Honor Band 5 Review
We Take The Honor Band 5 Health-Tracking Wearable for a Workout
We were in Berlin for the Honor Band 5’s launch at IFA 2019, and now it’s time to see what we think about the inexpensive fitness wearable.
Looking down at my increasing waistline I for one can do with being more mobile. Most gym-dwellers, pavement-pounders, and all-round fitness types will have some sort of fitness tracker attached. Those that mean business will no doubt have one of the pro-level trackers from a big-name brand. These generally cost big bucks.
But, what if I told you that there was a nifty little device that will cover most things for most people. Even better still, thanks to a recent update, it also monitors your Pulse Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) and adds remote music control of your phone. All for under £30.
Honor Band 5 design
The Honor Band 5 boasts a 0.95-inch AMOLED full-colour display, an upgrade on the previous iteration’s OLED screen.
Now, the colours are brighter and more vivid. Furthermore, and more importantly, the screen is even easier to read.
You also get 282 pixels-per-inch, which is pretty decent and, all-in-all, everything is easy to see, even in bright sunlight (we remember summer still, right?).
As a fitness band, it is a narrow wearable as well as having a slim profile. This makes it an ideal gym partner as you are unlikely to whack it into equipment – something that more chunky designs risk.
I haven’t the thickest of wrists; however, I was pleased to see the amount of range that the molded strap allows for. From slender to giant (more-or-less). I have tested fitness bands before, but they have been much more limited in the fitting. Nice one, Honor.
The compact Band 5 is also light and will not hamper your chosen torture – errrr, fitness regime.
The Honor Band 5 is available in Midnight Navy, Coral Pink, and Meteorite Black – choose carefully as the band is not interchangeable. What you can do, however, is change the watch face design – and there are plenty to choose from. Can’t find anything that tickles your fancy from the installed selection? Well, there’s even more to download.
Overall the design has been well thought out with the textured strap and everything. However, I guess you’re also limited to what you can do and it would be difficult to pick out the Band 5 from a line-up of other sports bands, to be fair.
Honor Band 5 features
For less than thirty notes, the Honor Band 5 is packed with all kinds of fitness-focused tech. For instance, you get an always-on heart-rate monitor, sleep tracking, multiple workout modes, and so much more.
The Band 5 links up with the Huawei Health app, which also gives you more information and a way to track your progress.
Naturally, there is also Step tracking which features as default on most of the watch faces. As you would expect at this price, there’s no GPS.
Heart rate tracking has been made more accurate with Honor boasting that it’s almost as good as a traditional chest-mounted heart rate monitor. Not having such a monitor to compare the Band 5 with, I will have to take Honor’s word for it – although I am sure that if you are really serious about this kind of thing and its accuracy, you will be looking to spend more than £30.
Being pretty rubbish at sleeping, I like the new-and-improved sleep-tracker. It also dishes out advice, as the Honor Band 5 can identify your sleep structure and monitors your changing patterns. Additionally, this brings me on to the way the Honor Band 5 tracks your heart rate. Unlike some other monitors, the Band 5 uses non-visible light, meaning it won’t irritate you as you’re trying to nap.
The latest update for the Band 5 has brought along Blood oxygen saturation monitoring. This measurement is a vital indicator of the oxygen supply to cells and tissues.
Proper blood oxygenation is necessary to supply energy to your muscles to function well. Blood oxygen levels between 90% and 100% are healthy, while a SpO2 value below 89% could be a signal to stop exercising or seek medical attention.
Additionally, Honor added Music Control. This requires you to flick the function on in the Huawei Health app. Once that is sorted, you can then use the Band 5 to view and control your music apps right from your wrist. Apps supported include Tidal (thankfully as that’s what I use), Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, Shazam and many more.
The Honor Band 5 smartwatch skills
You can also use the Band 5 as a regular ol’ smartwatch. Yes, it tells the time but, when not working up a sweat, you can access other nifty things. Firstly, it will display the weather, notifications and that kind of thing.
As well as SMS and Facebook messages, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you can add Twitter, Snapchat and even Discord to that list. Granted, emojis and the like won’t display so you will get the occasional blank message, but still, a handy thing to have.
I also like the fact that you can control your phone’s camera shutter from the Band 5. Whether its Star Trails or similar long-exposure shots or Selfies, having the Band 5 as a remote trigger is another bonus.
Honor Band 5 battery life
With the message notifications on, as well as the heart-rate monitor, the Honor Band 5 was clocking in about 5 days battery life from a charge. To me, that’s not bad. Naturally, if you were looking to use it purely as a fitness buddy, then some of the juice-draining options can be stopped and so increase the band’s stamina.
Still, I think a working week between charges is fair, especially when being used as a smartwatch.
Honor Band 5 review conclusion
The Honor Band 5 is undoubtedly worth your money in my opinion. It’s more than a fitness tracker thanks to all its health monitoring skills. Furthermore, it can even out-smart some smartwatches.
The screen is responsive although there were moments where I must not have been tapping the Home button in just the right way. The less said about that, the better.
Also, for £29.99, you’re risking less than a month’s gym membership and are more likely to still be using the Honor Band 5 in six months.