mpow DS-D6: the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.  They list a couple others:  Lenovo HW01, and the Huawei Band 3.  Here’s how they stack up:

There are also Garmin options, like the Vivofit 3.  I’ve always liked Garmin products, but the price puts it out of the running here (5 or 6 times the cost of the Mpow).

Conclusion

What I like

  • Measures the two things I’m most interested in with this category device: steps and heart rate
  • Charges quickly
  • Charger built into the device
  • Seems fairly rugged

What I don’t like

  • Requires app to set time
  • Not all features mentioned on the product page seem to exist on the device.
  • Not all features mentioned on the app seem to exist on the device.

Up Next

Next week I’ll have a number of flashlights; Lumintop, Klarus, and a Convoy, most likely.  I hope to also have a flashlight-related, and a non-flashlight related item too!  I’ll have to see what is finished by then!!

Notes

  • This fitness band was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this item, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

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