According to my observations, the fitness band market is currently experiencing a resurgence. Fitness bands these days have a lot to offer, from larger displays to squeezing in as many smartwatch-grade features as possible. In this case, the Honor Band 6 meets the description fairly well and appears to be a great wearable on a budget, which I’ll go over in detail in this review.
Honor Band 6 Specifications:
- Body: 43 x 25.4 x 11.45 mm, 18gm (without strap)
- Strap: Removable silicone straps
- Display: 1.47″ AMOLED panel, 2.5D curved glass
- Resolution: 194 x 368 pixels resolution, 283 PPI
- Control: Touch, swipe, side button
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE)
- Compatible with: Android 5.0 and above
- IP Rating: 5 ATM water-resistance
- Functions: Alarm, Calories Burned, DND, Heart Rate Monitor, Notifications, Sleep Tracking, Step Counter, Sports Mode (10), Blood Oxygen, Women’s Health
- Sensors: Acceleration, Gyroscope, Optical heart rate, SpO2
- Companion App: Huawei Health (Android | iOS)
- Battery: 180mAh, Up to 14 days endurance
- Charger: Proprietary Magnetic charger, fast charging support
- Charging Time: 65 minutes
- Colors: Meteorite Black, Sandstone Grey, Coral Pink
- Price in Nepal: N/A (not launched yet)
Honor Band 6 Review:
But, before I begin the review, I must point out how similar the Honor Band 6 is to the Huawei Band 6. Both fitness trackers are nearly identical, except Huawei’s option has additional features and is slightly more expensive.
- Squarish body with a lightweight body
- Removable silicone strap, 5 ATM certified
Anyway, let’s get started on the design. When compared to the Honor Band 5 from 2019, its successor has a larger form factor due to its larger display. Nonetheless, the silicone strap isn’t as wide as needed to accommodate the watch’s measurements. It still uses a conventional loop-buckle design, unlike other fitness bands. The strap also has enough adjustment holes to fit every wrist.
That also applies to my hand. The Honor Band 6 is also extremely light, weighing only 18 grams without the strap. As a result, I’ve had no trouble putting it on—and I don’t mind wearing it to bed. More importantly, the silicone strap is really comfortable and has not caused any skin discomfort during my use.
With a couple of colored strap options, this fitness tracker may also double as a fashion accessory—though the Meteorite Black edition I have doesn’t necessarily reflect that. It appears to be classy, but that is all it is. Furthermore, the Honor Band 6 employs the company’s unique strap, and locating a replacement has proven to be a fruitless endeavor.
The home button on the right frame has a nice crimson accent, which adds a nice touch. On the opposite side, there is a “Honor” marking carved. In terms of ingress protection, this fitness tracker has 5 ATM certification, which guarantees water resistance in depths of up to 50 meters for up to 10 minutes. This is supplemented by the Honor Band 6’s ability to log your swimming workouts.
- 1.43-inches AMOLED panel, 283 PPI
- 100 watch faces, 192 x 368 pixels
As previously said, the main difference between this model and its predecessor is in the display. The Honor Band 5 had a 0.95-inch screen, while this one has a larger 1.47-inch AMOLED panel. And, right away, this is one of the great features of this fitness tracker.
The larger screen real estate allows the material to breathe more freely—though Honor’s software implementation leaves me wanting more. For example, the band allows you to place up to 5 widgets on the home screen, with possibilities such as heart rate, stress monitoring, weather, sleep, activity records, and so on. These can be accessed by a simple left/right swipe.
Despite the fact that you may read their details in great detail by selecting their appropriate option from the menu, the widgets are unscrollable and only provide the basic information. Although these are widgets and they perform their job, having to navigate through a slew of menus for something that could be done on the home screen feels like an unnecessary step back.
Now, let’s go on. This display has a resolution of 194 by 368 pixels and a pixel density of 283 pixels. As a result, the text seems sharp here, and I was surprised to learn that it also supports Nepali Unicode font. Anyway, let’s look at the screen layout. All notifications are neatly organized and accessible simply swiping up from the bottom. And, yes, given that it’s a fitness band, these are inactive.
It becomes sufficiently bright.
Swiping down, on the other hand, takes you to the control center, where you can launch settings, enable DND (Do Not Disturb) mode, and so on. I would have wanted that these menus be adjustable as well, but that is not the case. The Honor Band 6 also has excellent outside visibility. Furthermore, the “raise to wake” functionality works well.
With 5 different levels of illumination to select from, I had no trouble using it in direct sunshine. However, I wish it had auto-brightness adjustment. The problem is that I generally set the brightness setting to 4, which is completely adequate for daylight use. When I get into bed, however, the light is nearly blindingly bright, prompting me to re-adjust the brightness setting. Perhaps this improvement will be included in the next generation.
