In the past few years, Xiaomi has been ruling the budget fitness bands market in India with practically no competitors. This gave them a big advantage and as a result, they sold a lot, a lot of Mi Bands. It got to a point where the only thing people could think of whenever they heard the term fitness band was Mi Band. But, all that changed when other big brands like Honor started putting out their products which fell in the same price brackets and offered better design.
Let’s make one thing clear first, I like the Mi Band 2 as a reviewer and would definitely recommend it if you don’t consider style a factor while making your purchase. But, if you care about the design and style of the band then Mi Band isn’t my first choice. I would rather recommend you to go with Honor Band A2. It carries all the functionality that a Mi Band does. The only parameter it falls short on is battery life.
That was enough of me ranting about a product I love, let’s get into the review.
I’m testing the Honor Band A2 on these nine factors:
It’s a tough thing to say, I recently visited Udaipur with my brother (*By the way, he’s a great photographer, see some pictures we took) where we compared the Honor Band A2 with Mi Band 2’s tracking. Both of them produced similar results, the Honor Band generally shows lesser steps as compared to the Mi Band 2. If you take my word for it, I think the Honor band 2 is tracking more accurately.
It sucks! Ya, it sucks! the Huwai Wear App doesn’t even show you the detailed sleeping pattern, to add that functionality you have to install the Huawei Health app. Like seriously, Honor? and the app doesn’t even work together with MyFitnessPal, a popular fitness tracking app. Although the Mi App is no good either, at least you need lesser apps to get things done.
Learn from Fitbit, they made a good app and also grew an engaging community around it to make you want to go back to the app.
When compared to Mi Band 2’s 28-day battery life, the Honor Band A2 doesn’t even come close. It caps out at 7 days at max if you don’t use Bluetooth the whole day, except when you want to sync data. If you keep the Bluetooth on, It’ll last a good 5 days to get you through the week.
For me, 5-7 days of battery life is enough if, so I don’t really mind the smaller battery, but keep in mind this factor while deciding to make a purchase.
With Bluetooth 4.2, the Honor Band A2 has a good 10 meters range. This is pretty much a standard with Bluetooth 4.2 on budget devices so, can’t really ask for more.
Calls and Messages
The band does good with messages, it’ll gently vibrate and show you the entire message. Similarly, with calls, the vibration is a little harder. But the big problem with these things are compared to smartwatches is you can’t reply from the band itself.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Although not the most accurate, the heart rate monitor is quite a useful feature. In my testing, the scanning worked like 90% and failed 10% of the time. But, a simple re-try was enough to get things going again.
This is the best part of the band and the feature that made me buy this band. The band has a Multi-Touch 0.96 inch OLED Display.
The advantage of having a bigger screen can be many. First, it’s easier to see data on your screen. Second, and the one that attracted me towards the band was, because of the larger screen it looks more like a smartwatch.
The one thing you should know is, it doesn’t have great under the sun visibility. You’ll be able to see the screen if you tilt it a little, but doesn’t that take away the convenience part out of it? Didn’t we invent this gadget to be convenient?
Let’s start this part by telling Honor we don’t believe everything you publish on your product page.
Claims Honor makes about their Band:
- “Improve sleep quality through sleep monitoring & smart alarm clock”
- “Sleep Monitoring: Accurate sleep stages (light / deep / awake) monitoring together with heart rate tracking”
- “Smart Alarm Clock: Wake up happier and more refreshed”
False, it’s not sophisticated enough technically to be able to do that by even a small percent. Sleep monitoring is so inaccurate that when I sleep for 6 hours daily, it tells me I’m sleeping for 5 hours some days and 8 hours on other days.
The smart alarm clock is also just fine. It vibrates gently and makes a low volume sound. (*Bad Pun Alert) Nothing smart enough about it 😅.
The heart rate tracking is like within +-10% accuracy, but I can’t say the same about sleep stages tracking. The thing is, these devices just don’t collect enough data to be able to calculate such a complex pattern. So it’s left with a lot of guessing job. Adding to the damage, the chips inside these bands aren’t sophisticated enough to do this complex of a calculation.
This is a myth! You just feel that inside your head because you spend your hard earned money on this gadget. That’s the Truth. Sleep is a biological process and not a simple one.
About the happy part, it requires realise of Dopamine, the feel-good chemical of our brain. One thing I know for sure is, this band doesn’t release or help release Dopamine. So let’s just trough that claim out of the park.
Side Note: I don’t have any personal grudge against Honor, even other companies like Xiaomi make these baseless claims. I’m just trying to educate you. 🙂
The Band is great as a supporting device to your fitness tracking and even looks great, but I won’t recommend it to you if you’re a sports person. For all the rest of us, you and me, it’s one of the best fitness band out there and I love it. I would even go to the extent of calling it a Mi Band 2 Killer.
What do you guys think about the Honor Band A2? Do leave your comment down below.
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