It is generally accepted that Mi Band has no competitors in the segment of inexpensive fitness bracelets. Indeed, the gadget from Xiaomi offers a good price/quality ratio, and the sixth generation of the device left pleasant impressions about itself. However, other companies also have a lot to offer—specifically, Huawei, which introduced the Band 6 tracker this spring. The device is in the same price segment as the Mi Band 6, while it has several advantages over its competitor. Let’s understand in more detail.
Huawei Band 6 design and materials
At first glance at the Huawei Band 6, another sports accessory from Huawei is immediately remembered – the Watch Fit model. The devices are outwardly similar, and it is not clear to which category they should be attributed. They seem to have outgrown fitness trackers, but they can hardly be called full-fledged smartwatches.
The package bundle of Huawei Band 6 is as austere as possible: a fitness tracker, magnetic charging, and documentation
Nevertheless, this may be the advantage of the Huawei Band 6 because it is compact and lightweight while it has a rather large screen. The fitness tracker is available in three colors: graphite black, orange, and light pink. In the first case, both the strap and the plastic case of the device are painted black. The other two have a rose gold case and an orange and pink strap, respectively. The straps, by the way, can be changed, but for this, you have to try – it is not so easy to detach them from the case.
The Huawei Band 6 feels comfortable on the hand. The strap is made of a pleasant material to the touch; the fitness tracker weighs about 30 grams (including the strap). Dimensions: 43×25.4×10.99 mm. At night, during sleep, the device did not bother me personally, which can also be written as a plus. Of the controls, there is only one button on the side. She is responsible for activating the display and navigating the system. On the back, there are various sensors and connectors for charging.
Display and control
Huawei Band 6 is equipped with a 1.47-inch AMOLED display. It has a resolution of 368×194 pixels. The pixel density is 282 PPI. The screen is slightly curved to match the shape of the wrist. There are 5 levels of brightness adjustment. There is no auto-brightness sensor, so you will have to adjust this parameter manually. Unfortunately, there is no option in the settings that allows you to adjust the screen’s brightness on a schedule.
The display can be activated with a wave of the hand or by pressing the side button. It is impossible to configure activation by a tap on the screen. Sometimes this is inconvenient because the button has a rather tight stroke, and it is not always comfortable to press it. There is no Always-On Display. More than a hundred different watch faces are available in the proprietary Huawei Health app. Not all came to my taste, but there is plenty to choose from. The vibration motor in Huawei Band 6 does its job well, but I would like a more pleasant tactile response.
As for the system control logic, everything is as simple as possible: swipes left / right switch widgets (time, weather, heart rate, stress, etc.), a swipe from the top opens the quick settings menu, and the bottom – the notification panel. Pressing the side button opens the application menu. It is a little inconvenient that when tapping on the widget, the corresponding application does not open. For example, the weather widget does not display the forecast for the next days, but the forecast is available in the Weather application.
Huawei Band 6 software, health and sports features
Huawei does not specify which chipset is used as the Band 6 hardware platform, but there are practically no complaints about the device’s performance. Menus and widgets on the main screen scroll smoothly. There are, of course, some delays, but nothing critical. And do not forget about the price category of the device.
A Bluetooth 5.0 LE module is installed inside the fitness tracker. Like the Mi Band 6, the Huawei Band 6 lacks a GPS sensor, so you’ll have to rely on the module in your smartphone during your workouts. Also, the device is equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart rate monitor.
The Huawei Band 6 allows you to measure your heart rate around the clock, automatically monitor your blood oxygen and stress levels, and track your menstrual cycle. In addition, the tracker can monitor your sleep and even assess the quality of breathing while you sleep. Do not forget that this is not a medical device. Therefore, all of the above indicators are only indicative. The fitness tracker helps you track changes in readings, so if you notice a negative trend, this may be a reason to see a doctor.
96 sport modes allow almost every user to find the workout they need: CrossFit, pilates, yoga, karate, fencing, ballet, frisbee, and even laser tag. The Huawei Health app has a separate exercise tab that lets you choose your running course. When you start such a workout, you will hear voice prompts about your running pace. Distance covered when you need to speed up or slow down to bring your heart rate to the desired level, etc. By the way, you can also practice swimming with Huawei Band 6 because the tracker is waterproof according to the 5 ATM rating. The device can also automatically detect the start of a workout (walking, running, orbit track, and rowing machine). For example, if you are going for a walk, the device will offer you to turn on the appropriate workout after about 10 minutes of walking (~ 0.5 km distance).
Among the other functions of Huawei Band 6, I would like to note the ability to answer calls with template messages, control the music player and the smartphone camera. However, the last two are not supported in conjunction with iOS devices (and camera control is possible only when connected to a device with EMUI 8.1 or higher shell).
To connect the Huawei Band 6 to an Android or iOS smartphone, you need the Huawei Health companion app. It contains information about your activity metrics, a tab with exercises, fitness tracker settings, and profile parameters. You can see your achievements over the entire time you use Huawei sports gadgets and set up data synchronization with third-party services (for example, Apple HealthKit and Google Fit).
Autonomy Huawei Band 6
Thanks to the 180 mAh battery and the optimized power consumption, the autonomy of the Huawei Band 6 is beyond praise. With all health monitoring enabled, the device can work for 11-12 days. If you add constant training, the figure will decrease slightly, but it’s still an excellent result. Compared to the Mi Band 6, the advantage is on the side of the Huawei Band 6.
Replenishes the energy of the Band 6 with magnetic charging. It will take about an hour to charge the device fully.
large AMOLED display, excellent autonomy, many sports modes, moisture protection
you cannot activate the screen by tapping on it, widgets on the main screen do not open the main application, there is no possibility of data synchronization with many sports services
Conclusion: Should you buy Xiaomi Mi Band 6?
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 has a worthy competitor that can even give it a head start in some aspects. The difference in price between the devices is minimal, while they offer almost identical functionality. The Huawei Band 6 visually has a slightly larger display (although, judging by the measurements of Xiaomi, it is more precisely that of the Mi Band 6). Due to this, the device looks more like a smartwatch. Also, the autonomy of the gadget from Huawei is better. In any case, these are two worthy options in the segment of inexpensive fitness trackers, which for us, as consumers, is only a plus.