With a seven-day battery life and smartwatch notifications, the Vibe Band VB10 offers up another variation on the slightly smart fitness band formula...but it's not coming to the US.
LAS VEGAS -- Fitness band meets smartwatch: yeah, it's a well-trodden formula. Lenovo, however, hasn't made a splash into wearables before. The Vibe Band VB10, debuted at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, aims for the same territory as many other bands and watches already out there. We spent a little hands-on time with the e-ink gadget to try it on some wrists.
A larger vertical always-on e-ink display displays stats, time and even smartphone notifications. The VB10's 7-day battery life and shower-friendly design (IPx7, 30 minutes at a meter deep) also put it above some of the competition. Sony's SmartBand Talk feels like one of the closest recent equivalents, but Sony's band also takes calls: Lenovo's doesn't.
The Vibe VB10 has a curved display, buttons on the side and a metal body. The straps are rubberized. The look is reasonably sleek from a distance, but this type of design feels reminiscent of a lot of other wearables, making this seem pretty generic.
The 230 pixel-per-inch e-ink display can show up to 150 characters of any notification or text, making this potentially a pretty effective basic smartwatch, too. The real question lies in how Lenovo's app will support notifications, and how well -- or accurately -- the band's fitness functions work. Basic step counting and activity are supported, but not heart rate.
The Vibe VB10 has several colors, but it looks pretty clunky: that metal body seems chunkier than it needs to be. But, it's affordable: only $89 (currency conversion equivalent to £58, or AU$110). The only catch? It won't be available in the US at all when it debuts this April. By that time, there are bound to many other devices like this, too. The VB10 would have been a lot more exciting if it had debuted at last year's CES. Right now, it's just another band in the desert.