Huawei is well known for its incredible smartphone offerings, but how do its smartwatches and fitness trackers match up to the opposition?
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Activity Tracker
$68.99 (US), £39.99 (UK)
Huawei didn’t put too much effort into the name of this device, so you’d be forgiven for not having heard of it before.
If you think the design of the Band 2 Pro looks familiar, you’ve probably seen the Fitbit Alta before. The most obvious difference is that the Band Pro 2 is controlled via a button on the side, rather than the tap display on the Alta.
Navigating the Band Pro 2 is easy and carried out mostly through the home button, which will tell you your daily step count, launch a training session of either running, cycling or swimming (where it’s waterproof up to 5m). If you opt for running, it’ll ask if you want to run GPS as you go, during which it’ll also show you distance and heart rate.
When you’re done, you can get a report of your heart rate, pace, speed, distance, map, training effect, VO2 levels and even some recovery time and tips.
The Band Pro 2 offers accurate sleep tracking thanks to an accelerometer which picks up on your movements and talks to the HRM to work out your sleep cycles. It tops the same Fitbit function by offering breathing quality and even measures your naps. It’s possible to get three days between charges.
- A lot of features for a budget fitness tracker
- Optical heart rate sensor and built-in GPS
- Better sleep data than more expensive competitors
- The display isn’t bright enough
- No automatic activity pause feature
Huawei Watch GT 2
$299.99 (US), £199.99 (UK)
This tracker packs in a lot of accurate features for the money.
The GT 2 comes in a couple of size options of either 42mm ($230 USD / £179) or 46mm ($299 USD/ £199 GBP). The cost will go up a little more if you’d like a leather strap opposed to the sports strap on the larger version (add roughly 20 of either currency).
Given the 10.7mm thickness of the GT2, it’s surprisingly lightweight. It boasts a whopping 1.39-inch screen with a good resolution of 454 x 454 which makes it bright enough to see in the sunshine. For comparison, the 42mm version is 9.4mm thick with a 1.2-inch display of 390 x 390.
The GT2 has two buttons on the side for using the native apps as well as the fitness tracking features. Otherwise, you use the touchscreen display for scrolling. One swipe will reveal options such as notifications or do not disturb. There’s a speaker and microphone for added convenience, and overall, the design is really smart-looking.
The GT2 has a number of sensors for tracking; an accelerometer, optical heart rate, air pressure, a gyroscope and ambient light, but still doesn’t offer as many cool features as as models from rivals such as Apple.
You can access either MyFitnessPal or Google Fit on the tracker, but it prefers you to use the Huawei app. There isn’t an app store, so you get what you’re given. It’s not a smartwatch so there’s no choice to add widgets, or really customise it at all. It will show you some notifications and has a do not disturb, alarm and find my phone option, though.
- It just looks good!
- Solid battery life
- Accurate fitness tracking data
- Straightforward to use (perhaps due to lack of additional features)
- Can’t customise it very much
- Do NFC for contactless payments
- Doesn’t support third-party apps
Huawei Honor Band 4/5 Fitness Tracker
$69.99 (US), £79.99 (UK)
Huawei has been cheeky again, looking over Fitbit’s shoulder and copying the design. Sadly, it didn’t come through with the features this time.
The design is, again, a lot like what you see on the Fitbit website. The Honor Band 4 comes in three colours and the best-looking feature is the glass-topped screen. The display is 0.95 inches with a sharp-enough resolution at 240 x 120.
The strap is a durable silicone, which again comes in three colours and can be changed.
The Honor Band 4 is pretty user-friendly. You swipe up or down to go through the various menus. The niggle with the Band 4 is that it’s almost fully-functional, but not quite there.
There’s the option to view your activity data, messages, step count, heart rate or recent sleep. You can’t reply to your messages, and the notifications themselves are sporadic and out of order, so you may as well just get your phone out. It does support third-party apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger, though.
A contactless payment option does exist, but not on all versions, and it’s a Chinese system that doesn’t always translate well and needs work.
As a mid-range tracker, it offers the features one might expect. It does have specific modes for training, rather than general daily fitness tracking. It’ll track indoor and outdoor running as well as weight training. Sadly it doesn’t have any GPS or an altimeter, so it’s not aimed at the more serious runner. This does mean, though, that you’ll get five to six days between charges.
- Reasonably priced
- Glass screen is a nice touch
- Good for casual fitness interest
- Clunky notification handling
- Sleep tracking needs development
- No GPS or altimeter
Huawei seems to be constantly on the heels of Fitbit, but never able to catch up. Its products are a compromise, given the reasonable prices for what you get. Overall, the entire range falls just slightly short with a lack of GPS here and an unfriendly app there. If you’re new to trackers and want to experiment with one before diving into the big boy league, say, with a Garmin, or perhaps you’re only casually interested in monitoring your health, then this range is perfect for starting out.
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