The Brief Model

Once we noticed Huawei was releasing a tracker with GPS for £80 we have been intrigued – however uncertain if it might work as anticipated at that worth. Because it seems, not solely does it work, it throws in a coronary heart fee tracker, coaching plans through the app and next-level sleep monitoring – a function set that might sit fortunately within the £100-£150 vary. There are faults, however they’re straightforward to forgive at this worth.

Score ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Issues We Appreciated

  • GPS for £80. Did we point out that? It locks on as fast as every other mid-level tracker and is simply as correct.
  • The center fee monitor performs in addition to ones on mid-range trackers and Huawei makes use of it to supply a VO2 max estimate, in addition to coaching impact and restoration time estimates.
  • Steady coronary heart fee monitoring might be turned on to calculate resting coronary heart fee or turned off to avoid wasting on battery life.
  • The stats on operating periods are intensive and introduced clearly within the app. Plus, it’ll throw all of them collectively into a picture that’s social media-friendly.
  • The app can construct a personalised operating coaching plan for any distance and time dedication.
  • It’s waterproof sufficient to be worn within the pool, though solely provides a timer and calorie burn (it’s £80, although – did we point out that?).
  • Sleep monitoring provides new metrics akin to deep sleep continuity and respiration high quality, and charges your efficiency in each issue and your general sleep high quality. It additionally explains what the hell all these items imply and what impacts them. That is how one can do sleep monitoring.
  • There’s a two-minute respiration train on the watch, like Garmin and Fitbit, however Huawei charges your efficiency. It chastised us as “poor” throughout one distracted check. In fact we refocused and did it once more so we received “wonderful”.

Issues We Didn’t Like

  • The format of the tracker’s display screen doesn’t make for straightforward studying mid-exercise, particularly when operating. We have been squinting to see coronary heart fee or tempo a lot it’s a marvel we didn’t crash right into a lamppost.
  • The app isn’t as polished as different manufacturers and there’s the occasional incomprehensible message that seems on the tracker itself.
  • The voice coach for the operating coaching plans isn’t as helpful as hoped for. An intervals session flew by with out the coach saying when it was time to begin interval efforts.
  • The Huawei Put on solely hyperlinks to a few third-party apps, and none of these is Strava – the social community beloved by runners and cyclists who personal a GPS tracker, just like the Band Professional 2.
  • Utilizing GPS and the guts fee monitor rinses the battery.
  • It solely tracks out of doors runs and rides, and swimming. There’s no possibility to trace a gym-based, indoor exercise. It’s a wierd oversight for the reason that Band Professional 2 can clearly deal with the essential metrics wanted – session period, coronary heart fee and energy burned.

Huawei Band Professional 2 In Depth

Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 For Operating

We can’t title one other good tracker with built-in GPS that prices lower than £100. That is the place the Band Professional 2 actually stands out.

The GPS reliably locked on to a sign and, in a single check run, discovered the satellite tv for pc earlier than our trusty Fitbit Surge. Whereas it wasn’t fairly as correct when zooming in on the post-run map there have been no obvious errors.

Left: Huawei Band Professional 2; proper: Fitbit Surge

It’s price noting although that the GPS doesn’t monitor elevation.

Throughout a run the Band Professional 2 provides three un-customisable screens with three bits of data on every (small kind on the prime, massive within the center, small on the backside). There’s GPS sign acquired, distance and period on the primary display screen; clock, tempo and period on the second; and clock, coronary heart fee and coronary heart fee zone on the ultimate display screen. All primary info it’s possible you’ll wish to know, however regardless of the display screen being vibrant sufficient to learn in direct daylight there’s simply an excessive amount of crammed on one display screen to learn on the hoof. It will get simpler after a few runs however it remained a large frustration, and one we assume could possibly be solved with higher design. If the smaller display screen on the Fitbit Alta HR can show legible data, the Band Professional 2 ought to be capable of as nicely.

It will get higher from right here although. As soon as synced, the app shows an in depth and clearly laid out collection of stats that features cadence, stride size, how a lot the session improved your health, VO2 max and a suggestion for restoration time – all belongings you’d anticipate to see from a pricier tracker. It additionally sums all of this up in a picture you’ll be able to share on social media.

The center fee monitor additionally matches our expectations of a wrist-worn tracker. It saved inside 5bpm of the studying on a chest strap when operating at a gradual clip, however it tended to lose its approach within the larger zones or with fast adjustments of tempo. All par for the course, although.

