Honor Band 3 Review | Detailed Hands-On Review

Honor Band 3 Review - The ultimate Low Budget Fitness Band

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Honor Band 3 | Introduction

The Honor Band 3 is one of the top health Smartbands on the market. Sold for a retail price in the price range of $25-30 range, positioning itself as a real alternative and competitor to Xiaomi’s Mi Band 3 smart band that is sold for a retail price range of $22 (Chinese edition) and up to $30 for the global international edition. Amongst the watch functions, you can find similar functions such as water resistant, advanced sleep tracking, dynamic heart rate monitoring, Smart notification functionality etc.

Huawei Honor Band 3 features a 0.91 Inch OLED Screen with touch functions. It supports connectivity and syncing with a mobile phone via App through a Bluetooth wireless connection, as well as compatibility with V4.0/4.1. You can receive Call ID notifications and select remind/refuse preference according to different usage scenarios. It can display messages sent from popular Apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat, E-mail, calendar and comes with a built-in Smart vibration alarm.

The Sports functions include continual pulse, heart rate monitor, Time, Calories, Steps, Distance, Pace measuring. For sleep management activities Huawei included a TruSleep sleep monitoring function that lets you accurately analyze various sleeping scenarios Such as deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, and walking to assure better sleep quality. The device comes with water protection, allowing you to use it for swimming activities at a maximum depth of 50M while measuring time and calorie burning.

Its internal battery is capable of sustaining the watch operation between 10 up to  30 days on a single charge. One of the main reasons I picked this specific watch for reviewing is my personal preference as a user is to buy a health watch that a great software, something I didn’t find in many less known Chinese brands. 

Jumping to the Software Support & Compatibility arena. All of the Smartwatch functions are managed through ‘Huawei Health’ App, that comes pre-installed on Huawei latest handsets. The Smartband is compatible with ‘Google Fit’ service. With it, you can track common sports activities via the Web and through the mobile app. As you walk, run, or cycle throughout the digit instant insights you can see real-time stats for your runs, walks, and rides. Google Fit will record and display speed, pace, route, elevation, track fitness, nutrition, sleep so you can stay motivated and on track.

You can find this Smartband in Two editions. NFC Edition and the standard edition without it. The Smartband comes in 3 different color variants. Dynamic Orange, Classic Navy Blue, and Carbon Black which is the most common. It’s made from plastic and silicone rubber materials, weighing only 18g. In terms of functions vs. buck ratio, this is a great product worth considering for everyday sports activities.

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Honor Band 3 Review | Color Variants 

huawei honor band 3 smartband

Honor Band 3 Main Features 

  • Model: NYX-B10
  • Apps and OS:  ‘Huawei Wear’, ‘Huawei Health’ for Android 4.4+/iOS 8.0+
  • Compatible with ‘Google Fit’ App
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth: 4.2, compatible with 4.0/4.1
  • Screen: 0.91 Inch OLED Screen, Round Touchpad
  • Functions: Some of below functions need set in APP to work
  • Call: Remind/Refuse
  • Message/APP: Remind/Show message, customize apps permission
  • Sport: Continual pulse heart rate monitor, Time, Calories, Steps, Distance, Pace
  • Sleep: Auto track, even a nap at noon, TruSleep by Center for Dynamical Biomarker, Harvard
  • Alarm: Smart vibration
  • Battery Capacity: 100 mAh
  • Convenience: Lift wrist to show, sedentary alarm, etc.
  • Water Protection: Swimmable, 5ATM (Swim or Shower in not-hot water), show swimming time and calories.
  • Strap: Streamline Texture, Skin Care, Sweat Indent, Nimble Design
  • Standby: Magnet dock charging, Slight Using 30day, Normal Using 10day

 

  • A – Product introduction
  • B – Price when reviewed: USD25
  • C – Specs & Product Key Features

 

