There are many fitness trackers that double as smartwatches pretty well, and many smartwatches include enough health and fitness tracking functionality to make them useful as fitness trackers. Indeed, the lines that once firmly separated smartwatches and fitness trackers have blurred considerably; most devices are now a healthy mix of both. This has made the budget smartwatch segment particularly interesting as several brands such as Fire-Boltt, Noise, Zebronics, Realme and Xiaomi now have interesting options for less than Rs. 5,000.
The product I’m reviewing here is a smartwatch in the traditional sense, but has fitness and health tracking features that can set it apart from the competition. The NoiseFit Active smartwatch costs Rs. 3,999 in India, and has useful features such as heart rate and blood oxygen tracking, exercise and sleep monitoring, and the ability to show notifications from your smartphone right on your wrist. Is this the best affordable smartwatch you can buy right now? Find out in this review.
NoiseFit Active Design
The NoiseFit Active has a round dial with a 1.28 inch TFT-LCD touchscreen. The smooth matte finish of the dial and solid black bezel keeps the focus on what’s on the screen itself. There are two buttons on the right. The top button is for power, to open the app menu and go home, while the bottom one opens and activates the workout modes. Apart from this, navigation is completely touch based, with swipe and tap to move and select specific options.
The bottom of the watch has the contacts for the charger and the optical sensor for heart rate and SpO2 measurements. The housing is made of plastic, which also keeps the NoiseFit Active light and comfortable, weighing only 45 g. The smartwatch is 5ATM water resistant and can therefore be worn safely in most situations involving water exposure.
While my rose gold review unit looked good enough, the gray, black, and blue color options look a little better in my opinion. You get a 22 mm rubber watch strap included with the watch; it’s comfortable, completely waterproof and can be replaced quite easily with any standard 22mm strap.
The display has a resolution of 240×240 pixels and can be woken up with a flick of the wrist or by pressing one of the buttons; strangely enough, tapping the screen doesn’t work. The smartwatch uses Bluetooth 5 for connectivity and supports smartphones with iOS 9 and above or Android 4.4 and above.
The included charging cable snaps magnetically onto the NoiseFit Active’s charging points, but doesn’t stay very firmly in place; even the slightest movement can make the charger fall out of place, so I had to handle the watch carefully while charging. The other end plugs into a USB Type-A port, so it can be used with most of your existing chargers and even computers.
NoiseFit Active software, interface and app
Like many of the budget smartwatches available today, the NoiseFit Active has a custom operating system designed to work with its circular screen and controls. It has a simple interface and all apps and screens are accessible with a few button presses or swipes from the home screen. The user interface includes a notification drawer, quick settings shade, fitness parameter graphs, and exercise tracking menu. The app drawer shows some pre-installed apps for the various tracking functions on the NoiseFit Active.
There’s also a ‘Breathe’ app for guided breathing and basic tools such as a stopwatch, timer, alarm clock, music remote, weather forecast, phone finder and the smartwatch settings menu. You cannot install additional apps on the device, but the NoiseFit Active can read and display notifications from a number of apps on your smartphone, including WhatsApp, Gmail, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, to name a few.
Although it took some getting used to, I was eventually able to navigate the interface without too many missteps and quickly access what I needed. The standard watch face was my favorite, as it displays a lot of relevant information in addition to the time, such as day and date, battery level, heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and distance traveled. You can choose from about 50 other watch faces available in the NoiseFit app, as well as browse a handful on the watch itself to find one you like.
The NoiseFit Active is linked to the NoiseFit app, available for Android and iOS. I used a OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition for my review and pairing the smartwatch with the app was a simple process that didn’t take too long. Once paired, I was able to adjust settings, change watch faces, view fitness and exercise plans, and update the smartwatch’s firmware.
The app is very well designed. It regularly synchronizes data and reliably sends the correct notifications to the smartwatch. While you can see tracking charts on the watch itself, they are much better presented and easier to view on the smartphone.
NoiseFit Active performance and battery life
Most budget smartwatches tend to focus on one particular function, and the NoiseFit Active has fitness and health tracking at the forefront. This is a capable smartwatch, but it can’t work as a hands-free device for your smartphone like the Fire-Boltt Talk can, showing only notifications from supported apps, plus caller identification.
That said, the interface is designed to put health and fitness features at your fingertips, making this smartwatch better suited to users with active lifestyles. As mentioned, I really liked the standard watch face, which offers a modern-looking, clear display of important data such as heart rate, steps, battery level and more.
The two main health parameters measured by the NoiseFit Active are your heart rate and SpO2 level, and the device provided accurate readings for both under normal use, compared to a standard fingertip pulse oximeter and an Apple Watch Series 5. speed readings were recorded and were sometimes inaccurate at first, before eventually stabilizing to accurate levels.
When manually counting 1,000 steps, the NoiseFit Active recorded approximately 1,040 steps, which equates to a margin of error of approximately four percent. This isn’t bad, but it’s a lot higher than competitors like the Fire-Boltt Talk and Fire-Boltt Beast, both of which have lower margins of error of about 2-3 percent.
Over longer distances, this margin of error increased to about seven percent when the measurements were compared to those of the Apple Watch Series 5. The NoiseFit Active recorded about 7,600 steps while the Apple Watch Series 5 measures 7,100 steps, with both watches on my wrists at the same time. This margin of error is a bit high even for a budget smartwatch or fitness tracker.
Sleep tracking is good enough, but the calorie and distance numbers are essentially estimates based on steps counted. The stopwatch, alarm and timer apps worked as expected. Exercise tracking includes specialized modes for walking, running, cycling, elliptical exercises, swimming, mixed workouts, and even yoga and cricket. I was able to test the walk, run, and elliptical modes, and the measurements seemed slightly overrated, as was the case with the pedometer.
The battery life on the NoiseFit Active is particularly good for a budget smartwatch, with the 320mAh battery on the device powering it for seven days with regular use before needing a recharge. During this period, he was always connected to the paired smartphone. It took about three hours to fully charge the NoiseFit Active when plugged into my laptop’s USB port, and Noise recommends not using a fast-charging adapter to avoid damaging the battery.
While a budget fitness tracker like the Mi Band 6 may seem like the most sensible option for fitness-minded users, options like the NoiseFit Active do have some appeal. For just a little more money, the NoiseFit Active looks better, has a larger screen and offers much more of a smartwatch experience.
Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring are reasonable, but the pedometer has a higher margin of error for recording steps than competing products in this price segment. On the plus side, good design and comfort, decent software, stable connectivity and very good battery life largely make up for it. The NoiseFit Active is a worthwhile option to consider for less than Rs. 5,000.