Most fitness bands are used as activity trackers, but the GOQii ecosystem, including its app-based health coaching, offers much more. The new GOQii Vital band monitors blood pressure (BP) and heart rate; tracks step count and workout, and provides access to a coach and a doctor as well as fitness experts. Vital sports a sleek look and features a full-colour OLED display.
When setting it up for the first time, all I had to do was download the GOQii app, register and sync the band. Once it is done, the band displays time and swiping up, you can see options such as workout tracking, BP, heart rate, number of steps walked and more. It automatically detects the daily step count, but heart rate and BP can be monitored with a simple tap on the band. I had to keep my hand still for less than a minute to get my BP reading, but heart rate was measured in real time. However, BP sensing may not be completely accurate. My regular reading is 120/80 (systolic and diastolic), but the band reading varied between 110-120 for systolic and 60-67 for diastolic.
Heart rate monitoring is similar to what other smartwatches do. The smart band comes with a three-month subscription that provides a personal coach via the app (a human, not a bot), consultation with a doctor, Karma Points (awarded for meeting daily targets) and GOQii Cash. When I registered, the app allowed me to choose from five different coaches who would help me achieve my health goals. It was followed by a quick call with the coach, regular message-based interactions within the app and a quick consultation with a doctor. I earned GOQii Cash for every food log and water intake, and I was able to redeem a part of the virtual cash at the GOQii store. Even though the ecosystem has evolved, Vital will need some improvements, especially when it comes to BP monitoring.
Unlike other fitness bands with proprietary chargers, GOQii Vital has a built-in USB that can be plugged into an adapter or a laptop. It takes close to an hour to be fully charged and lasted me nearly five days.