Mar 24 AT 3:23 PM Dima Aryeh 0 Comments

Huawei Honor Band Zero smartwatch review

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Though Android Wear is the go-to operating system for wearables for Android enthusiasts, there are plenty of other systems to chose from. There are fitness bands like the Fitbit, smartwatches like the Pebble, and some basic watches like the Huawei Honor Band Zero. Light on features with the benefits of long battery life and low price, it’s a great option for someone who wants something really simple.

Overview

Price: ~$70
Screen: 1.06-inch 128×128 OLED
Battery: 70mAh
Bluetooth version: 4.1
Compatibility: Android 4.4.4 and up/iOS 7.0 and up
Water resistance: IP68 waterproof
Size: 24.4 x 3.8 x 1.0 cm
Weight: 25g
Contents: Watch, Chinese manual, charging dock

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The Huawei Honor Zero is both tiny and extremely lightweight. It features a stainless steel ring around the display, a plastic back, and a TPU band. I have the silver model with the cream band. The black part of the watch is round, but the display inside is actually square. It’s also very thin, much like a real watch.

On the back are four contacts for the charger pogo pins. It features a magnetic charger similar to the one that comes with the Huawei Watch

Hardware

The display on this watch is simple, as expected for the price. It’s a black and white square display, but being OLED, the blacks are deep and mostly blend into the black bezel. The text is mildly jagged but it’s high enough resolution for fairly smooth symbols and smooth animations.

It’s nice and bright, being pretty visible outdoors. It’s also touchscreen, and it’s pretty responsive. You’re not going to be seeing tiny buttons, it’s mostly full screen buttons, but it works well.

The overall build quality is great. There are no creaks or movements in the body, all the gaps between panels are thin and even, and overall it feels very well made. The TPU band feels a tad cheap, but the price justifies it.

Software

The software on the Honor Zero is extremely basic. No, really. There are seven screens that show you important information. You have the main watch face, steps taken, calories burned, amount of time slept, a run timer, a settings button, and some notifications. Many of these screens have pretty and smooth animations for their icons.

There are four watch faces to choose from, but the main one shows day, date, time, battery life, and connection status. It’s the most useful. There are no third party watch faces as far as I can tell

The settings menu has four settings: watch face, restart, reset, and about. Very basic, but enough.

The notifications screen I haven’t had much luck with. Mostly, it doesn’t show notifications, though occasionally it will show a lot of missed ones. The notifications display is actually decent, with the text looking pretty good on the small display. Your mileage may vary though.

The accompanying phone software is the Huawei Wear app. It’s a fitness app, displaying steps, walking distance, and calories burned. It also has a second screen for sleep information, including both deep sleep and light sleep.

The watch has features like an idle reminder, which buzzes your watch if you haven’t moved in an hour, a Bluetooth disconnection reminder if you walk too far away from your phone, and the rotate movement to wake screen most smartwatches now have.

The app is quite stuttery in terms of animations, but otherwise it’s decently quick and well designed. It’s made for a variety of Huawei fitness devices, so you can likely do more with other devices.

As for the pedometer numbers, I can’t vouch for their accuracy. They do not match up with the numbers on my Moto 360, though the numbers Google Fit and Moto Body give are always different even on the same Moto 360. I’m not really sure how much pedometers in mobile devices can be trusted for perfect accuracy.

I did face one bug, where the watch wouldn’t connect after updating my device to Android 6.0. I fixed this by updating the smartwatch on an older device, and it worked fine.

Battery life

This is where the problems of a wearable become apparent. Most Android Wear watches only last a day, maybe two with little use. Older ones sometimes don’t even last a full work day.

The Honor Zero has a tiny 70mAh battery, but it’s enough to power the device for at least 4 days. In fact, I’ve gotten a little more out of it. It should also last 14 days in standby, and takes only 1.5 hours to fully charge via USB. I’d say this smartwatch does really well in the battery department.

Huawei Honor Zero8 / 10

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This isn’t that smart of a smartwatch, but for those who want a basic fitness band with a nice watch-like aesthetic, I think it’s great. It lacks features, has a basic black and white display, but the battery lasts quite a while and it’s very lightweight and feels good on the wrist.

Thanks to GearBest for sending out a review unit!

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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