Two minute exam
Budget fitness bands are becoming more and more popular
and Huawei is ready to take on this cutthroat market with its latest Band 6. With a large AMOLED display, two-week battery life, and a host of useful health and fitness features, Huawei Band 6 is poised to be a attractive alternative to Xiaomi's Mi Band and AmazFit Bip U Pro. In many ways, the Band 6 looks like a slightly scaled-down version of the Huawei Watch Fit without the built-in GPS
. It looks like a slimmer Fit watch that packs a large, familiar AMOLED display on the front, but in a more compact and lighter form factor. It also has the same 9-10 day battery life as the Watch Fit, which has been a consistent highlight of Huawei wearables. The Band 6 runs Lite OS which has most of the fitness and health tracking suites found in Huawei's pricier wearables. It's also hampered by the same software limitations, like the inability to share data with third-party apps like Strava and restricted customization. With that being said, Lite OS makes a lot of sense with its simple and easy to use user interface. You can follow a wide range of workouts on the Band 6 that are easily accessible from the menu. There's plenty of built-in health tracking, too, including all-day heart rate, stress, and SpO2 monitoring, as well as sleep tracking. For analysis, you can go to the basic information on the watch or switch to the Huawei Health app to get detailed breakdowns and graphs on your performance. This is where Band 6 is having trouble. Pairing the Band 6 with a smartphone can be a tricky process
. When paired, data syncing can be slow and we've often seen inaccurate data syncing with the app, requiring multiple sync updates. This capricious connection can sometimes disrupt route tracking for outdoor hikes or runs, as the group relies on your smartphone's GPS to plot their route. Another small complaint concerns the push notifications on the Band 6 which can sometimes be delayed. When they appear in your notification panel, the messages are truncated, forcing you to remove your phone to view the entire message. Considering its price, the Huawei Band 6 is an attractive fitness band packed with features
. But consumers are spoiled for choice in this price range and since Huawei already has a great and affordable fitness tracker in the Huawei Watch Fit, which is only AED 100 more, we don't know where the price is. Band 6 in Huawei's entry level line of fitness trackers, and I recommend choosing Watch Fit over Band 6.
Prices and availability
You can get the Huawei Band 6 for €59.99 / AED 229 (around €85 / AU€ 100) at Huawei Experience stores, as well as online and third-party stores. It is available in four colors: Graphite Black and Forest Green, which come with a dark gray watch body; and Amber Sunrise and Sakura Pink, which come with a gold watch body. For that price, you can get your hands on the Amazfit Bip U Pro, which comes with built-in GPS. And for a bit more, you can get the excellent Huawei Watch Fit, which looks similar to the Band 6 but has superior features and performance.
Design and display
At first glance, the Huawei Band 6 looks like a slim Huawei Watch Fit but with a more compact and basic design. The polymer watch body has a metallic textured finish on the side and a matte plastic finish on the bottom where it houses its sensors. The rubber straps are narrow with a soft, smooth texture that is comfortable against the skin. It doesn't collect dust and is easy to clean when your wrists get sweaty. You won't be able to swap bracelets with the Band 6, which is understandable at this price.
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(Image credit: Future) The Band 6 is also super lightweight, which makes it very comfortable to wear all day and doesn't dig into the skin, which is a bonus. It's also water resistant to 50 meters, so you can take it for a dip in the pool and not have to take it off during a quick shower. There's a large 1,47-inch AMOLED display on the front that's vibrant and responsive, but not quite as sharp and smooth as the screen on the Huawei Watch Fit. We loved the tall aspect ratio of the Huawei Watch Fit and it's a smart design choice on the Band 6, keeping the bracelet's form factor compact while displaying a good amount of information.
Fitness and health monitoring
The main feature of the Band 6 is its versatile health and fitness tracking suite that can be found on almost all Huawei's wearable devices these days. There is also a three-ring activity system similar to Apple's Activity Rings that allows you to set goals for calories burned, standing time, and hours of exercise.
