Together with the launch of Honor View20, Honor brings in the new Honor Band 4 fitness band and Honor Watch Magic smartwatch. On this article, I will share my review of the Honor Band 4 that is retailing at S$59 in Singapore.
Full Touch Screen AMOLED Fitness Tracker
The Honor Band 4 is rather attractively priced given the generous colour display with full touch panel which supports gesture, which is uncommon for the price. Having reviewed dozens of budget fitness trackers from China, the Honor Band 4 certainly offers excellent value. I compare it favourably with Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro; obviously the Fit2 Pro is better in most areas, but Honor Band 4 is a fraction of the price and over twice the battery life.
On the Band 4, lift the wrist to automatically wake up the screen, and this can be disabled from the smartphone app as a global option or by schedule (e.g. after 11pm). Swipe the display up and down to browse the menu, swipe left to go back, tap the large capacitive button below to go back to watch face immediately.
The fitness band requires Huawei Health app on the smartphone to connect and sync the tracking stats. From the app, you can see a lot of data and the visualisation UI is insightful. From the dashboard, you can see a summary of your daily steps, exercise, sleep, weight, heartrate, and running. Each summary can be clicked to drill into the detailed stats by day, week, month, and year. There are also some explanation and guide on what the stats mean, for instance, under the sleep tracking category.
Detailed Tracking Information
The Band 4 tracks many types of exercises, from walking and running to swimming and cycling. By selecting indoors or outdoors, the watch will invoke the GPS on the smartphone (running on EMUI 5.0 and later) to capture the training path.
Under the walk-run workout stats, the app captures heart rate, pace, cadence, steps, average, step length. For swimming, it captures lap details, pace, stroke rate, SWOLF, and even detects the swimming style.
From the Huawei Health app, you have detailed view of the Band 4 settings, like battery life, enabling sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, alarm settings, notification apps, customising the watch menu, and most importantly, firmware update. From the watch, you can access the settings like watch face change, timer, stopwatch, brightness, find phone, and very important, power off the fitness band. You might realise that many fitness bands do not have the ability to power down, because there is no physical button to turn it on or off. Good thing Band 4 has it.
Another convenient feature is that there is no need to reset the Band 4 when switching the pairing to another smartphone, something that Samsung watches must do, which is very inconvenient for me who switches smartphones regularly during product reviews. To switch from one smartphone to another, first disable Bluetooth from the first smartphone so that the Band 4 is not paired to any smartphone. Then, enable Bluetooth from the second smartphone and go to the Huawei Health app to search for the Band 4 and pair it. Just remember to sync the band before switching to prevent any data loss.
App Notification Lacking
The weakest feature on the Band 4 would be the app notification. The Band 4 can display only plain text for incoming notifications without the option to respond. Also, once you viewed the messages, they will disappear from the watch menu. If you decide to buy the watch, don’t count on the notification feature. Over the course of my review, I have learnt to treat the notification as a ping to open my smartphone to read the messages rather than reading the notification on the watch.
The Band 4 can last about 6 days of normal use – 1 to 2 workouts, sleep tracking enabled, continuous heart rate monitoring. Charging is via a special clip-on charging dock with detachable micro USB connector, which is a good design to keep the charging component compact and allow sharing of cables. The dock clips securely so that the dock does not fall out too easily, which often happens for magnetised charging docks. Full charge takes just about an hour.
Honor Band 4 is priced at S$59, and comes with an impressive specs of full AMOLED display with touch gestures, continuous heart rate monitoring, 5 ATM water resistant (50 metres), and a healthy 6-day realistic battery life. The fitness band wears comfortably on my wrist the entire day and night, tracking my steps, heart rate, and sleep. It notifies me on smartphone notifications, incoming calls, alarms, and if I choose to, remind me to get active after a while, and warn me if my heart rate goes out of range. For S$59, to have such a comprehensive list of features, is just great value.
Honor Band 4 is available at Lazada (affiliate link).