Huawei Band 6
Okay, I'm going to be real here - when Huawei approached me to do a review for the new Huawei Band 6, I was all for it because I'm a big enjoyer of smartwatches, smartbands, and the like.
However, I must disclose that I am probably the furthest thing from an athletic person you'll ever meet (I get winded walking up half a flight of stairs). I use smartwatches mostly for the convenience - receiving message notifications, controlling music remotely, as well as monitoring my sleep patterns, stress levels, and more.
Hence, I will be reviewing this smartband not from a gym rat or health conscious person's perspective, but from a passive office worker's perspective instead.
Without further ado, let's hop right to it!
Lightweight with a big display
The design is nothing revolutionary, featuring a rectangular AMOLED display on a silicone rubber strap . However, the 1.47"display is larger than most smartbands out there; along with its 194×368 pixels resolution, it's great for displaying information more clearly.
The Huawei Band 6 comes in three colours - Amber Sunrise, Forest Green, Graphite Black. I received the orangey-red Amber Sunrise, which I thought would look gaudy based on the box's picture, but I found it to be a pleasantly vibrant departure from my usual black or brown straps. Also, this particular colour variant offers a sharp contrast between the display and the frame, while the Forest Green and Graphite Black variants are much more subdued.
There is a single button on the right side of the display, and underneath the face you'll find metal connectors that attach magnetically to the proprietor charger. I do prefer a disc-shaped dock that allows the band to lie flat while charging, but since you won't be charging it that often (yay battery life) it's not a huge deal.
The single free loop is notched, so it won't slip up and down the strap easily. In terms of comfort, it only weighs a mere 18g, so you'll easily forget that you have something on your wrist after a while. The smooth texture feels nice, though I can't tell you how it'll hold up in sweaty conditions as I'm vehemently opposed to sweating.
Also this is a loan unit so I'm being considerate and not fouling the surface of the strap so the next reviewer won't gag when they open the box. I mean I COULD wash it after I'm done since it has 50m water resistance with a 5ATM rating, but eh, ain't nobody got time for that. *cough* excuses *cough*
Navigating is a breeze
Personally, I favour touchscreen navigation over old-school physical buttons, so learning my way around the interface took no time at all.
Swiping down from the top brought up the quick settings, while swiping up from the bottom brings up your recent notifications. You can tap on each notification to view the full message, but you can't reply to it from here. There's also no emoji support - it won't show up on your message at all.
Swiping left and right from the main screen navigates through a carousel of favourited apps such as heartrate and stress monitoring. However, a quick summary of the info is all you get - you can't swipe up for more details, nor tap on it to enter the app itself.
To go back from inside a menu or app, swipe from the left; alternatively, you can press the button to go straight back to the main screen.
From the main screen, pressing the button brings up the menu, where you can find all your apps. Once you enter a certain app, such as heart rate monitoring, you can swipe up to view more details.
Trust me, it sounds more complicated when put in words - it's extremely intuitive once you lay your hands on it. However, I do wish more info was accessible from the main screen carousel instead of having to scroll through the menu to access the app itself.
Customisable faces and tons of functions
If you're the type who enjoys matching accessories to your outfit, you can download extra watch faces from the Huawei Health app to suit your mood or style. Once the faces have been downloaded into the Band 6, you can change them on the fly from within the smartband itself (or just use your phone if you want a bigger preview). At the moment, the local version of the app doesn't seem to support custom faces, but if it's anything like the Honor Magic Watch (my daily driver which also uses the Huawei Health app), you'll be able to download a Chinese apk which does support it.