Zepp 2 Video – Review of Video Functionality
In Part 1 of our review of the new Zepp 2 Tennis Sensor we delved into the on-court and app experience. In Part 2, we’re still looking through the app but looking specifically at the new video functionality.
For those familiar with Zepp 1, 3D Man was as “video” as it got. Zepp 2 has two options when it comes to video, and neither of them involve a 3D serving feature!
Zepp 2 Smart Capture
The Smart Capture video functionality can be reached from the Home Screen of the app. There’s a video icon up the top when “Record” is selected at the bottom of the screen.
It took us a while to figure out what this actually does. Like most users, we expected it was a little like the Sony Smart Sensor or Qlipp video functionality where all shots could be recorded and played back. Not so.
The app starts recording what’s on-screen immediately, but only saves video when the green button is tapped. It’s not a record button. It’s a save button.
But therein lies a bit more of a rub. It records the last 4 seconds of recorded video with no functionality for the user to change the time period. It begs the question, what’s it actually for?
In theory, it’s so that your best shots can be recorded and saved without taking up too much space on your phone. In practice, it’s not usable in a match situation and isn’t the best in a hit session either.
Smart Capture requires a third party to hold the device and press the save button. Someone also has to make a value judgement on the “save-ability” of each shot. Why not just record the vision on your phone or tablet and play it back later for comment, comparison and coaching purposes?
That’s where the social side of it comes in again. The only real positive here is that you don’t need the sensor connected to use Smart Capture.
Smart Rally Capture
Once you’ve started a match you have an option to go to Smart Rally Capture by tapping the same video icon that you use for Smart Capture.
Unlike the 4 seconds worth of video you get from Smart Capture, this video functionality doesn’t require any human contact once the device is set. Instead of a human making a value judgement on the “save-ability” of a shot, the app makes a judgement based on whether a shot within a rally was worth saving.
There are parameters for longest rally, fastest forehand/backhand/serve plus most spin on forehand/backhand. Once the app detects a shot or rally fitting the mould it saves the video.
Again, the theory is somewhat meritorious. The practical side of it doesn’t stack up.
When the video is played back, there’s nothing to tell the user which shot was the one that triggered the save. So there’s no way to really tell which shot in the rally was the fastest or the one with the most spin.
The biggest problem is that the sensor/app has no idea whether the shot played was in or out. Last of the problems is that we couldn’t find a way to record the video and keep the score at the same time. Smart Rally Capture is taken from within a match. The score is actually displayed in the corner of the video when played back. It can’t be correct without being loaded and we can’t find a way for the app to do both at once.
It’s all a little confusing and yet more evidence of the Zepp 2 being developed for a socially aware market, rather than a market intent on game improvement.
This is where you can add commentary or slow motion for example. Again, it’s only worthwhile as a chest-bumping exercise.
Our favorite was the “ball tracer technology” (shown below). The app doesn’t actually trace anything. It’s up to the user to manoeuvre 4 dots on the screen to trace the direction of the ball. No mean feat on a phone we can tell you, especially when the app doesn’t seem to allow landscape viewing.
Zepp 2 Video Functionality Overall 3/10
It all looks really good on the Zepp website. In practice, it’s half baked at best. Useless at worst. Like the rest of the Zepp 2 Tennis product, it’s been devised and built to be a social sharing device rather than something that will improve your game.
At 99USD, I suppose we shouldn’t expect any more. It would be great to get something in the tennis technology space that really bounces off the page………or racket as it were.