Honor Band 6
In yet another episode of 'nearly identical siblings', today we're taking a look at the Honor Band 6, which is nearly identical to the Huawei Band 6 I reviewed a few months ago. Fundamentally, it offers a remarkably similar experience - presumably because they used the same physical parts. However, there are a few small differences that may factor into your final decision, apart from the RM30 difference in the price tag.
The design is similar to most other smartbands at this price point - a rectangular AMOLED display mounted on a flexible silicone strap. The 1.47" display is a tad larger than some of its competitors' and boasts 148% more display area than its predecessor, which makes it great to view vital information at a glance.
The model I received is in Sandstone Grey, which is a pretty neutral colourway that will match pretty much any outfit. You can also get it in Meteorite Black and Coral Pink. On the right side, you'll find a single button accentuated with an orange stripe, and beneath the watch face you'll find the metal charging connectors. While I do prefer charging plates that allow you to place your smartband facing up, it's not a big issue for me as I didn't have to charge it that often due to its long battery life (up to 14 days!)
In terms of weight, the smartband is extremely light, so you can wear it 24/7 and not feel weighed down at all. The free loop is also notched, so it stays securely in place even with lots of movement. The Honor Band 6 also boasts 50 ATM water resistance, so you can even take it into the shower or for a swim.
As with most touch screen devices, navigation is pretty intuitive. Pressing the side button will wake the screen, let you access the app list, or return to the home screen. Swiping up will allow you to view notifications, swiping down opens the quick settings menu, and swiping left or right on the home screen will cycle you through a carousel of apps, including heart rate data, stress data, workout data, and more.
To go back from inside an app or menu, you can swipe right to return to the previous screen. Holding down the side button will power on or turn off the device.
Some things to note are that you cannot access detailed info from the app carousel, nor can you tap them to open the main app. You'll have to access the main apps through the menu instead. Once you've entered the main app, then you can swipe up to view more details.
Of course, typing the instructions out like this makes it seem far more complicated than it is - fret not, once you've got the smartband in hand, you'll find it much easier to navigate than it sounds.
One of the first things I do when getting a new device is customising its appearance. In this case, it means selecting watch faces - and boy, there are tons to choose from. All you have to do is head into the Health App and open the Watch Faces tab, where you'll be greeted with custom designs to suit every mood. If you don't fancy forking out money, you can scroll all the way down the page and browse the Free Series, which has a good amount to choose from.
Otherwise, the rest of the designs are locked behind a paywall, with prices that range anywhere from RM1.49 to RM15.59. It doesn't seem to support uploaded custom faces at the moment, but hopefully there will be a workaround in the future.
Features and functions
To setup the Honor Band 6, you'll need to download the Health app on your smartphone, after which you'll be able to pair it seamlessly with just a touch of a button.
For workout junkies, there are a total of 10 supported workout modes on the device, which is outdoor and indoor running, outdoor and indoor walking, outdoor and indoor cycling, indoor swim, elliptical, rower, and free training. The Band 6 is able to record key features like step count, distance covered, calories burned, and more, which helps you monitor and keep track of your training progress. You can also tweak the settings to recognise your typical heart rate, so that the Band 6 can issue a warning whenever you approach your limits.
If you're using the smartband for its health tracking features instead, you'll find all the key features you need as well. The device supports all-day heart rate tracking, SpO2 monitoring, stress and sleep monitoring, period tracking, and includes handy breathing exercises as well.
The most relevant feature for me was its TruSleep technology, which helps to accurately monitor sleep patterns and provide you a handy breakdown in the morning. You can see how much deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, as well as waking periods you've experienced over your sleep session. It even tracks naps, so you can see how well your afternoon siesta went.
As for handy lifestyle features, the Honor Band 6 can also display social media notifications, play music, and locate your phone. There's no onboard storage so you'll need to have your smartphone on you to enjoy some music - it's still useful to help you control playback without having to fumble around with your smartphone while jogging, for instance.
Buy or no buy?
All in all, the Honor Band 6 provides just about the same amount of features as the Huawei Band 6 - while there's no built-in GPS for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, you'll enjoy all the basic monitoring and tracking features a casual user would need on a day-to-day basis.
In case you're wondering which of the two Band 6 wearables to pick up - the Huawei Band 6 has 96 different workout modes compared to the Honor's 10. But if you read my Huawei Band 6 review, you'll realise that the Huawei Band 6 just puts specific names on the same basic tracking functions, thus artificially inflating the number up to 96, when in reality every additional sports mode functions exactly the same.
The only other difference would be the strap colours - otherwise everything else from the battery life to the build quality are identical. In the end, it all boils down to which strap colour you prefer, as well as which brand name looks better on your arm. The Huawei Band 6 retails for RM219, while the Honor Band 6 retails for RM30 cheaper at RM189.
For more information, you can visit the official product page here.