Impressively, the app may even put collectively out a coaching plan for you. It covers 5K, 10Ok, half marathon and marathon distances, and likewise provides the possibility to set a date of an occasion you’re coaching for. Add in greatest and goal instances if you want, the variety of days every week you wish to practice (and specific days of the week you need as relaxation days), and the app will provide you with a plan.

We have been shocked to see this function included and it’s usually nicely executed, however it does lack integration with the watch. To stay to the coaching plan, it’s good to begin the exercise within the app, which can sync stay with the watch so you’ll be able to control your stats in the course of the run (should you can learn them), however your telephone wants to come back together with you.

This does imply it’ll learn out lap stats each kilometre should you’re carrying headphones and can sometimes provide you with suggestions in your tempo. What it gained’t do, nonetheless, is information you thru a session. We tried an intervals session of a 15-minute warm-up, a collection of 40-second effort alternating with 20-second relaxation intervals and a warm-down, however the voice coach failed to provide any immediate for beginning efforts.

Whereas it might look like we’re laying into the Band Professional 2, we’re nitpicking and treating it like a mid-range tracker. Nothing underneath £100 comes near this type of providing for runners. The Garmin Forerunner 30 provides the subsequent greatest finances possibility for runners, however that’s £130.

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Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 For Biking

The Band Professional 2 provides the identical GPS and coronary heart fee monitoring for biking that it does for runners, though the metrics provided within the app are pared again. We get the impression Huawei copied and pasted the performance and stripped out no matter didn’t make sense. Effectively, virtually every thing – we assume that’s why there’s a tempo stat, one thing we haven’t seen provided anyplace else (common velocity is the widespread metric, which the Band Professional 2 additionally tracks). Fortunately, the helpful coaching impact and restoration time stats are included for cyclists.

The dearth of elevation monitoring is extra of an issue for cyclists than it’s for runners (it’s maybe the explanation you’ll be able to’t export your exercise to Strava), so the Band Professional 2’s capabilities go well with informal cyclists and commuters who journey the identical route time and again.

Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 For Swimming

It’s waterproof and it does have a devoted monitoring perform you’ll be able to set off on the watch, however it doesn’t monitor a lot – simply time and energy. Counting laps would have been an incredible addition, however for £80 we actually are getting grasping now.

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Utilizing the Huawei Band Professional 2 For Different Exercises

A shocking oversight is the shortage of the choice to trace every other type of exercise like a HIIT, weights or treadmill session. You gained’t discover one other tracker with a display screen and coronary heart fee monitor that doesn’t supply this function. When you like to remain lively within the gymnasium, steer clear of the Band Professional 2.

Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 As A Coronary heart Fee Monitor

Steady coronary heart fee monitoring must be turned on within the app, it defaults to off to avoid wasting on battery life. Whether it is off and also you’re not monitoring any runs or rides the battery lasts and lasts – Huawei says three weeks.

Whilst you can take a studying everytime you like on the tracker, protecting steady coronary heart fee monitoring turned off does imply there’s no resting coronary heart fee measurement – a superb indicator of normal health and nicely price sacrificing battery life for.

Throughout train the Band Professional 2 appears as correct trackers twice its worth (should you’ve skimmed via this evaluate, we talk about our expertise in depth within the operating part however tl;dr – thumbs up) and likewise makes use of its studying to estimate a VO2 max rating, one other wonderful measure of health.

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Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 For Step Counting

Step monitoring on the Band Professional 2 is completely sufficient with all our every day tallies in the fitting ball park. Your steps are displayed in your tracker and logged within the app, together with a calculation of complete miles travelled in every week, month and yr, in addition to a every day common.

Usefully, the app additionally breaks your steps down by strolling, operating, biking (the primary implicit recognition of what we’ve identified all alongside, ie that step monitoring has its faults), climbing (presumably that’s for different Huawei trackers which may monitor elevation) and different (no thought – leaping, possibly?).

It’s all superb, however step monitoring is completed higher on different better-looking (if dearer) trackers. When you’re actually simply all in favour of steps – and also you don’t maintain your smartphone in your particular person – check out the Misfit Ray.

Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 As A Sleep Tracker

Till we tried the Band Professional 2, we thought Fitbit was the sultan of snooze due to its addition of monitoring REM sleep and by evaluating your sleep stats in opposition to your demographic cohort. Huawei, nonetheless, takes it a step additional by ranking your efficiency within the now customary deep, gentle and REM sleep, complete time asleep, and instances awake, and two new metrics (new to us, anyway) – deep sleep continuity and respiration high quality. For the stories in your weekly, month-to-month and annual sleep habits, there’s additionally some extent rating for an everyday sleep schedule (bedtime and the time you get up).

