It likely uses a fair amount of algorithmic error correction to come up with its results, but there are no glaring errors in its graph results. This is a decent way to casually keep an eye on your resting heart rate. Honor also claims to use a more advanced than usual motion sensor to judge your steps. The results are actually fairly impressive. Honor claims accelerometer-based readings should offer up to 95 percent accuracy.
Even if distance tracking is fairly sound, not having a map of your route takes a lot of the enjoyment out of checking out your stat history. And it means you get a mapped route in the phone app to look at post-run.
Honor Magic Watch 2 review: Health and fitness
Related: Best smartwatch. There are some neat extras to some of the activities too. Oddly, Free Training, which just shows your heart rate and calorie consumption, also tries to harvest a GPS route. It can come up with funny-looking results if you just lift some free weights at home. Both Indoor Run and Indoor Cycle let you alter your distance at the end of each run, which is handy if you use gym equipment with a display. Duration and distance alerts are my favourite extra, though.
When you start each tracked exercise, you can choose a goal of distance or time and milestones, such as each kilometre of a 5k run. You can turn them off too. And on a few occasions it has mistaken a near-resting heart rate for one in the bpm when using Free Training. But it is still a good way to monitor your peak exertion levels, and get some validation when you try that bit harder during a workout.
Screen behaviour is the other minor complaint. Honor likely wants to keep battery life as consistent as possible, but the option to keep the screen on all the time or at least alter the time out during exercise is sorely missed. Still, for its price the Band 4 is a surprisingly competent tracker, suitable for those who run regularly, not just people after a way to count their steps. All your data ends up in the Huawei Health app.
Honor Band 5 review: an intuitive fitness tracker that impresses with its affordability
This is much more stripped-back than Garmin Connect or Fitbit. Garmin devices are, unsurprisingly, better at monitoring fitness levels over longer periods. However, you do have to use Health to setup an Honor Band 4. This is a Chinese equivalent to Google Play, a wireless payments system. And it is actually available to use in the UK. You can also set reminder and wake up alarms in the Huawei Health app, which use the vibrate motor inside the Band 4.
Sleep tracking is up next. It breaks your night into deep, light and REM periods, and notes any times you woke up. Huawei then rates your sleep out of a hundred, and tells you whether each aspect of it is good, or not so good. To get the most in-depth data you have to turn on a feature called TruSleep, which claims to monitor your breathing as well as your movement. Plus it gives me a score of every night, so may not do more than have a guess at whether you have sleep apnea or not.
Notification support is perhaps the most important Honor Band 4 extra. That you can receive wrist notifications from any app you like is the main draw. The Honor Band 4 has a smartwatch-like approach to notifications. It is impressive at the price. However, it makes reviewing your messages seem far too awkward.
The Band 4 is only really good for having a quick glance at an incoming message, to see if you need to respond, or check out the full text. This seems likely because the software is otherwise pretty snappy. Features like notifications and a reasonably large colour screen make the Band 4 seem like great value. Honor says the battery should last for up to 17 days as a watch or 26 days standby, which presumably just means sat around doing nothing, but still switched on.
Confusingly, it is also listed has having day battery life in some places. The actual important claim, though, is the 6. However, you can expect it to last around a week even with some notifications and the odd tracked run, because the actual battery-sapping GPS work is done by your phone. This makes the Honor Band 4 something of a dream combo. Such solid stamina is yet another argument for having more control over the display during tracking and an always-on mode, though.
You then plug in a microUSB cable. The Honor Band 4 might just be the best fitness tracker band you can get for the money. Its app is not exactly the definition of fun, HR-tracking of low level exercise can be spotty, and handling of notifications needs to be be improved. However, long battery life, charming design, a great screen and real run tracking potential thanks to Connected GPS make the Band 4 a top buy. Just like Honor phones, other companies struggle to compete with Honor wearables for those who care about cost.
The fitness band to buy if you want all the essential features at a killer price. We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer — a sort of automated referral fee — but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. At less than half the price of the cheapest Fitbit, the Honor Band 5 is almost too easy to recommend. The question then was, with so many things done right, where do you go from there?
As the Honor Band 5 hits store shelves, it would seem as though Honor has had a tricky time in answering that exact question. Related: Best fitness tracker My only disappointment here is for the somewhat lacklustre free loop, which on occasion fell out of place and did a pretty poor job of keeping the watch strap where I needed it to be. Related: Best smartwatch. Admittedly, some of the watch faces on offer are probably designed for people with more acute vision than myself, but I was able to get all the information I needed clearly by simply swapping to a different style.
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In our review for the Honor Band 4 , we noted the device as having just a meagre three watch faces to choose from. There are no physical buttons to speak of on the Honor Band 5, so the touchscreen is your main mode of interacting with the device. For instance, the sleep tracking noted that I was waking up fairly frequently throughout the night and suggested that I might be drinking too much water before going to bed. Receiving helpful advice like this from such an affordable piece of tech just blew my mind. Given that our review unit of the Honor Band 4 utilised a QR code system in order to make payments almost barbaric, I know , it seems as though Honor has also questioned its use by removing it completely from the Honor Band 5.
After all, the key question here is, in spite of its cheap price, is the Honor Band 5 able to offer a fitness tracking experience that can compete on the market?
Outdoor results were pretty much spot on in terms of distance, and being able to check your heart rate during a run is always appreciated as a means of knowing when to slow down your pace. Through the device itself, users can begin tracking one of nine exercises at any time, including rowing, cross training and indoor cycling.
Strangely enough, tracking for outdoor cycling can only be activated via the app. Most noteworthy, there are dedicated plans for runs starting at 5k, going all the way up to a full marathon.
Honor Band 5 review
When connected up to your smartphone, tethered GPS tracking works just fine and I encountered no major issues or randomly listed excursions. The device was also worn throughout the night to get a proper read on my sleep cycle. On that track, the Honor Band 5 was able to get through just over a week before I needed to dive towards the nearest socket.