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By 4 June 2021 | Categories: news

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The Huawei Band 6 was launched in South Africa yesterday at an event at Eskom’s Megawatt Park, which also saw the Chinese electronics giant become the technology partner of SuperSport United F.C. The Huawei Band 6 makes for an interesting proposition seeing that it’s smaller than a smartwatch, but still with a rather generous 1.47“ screen and decent functionality. After using the Band 6 for 24 hours, here are our first thoughts.

Price a winner

Price might be the Huawei’s Band 6’s biggest drawcard, seeing that we expected a far higher cash layout than the recommended R1 699. For a smartband that does a similar job to Huawei’s smartwatches – including heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, stress monitoring, activity tracking and now also SpO2 checks – this is really decent and should be a drawcard for first time wearable users or those moving from another system.

Sizeable screen

It’s easy to see that the Band 6’s 1.47” FullView AMOLED screen actually allows for quite a bit of information. With 282 pixels per inch, it doesn’t quite hit the same level as Huawei’s Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch’s screen (a generous 326 ppi), however watch faces look great and in decent colours, while information displayed around heart rate and stress levels is easy to read.

That said, the Band 6’s sizeable screen might be of concern for certain women, seeing that its 43mm watch length could extend beyond the wrist and come across as too large for narrow wrists.

SpO2 measurement

Impressive is the SpO2 measurement that the Band 6 is capable of, especially now with the third wave active in South Africa. Although Huawei claims automatic measurement throughout the day, this was not yet possible on our unit (Firmware 11.1.0.50, plus latest update on Huawei Health app). Manual measurement is possible and takes less than 20 seconds.

No GPS or Strava

For most activities, the Band 6’s lack of GPS should not be a concern, except for runners or cyclists. Is it fair to expect GPS from the Band 6? Although it could have been possible to include GPS with a slight increase in size, the retail price of the unit doesn’t really justify GPS’ inclusion. Which means if you want more accurate tracking, you still need to look at Huawei’s smartwatch range.

Another point of concern is Huawei’s lack of integration with Strava. As one of the largest fitness communities in the world and home to a massive amount of cyclists and runners, we still can’t quite understand why Huawei excludes Strava from their fitness ecosystem.  

Huawei Health app

The Huawei Health app is currently looking great, with all your most NB information found on the home screen, while it’s easy to navigate to settings more specific to your smartband. Unlike Fitbit, there are no features hidden away as “Premium” - what you see is what you get. It was easy to connect to the Band 6, while connectivity through the day wasn’t a problem either.

The Huawei Band 6 will be available to pre-order on 11 June 2021, with it arriving in South Africa on 18 June 2021, available in Graphite Black and Sakura Pink.

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