Honor Band 6 Review
If you're looking for a budget fitness tracker, the Honor Band 6 boasts plenty of health and fitness features at a great price.
The Band 6 is follow-up to the Honor Band 5, a budget fitness tracker that was already filled with many great features. 2 years later, it's been updated to offer a fuller rich fitness tracking experience, with a new-look design and affordable price tag.
We've fully tested the Honor Band 6 – read more to find out what this smart tracker has to offer.
Design & Packaging
The Honor Band 6 deviates from the classic fitness band look a little, with its slightly wider screen making it more watch-like in appearance. The biggest change from 2019’s Honor Band 5 is the jump to a much larger 1.47in AMOLED display, which runs almost to the edges of the device. It’s big, bright and colourful without making the tracker itself feel too bulky. Plus, the extra screen space makes the whole experience of moving around menus much more enjoyable.
You will be getting a black 43mm sized case that measures in at 11mm thick and weighs just 18g. That's paired up with a non-removable strap and you've got the strap color options of black, grey or pink.
The bigger screen and comfortable fit are definitely reasons to like what the Band 6 is bringing.
The packaging is minimalistic, clean and simply does its job. You will find the smart tracker, a USB charger, and a manual.
Tracking & Heart Rate Monitoring
Despite the diminutive price, the Honor Band 6 packs in a pretty comprehensive suite of tracking features. Besides the standard step count, it will recognise ten types of exercise including Outdoor run, Indoor run, Cycle, Pool swim, Open water swim, Elliptical, Rower and so on (Outdoor cycling not available on Android devices).
There’s also the familiar option to enable automatic workout detection. This is often a bit ropey, and the Honor Band 6 is no exception. It’s a good backup option to have, but we would recommend starting workouts manually if you don’t want to miss the first few minutes of tracking half the time.
Elsewhere the tracking is more impressive though. Continuous heart rate monitoring is available, driven by Huawei’s TruSeen 4.0 sensor, and for the most part is fairly accurate, giving results in line with other trackers. Sleep tracking is also automatic, charting your deep, light, and REM sleep windows throughout the night, and giving you an overall score out of 100 every morning.
In addition to heart rate you can measure your blood oxygen level (SpO2). This is manually activated, rather than continuous, and a reading takes 30 seconds or so.
Finally, menstruation and fertility cycle tracking are also both available. It supports the period-tracking calendar that allows you to see your upcoming estimated fertile window and compare all your stats in one place, giving you a better overview of your health. Unfortunately, this is only available on Android devices.
The Band 6 runs on proprietary OS that while isn't referred to as Huawei's Lite OS, looks very much like what you'll find on other Honor and Huawei watches and fitness trackers.
It works with Android phone and iPhone owners, but the most complete support is on offer for Android users. That gets you the ability to view notifications from native and third party apps. There's music controls (for Android users only), weather forecasts and remote camera shutter feature. You do have a collection of watch faces here too with the ability to add your own photos to create more personalised watch faces.
The bigger display inevitably means these features are a lot nicer to use. You can swipe up from the main watch screen to see your notification stream with app icons used to clearly identify where they're coming from. You can't respond to notifications and things like emails only show subject lines.
Features like music controls and weather forecasts are well optimised for that larger screen and getting around the software is pretty straightforward. For the price, the smartwatch features you get here work well.
Battery life has always been one of the areas budget trackers excel, and the Honor Band 6 is actually at the upper end of the cohort.
Honor claims a total battery life of up to 14 days, with a 10-day promise for heavier use. These estimates are pretty much bang-on. Charging is arguably even more impressive. The custom charger will plug into any USB-A port and attaches magnetically to the tracker. A full charge takes a little over an hour, but the included fast charge tech means that just ten minutes on charge should net you another three days or so of use – perfect if you only discover at the last minute that it’s running low.
The Honor Band 6 is probably the most stylish fitness band out there thanks to its wide display and it’s comfortable to boot. The feature set is solid, battery life is brilliant, and its implementation of sleep tracking is very intuitive and comprehensive.