HUAWEI Band 6 review: evolution in the fitness bracelet market
It would seem that fitness trackers are now difficult to improve: the models available on the market offer all sorts of features, while new versions often receive only cosmetic improvements. Nevertheless, HUAWEI engineers have managed to make the wearable gadget more interesting - the Band 6 is equipped with an enlarged AMOLED display, which blurs the line between smart watches and bracelets even further.
Not just any bracelet. What?
It's hard to surprise anyone with a fitness tracker design today, but HUAWEI has succeeded. The main pride of the new product is its 1.47-inch AMOLED matrix, which occupies the entire front panel of the device. The screen is about one and a half times larger than the previous model. The Band 6 is slightly larger than a classic wristband, but significantly smaller than a smart watch.
The larger panel is more convenient to read notifications, and to track workout results. Many messenger messages are visible without additional scrolling - the text usually fits entirely on a single page.
The resolution of the matrix is 198x368 dots. The bright and contrast display offers maximum viewing angles, and information is perfectly readable in sunny weather. By selecting a suitable dial in the settings, you can turn a sports bracelet into a fashion accessory that looks as good on the hand as a watch.
HUAWEI Band 6 has no Always On Display mode. The maximum backlight time is 20 minutes. After that, the display goes out, you have to raise your hand or press a physical button to activate it. The tracker also didn't get an ambient light sensor, so the brightness has to be adjusted manually by selecting one of five levels.
That said, the bracelet is comfortable. The curved shape of the case ensures a comfortable fit of the device to the hand. The dimensions are modest enough so that nothing sticks out or clings. The strap is durable and tactile, thanks to the use of soft silicone. It is not one piece, but consists of two parts, which are attached to the capsule on the sides. If you want to put on a clasp of other colour or material, it is easy to undo and change with a few simple manipulations.
Interface and operation
Menu navigation is via a touch screen display. There is a single key on the side of the housing. This switches the screen on if it has previously been switched off, returns the user to the start screen from any item in the system and opens the main menu.
The interface is simple: there is a main dial, customisable widgets on the left and right with various information. A swipe upwards reveals missed notifications, while a swipe downwards brings up the quick settings curtain. Pre-installed apps like alarm clock and weather are available in the main menu. Third-party utilities still can't be downloaded.
To make full use of the fitness bracelet, you need to download the Health app on your phone, available on iOS and Android. Synchronization takes place via Bluetooth 5.0. In the app, you can view physical activity statistics, configure the gadget extensively and track your workouts.
About 100 sets of watch faces are available to owners of the sports tracker. It's easy to find a home screen to suit your tastes: there are both minimalistic options and ones that are crammed full of different kinds of information.
Notifications come quickly and without delay. Messages cannot be replied to, they can only be read. Android smartphone users can switch music tracks on the bracelet - but this function is not available on iOS.
Variety of sensors
The novelty monitors the heartbeat around the clock, monitors blood oxygen levels, and analyzes sleep quality. The gadget also detects stress levels. Algorithms analyze heart rate and movement activity and provide statistical information about the wearer's condition - whether the wearer is calm or under stress.
Like other fitness trackers, HUAWEI Band 6 counts steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled. The device automatically recognizes 10 types of activity, including running and cycling. The workout section offers 96 sports exercises to help you assess your physical condition more accurately. There is full water protection. Not only can you shower in the wristband, but you can also dive to depths of up to 50 metres.
For a non-professional device, the accuracy of step and heart rate measurement is high: there is practically no difference in indicators with more expensive sports models. When measuring blood oxygen, a warning appears that the data should not be used for medical purposes. The manufacturer notes that the fitness tracker should not be used to diagnose diseases, make diagnoses or prescribe treatment. All measurements on the gadget are for personal reference only.
TrueSleep 2.0 technology is responsible for tracking sleep. The resting phase is divided into several periods: deep sleep, light sleep or REM sleep, and awakening. Every morning, you can receive a summary with recommendations on how to improve your sleep quality. Another useful feature is the smart alarm clock. The wearer sets the time interval for waking up and the accessory selects the best time for this.
HUAWEI Band 6 works up to 14 days of moderate use, and if you turn on the tracking of all indicators - up to 10 days. In a week of testing, the device only discharged 50% - and that's with constant heart rate monitoring, three intense tennis workouts and a couple of daily bike rides.
The magnetic charging plugs in with a simple flick of the hand. No need to pull the capsule out of the strap or aim at the contact pad to connect to the docking station, as was the case before. Fast charging is also provided. In just 5 minutes, the battery replenishes energy for 2 days of battery life.
HUAWEI Band 6 will suit everyone who wants a functional device to monitor physical activity and basic health indicators. The gadget is wrapped in a compact body and has a large and bright display. It's easy and comfortable to use. The question of cost is not unimportant - and here the fitness bracelet is very competitive. The only thing missing is NFC and GPS, but then the accessory would cost a lot more.