Using the Honor Band 6 has been a breeze thanks to the minor bends on all four edges, and I have no complaints about the touch response. However, I will admit that things may have looked a lot better if the business had cut the bezels a little bit. When it comes to watch faces, Honor claims there are over 100 to select from, though I didn’t bother validating that claim.
Despite the large number, I only discovered a few that I really loved. Most of the existing watch dials seems too childish or amateurish to me. A few of them also allow you to personalize what information is displayed on the homescreen.
- Huawei Health (Android/iOS)
Before I get into the health tracking aspect of things, I’d want to talk quickly about the companion app. As you may be aware, Honor was previously a subsidiary of Huawei. However, because to the increasing limitations and losses sustained as a result of the company’s inclusion on the “Entity List,” Huawei was forced to sell Honor. This was just around the time the Honor Band 6 was released in China.
As a result, despite the fact that Honor is now a different corporation, this fitness band still relies on Huawei’s technologies for practically everything, including its companion app. To connect it with your smartphone, download the Huawei Health app and sign in or create an account with Huawei.
The notification relay is very instantaneous, and switching between watch faces is also quick. The Huawei Health app allows you to set several parameters for the Honor Band 6, such as deactivating/activating notifications from specific apps, altering dial faces, and turning various features on/off.
Health, Fitness Tracking
- 10 professional workout modes
- SpO2, heart-level monitoring
Let’s get started on the health-tracking front. And it is here that the advantage of the newer Huawei Band 6 shines through. Despite the fact that both have a blood oxygen (SpO2) monitor, a heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope, the Honor Band 6 falls short in a handful of areas. First and foremost, unlike the Huawei Band 6, it does not enable continuous SpO2 monitoring throughout the day.
While we know that neither of them can compete with a dedicated medical device in terms of gathered health data, I strongly believe that continuous SpO2 monitoring is a valuable feature in this COVID-stricken scenario. Aside from that, the Huawei Band 6 outperforms the competitors in terms of overall workout modes (96 > 10). Finally, it incorporates the enhanced TruSleep 2.0 sleep tracking algorithm.
Nonetheless, when it comes to monitoring my sleep cycles, I’ve found the Honor Band 6 to be right on. It can measure four stages of sleep, including deep, light, REM, and waking time, and is powered by Huawei’s TruSleep algorithm. Surprisingly, it can distinguish and properly record short naps. That’s great.
I have yet to identify any problems in my sleep performance when comparing it to the recorded statistics. It also assesses your sleep quality on a scale of 0 to 100 to give you a sense of how well you’re sleeping. In addition, there are ten workout modes to pick from. This includes indoor/outdoor walking, running, cycling, swimming in a pool, elliptical, rowing, and hula hooping.
Automatic workout detection
More specifically, it can detect six workouts: running, walking, rowing, and elliptical machine. Unfortunately, it does not operate as well as it should. During my two weeks of use, the Honor Band 6 activated automated workout detection only twice. And in both cases, I was walking at a brisk pace, with the band indicating that my heart rate was in the aerobic zone.
Furthermore, despite the fact that I was strolling outside, one of those detections was recorded as an indoor run. In the same workout, I noticed a glitch when attempting to terminate the program, which welcomed me with an unexpected Polish sentence. I have yet to receive a firmware update that addresses any of these concerns.
Moving on, the Honor Band 6 lacks a built-in GPS, so you’ll have to rely on your phone’s location data to track your exercises. You may also track your steps, calories burned, stress levels, and breathing exercises here. Furthermore, it may alert you to high or low heart rate levels, as well as when you’ve been sitting idle for an extended period of time.
You may create customized objectives and reminders in each of the aforementioned workout modes based on criteria like as heart rate, time, calories burned, and so on. Other Honor Band 6 features include music playback control, weather reports, Find My Phone, and payments in the NFC variant. It can also function as a shutter button for your camera, but only on Honor phones running Magic UI 2.0 or later.
- 180mAh, Up to 14 days battery life
- Magnetic charger, Fast charging support
Finally, let’s discuss about battery life. With a 180mAh cell, the firm claims up to 14 days of endurance under normal conditions. And up to ten days with heavy usage. I didn’t bother unplugging the Honor Band 6 because it was able to keep a solid connection with my phone thanks to Bluetooth 5.0.
As a result, the band received notifications from time to time, and I had also enabled continuous heart rate and stress monitoring. With all of this, I was able to get roughly 9 and a half days of battery life. My usage pattern falls into the “heavy” category, and I’m rather impressed with its longevity.
While the Honor Band 5 came with a large proprietary clip-on charger, the Honor Band 6 has a slim magnetic charger with two POGO pins. What’s more impressive is how quickly it charges. During the review period, I had to charge it twice, and both times, the Honor Band 6 moved from 0 to 100 percent in under 50 minutes.