Honor Band 5 Player Management
For relatively little money, today you can get a very decent fitness bracelet with a color screen and good functionality.
Under this description definitely fits announced this summer Honor Band 5. Get to know the new product better.
External inspection and first acquaintance
Honor Band 5 belongs to the class of fitness bracelets with a color screen and a built-in optical heart rate sensor. There is no GPS receiver.
The package does not stand out with anything special. In addition to the device itself, in the box you can see a USB cable, a charging dock and a set of documentation.
The device is quite compact, with a color screen fitted here to display various information and control the device.
In addition, we note that our copy is a version intended for sale in Europe. Compared with the very common “Chinese” Honor Band 5, there may be differences in some nuances.
At the moment, there are three options for the color of the strap: black, as we have, as well as blue and pink.
The tactile feel of the Honor Band 5 leaves a positive impression (the body of the central capsule is made of plastic). The gaps are minimal, everything is done carefully. There are no complaints.
The strap is quite soft and comfortably secures the device to your hand. Thanks to a wide range of holes, both adults and children can wear such a device.
Honor Band 5 wears out not as fast as Xiaomi Mi Band 4 with its “clip”, but the strap doesn’t unfasten on its own.
On the inner side of the rubber ring, pressing the end of the strap, there is a kind of “tooth”. It is recessed into the holes on the belt, which allows it not to slip and to stay firmly in place. Very nice is the attention to detail.
Touch screen. Management is extremely simple.
With one click you would select a menu item, scrolling up or down you change the menu items, swipe to the right will allow you to go back one step, and clicking on the ring below the display will move you to the main screen.
The bracelet is not afraid of getting into water. There is even a training regimen in the swimming pool.
For full use of Honor Band 5, you must install the Huawei Health app on your smartphone and connect the device to Bluetooth.
Functions not related to fitness, training and health
The main focus in Honor Band 5 is focused on opportunities related to fitness, sports training, and health.
But the functions of the bracelet that complement the smartphone, in fact, not so much.
Let’s mark them separately:
- resetting an incoming phone call;
- display messages and notifications from various applications on the screen;
- warning about breaking the Bluetooth connection (if you forget the smartphone, then, having received such a signal, you can return and pick it up);
- music player control, volume change (not all applications are supported, it is necessary to check compatibility. The function was added in the latest update);
music player control on Honor Band 5
- camera shutter release control (indicates compatibility exclusively with Huawei Honor. I must say that in our case, even using the appropriate smartphone, we did not find a function. Perhaps this is a “feature” of our European Honor Band 5);
- smartphone detection (helps to detect a smartphone if it is within the range of a Bluetooth signal).
Screen and OSD
The Honor Band 5 fitness bracelet received a 0.95-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 240 × 120 pixels. Yes, this resolution is not very impressive by modern standards, but for a screen of this size it is absolutely enough.
Brightness is manually adjusted (no light sensor). In maximum mode, there will be no particular problems even when used in the sun.
A separate setting can be set to automatically reduce the brightness of the screen at night. By the way, a very useful feature.
The colors on the display are rich and vibrant. Thanks to AMOLED technology, black areas in the image remain truly completely black.
You can turn on the screen by clicking on the circle or, if the appropriate setting is selected, turning the brush towards you, as if you are watching the time, as in a normal watch.
Recognizing such a gesture works confidently.
The image is displayed on the screen for only a few seconds (about 4). Always on mode is not provided. In the menu, however, you can find an item for one-time activation of 5-minute continuous operation. After that, the display will turn on again only for a few seconds.
The amount of data displayed on the bottom of the main screen depends on the selected “dial“. This can be either a normal time output or additional information about the number of steps, calories burned, distance traveled, day of the week, weather information.
Some variants of the Honor Band 5 dials
I must say that a large selection of different dials downloaded from the Huawei Health app appeared in only one of the firmware updates some time after the bracelet was released.
Scrolling up or down, you can select the item you are interested in (training, heart rate measurement, message, device settings, etc.).
In a separate paragraph “” you will find the start of the stopwatch, timer, you can set the brightness, select the “dial”, set off a signal to search for a smartphone and some other settings.
Traditionally for non-professional fitness trackers, the Honor Band 5 determines the heart rate using an optical sensor. The area on the skin is illuminated by LEDs and a special scanner determines the current pulse by changing the blood flow.
How accurate is this method and is it possible to trust the received data?
Modern optical sensors are really capable of detecting the pulse very accurately. For enthusiasts, this will be absolutely enough. And for those who play sports very seriously or professionally, we can already recommend using devices with special chest sensors on their belts.
As it turned out, the optical heart rate sensor used in the Honor Band 5 is not quite ordinary. In the training mode (running, cycling, etc.), the usual LED backlight is used.
But with normal use of the bracelet, the heart rate sensor is illuminated by an infrared light that is invisible to the human eye.
The manufacturer calls the used sensor TruSeen 3.0.
Two benefits are noted. This method is more economical in terms of energy spent. At night, working LEDs can interfere, which is excluded with infrared illumination.
With normal everyday wear, the Honor Band 5 will prompt information on the number of steps, calories, and distance traveled.
