I got the MGCOOL Band 2 a few weeks back and ever since I have been playing around with the device. MGCOOL is a special brand that focuses on products other than smartphones like wearables, action cameras etc.
The MGCOOL Band 2 is a good looking fitness band that works as promised. It took me a while to learn all the features on the handset, and there are quite a number of options available, despite its cheap price tag. And surprisingly, all the features work as described.
Just like any other wearable, there are three major things that you get inside the MGCOOL Band 2 box, the wearable device, a charging module and the user manual. No need for any kind of screen scratch guard as the display on board is quite resistant to scratches. At least I haven’t seen any significant scratches on the screen in my two weeks of usage.
MGCOOL Band 2 Review: DESIGN
The MGCOOL Band 2 is a pretty good looking wearable. I like that the company has given it a different design as compared to the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 which most local Chinese companies try to imitate. In fact, because of its slightly curved display design, the MGCOOL Band 2 looks better than Xiaomi’s wearable. However, note that the main module with the display is not removable, and is integrated with the silicone strap. But the strap can be replaced by taking out the two screws on each side of the module.
What I love about the band is its minimalistic design. The strap feels good and there is a cut out in between where you can neatly slide the remaining part of the strap (after pinning it) for a firm fit. While it may take a couple of trials to get used to the design, it ensures that the wearable fits well onto your wrist.
You have one capacitive button on the display that works well along with the MGCOOL branding on top. Overall the wearable feels pretty good for a $25 device.
MGCOOL Band 2 Review: DISPLAY
The Band 2 has a pretty decent display. It’s larger than Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2 and also uses its larger size in full effect. You get a host of information right from its first menu, which is great. As soon as you light up the display, the MGCOOL Band 2 reveals the time, date as well as battery remaining. Use the capacitive button to move to the next display page. I ‘ll detail all the display pages in the UI section, but since we are talking about the display quality here, note that it’s pretty good for a $20 device. The graphics are good and things look pretty sharp.
One important feature missing from the MGCOOL Band 2 is lighting up the display when you bring up your wrist. Although this feature doesn’t usually work as well as you would want in most cheap wearables, it is still a pretty essential feature. Having to manually click the capacitive button to light up the display gets boring after a while.
MGCOOL BAND 2 REVIEW: MGCOOL APP
Before we move on to the user interface, note that there is a dedicated MGCOOL Band 2 app on the Google Play store to make sure that the installation process is quick and easy. Like most other Chinese wearable apps in the market, the translation is a bit off in the app, well, not exactly off, but a bit funny. But that doesn’t affect the usage in any much as the features and options are clearly defined in the app. The app is good for basic usage, but don’t expect too much from it.
Once you download and install the MGCOOL Band 2 app, just go to device from the menu and your app should find the Band 2 pretty quickly. I tried out connecting the band on my Redmi 4A as well as OnePlus 3T and it was quick to find the wearable and connect to it. So, no issues in this department. The app will take a few seconds to sync data to the band and reveal it on your smartphone screen.
The app will show you important details such as your steps, sleep and heart rate data. Note that there is a special running mode on the device (I ‘ll explain it to you in the user interface section) and you have those details available on the app as well.
You can also play around with a lot of features on the MGCOOL Band 2 app from the setting menu, like Setting your goal for steps, distance and calories, Anti-lost, Music and camera controls, alarm, ringtone and hydration modes. Yes, the hydration mode as you may have guessed from the translation reminds you to drink a glass of water throughout the day. You can set an interval for the reminder as well as the number of times the band has to remind you for the same.
Overall, despite its weird translations, the app for the MGCOOL Band 2 works well.
MGCOOL Band 2 Review: User Interface
Unlike the Mi Band 2, the MGCOOL Band 2 comes with a lot of pages on the display. You are greeted with the date, time and battery life on the first page. As you move on to the next using the capacitive button, you’ll find the steps walked in a day, special running mode, distance traveled, calories burned, remote camera, remote music playback control, heart rate sensor, and firmware version details in each of the subsequent pages.
Note that these pages just display the recorded information. But if you want to start switch on the feature in some of the pages, like running mode, remote camera and music controls and even heart rate sensor, you have to long press the capacitive button. Long press in the remote camera mode takes a picture, but only when you have activated the camera via the companion Band 2 app. It’s a pretty decent setup for selfies. The music mode gives you three different controls, including play/pause, next and previous buttons.
All the interface modes are shown below in the gallery.
MGCOOL Band 2 Review: Fitness Features
The MGCOOL Band manages to track your steps with a decent level of accuracy. It’s pretty much the same as most decent wearables out there, so you won’t be disappointed. Initially, I felt that the step count was higher on this band than the Mi Band 2, but when I tested both the wearables together, the results were quite similar.
The heart rate sensor works pretty well, provided the band fits perfectly on your wrist. Sometimes you may have to adjust the position of the band to get rid of the “Please Wear Correctly” message in the heart rate mode. But overall the sensor works fine.
The band is IPX7 certified as well, which means it’s waterproof and can be immersed under water up to 1m for up to 30 minutes. So, it will be fine for use under rain, or a few splashes of water. But don’t go swimming with the device.
The running mode is pretty good as well, as it shows you the time taken to cover the steps taken as well as the calories burned during the activity.
MGCOOL BAND 2 REVIEW: Battery Life
The MGCOOL Band 2 lasts for about a week after charging it once. So, battery life isn’t a problem on the device. The charger provided inside the box is also minimalistic. Unlike some wearable chargers that are magnetic that snap right onto the device, the one provided with the MGCOOL Band 2 comes with a basic clip on design. It’s quite easy to connect the three pins on the charger to the device and you won’t have any issues in this regard.
MGCOOL BAND 2 REVIEW: Conclusion
Overall, I am pretty happy with the device. The fitness features work well on most occasions, it looks and feels well built and the battery lasts for a few days. These are the things that you usually look for in a cheap fitness band and the MGCOOL Band 2 manages to fulfill these needs with ease. Given that the band costs just $25-30, the device can be a good addition to your fitness accessories.