First impressions of the Huawei Band 6

Yesterday Huawei Mobile South Africa hosted a local media event for the launch of the new Huawei Band 6. The event coincided with a partnership announcement with Supersport United FC, with Huawei being the wearable technology provider for the football team and giving players access to devices like the Huawei Band 6.

While we are certainly not professional footballers, we have also been seeded a Huawei Band 6 for review. As such, we’re weighing in with our first impressions of the device, which is set to go up for pre-order come 11th June – that’s next week – at R1 699 (RRP) and go on sale thereafter on 18th June.

So here are our initial thoughts after 24 hours with the device.

Before we got hands on with the Band 6, we had thought it would be a lot like the Watch Fit from last year, even worrying that it might be the exact same product with a different name. Luckily this is not the case, although the similarities in terms of form factor are there. That said, the Band 6 is narrower than the Watch Fit, making it a sleeker device in general.

For those who do not like the bulkiness of a chronograph-esque smartwatch then, the Band 6 hits the mark. The silicon strap is equally slim and more akin to the ones we’ve tried on older iterations of Huawei Bands.

Now for the screen, which is dubbed a FullView display by Huawei.

This one is a 1.47″ Amloed screen which the company says affords more real estate for information. While this may be true compared to previous iterations, there is a limit, especially when you start swiping to the fitness and health data and scrolling down to get more in-depth statistics and then become difficult to read.

The same goes for notifications, as text and WhatsApp messages read well on the 1.47″ screen, but emails are less than ideal. That said, this is an issue that smartwatches also suffer from and most of them sport larger displays than the Band 6.

What we did notice about the screen is how crisp and clear it is. The brightness level is also impressive, even at level 3 which is one of five levels, so you definitely won’t find yourself squinting in the daylight to make out what is on screen.

Lastly we need to talk about the battery, which is listed by Huawei as lasting for up to two weeks. All the other Huawei smartwatches that have featured similar timeframes have lived up to the claims, and we’re calling it early and saying the Band 6 will do the same. We have not charged since unboxing yesterday, where there was 71 percent battery. 24 hours later, it was only dropped to 67 percent at the time of writing, which means this device sips on power.

Our fully fledged review later this month will unpack whether that is indeed the case once you start working out regularly or make use of the integrated features and apps like Spotify controls.

We still have two weeks to go until we’re ready to publish a full review of the Huawei Band 6, but the first impression is promising. Given that it has features and performance comparable to that of a more expensive smartwatch, the R1 699 price tag is starting to look eve more tempting. As such, we can see quite a few people interested in smart fitness bands want to reach for the Band 6 when it is launched later this month.

With Huawei focusing more on wearables moving forward, devices like the Band 6 will certainly be welcome.


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