I get a lot of queries from people asking me about what smart band to buy. The smartwatch buyers, meanwhile, have no queries and seem to go directly to the Apple Watch. But the smart band buyers are unsure which one to buy, but ask them what their needs are and the answer is most common: I need to count my steps. If that is all you need to do, then the simplest bands are best, because they also consume less power than the smarter ones. This is clearly the segment Honor wants to target with its Rs 2,599 Honor Band 5.
Honor Band 5
The Honor Band 5 is as simple as it gets. It is a simple wrist band with a largish display. And this bright and vibrant 0.95-inch 2.5D Glass full-color AMOLED touchscreen is also the USP of this band. The colours on it really pop out and I have to say this is as good as you would find on any smartwatch.
The band is very comfortable to wear for long hours though I am not sure you will be able to change the bands when the original one wears off. For now, I could not see a way to remove the straps easily.
The display shows time along with steps, heart rate, sleep, workouts, and messages. And the display menu is good enough for you to change basic settings on the band itself. This is good, as a lot of bands need you to use the app to control it in any way. You can long-press on the watch face to change it.
There is a circular home button just under the display, but there is no power button. And this is frustrating because you just can switch off the band, in case you want to save power for later. Also, since there is no power button I was also confused about how to get it paired with my iPhone. The band would not show up in the Bluetooth pairing options. Finally, it turned out that the band will show up only if you connect it using the Huawei Health App. I had to check out a YouTube video for this as the manual of the review unit was in Chinese.
The step counting on the device is pretty accurate. I matched it with my Apple Watch and it was always close. The heart rate monitor is good too, but measures only when you initiate it. This means you won’t get an alert if your BPM goes high or low. In the workout, you can select the routine you are on. The app otherwise figures out what you are doing and records it. I think I walked fast enough for the band to think I was running. You can initiate a work out from the app too.
There are no music controls on the band and some users might miss this feature. The app is simple enough for you to get a good idea of your progress. The app does not give a deep dive into your workout history, so you might need to download another app that does it for you. The Huawei Health App can suggest some training routines based on your daily activity, which is a good feature to have, especially when it is free.
The battery should last about four days with regular use. A bit more can be squeezed out by keeping the brightness of the display low. The band charges with a proprietary dock which is small and easy to carry around, which means it would also be easy to lose. So be careful about where you keep it.
At a price of Rs 2599, the Honor Band 5 is a pretty decent option for those looking for a stylish fitness band option. Given that the Mi Band 3 still does not have a colour screen, there will be buyers who find good value in the AMOLED screen of the Honor Band 5.