My Honest Review On Huawei Honor Band Z1

Fitting into smartwatches era

Smartwatches are becoming an in-thing right now. We can see most younger generations and oldies alike are looking fashionably stylish with a smart looking watch on their wrists. The first among all smartwatches, the Pebble, is what started the whole trend. I honestly think that the Pebble is still the best smartwatch out there with others from Apple and Samsung are getting into more sophisticated functions with their own OSes built in. The Pebble however, keeps everything simple and functional.

Now there’s another kid in town trying to keep it simple, but too darn simple.

Go ahead, just try it…

Huawei’s Honor Band Z1 to me is more of a fitness tracker rather than a smart watch. Yes, it has notifications for messages from WhatsApp or Facebook that I can scroll and read. But that’s about it. I can’t install any third-party app onto it. I can’t do more like checking-in to Swarm like how Pebble can. It’s just a…fitness tracker that tells time and shows notifications.

So those who are looking for a “smartwatch”, better look elsewhere. But those who are looking for a smart fitness tracker that won’t break your wallet, by all means, Honor Band Z1 is good enough.

Now the question is, who should be getting the Honor Band Z1? Anyone! Well, anyone who are trying to get in shape and track their calories should definitely get one. It may not necessary be your main watch (or smartwatch), but it can compliment your current watch to track your fitness.

Or it can be your companion when you’re heading to the gym. Obviously you don’t want to wear your iWatch to the gym right? Unless you just want to show off to your gym buddies. And without knowing it, you knock your iWatch into some dumbells (and the weights too) and break your expensive watch. Then it’s not so smart anymore.

Now let’s get into the details and functions of the Honor Band Z1.

First Impressions

First look, you will see the simple design with a round face. It is housed in stainless steel with no buttons on any side at all. So to function the Honor Band Z1, it will be all on the touchscreen. Yes, this tiny and lightweight cheap fitness tracker cum watch comes with a touchscreen. Weighs only 25g and the touchscreen is 1.06in in diameter. The rubber strap is pretty slim. It will appeal more towards the ladies or young people. Big sized old man like me made the Honor Band Z1 look like a toy watch, just like the watch Tony Stark wore in Ironman 3. And I don’t feel a darn thing. Like I’m not wearing any watch at all. It’s that light!

Feels totally like a toy watch. Doesn’t suit me that well.

If only the rubber strap is wider. Then it will definitely look good on me. But the stainless steel watch face shell is good looking.

The touchscreen is not that responsive. In the instruction, it says that I can rotate my wrist quickly to activate the screen. But I really have to rotate hard in order for it to be activated. Sometimes, it doesn’t respond. I had to tap the screen twice or three times or multiple times to activate the screen. So if I want to look at the time, I literally had to rotate my wrist as if I have a bug up my sleeve and made myself look silly in public. If only it can constantly shows the time or at least keep it dimmed rather than totally off during standby.

Back of the Honor Band Z1 and the docking charger.

The battery life is however, very good. After a full charge that took about an hour, it can last for about 5 days until the next recharge. Maybe the simplicity of the software made it power savvy. Maybe because the screen stays off during standby helps a lot too.

Huawei Wear on Android

The pedometer function keeps track of your daily steps which will then sync with your phone. You have to install the Huawei Wear on your Android or iPhone to be able to fully make use of your fitness tracking. It will show how many steps you’ve made and how many calories you’ve burnt. It can also track your sleeping time, like how many hours of sleep or deep sleep. I didn’t wear the Honor Band when I was sleeping so now I’m wondering how it can track whether you’re just sleeping or in deep sleep.

Left: It shows zero at first. Right: Tracking my steps and calories burnt.

Conclusion

I’m not saying that the Honor Band Z1 is bad. Although I had some irritating moments with it especially when trying to get it turned on. The notifications works well. You can assign which app you want to show notifications from. But it can only store 5 messages at any given time. So if you have more than 5, the earlier ones will be deleted.

Buy this if you’re looking for a simple and cheap fitness tracker to compliment your current watch. It is just a simple fitness tracker that does well in helping you keep track of your fitness. If you want to buy this as a gift, do buy it for your kids instead. They will enjoy this smart watch more than anyone else.

Retail price is around RM249. It is a cheap no-fuss kinda smart watch to have if you’re looking for a fitness tracker. And for that reason only.

Article written by K. Azwan

To simply put it, I am a web and graphic designer by profession, a cook by passion, a blogger & photographer by hobby and a bowler by reputation. I am a geek ever since I started using the PC back in the late 80`s. Now I blog and review just to kill time. And because I love writing too.

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