(Image credit: Future) From walking, running, cycling and swimming to belly dancing, darts and skating, the Band 90's 6 training modes can track a wide range of activities. All you have to do is browse the workout list from the group menu, press start and the group will start. There's automatic exercise detection if you don't want to navigate menus, which works almost every time. The band tracks heart rate in real time during workouts, which is useful for identifying if you're hitting your target heart rate zones. The workout results are doing well from an accuracy standpoint, but real-time and resting heart rates often showed a few beats per minute higher than the Garmin Venu and Apple Watch SE.
(Image credit: Future) When you've finished a workout, you can view a basic summary from the band itself, or use the Huawei Health app to view detailed information and graphs. It's a solid fitness app that displays your data in a visually appealing way. It has a decent amount of information and helpful tips on how to get your numbers into a healthy range. The only problem here is the process of pairing the smartphone and syncing the apps, which can be slow and tedious. The Band 6 may take a few tries before pairing with your phone and firmware updates
Pending or data syncs can take several minutes, which is frustrating. On top of that, we ran into issues from time to time where the app was displaying incorrect or different data than what we saw in the group. The issue is resolved after some efforts to force the resynchronization, but given the slowness of this process, it is quite annoying.
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(Image credit: Future) Image 3 of 3 Other notable features include breathing exercises, stress monitoring, and all-day SpO2 monitoring that assesses your body's overall conditioning and can help identify potential problems down the road. There's also on-board sleep tracking that works very well, and we particularly like the way this data is displayed in detail in the companion app. The Band 6 is not a smartwatch and is light in terms of features. Push notifications from your phone have a time limit and require you to remove your phone. Other than that, you can set alarms, view weather conditions, and control music playback.
(Image credit: Future) As with most Huawei wearables, battery life is a big plus for the Band 6.
The bunch's minimal Lite operating system is power efficient and is capable of squeezing a week and a half out of its lifespan. That's a lot more battery endurance than you'd get from other fitness bands in this price range. With more intensive use involving multiple workouts per day and all-day heart rate and SpO2 monitoring turned on, your mileage may drop. But with light to moderate use, you can consistently get around 10 days of battery life on a single charge, which is a bit short of Huawei's two-week battery life claims. The Band 6 uses a unique two-prong cradle that magnetically attaches to the back of the Band 6. Charging is a quick process that takes just under an hour to go from zero to full.
Should I buy the Huawei Band 6?
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Buy it if...
You want a cheap fitness tracker
The Band 6 is a nifty tracker for anyone looking to start a fitness habit or monitor their exercise routine. The screen is a great addition, giving the band a premium look and feel. It's easy to use and packed with features like all-day SpO2 tracking, stress monitoring, and sleep tracking, typically reserved for more expensive fitness watches.
You want a light bracelet
One of our favorite things about the Band 6 is how light and comfortable it fits in your hand, to the point where you almost forget you're wearing it. During practice, we never felt like the group sank and sweat didn't accumulate or it was easy to clean.
You want a long battery life
Considering the number of devices that we have to charge on a daily basis, it is nice to have one that you can charge once and forget about for a week and more. The Huawei Band 6 easily lasts a week and a half with heavy to moderate use thanks to its low-power Lite operating system and small, fast-charging battery.
Don't buy it if...
You want smart watch functions
The Band 6 is great for tracking health metrics and occasional fitness activities, but if you want it to be an extension of your phone or customize it with third-party apps, you'll be disappointed. There is also no syncing of the Band 6 data with third party apps like My Fitness Pal and Strava.
You are discouraged by software problems
One of the main concerns of the Band 6 is its complicated pairing with smartphones and slow syncing that sometimes syncs inaccurate data from the band. The Huawei Health app displays helpful tips and actions in a visually appealing way, but we just wish it would work better with the Band 6.
You want to follow a lot of fitness activities
The Band 6 is good enough for tracking most indoor and short-distance fitness efforts, but if you're a serious athlete or training hard for a sporting event, you might want to invest in...