Huawei Band 6
- Battery Life
- Build Quality
- Silicon Straps
- Bezels are too big
- Delayed Notifications
Owning a fitness band or even a smartwatch has proven to be more than a luxury these days and more of a necessity over time. This is especially for individuals who are quite particular about their fitness and overall health. These devices no matter how expensive or cheap are gradually becoming useful health monitoring devices and Huawei is proving that. For features that were once only viable for Apple Watch users, getting them on bands that are at the lowest end of the spectrum is quite impressive. The Huawei Band 6 is one of those devices and it definitely surprised me for a device I thought would be so limited. So, what makes this fitness band good enough to qualify in that group?
Design & Display
From the very first sight, you can tell that Huawei was trying to compress as many features as possible in a device that is not meant to cost 50k. Now, I might stay here writing about how familiar the device looked straight from the box, but that’s a story for later.
The general build is quite simple as it’s meant to be with a rectangular polycarbonate (basically plastic) finish. This is made to look even simpler by the single button that acts as the home and power button. Like most bands and smartwatches, the watch is presented with the same old silicon straps that I’ve never really been a fan of. But one can still understand the choice given the device’s price range.
The Huawei Band 6 comes with a 1.47-inch AMOLED screen that stands its ground when it comes to displaying accurate colours. However, the hyped FullView description might mislead you into thinking that the display is completely bezel-less. PS: Don’t fall for it.
The bezels are quite big especially when you consider how generally small the watch actually is. We would have wished for the view to be more extensive so that anyone can get to really experience the software to the fullest. Nevertheless, Huawei Band 6 still does its job and the bezels certainly don’t limit its functionalities. But an OCD will certainly be bothered on various occasions by even how uneven the bezels seem to be.
The AMOLED aspect does help a lot particularly when it comes to dark wallpapers as the blacks are desirably true without exposing the bezels. Always-on is also an option although the feature does demand much more power compared to the regular choice.
Software & Battery Life
Like other bands from Huawei, Band 6 runs LiteOS. The software does live up to its name by providing all the necessary features that one would pretty much find in a traditional smartwatch. And even though it’s not the smoothest, you will easily find yourself scrolling through screens whether on a desk or while working out. The easily accessible BPM, stress and music control screens can be appreciated by an avid user as you just scroll to the left or right straight from the home screen.
By connecting it to the Huawei Health app on your smartphone, you do get a wide range of controls. This includes the array of wallpapers that you can easily install for free alongside others that you can pay for. I personally found myself going for the dark ones as they complemented the whole look of the band more.
The only downside I faced was the inconsistent connectivity that sometimes left me wondering whether any notifications had come in whenever I wasn’t using my phone. You will need to have your smartphone’s Bluetooth on all the time and select the apps that you want to send notifications to the watch.
However, having such a small display does leave one really wanting more in terms of control. This does not mean that you won’t enjoy having just a fitness band designed to work like a typical smartwatch.
Thanks to LiteOS that demands very little power, the Band 6 will run seamlessly for two weeks or even more depending on how often you use it daily. So, battery life should not be something to worry about at all.
Health, Activity & Fitness Tracking
The watch is basically created to be a fitness band and it’s clear that Huawei wants you to buy it for that reason. From the get-go, the Huawei Band 6 announces itself by reminding you to get up and take a walk if you stay seated for long hours. This will especially be annoying for you office mice who spend all day on your PCs typing and answering emails.
The sensor is clearly quite advanced with close to, if not accurate enough measurements of your heartbeat, stress levels, sleep quality and SpO2 (blood oxygen levels). It would be difficult to explain exactly how SpO2 is measured although one might assume it’s analysed from the various health data gathered. Either way, you should just be glad it exists on a band worth KES 7k.
Fitness gurus would definitely appreciate the various (about 90) workout modes that are pretty much too many for one to complete. From the various indoor modes to the outdoor walking and cycling sessions, the device proves itself to be a gem in that field.
If you have been wondering what the title is all about, here is where the rant comes in. For someone who had previously reviewed the Huawei Watch Fit, I found it a little annoying that Huawei chose to copy everything from it and simply paste it on an averagely smaller device. From the general build quality to the software and features, it felt like I was using the Huawei Watch Fit, only smaller.
However, one might look at it from another perspective and see this as an effort to release a much more affordable version and brand it as a fitness band rather than a smartwatch. All in all, for KES 7,000, you will get your money’s worth thanks to all the available features.