Don’t fret if these issues imply little to you proper now. The app clearly tells you whether or not your rating is nice or not, and gives a mini essay (in annoyingly tiny kind) on what every metric means, why it’s necessary and what you would possibly do about it – with footnotes. It’s complete. It’s in-depth. It’s greatest in school, so long as you’re prepared to wade via all the knowledge. If not, then Fitbit nonetheless guidelines – however there’s a critical pretender to the throne.

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Utilizing The Huawei Band Professional 2 As A Smartwatch

The Band Professional 2 provides some primary smartphone notification options, though it’s a good distance from a smartwatch. Activate notifications and the tracker will buzz with incoming calls (which incorporates the choice to mute the decision, however not reply it) and show textual content messages, with a double faucet of the tracker’s display screen scrolling via the message (it is going to minimize off lengthy screeds). It’s primary, although – there’s no going again and discovering a latest message once more. When you’ve scrolled via, that’s it. Nonetheless, fairly good for the value.

Utilizing The Huawei Put on App

The Huawei Put on app does numerous nice issues, however in slickness phrases it trails far behind the competitors. As an illustration, within the beneath screenshot is one thing you’ll be able to press to see your whole previous exercises. Have a guess the place it’s.

It’s the picture that claims “Complete distance is 16.02 miles” on it. It took us ages to work that out. Different minor frustrations embody the common updating of the Band Professional 2’s software program (seemingly each time we opened the app) being a faff, an expertise stuffed with complicated messages. Hopefully Huawei will enhance this expertise over time, as rivals Garmin, TomTom and others have.

There’s additionally the sense that the app doesn’t reply to the machine you hook up with it, so within the step monitoring stories that break down steps by exercise, “climbing” is displayed regardless of the shortage of a barometer altimeter within the Band Professional 2 that might measure this. It’s no biggie, positive, however different health tracker manufacturers do a a lot better job of managing this.

There’s additionally a dearth of third-party apps Huawei Put on will hook up with – Strava chief amongst them. It’ll hook up with the king of calorie-counting apps, MyFitnessPal, in addition to Apple’s Well being Package, and gives secure harbour for Jawbone UP customers. That’s it, although.

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How Typically Am I Going To Have To Cost It?

Huawei claims that the Band Professional 2 can go for 3 weeks, which is a plausible quantity so long as you don’t use the GPS or coronary heart fee monitor.

If you do use it for its supposed goal, like monitoring a run, we discovered it’s straightforward to burn via a 3rd to a half of the battery on a 40-odd minute run (the battery doesn’t drain as rapidly should you’re biking). That’s not the tip of the world although, as a result of it recharges quickly, so plug it in when you bathe and refuel after your run or journey to prime the battery again up and also you’re good to go.

The place Can I Put on It With out Folks Laughing At Me?

Wherever that another person isn’t carrying the Fitbit Alta HR. Solely on this different tracker’s firm does the Band Professional 2 look considerably shabby – wider, with a cheaper-looking strap. In any other case, it appears to be like precisely just like the Alta HR, which is not any dangerous factor.

Actually, it actually does look similar to the Alta HR. The Band Professional 2 accidently dropped out of our bag as we have been fishing out the keys to the bike retailer and as we got here again out, the primary thought in our thoughts was “somebody’s dropped an Alta HR”. In contrast to the Alta HR although, there’s no possibility to vary the band for one thing extra in step with your type. We hope you want black.

£79.99, purchase on amazon.co.uk

Ought to I Take into account Shopping for One thing Else?

When you’re a runner with a finances of £100 that is the very best (and actually solely) selection. The Garmin Forerunner 30 is essentially the most bare-bones mannequin in Garmin’s wonderful Forerunner vary, however it’s £50 extra. And when you’ve come to phrases with paying that a lot, you must actually take a look at the likes of the Forerunner 35 and the wonderful TomTom Spark 3.

The one large let-down of the Band Professional 2 is the lack to trace indoor exercises. When you like hitting the gymnasium for cardio class exercises, or periods on the train bike, treadmill or rower then you definately’ll be higher served by going over £100 and getting a tracker with a coronary heart fee monitor. Garmin’s vivosmart Three and Fitbit’s Alta HR and Cost 2 are all price contemplating.

The actual fact stays although, that Huawei has ensured the Band Professional 2 stands out from the group by giving it a singular set of options at a stupidly low worth.