Honor Band 5 Review

Honor Band 5 gives you all the best features that you can get for this price


Rating
: 4.25/5

Honor Band 5 variants

Honor Band 5 Key Features:

  • 24×7 Heart Rate Monitor
  • 14 days of battery life
  • SpO2 blood oxygen Monitor
  • Smart Music & Volume Controls
  • 10 work-out modes
  • AMOLED Display
  • Water-Resistant

Pros
  • SpO2 monitor to detect blood-oxygen levels
  • Low price
  • Advanced Sleep Monitoring
  • Smartphone GPS connectivity (alternative for lack of in-built GPS)
  • Connecting Bluetooth headset to the Band
  • Reject call (you cannot answer the incoming call)
Cons
  • Camera shutter control option only for EMUI (8.1 or later) supported devices
  • iOS support could have been better

Honor Band 5 is a direct competitor to Xiaomi Mi Band 4. We thought that there is no product that can beat Mi Band 4 in the budget segment but we were wrong. Honor Band 4 performs better than Mi Band 4 and other competitors such as Fitbit Inspire and it is also priced lower than both MI Band 4 and the Fitbit Inspire.

For the price it is coming for, you get 24×7 Heart Rate Monitor, SpO2 blood oxygen Monitor, 10 unique work-out modes, and a lot more. Here is a full review of this much-hyped product.

Honor Band 5: Screen & Design

Honor Band 5 screen and design

 


First things first, you can wake the band up by just raising your wrist. You can also tap the band for it to show you the screen.

Honor Band 5 comes with a 0.95-inch AMOLED touch display and weighs just about 22.7 grams. The 2.5D curved glass gives it an elegant look and with tempered Glass and Anti Fingerprint Coating, you don’t have to worry about  any smudges after using it repeatedly. Brightness is adjustable and we didn’t see any problem reading the screen under sunlight (The problem that is plaguing Samsung Galaxy Fit e Smart Band)

On the front side of the band, you will notice a round touch button at the bottom. Nowadays, we see an increase in the trend of smart bands coming up with a touch button at the bottom of the screen. We observed this in Realme Band and many other products. I think this button is incredibly useful since you can’t swipe on a screen so small every time. You can treat it as a home button. Just tap on this button to navigate the menu and respond to notifications.

Honor Band 5 variants

Behind the screen there are charging pins and all other sensors that the smartband is equipped with: 6-axis sensor, infrared, gyroscope and optical sensor for heart rate. 

The watch comes in Pink, Black, Navy, and Green colors. The wrist bands fit easily to the band and the band looks elegant.

Don’t like the look of the watch face? There are also 8 watch faces available by default inside the Band. You have more than a hundred watch faces in the Watch Face Store (only on Android). But it is not clear if these additional watch faces outside the Band are available for Indian consumers.

Honor Band 5: Fitness tracking & Sports

Honor Band 5 sports and fitness tracking

For all the fitness freaks, Honor Band 5 covers most of your needs – be it your sleeping pattern or work out efficiency or cardiac performance, visualized in a simple free application in your smartphone.

Let’s look at some of the important features in Honor Band 5

Fitness options

The Honor Band 5 supports up to ten work-out modes. This number is pretty decent and we believe anything above 10 is redundant. The work-out modes include outdoor & indoor running, walking, cycling, cross-training, rowing, swimming, and free training. Honor Band 5 is also a personal trainer on your wrist. This feature is new and not present in its predecessor – Honor Band 4. The trainer includes personalized recommendations, and measures high-level details such as stride frequency, calories, and aerobic/anaerobic results. The personal trainer develops an in-depth work-out plan customized for you.

Music & Volume controls

The best part here is you can connect your Bluetooth headset to the Honor Band 5. This feature is not something present in all budget trackers at this price range. This feature allows you to control your music coming from headphones using the Band instead of your smartphone. Having said that, just like any other premium smart band, you can control songs, podcasts, and other compatible applications such as YouTube and Spotify.

Heart rate monitoring

Honor Band 5 Heart rate monitoring

We have 24×7 Heart Rate Monitoring. You can check your cardiac performance by opening the Huawei Health app. It notes historic data and analytically gives your heart rate readings. The heart rate performance is close to that of Mi Band 4 and gives pretty decent results for casual workouts. Performance may reduce with high intense activities as is the case with many trackers at this price range. Capturing wild fluctuations is sometimes tricky but not impossible.

