The S908 is a sub-$50 fitness tracker with GPS and heart rate monitor features. When I first received my S908, I was quite impressed with its overall build quality. The buttons, straps and screen all exude the look and feel of a premium product. This is something that cannot be experienced merely by looking at official product photos.
Due to its huge 230mAh battery which is way bigger than the average battery size for fitness trackers, the S908 has a much larger form factor compared to many other fitness trackers. With that said, it does feel a bit bulky and its weight is somewhat noticeable when worn on the wrist.
- Heart rate monitor (optical sensor technology)
- Pedometer and sleep tracking
- OLED display
- 230mAh battery (approximately 20 days standby time)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- IP68 waterproofing
- Recording modes:
- 1 touch-sensitive button and 2 mechanical buttons
- Compatible with HPlus Watch app
One thing I like about the S908 is its large OLED LCD screen. The screen is larger than the screens on most fitness trackers giving you a bigger view of the text and details on the screen. Contrast and viewing angles are also good.
At the bottom of the screen is a touch-sensitive button marked by a fingerprint icon that acts as a menu scroll button and on the right are two mechanical buttons that function as the “enter menu” and “exit menu” buttons. I’m not a fan of mechanical buttons on fitness trackers but these buttons do have a nice tactile feel and they seem built to last although only time will tell if they are durable enough for the long term.
Charging on the S908 is handled by a charging dock that latches on to its sides and connects to two charging points a the bottom of the S908. So far I’ve had no issues with the dock and it seems to be doing its job fine. Unlike other fitness trackers or smartwatches that use magnetic charging docks that have the tendency to get disconnected due to weak latching, the S908’s dock latches on very securely and there is no play at all.
Features and Performance
As a fitness tracker, the S908 has all the features you’ll need to monitor your health and fitness activities. It has a pedometer, optical heart rate monitor and sleep tracking features. The accompanying app allows you to analyze your sleep or fitness data. It, however, lacks a few extra features that some fitness trackers such as the KCASA G20 have. This includes ECG and a blood pressure monitor.
From my experience with heart rate monitors that are worn on wrists, they are reasonably accurate as long as you do not swing or shake your forearm constantly such as when you’re running. When there is a lot of forearm shake, HR accuracy on the S908 becomes very unreliable.
One key feature of the S908 that would attract many is its GPS tracking feature. The S908 uses GPS to show you your current speed and distance traveled when in certain exercise modes such as cycling or running. It is also capable of recording GPS tracks and then transferring them to your smartphone via Bluetooth for viewing on the HLife app.
GPS accuracy is reasonably good and tracks are mostly 5 to 2m off when the S908 is used on terrain that has very little obstructions (such as tall buildings or structures) that could affect GPS reception. The feature also does fairly well in determining current speed and distance.
Battery life is where the S908 truly shines. I’d go as far to say that the battery life on it is class-leading, providing an incredible 20 day standby time — something you don’t normally get with other fitness trackers. In fact, there are not many fitness trackers out there that can match the S908 when it comes to battery life.
With daily use and with some battery-sapping features such as 24-hour heart rate monitoring turned off, I was able to get approximately 16 days of use per charge. This included 3 jogging sessions that used GPS tracking and with the pedometer turned on the whole day.
HPlus Watch app
The S908 was designed to work with the HPlus Watch app which can be used to download data from the tracker and displaying it in graph or pie form so you can make better sense of your exercise data. The app can also be used to view your recorded GPS tracks. The app also allows you to control various settings on the S908.
Although HPlus has improved since a few versions ago, I still feel it is poorly developed and buggy. For example, sleep and steps data do not appear in graphs even when the app has synced with the tracker. And the app seems to allow only auto-sync. In other words, there is no button or way you can manually sync it with your tracker. There are just so many flaws in this app that I have chosen not to list them all out here so as not to make this review too long.
Interestingly, there are two app HPlus apps on the Google Play Store which use the same logo as the one recommended in the S908 user manual. I downloaded one of these apps and it seems to do a better job in displaying sleep and pedometer data although GPS tracking seems highly inaccurate when displayed using this app.