Specifications: Full colour 0.95-inch amoled touchscreen (240 x 120 pixels), water resistant up to 50m (swim proof), continuous heart rate monitoring (optical sensor), 6-axis accelerometer, gyro sensor, Bluetooth 4.2, up to 14-day battery life (claimed), 22.7 grams
Pros: Bright & vibrant amoled display, responsive touch, 24×7 heart rate monitoring, lightweight, compact charging cradle, basic phone notifications
Cons: Looks identical to previous Honor Band 4, no SpO2 sensor in Indian version, only eight watch faces available (cannot download more)
Huawei’s Honor Band 5 looks identical to the previous generation – but the upgrades are all on the inside. This is the kind of band you need to look at if your tracking demands are minimal and if you want something lightweight and stylish.
To start with, it weighs a mere 22.7 grams – light enough to forget that you’re wearing it. The curved glass touchscreen follows the shape of your wrist and is a lot smoother to use compared to the typical plastic screens found on many budget bands.
You need to pair it using the Huawei Health app which offers all your health tracking at a glance. In the app, you can configure all functions of the band including setting goals, alarms, do not disturb, notifications, weather, raise to wake, activity reminders and enabling 24×7 heart rate. There’s also a TruSleep mode which monitors sleep and breathing patterns. The company claims that it can diagnose six different types of sleeping disorders. It also offers personalised sleep quality assessments and sleep improvement suggestions.
We found the step tracking and heart rate measurement to be quite accurate – benchmarked against a couple of different trackers like Apple Watch series 4 and Galaxy Watch Active. Battery life is about 4 to 5 days with all functions enabled and you can stretch this to 8-10 days by lowering brightness, switching off the raise to wake function, continuous heart rate and TruSleep. If you stop using the band, it goes into power saving mode and gives you extended standby time. In terms of downsides, the Band 5 seems to be missing the SpO2 (blood oxygen) measurement and the ability to download watch faces – these are advertised in the global version of this band. Adding these would have further differentiated it from Honor Band 4. It gets more confusing because Honor Band 4 is still available in the market and that too for the same price. And it uses proprietary watch bands which are not easy to find and/or replace.
As it stands currently, these are the upgrades you get compared to the Honor Band 4: updated software (with additional fitness tracking modes), more accurate step count & heart rate and a better quality display (brighter, better colours of amoled vs OLED). If you’re in the market for an affordable fitness band that you can use in the gym and while swimming, this is a good buy.