'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
While many people prefer the watch form factor for their health tracking wearable, there are others who prefer something less bulky and more subtle. The new Amazfit Band 5 weighs in at only 24 grams so you can wear it for a couple of weeks without discomfort.
The Amazfit Band 5 is available now for $49.99 from Amazon and directly from Amazfit. The closest competitors are the Fitbit Inspire 2 ($99.95) and Fitbit Charge 4 ($149.95) so as you can see the Amazfit Band 5 is priced at a third to a helf the price of these fitness bands.
The band has all of the latest specifications found in wearables today and a battery life of a couple of weeks. Long battery life like this is key to wearing something 24/7 and capturing all of your health data.
Also: Zepp E Square smartwatch hands-on: Gorgeous design, long battery life, and focus on health
The Amazfit Band 5 is a very lightweight band with a comfortable silicone band, but it is a bit thick at 12.4mm. It has an infinity type of band where the bitter end passes through a loop on the other end and then clips into a hole in the band to hold it securely against your wrist. You can remove the data unit from the band, which can be useful if you want to put the unit into a different color silicone band.
The AMOLED screen has several brightness settings and looks great in all lighting conditions. A small capacitive button is located just below the display. After tapping that button, you then simply swipe up, down, right, or left to navigate the device. Taps on the display activate the selection.
The heart rate monitor protrudes just a bit from the back of the Amazfit Band 5. A magnetic attachment fits onto the two connection points on the lower back of the Band 5.
Also: Amazfit PowerBuds review: Heart rate sensor, innovative ear hooks, and long battery life
The watch is very easy to use. Tap on the capacitive button below the display to turn on the display and show your selected watch face. You can also have a setting to raise your wrist to view the watch face.
Swipes up and down take you through other screens that are set up in the settings of the Zepp app as band display settings. Options include status, PAI, heart rate, stress level, SpO2, event reminder, and much more. These options are selected and rearranged in the Zepp settings.
Swipes to the left and right take you through the various shortcuts you select in the Zepp app. These shortcuts include notifications, Alexa, weather, music, status, PAI, heart rate, and more. Tapping on any of these apps, utilities, and widgets show you more info on the band itself.
In order to connect your phone and experience everything there is to offer with the Amazfit Band 5, download and install the Zepp app to your phone. The Zepp app is a very comprehensive application that supports connecting and managing all of your Amazfit products. It is used for the various earbuds, like the PowerBuds I recently reviewed, as well as other Amazfit wearables. I tested it on both Android and iOS devices, with flawless performance.
The application launches with a summary page that shows your daily steps status, calories burned, sleep, sleep score, heart rate history, PAI, goal tracker, and more. The other two main screens are labeled Enjoy and Profile.
Also: Amazfit ZenBuds review: Audio puts you to sleep, the earbuds track all of the details
The Enjoy tab/display shows options for the alarm clock, schedule, find a device, watch face, notification manager, and more. It is updated to reflect the functions of the currently connected device and is very comprehensive.
The Profile screen is where you see the status of your devices and can also control and completely manage the specific devices. Your goals, records, friends, third party connected accounts (We Chat, Google Fit, Strava, and Relive), and other settings are present here.
There is a watch face store with a large number of available faces for you to download and use on the Amazfit Band 5 so you won't be lacking for watch face options.
Back on the main smartphone display, tap the four leaf icon in the upper right corner to view All Data. Here you can see categories for exercise data, status data, health sign, body measurements, and body composition. Much of this data is entered manually as the wearables don't track all of this, but this data may help determine the accuracy of the coaching features.
There are some health tips and summary reports, including charts, for the exercise and health data that are interesting and helpful to understand your health and wellness. You can use some of the tips for motivation to improve your health and it is a comprehensive application.
The more I use the Zepp smartphone app and the more Amazfit watches we see released the more inclined I am to dive in and spend a few months with one of these devices as my wearable. The Zepp app is extremely powerful and has a vast amount of data and analysis inside. Your data can also be synced with Apple Health, Strava, Relive, and more.
While I wear devices with integrated GPS receivers, the Amazfit Band 5 offers just about everything else you want to track. This includes blood oxygen monitoring, heart rate, stress, steps, sleep, VO2 max, and more. The PAI (physiological activity indicator) score looks to be a fairly comprehensive metric for helping you maximize your performance and improve your health.
The Amazfit Band 5 is a full-featured activity tracker and performs as advertised. Long battery life, comfort, and the ability to track a large number of metrics are key to the success of a wearable and the Band 5 easily satisfies all of these and more.