Honor updated its cheap bracelet by introducing the Honor Band 5. At first glance, it doesn't look anything new compared to its predecessor, but the new sensor, pulse oximeter (SPO²) and some improved functionality bring some relevant differences between the Band 5 and Band 4. We'll see what's new in the rest of the review!
– 0.95 inch display AMOLED 240 x 120 pixels
– 100 mAh with estimated autonomy of 14 to 20 days
– 5 ATM water resistance
– Bluetooth 4.0
– Heart rate sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, SPO²
– 22 grams
The Honor Band 5 kept essentially the same look as the Honor Band 4, with a discreet style and an integrated bracelet and display, forming virtually a single piece (rather than the Mi Band 4 detachable core). The bracelet uses a rubberized material and is comfortable to wear thanks to its slim and lightweight design, making it virtually imperceptible on the wrist.
The AMOLED screen follows one of the highlights, and displays the information very well with excellent brightness. The good colors of the display bring a lot of vividness to the information displayed, but due to the low resolution of this screen, the bracelet is very restricted in the amount of information it can display. Still, the screen is set to show much of a message.
Speaking of screen, at last we have a wider library of clock faces and the possibility to download new images that take advantage of the beautiful screen of the wearable. This is something that was missing a lot in the previous version, and finally gives the faces (pun intended) to Band 5.
Honor Band 5 keeps the same design as Band 4
Not only is the gadget water resistant, it can hold up to 5 ATMs, which means that it is feasible to wear this bracelet even in the water for swimming. It is always worth noting that these certifications are geared towards freshwater, and sea diving, for example, is more problematic for the gadget, as saltwater reacts more aggressively with electronics.
Despite maintaining the same standard as Band 4, unfortunately it also suffers from the low availability of third party bracelets. While Mi Band 4 has a much larger repertoire with even varied designs, it is very difficult to find a spare Huawei Honor Band bracelet, even worse to find one with different colors or styles.
The charger is very basic and you need to fit the strap to charge it in any USB port. Full charging is somewhat slow and may take up to 2 hours depending on where you plug in the gadget.
The Honor Band 5 has the same primary functions as the Band 4, with being a fitness bracelet that helps the user to record their workouts and physical activities. She uses the accelerometer to check when she is moving to give estimates of data such as calories burned or steps taken throughout the day. Although not an accurate way to get this kind of information, it already serves to "gamify" your routine, and serves as an incentive to stay active during the day.
In addition to the movements, the user can also monitor the heart rate through the sensor built into the strap. This can only be done when a workout is recorded manually or you can leave the bracelet taking measurements every 10 minutes, which impacts battery life. You can also set alerts if the gadget notices that your beats are too high even when you are at rest.
Here is one of the main news of Band 5: the oximeter. In addition to the beats that Band 4 was already capable of, the new version of this transmitter makes it possible to measure SPO² by checking arterial oxygen saturation. It is relevant for detecting some serious problem, such as something serious breathing disorder. For a healthy person the values are 95% or higher, so it ends up not having much use for a person in good health, after all the results will always be something in this house.
The wristband acts by monitoring physical activity, sleep and displaying mobile phone notifications.
In addition to the activity, you can also use Band 5 to take care of rest. You can set alerts for when you are sitting for very long periods, encouraging you to move a little occasionally, and the gadget can monitor your longer naps and sleeps.
The sleep record follows a logic similar to that of other bands. She uses her movements to try to measure the quality of her rest, providing estimates of total sleep time, and groups how much of that time was of good quality sleep. It is far from the equivalent of consulting with a professional, but it already gives you an idea of how long you slept and if you moved a lot at night. Huawei says it uses Harvard Medical School standards to identify up to 6 types of sleep problems, which greatly increases energy consumption.
In addition to these functions, there are also small apps like a stopwatch, a timer and exercise tracking start. Unfortunately there is no app library and it is not possible to add new features to the bracelet, as well as Ali Pay-linked payment mode does not operate here in Brazil. As with incoming wristbands, she can't receive new features by installing new apps.
Autonomy and performance
Unfortunately the new version of the bracelet brought a slight reduction in battery life. In my use it was very close to the experience I had with the Honor Band 4, but it was already losing to the Xiaomi model when it comes to staying away from the socket. In our tests, the Huawei wristband can hold up to 5 days of wear if you trigger all features like constant heart rate monitoring, vibrate for notifications and automatically create sleep reports. It's pretty close to what its predecessor was delivering, being about half a day down.
Impressive Huawei still not fixing the notification center
In performance we also have something very similar to what Honor Band 4 delivers, which means it is agile in navigating most interfaces, working satisfactorily on virtually every screen, but the exception continues: the notifications interface follows completely crashed, with the commands taking too long to execute and a very frustrating experience. It's amazing to see Huawei keep insisting on an error, and the inability to improve the usability of this function.
Honor Band 5 has such punctual improvements compared to its successor that it's hard to tell the two apart. The highlight is the new arterial oximetry sensor, but as we mentioned earlier, very limited usability compared to other indications more useful to monitor exercise, such as heart rate, for example.
Including many more clock face options is welcome, but honestly it should have come with a software update for Honor Band 4, not a whole new piece of hardware, and in the end just taking a big bump out of it. product lag to rivals.
Even bringing very little new, the Honor Band 5 can become one of the most interesting options among the cheap smart bracelets on the market. Compared to Xiaomi Mi Band 4, I think the software is simpler and it does better in swimming monitoring (although both do not bring heart rate data), but is at the disadvantage when it comes to autonomy. We'll take a closer look at this Xiaomi Mi Band 4 vs. Honor Band 5 clash in another upcoming article.
The Honor Band 5 changes little but still manages to remain one of the best options in the low-cost smart fitness wristband market.
For those who want to enter the wearable world with an affordable option, or are already happy with the level of functionality and quality present in this model, the Honor Band 5 is one of the best options on the market, along with the Mi Band 4, and will suit well this consumer looking for a cheap model.
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