Honor Band 3 review – Review TOC

  1. Product Package
  2. Video: Unboxing & Quick Hands-on.
  3. Appearance & Design
  4. Display
  5. Connectivity
  6. Software
  7. Pros & Cons
  8. Final Verdict

Honor Band 3 | Package

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Honor Band 3 | Package Content

  • 1x Chinese Manual
  • 1x USB-Micro USB (Charging Cable)
  • 1x Charging Adapter
  • 1x Smartband

Honor Band 3 | Appearance & Design

The honor band 3 externally looks like a classy brand such as Fitbit, but without the hole in the pocket. The smart band very comfortable to wear, its lightweight, weighing only 18g. It has IP67 water protection, so you can swim with it up to a depth of 50M (5ATM) and also take a shower without damaging the watch. The strap of the watch is made from a flexible silicon material with a plastic clip that lets you tighten it towards the hand wrist according to personal preference. To switch between different operating modes, Huawei added a round shaped responsive touch button that lets you switch (navigate) between all watch modes, start a specific activity by a long press and also power it when it’s not operating in standby mode.

Honor Band 3 | Full view

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Honor Band 3 | Display

The Huawei Honor Band 3 comes with a relatively small squared shaped 0.91 Inch OLED display that shows all watch modes in a simple way not different from most Smartband watches sold on the market. If you are planning on running or walking outdoors on a very sunny day without a use of a handset, the display will not be invisible nor clear to read.

The same display visibility issue also exists with Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2/3 Smartband series that also uses OLED Technology. An E-ink display could have been a better selection for outdoors. Having said that, to overcome this problem, checking the display in a more shaded environment is the only viable solution

Honor Band 3 Display | Outdoors

Honor Band 3 | Connectivity

To connect (Pair) the Smartband with the handset you will need to enable the button until the device is discovered as ‘honor Band 3-3a3‘. Once you are connected you can access a wide selection of features and options. In Bluetooth mode, the range of the device can reach to about 15-20 meters when used indoors. When the Smartband is connected to the handset you can share your data, monitor exercise progress, calorie burning, monitor weight loss, according to the days and the intensity of the excess. More commonly, you can push notifications to the Smartband and use the handset GPS to set an exercise running/walking route and track it in real time with a google based visual map.

 

Honor Band 3 | Software

To operate and enjoy the product to its fullest, you will need to install Huawei ‘Health’ mobile app that normally comes pre-installed on all Huawei handsets. When speaking about innovation in software, Huawei did an outstanding job in designing a very multi-functional mobile app packed with a wide selection of features and a  great user interface that lets you control all aspects of the smart band including firmware updates. For non-geeks, this app might look somewhere complex to operate, but once you play with it becomes very intuitive to learn.

Honor Band 3 | Health App (Exercise)

  • Honor Band 3 | Running Outdoors
  • Honor Band 3 | Running Indoors
  • Honor Band 3 | Walking
  • Honor Band 3 | Cycling
  • Honor Band 3 | Trained

Honor Band 3 | Health App (Me)

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Honor Band 3 | Health App (Main)

 

Data Sharing

Another strong feature Huawei added to their App is the ‘Data Sharing‘ option that lets you share training history on few external apps, including their cloud-based services. On the list, you will find known platforms such as ‘MyFitenssPal‘, ‘UP by Jawbone‘ and ‘Google Fit‘. In ‘Google fit’ platform which is the most popular, you will be able to import personal training information, monitor, and set exercise goals in a very user-friendly graphical interface.

 

Sleep Monitoring/Tracking

Another highlight feature in Huawei ‘Health’ Application is the ‘TrueSleep‘ option that analyzes and measure deep sleep, light sleep stages by using the Smartband sensors. With it, you can check for best optimal sleeping hours and also produce a full report showing sleep quality score for each day of the week.

