Honor has recently launched a new wearable called the Band 5. It’s a simple, straightforward smart fitness tracker, but can it be a daily driver you can rely on? Here’s our review.
Released in the local market just earlier this month, the Honor Band 5 has the makings of a good smartwatch with a svelte wristband and a lightweight polycarbonate watch module that houses all the bells and whistles of the device.
Contrary to current smartwatches in the market, the Band 5 offers an AMOLED display. It exhibits full colors from the get-go and provides adequate brightness even on broad daylight. We also appreciate the fact that the display curves enough to conform to one’s wrist.
The charging pin is at the back along with the heart rate and SpO2 sensors. For added security, they drilled screws onto the band and watch to make sure it won’t fall from everyday use. They also use a normal watch-like latch to close it on your wrist. This poses quite a challenge: its rubber straps are replaceable but may need a more tedious process to follow. Nonetheless. the band itself is very lightweight and sturdy and does not nag your wrist on prolonged use. There are times that I felt like I did not wear it at all.
Navigating the fitness tracker is very straightforward. Swiping up and down the display would reveal other menus, a touch enables one to proceed, and a swipe right will get you back to the previous menu. The halo touch at the bottom provides the functions to wake up and go back to the watch home.
Features you’d expect with it are here — Pedometer, Heart Rate Sensor, Sleep Tracker, and Messages. There’s also a SpO2 for blood oxygen levels, Workout Mode, and AliPay. Toggling certain menus on the accompanying software on the phone can get you a built-in Music Player control. Meanwhile, the timer, stopwatch, find phone, and battery information are all under the settings function. A Bluetooth camera remote is said to be available as well but is mainly seen only when paired with an Honor or Huawei phone.
The pedometer seems to be more accurate than other ones we’ve tried. TruSleep — its moniker for the sleep tracker — does tracking well and recorded activities with ease. Smart continuous heart rate tracking will be appreciated by those that need it the most. Oxygen levels with the SpO2 reader are fairly decent, but Honor suggests that it should not be as a medical tool. Rather, it’s only there to supply information on a personal reference.
If you’d like to connect this phone, consider yourself lucky if you have a Huawei or Honor phone as they have a Health app pre-installed. If you own other brands, prepare to download Huawei’s own Health app, as well as the brand’s own mobile services add-on.
With the Health app, you can toggle more functions such as lighting up the tracker when you lift your wrist or flip menus with a rotate gesture. You can also toggle how the device performs its key functions. The Heath app also offers accurate charts based on fetched data from the tracker and provides advice based on the results. While we did not have any trouble pairing the phone and using the in-app features, the supposed function for checking and adding watch faces cannot be found. Adding updates to the Band 5 and fetching information to the phone seems to be slower, too, than other fitness trackers we’ve tried.
How’s the battery life? We actually got less than 14 days. If we enable constant heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking functions, we’re lucky if we get five days. Disabling many functions and keeping it as a standalone watch without connectivity can surely last longer, but it does not exemplify what a fitness tracker is. Luckily, the charger is one you can just snap at the back so recharging is actually a breeze.
Let’s go back to my question. Is the Honor Band 5 a wearable you can depend on? Absolutely, but with a few caveats. For Php 1,699, the Band 5 aims to become an affordable wearable that exhibits a no-nonsense performance. Despite that, aiming to be a full-fledged tracker does drain a lot of juice so keep your eyes on those battery levels.