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The Huawei Band (Check on Amazon.com) wanted to look like a small watch last year; this year instead it wants to turn into a “simple” wristband that, however basic, packs a few surprises up your sleeve.
In the package, we find a very short mini-USB cable (why so short?) and the adapter that clings to the wristband in order to charge it.
Design and fit
The Huawei Band 2 Pro has a simple, slim band design. The sides are made of metal (and give a quality look to the device), while the underside is made of plastic. The silicon strap is not interchangeable, but there are no nooks and crannies where the dirt could build up. The strap has a handy button clamp and is very thin. This means that it will give you no trouble when you spend a lot of time working at your desktop or when you wear tight-sleeved garments. Extra praise goes for being resistant to water and dust IP67 certified and thus capable of surviving a swim in the pool.
The Band 2 Pro’s hardware is particularly interesting. Not so much for its processor or RAM (unknown) but for the fact that in addition to the heart rate sensor and Bluetooth connectivity there is also GPS onboard, a unique component in a budget bracelet. The front is also equipped with a touch button.
The 0.91-inch display is made of PMLED technology and has a 128×32 pixel resolution. Because of the band’s size, the display is a little small, and although it is still large enough to read various information about your activity, it’s certainly less convenient to scroll through a message text by using the physical key, since the display is not touch-enabled. Luckily, it is a very bright display and readable outdoors.
There are a few things you can control directly from the band. With a tap, you can cycle through the various menus and the tracker can be activated with a long press. On the main screen, you can read the time, date, number of steps, battery charge and Bluetooth connectivity status. You can then measure your pulse, or start tracking a workout session.
During the physical activity, both GPS and Heart sensors are always on and give you a complete readout of your activity. You will also receive notifications (through vibration and a short text message) with advice regarding your workout regiment (such as increasing or decreasing the pace during a run). GPS accuracy is good but not perfect.
Using the app (available for Android 4.4+ and iOS 8.0+), the options increase exponentially. You can turn on a smart alarm and set up reminders, as well as trigger a Do Not Disturb interval. You can also turn on the inactivity alert and the vibration signal when disconnected from the smartphone. The notification section is also very useful. Here you can choose which apps can send you alerts and notifications. The only flaw is that these notifications don’t go away once you’ve read them on your phone.
The dedicated Huawei fitness app (separate from the previous one) is also good. It allows you to read an immediate summary of your daily activities, where you can dive in and analyze your heart rate, sleeping trends (categorized into awoke, rem, light resting and deep resting) and individual exercise activities. Here you can find a detailed summary of your speed, pulse rate, and step count. It also lets you share this information with Up by the jawbone, Google Fit or MyFitnessPal.
I didn’t get to test the band while swimming.
The 100mAh battery guarantees up to 10 days of autonomy with GPS intermittently active during the day and sleeps monitoring switched on.
The Huawei Band 2 Pro costs (Check on Amazon.com) and makes this product one of the cheapest with GPS included.
The Huawei Band 2 Pro is one of the best devices of its kind in this price range. It is equipped with GPS and comes with a complete app that allows you to customize it perfectly to your needs. For those who want to monitor different types of exercise, it can be a budget solution to keep fit.