 

Notifications

Another handy feature this Smartband has to offer is the notification feature, that is very common and used in many smartwatch brands. When you receive a text notification you first get a minor vibration. This useful function is great if you are carrying the phone in a pocket and still want to get updates. Even when driving, if you don’t want to be distracted by picking up the handset, or while working.

Under ‘notifications management‘ you have a list of preinstalled apps in your handset, there you can select pick applications that will be pushed notifications to the watch. The most common notification types are e-mail, missed phone calls, SMS, receiving notification upon text message via popular IM Apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, We Chat etc.

 

Firmware Updates

From time to time, Huawei pushes new firmware updates to the Smartband, those include few minor bug fixes. To start the update, you first need to connect it with a Handset and turn the WiFi connection on. During the update process, the Smartband will display around icon with an arrow inside, indicating the software is downloaded directly to it.

Honor Band 3 | Updating the Firmware

  • Honor Band 3 Firmware Updating | Step 1 of 3
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Huawei Honor Band 3 Updating

Honor Band 3 | Features

I am not sure if a professional sportsman will make use of all the functions this product has to offer, not to mention regular sports hobbyists. Huawei’s ‘Healthy‘ app is very extensive, offering a lot of options for users that are in need of aerobic and health tracking monitoring solutions. If we sum all of the Smartband main features, they will be the pedometer, continuous heart rate monitoring, calories count, daily activity tracking, distance/pace monitoring, smart notifications, sleep monitoring, multi-sport modes, call and message notifications.

To enjoy all for health/sports activities including real-time tracking and fitness monitoring functions you will have to keep the smart band connected with a handset via a Bluetooth connection, or alternatively, don’t connect to a handset and operate it independently to save more power and extend the watch operation time.

Honor Band 3 | Operation Modes

  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Main Display
  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Pedometer (Steps)
  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Outdoor Run
  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Swim
  • Honor Band 3 Operation Modes | Indoor Run

Charging

Charging the Smartband is very simple. You will have to use the charging adapter and USB cable included in the package.  The adapter built-in Micro-USB port connects to the cable and from there the other end to any USB port or 5V charger.

Honor Band 3 | Charging the Smartband

   

  • Honor Band 3 Charging | Smartband + Changing Adapter [Side view]
  • Honor Band 3 | Semi [Side view]
  • Honor Band 3 | Smartband + Changing Adapter [Top view]
  • Honor Band 3 | All Items
  • Honor Band 3 | Smartband + Charging Adapter [Top view]
  • Honor Band 3 | USB Cable + Charging Adapter connected to USB charging HUB
  • Honor Band 3 | Charging the Smartband

Honor Band 3 | Testing Heart Rate Monitoring Accuracy 

The pulse (heart rate) measurement function is perhaps the most known features that for me never seems to ever work and produces a very low accurate reading, especially in low-cost smart bands. Surprisingly, Huawei did a very good at embedding a sensitive sensor that is very accurate with an error deviation of about 1%.

According to Huawei instructions, to accurately take a pulse reading you will need to tighten the band and keep it at least one finger width away from the carpal bone. If you want to get a better reading, I suggest twisting (turning) the watch (Shown below in slide No’ 2) and position it upward the palm side of the hand wrist facing to the arteria radialis.

Honor Band 3 vs A Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Honor Band 3 | Before twisting the watch wristband
  • Honor Band 3 | After twisting the watch wristband - Taking Heart Rate measurement
  • Honor Band 3 | Sanitas SBM 07 Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Honor Band 3 | Testing Heart Rate with Sanitas SBM 07 Blood Pressure Monitor

Comparing Results

The test was performed numerous few times with a period of time of less than a minute between changing and replacing each device on the hand.

 

Final Words

The main highlight of the Band 3 is its very innovative software that brings tons of features under a well-organized UI. An excellent Smartband for both health and sports activities monitoring I definitely recommend buying.

97%
Awesome Product !

Huawei Honor Band Review Summary

Excellent

  • Design
  • Software
  • Feature

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