Continuous heart rate monitoring is also available (included separately). However, the frequency will not be displayed. You can analyze the accumulated data later in the Huawei Health app itself.
Separately, the manufacturer “advertises” its sleep assessment regimen, even calling it TruSleep Scientific Sleep Monitoring.
If you do not shoot Honor Band 5 at night, you will receive information about the duration of sleep, various phases, etc. But, more notably, the result will be analyzed with various recommendations for improving sleep quality and general health.
In individual menu items you can take a single measurement of the current heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Honor Band 5 menu item for measuring oxygen level in the blood
It is curious that the measurement of oxygen level in the blood was added only in the latest firmware version of the European Honor Band 5. In Band 5 bracelets for the Chinese market, there was a function earlier.
Determining the level of oxygen in the blood is also the main difference between the Honor Band 5 and the predecessor Honor Band 4.
The manufacturer immediately warns about the “toy” of this function. This is not a replacement for professional devices.
We play sports and train with the Honor Band 5 fitness tracker
The bracelet has several options for sports: running, running on a treadmill, walking, walking in the gym, bicycle, exercise bike, swimming in the pool, occupation on a rowing machine, elliptical trainer, free training.
Depending on the chosen option, the tracker will offer to set various goals, the frequency of signals, etc. And also it will analyze the collected data and display information on the screen in different ways.
For example, by activating the “Bicycle” mode, the speed will be additionally fixed and displayed. Given that the GPS receiver is in the Honor Band 5, the data is taken from the satellite receiver of the smartphone.
Accordingly, choosing classes on an exercise bike, speed will not be used.
Another example is swimming in a pool. Honor Band 5 not only knows how to record the number of “completed pools”, but also determines the style of swimming and the effectiveness of your strokes.
Frankly, in the pool to try the bracelet was not lucky.
It seems that a very high level of implementation of fitness functions can be attributed to the advantages of this device.
Huawei Health App
To work with Honor Band 5, you will need the proprietary application Huawei Health. It is compatible with iOS (Apple iPhone) and Android platforms.
With its help, the smartphone and bracelet interact, configure, as well as collect and analyze fitness data obtained using the Honor Band 5.
In terms of convenience, quality and organization, the Huawei Health app is generally commendable.
In the main sections, you can watch your physical activity, analyze your workouts and sleep quality, set fitness goals.
A separate item is the settings associated with the bracelet.
If desired, the data is synchronized in the cloud and you will not lose the accumulated information when changing your smartphone.
Impressions of use, battery life and comparison with Xiaomi Mi Band 4
By and large, there are no serious claims to the Honor Band 5. Both the bracelet and the application pleased with the stability and quality of work.
The accuracy of heart rate measurements, the number of steps, the distance traveled, the duration of sleep is very decent. At least for unprofessional use it is definitely enough.
But you can have a little rest.
Yet turning on the screen for just a few seconds is not always sufficient. I would like the opportunity to increase this time, for example, to 10, 30 s.
In the sports mode, some of the data on the screen is very small. Just to look at time, you have to peer. This is not very convenient, and when riding a bicycle or running it is also unsafe.
See how small the watch is when the bracelet is in training mode
Data on the current heart rate, speed during training are displayed with some delay (a few seconds).
It would be very cool to synchronize heart rate data with specialized applications for sports such as Runtastic, Strava, but there is no such possibility.
It is noticeable that the manufacturer is constantly working to expand the functionality of the device.
In various first reviews, the Honor Band 5 was “scolded” for a limited set of “dials” and the lack of control of the smartphone’s music player, but this has already been fixed with new firmware.
Unlike Xiaomi Mi Band 4, you do not need to disconnect the strap to charge the Honor Band 5, which is definitely a better solution.
Band 5 is installed to the docking station, which in turn connects to USB.
For charging, the Honor Band 5 bracelet is attached to the dock. The strap will need to be removed only to replace it, by the way, the procedure is very simple and does not even require tools
The battery life of the Honor Band 5 depends on the loads. This can be up to two weeks during normal use without constant monitoring of the pulse and from about 5 to 7 days with frequent sports, tracking the pulse.
Honor Band 5 is a direct competitor to Xiaomi Mi Band 4. Bracelets are similar in both characteristics and price.
They use displays of identical size and resolution.
On the side of Mi Band 4, the gain in capacity of the built-in battery (135 mAh vs. 100 mAh
In Honor Band 5) and a more modern version of the Bluetooth interface. Xiaomi Mi Band 4 has Bluetooth 5, while Honor Band 5 has Bluetooth 4.2.
Mi Band 4 also works slightly better with smartphone app notifications.
But the Honor Band 5 boasts a more interesting heart rate sensor, a convenient method of charging without removing the strap.
Honor Band 5 is able to please a wide variety of users.
This is a great toy for lovers of a variety of mobile gadgets, and a really good helper for enthusiasts of a healthy lifestyle.
Running in the mornings or evenings, riding a bike? Band 5 will definitely make the process more fun.
A great advantage of the Honor Band 5 is also a very affordable cost.
The closest competitor to Honor Band 5 is Xiaomi Mi Band 4. Both devices are very attractive options for fitness trackers at the end of 2019 and it is not easy to make a clear choice between them.