Honor Band 5 Review: Mi Band 4 Finally Has A Direct Competitor
Anita - Sep 10, 2019
The Honor Band 5 is really a formidable competitor of the Mi Band 4 in many aspect for an affordable price tag of only Rs. 2,599.
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The smart band competition is now mostly around Xiaomi with the Mi Band 4 that was announced in June. The device is priced at only Rs. 2,599, which is considered extremely attractive pricing compared to what it offers. Indeed, Honor really wants to take on the likes of Xiaomi Mi Band 4.
In theory, the Honor Band 5 is almost inferior to its rival, even more superior with a few high-end features. Today, let’s spend time with this interesting device.
Square modern design, but the strap needs improving
The Honor Band 5 has the same core design and band as the Band 4, with a scratch-resistant watch crystal that is slightly curved on the wrist. The strap is made of TPU, which looks nice with impressive diagonal lines in an old-style piercing design. This design is suitable for those who like the traditional but are not very practical. Other smartwatches/smartbands today often hide the wire in to avoid entanglement and slip, which is much more convenient when exercising and playing sports.
Honor Band 5 has a beautiful square design but the strap is not very practical.
The display is beautiful, very bright, and big enough to use
The device still comes with a 0.95-inch AMOLED display with a 240 x 120-pixel resolution like the predecessors, but the display has great improvement in color. The smoothness of swiping is also better than the previous generation devices, although it is still somewhat delay. The biggest plus of this screen is the high brightness. Users only need to set the device's display at 50% of brightness, and they can see comfortably in the sun.
The character arrangement of the Honor Band 5 is also very reasonable. The notifications are clearly showed in the display.
The number of watch interfaces of Band 5 has been increased but is still quite limited. You also can not customize anything and most of which are not very nice. Compared with Mi Band 4, it is completely inferior in terms of quantity, but in return, the quality and graphic style seem to be better, not bearing "Chinese" design style much.
Accurately count your steps, measure your heart rate, and have an oxygen concentration sensor
This is one of the sectors that the Honor Band is surpassing its rivals in the same segment. It seems that Honor has equipped with higher quality hardware and a more accurate step counting algorithm for the Band 5. The device counts very accurately when we walk, run outdoors or ride a bike. Even it can recognize fake data that users make by swinging limbs. You must actually exercise so the device recorded your efforts in the Huawei Health app.
Honor Band 5's heart rate measurement is also quite good, and fast recognition speed thanks to AI. In addition, you can turn on the notification when seeing abnormally high/low heart rate, which is very suitable for the elderly and those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease. Of course, you always have to turn on the mode, so it consumes a lot of battery.
Honor also incorporates a blood oxygen sensor that has gained much attention in Samsung devices and extremely rare in the affordable smartband/smartwatch segment. You can test the accuracy of this sensor by holding your breath for about 30 seconds. The SpO2 value will decrease rapidly from about 98% to 90 - 91% in a few seconds. It is worth noting that this method is only for illustration, you should not hold your breath for too long.
SpO2 measurement mode is suitable for those who are regularly active, working in an environment lacking of oxygen.
Detailed sleep tracking with various sports modes
Another plus point for the Honor Band 5 is the sleep tracking mode. This mode allows you to monitor the quality of sleep each night, dividing the "stages" of sleep such as shallow, deep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement - when your eyes are still moving and the brain is dreaming). Honor Band 5 even recorded a nap. Compared to Honor device, the sleep tracking mode of Mi Band 3 and 4 are very inferior.
The heart rate measurement mode works well at night, and the sleep chart is extremely detailed.
Besides, you will be introduced the ways to improve sleep more effectively right in the app.
Honor Band 5 supports 11 different exercise modes, both indoors and outdoors. However, you must enable these tracking modes manually, as the device does not support automatic identification. The Honor Band 5 is also suitable for those who love swimming because it both supports tracking and is waterproof to a depth of 50 meters.
Huawei Health incorporates a variety of exercise tracking options and exercises that are available for users to follow.
Battery life is sufficient, not excellent
This is the only aspect that Mi Band 4 still dominates in the budget segment. With Honor Band 5, you can comfortably use for about 2 weeks when you only turn on the basic features such as counting steps, receiving notifications, and watching hours. If you want to monitor your heart rate 24/24 and turn on the TruSleep feature, the battery life will reduce to 3-5 days depending on the screen brightness. This number is still not bad but cannot compete with rival Mi Band 4.
Huawei Health app is nice, but not enough
Huawei Health interface and the device's usage is very beautiful, modern and has lots of useful information. However, for some reason, this app does not support account synchronization. That means if you change a new phone, the old data will be lost and cannot be transferred to the new device. It can only sync one way with Google Fit. Meanwhile, the apps from Xiaomi, Samsung all support synchronization via separate accounts and data are always preserved.
As mentioned above, the Honor Band 5 is really a formidable competitor of the Mi Band 4. It is true that the device still has some minus points such as unreasonable strap design or the fact that the device cannot be synchronized. However, with a sale price of only Rs. 2,599, Honor Band 5 still can compete with any budget smartbands in the market.