Review: Honor Band 6

The Honor Band 6 is the latest health offering from the budget brand Honor. The smart watch packs in quite a punch for the very low price of £44.99. Offering 14 day battery life, 24 hour heart rate monitoring, and new features such as SpO2 monitoring, 10 exercise modes, and backed by Huawei’s Health app, this would easily satisfy anybody who likes to look after their health and exercise activities to anybody who is looking for an entry level device.

Honor Band 6 – Features

  • 1.47″ AMOLED Display
  • Up to 14 days battery life, 10 days with heavy usage.
  • 24-hour Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Blood Oxygen Level (SpO2) monitoring, Breathing exercises, Stress management
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Up to 10 exercise modes, including swimming
  • Smart features such as music control or camera shutter
  • Notifications from your phone
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android phones
  • IP68 Rated Waterproof

Look and Feel

At under a 100gm, and with a 2.5D screen, this looks pretty decent and nifty for what it is. In fact, it is so easy to wear and use that I have had this on as a second watch while still using my Garmin Forerunner 45 for comparisons.

Like all other bands, the watch is thin and vertical (if that makes sense), but the large 1.47″ screens offers plenty of information and smooth touch screen performance. It offers pretty good visibility in the sunlight too.

The red striped button on the right and the engraved HONOR on the left are nice touches. The sensors as well as the charging points sit on the bottom of the device. A curved surface means it is a bit thicker than it seems from the pictures, but it isn’t a bother once you put it on and have worn it for a while.

Setup

It requires Huawei’s Health app to work. Initially, it took a little while for the app to download the existence of the Honor Band 6, but after that it paired straight away. You do need an account for the Huawei Health app, and if you want to monitor any health activities that require GPS, you will need to allow the app to constantly have access to your location, as that is how the watch calculates your physical location and movement.

After that, you’re good to go. You can obviously choose from one of the 100+ watch faces to see what suits your needs and daily routine best.

Notifications

The act of delivering notifications is pretty much one of the main features of any watch that has the word ‘smart’ associated with it. This watch will happily deliver you notifications, and you can choose to disallow or allow certain ones for popular apps like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp. Any notification that does come in will vibrate your band, but you can set it to DO NOT DISTURB mode if you don’t want that but still want access to all your notifications.

Monitoring daily steps

I compared the daily step count with that of the Garmin, and they were always pretty close within each other. So a tick on that front.

247 Heart Rate Monitor

This worked reasonably well, and it is quite impressive considering the battery life this watch offers.

SpO2 measurement

This takes a few good seconds to measure, but seemed to give good enough readings. Of course, Honor make it clear that this isn’t a medical device, so you can’t take those readings. It can only measure values above a certain point, but once again, this is more as data rather than actual medical reading.

Stress Measurement

Interestingly, the stress measurement found me to be a lot less stressed than my Garmin. Both devices take different approaches. The Honor Band 6 gives you certain statements while it calibrates itself for your stress levels. It is hard to quantify stress, especially on a scale, but at least it is good from a ‘look after yourself’ point of view.

Sleep Monitoring

Sleep monitoring is rather impressive on this. I have a little one who wakes me up once or twice a night, and it means my sleep goes into various cycles. Most of those were measured accurately, and much better than the Garmin!

Monitoring Health Activities

Now to come to the main feature of this device. I have tried monitoring various health activities with this, including runs, walks, cycling and swimming.

Running works reasonably well, and you get a decent amount of data from it, including pretty accurate location information. Speed, cadence, pace, etc are visible for you to see, but no auto-pause option is available. Same. goes for cycling as well as walking.

Swimming was a bit different for me, as it relies purely on the watch band to measure it, and while it gave me some numbers, it was hard for me to verify them as I didn’t have a suitable device to compare them with. Having said that, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be fairly accurate.

Auto Detect Health Activities

One of the clever features packed in this watch is an auto-detect. Now this does work, but it takes about 20 odd minutes for it to detect it, and by then it might have missed your activity. It works by offering to start a workout at that point.

Pairing with Strava/Apple Health

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, syncing with Strava is not available. However, it does sync select data with Apple Health.

Battery Life

Since I tried to be mostly active, it lasted around 10 days for me, and that’s very reasonable! It charges back in just over an hour, so you really don’t have much to lose. Very impressive!

More information

More information on the Honor Band 6 is available on the Honor website.

The device is available from Amazon, and retails for £44.99. It is available in 3 colours: Meteorite Black, Sandstone Grey and Coral Pink.

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