EVALUATION

Huawei Band 6 Review: One of the Best Budget Fitness Trackers of 2021

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Huawei Band 6

9.00 / 10

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A competitive and capable fitness tracker with constant SpO2 monitoring that works well.

Key Features

  • 96 different workout modes
  • TruSleep 2.0 sleep tracking
  • 1.47-inch color screen
Specifications

  • Brand: Huawei
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
  • Color Screen: Yes
  • Notification Support: Yes
  • Battery Life: 2-week battery
  • Integrations: Huawei Health
Pros

  • Consistent and reliable battery life
  • Screen is responsive
  • 24/7 heart rate and SpO2 is very convenient
Cons

  • Notification support is not very useful
  • No 3rd-party app integrations
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Fitness trackers are a great alternative to smartwatches that offer simple ways to get all the necessary data a person would need from their workouts. Enter the Huawei Band 6, an intriguing addition to the fitness tracker market that brings features from smartwatches into a slimmer and minimalistic design. But should you buy it?

huawei-band-6-on-surface

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Hardware

When it comes to the design and hardware of the Huawei Band 6, Huawei made a fitness watch that looks and generally feels much more premium than its price. The Band 6 is made of a polymer casing and has a two-tone build. The plastic portion at the bottom isn't the best quality, but for what it's worth, it's on par with the feel and quality of most other fitness trackers at this price range.

huawei-band-6-on-wrist

The polymer casing is one of the parts of this device that shines above other fitness trackers at this price range; it has an Apple-esque feel to it, replicating the general look of the aluminum Space Grey Apple Watches.

You'll find the power button on the right side, which doubles as a back button and a menu selector. It's also the only physical mode of interaction of this fitness tracker. This button is tactile and offers a similar use case to Huawei's Watches like GT 2 Pro.

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huawei-band-6-side

The Huawei Band 6 comes in 4 color variants: Graphite Black, Forest Green, Amber Sunrise, and Sakura Pink. The colors refer to that of the straps, not the color of the Band 6 itself. The casing of the Band 6 comes in either black or gold.

The silicone strap of the Huawei Band 6 is quite decent; it's just shy of the quality of Samsung's entry-level Galaxy Watches. The straps are also user-removable, so if you wish to change up the look, you'll be able to swap out your current strap for a new one.

huawei-band-6-colors

The main star of Huawei's Band 6 has to be its 1.47-inch AMOLED screen. The screen has a resolution of 194 x 368, and it surprisingly operates very well. The screen is just a beat slower than the screens on my smartwatches, and it's great to see a proper colored AMOLED panel on a device this cheap.

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While the vibration motor on the Band 6 is not up to speed with Huawei's more expensive offerings, it still does a good job at giving you haptic feedback for workouts, alarms and notifications.

The Huawei Band 6 is essentially a rebranded Honor Band 6, which of course, is also owned by Huawei. That said, the company did an excellent job with the material choice, making the device feel more expensive.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Huawei Band 6 is just insanely good. This device claims to have a battery life of 2 weeks without needing to charge, and little to my surprise, it achieves that consistently without fail. I've reviewed Huawei's beefy Watch GT 2 Pro, and even with my skepticism of its claim to have 2-weeks of battery life, that device achieved it quite easily. It's even more surprising on a much smaller, more comfortably-sized wearable.

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I've had the Huawei Band 6's 24/7 heart monitoring enabled for the entire duration of my review period, and not once did I feel the need to charge the device in between. The Band 6 charges via a magnetic charger cable that comes in the box, and it generally takes under an hour to fully charge.

Overall, Huawei yet again impresses me with its insanely good battery life on its wearable tech; if you want a device that constantly monitors your heart rate without sacrificing battery life, the Band 6 is probably the best in the market.

Health Monitoring and Sensors

With health monitoring, the Huawei Band 6 offers a decent amount of versatility for a tracker this small and affordable. For one, you're going to get 96 different workout modes, which includes things like swimming since the device is 5 ATM water-resistant. This means you're able to go down up to 50 meters.

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The more impressive feature of the Huawei Band 6 is its ability to monitor SpO2 and heart rate 24/7. For a device at this price point, the SpO2 tracking is a great addition that allows you to check your blood oxygen level at a glance. Most of the watch faces include a heart rate element. This is oddly convenient when you can't go into the specific application to measure your heart rate, but you still want to have the metric there for reference.

huawei-band-6-sensors

I also tried the stress monitoring on the device, but just like it was on the GT 2 Pro, it's based on a survey you do on the Huawei Health app, and it's in no way an accurate basis for a reading of stress levels. The breathing exercise app, however, is a nice addition to counteract feelings of stress.

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Accuracy

When it comes to the accuracy of these sensors, I found it to be on par with Huawei's more expensive Watch GT 2 Pro, which is to say, you're going to get great accuracy. The SpO2 and heart rate monitors on the devices give similar results, differing only by a few points. The best part is the Band 6 still retains its impressive 2-week battery life with these sensors being active 24/7.

The only sensor the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro has that the Band 6 doesn't is the Electrocardiogram sensor or ECG. This, however, is only found on the newer version of the GT 2 Pro and isn't something that's commonly found at the price point of the Huawei Band 6.

huaweiband6-spo2

I also tested the Huawei Band 6 against the GT 2 Pro and a Samsung Galaxy Watch for sleep tracking accuracy. Overall, the Band 6 did a great job with monitoring, the only caveat being that it doesn't account for interruptions in your sleep, like on the more expensive GT 2 Pro and Galaxy Watch. Other than that, the Band 6 is on par with the accuracy of the other wearables it was tested against.

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Overall, the Huawei Band 6 offers an excellent selection of health monitoring and fitness tracking for a device this affordable. This is most likely the cheapest wearable you're going to find that supports constant SpO2 monitoring.

Software Experience

One of the only things holding this tracker back from other fitness trackers is the software experience. The Huawei Band 6 has a couple of minor annoyances associated with the software that takes away from the whole experience, mainly the lack of app support.

The Huawei Health app is an excellent companion to track workouts and log what the sensors pick up. However, you can't download it from the Google Play Store, so you have to download an APK from Huawei's website, which took several tries to connect and pair to my band.

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Image Gallery (2 Images)

When it comes to the app itself, it's laid out very neatly with all the information you would need at a glance, such as your step count, how much you slept, and your current heart rate.

The main issue with the Huawei Health app is the lack of 3rd-party app support that many other trackers like Samsung's Galaxy Fit have access to. The only marketplace you're going to find is Huawei's watch face gallery that lets you download different watch faces for the band.

Another annoyance of this device is how notifications are handled. The Band 6 follows suit with what Huawei's Watch GT 2 Pro does, which gives you a little blurb that contains part of your notification and no way to further click in and get more information. On text messages, you can't reply from your wrist, you can only dismiss the notification.

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Since there's no microphone or a speaker on this device, I find it a bit annoying when the device gives me a notification every time I get a phone call. All you can do is look at who's calling and hang up; there's no way to continue the call on your wrist as you would on a dedicated smartwatch.

Aside from these minor annoyances, the device is surprisingly snappy and fast at getting to different menus and accessing features like SpO2 monitoring, workout modes, and other apps.

Should You Buy the Huawei Band 6?

Overall, the Huawei Band 6 is an excellent device to get started with monitoring metrics like heart rate, sleep, and fitness; the device is sleek, minimal, and can get you most of the key features of the latest smartwatches like SpO2 tracking.

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I highly recommend this device if you're in the market to try a wearable for the first time but don't want to spend over $150 on one.

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