You have continuous heart rate monitoring (at the expense of battery life) and smart monitoring (new) that decides when to measure your cardiac performance based on your activity and time of the day. Overall, we are satisfied with the heart rate monitoring measurements.

Sleep monitoring

Honor Band 5 sleep monitoring

Monitoring sleep quality requires you to wear the band during your bedtime. Having a band during bedtime can be annoying to some users. However, if you are someone like me, you would want to measure how many times you wake up and how much time you spend in deep, REM, and light sleep. The Honor Band 5 can measure your breathing quality too. This feature is possible with HUAWEI’s TruSleep technology that helps the fitness tracker to analyze your sleeping heart rate and breathing pattern. 

Well, since HUAWEI came up with a unique name “TruSleep”, you might be wondering what is the difference between ordinary sleep tracker and this. Ordinary sleep tracking just uses sensors to give simple metrics such as the duration of the sleep. However, if you enable  HUAWEI TruSleep in the Huawei Health app, your wearable would use the TruSleep technology to extrapolate sinus rhythm and breathing signals from the heart rate measurements. Huawei’s website says “ The Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) method is then used to analyze the coherence and cross-spectral density of the two signals to allow Cardiopulmonary Coupling (CPC) analysis, which can accurately determine which stage of sleep you are in, such as deep sleep, shallow sleep, REM sleep, or wakefulness”. Well, that sounds dope! And we like how Huawei is pushing the boundaries.

Taking remote pictures (only for Huawei phones)

If you connect the Honor Band 5 to a Huawei phone, you can use it as a remote shutter for the camera. This feature as of now works with phones that support EMUI (8.1 or later). Emotion UI is an android based custom UI developed and maintained by Huawei for its mobile devices.

Swim Tracking Feature Review of Honor Band 5

Honor Band 5 swimming tracking

The Honor Band 5 is waterproof (up to 50 m), which means you can take it to your swimming pool or have it on your wrist during a shower. Honestly, I do not use my tracker during my shower time. Showering is one of the most quality times I spend with myself 🙂

Honor Band 5 GPS Feature Review

The Huawei Health app supports map integration. This means the Honor Band 5 can now piggyback your smartphone’s GPS (Connected GPS feature). Since the band doesn’t come with in-built GPS, you need to carry your smartphone to track or measure your outdoor pursuits such as cycling and running.

SpO2 Monitor

Honor Band 5 SPO2 monitor

The SpO2 tracking feature at this price range is pretty impressive. This feature helps you to track blood oxygen saturation levels. Since this is a new feature, I would like to give a short description of what this SpO2 monitoring is all about.

Typically, your blood oxygen level is measured using a device called ‘pulse oximeter’. This device features two LEDs, one with red and another with infrared wavelengths. Since light absorption depends on oxygen levels of the blood, with Oxygenated blood absorbing more infrared light and deoxygenated blood allowing it to pass through, pulse oximeters use this difference to detect oxygen levels. The latest generation of smart trackers and smartwatches use this technology for SpO2 tracking.

Please don’t use wearable sensor measurements for self-diagnosis. Nevertheless, your tracker can still tell if there are any abnormalities and give you a quick understanding of the body’s blood oxygen level. You should always go to your medical professional if you want to diagnose any underlying health condition.

Honor Band 5 Battery life

The 100mAh Lithium Polymer battery is said to offer up to 14 days on a single charge. As we said in our previous reviews on other trackers, excessive usage such as turning on continuous heart rate monitoring will reduce the battery life by ~25-40%. It takes about one hour to fully charge your Honor Band 5.

Lots of other features

Honor Band 5 - other features

Additional features include weather updates, water resistance, Bluetooth connectivity, stopwatch, notification alerts, Apple health kit integration (For iPhone users), etc. All these make Honor Band 5 a truly unique smart band.

Final Verdict

This is arguably the best smart band out there at this price range. We pitted it against Mi Band 4 and found Honor Band 5 to be having an edge. SpO2 capability at this price range is unique. Accuracy of steps tracking, Connected GPS, and a slew of fitness options at an attractive price. All the aforementioned advantages make Honor Band 5 a truly fantastic product at this price range.

 

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