The Honor Watch ES was launched alongside the rugged Honor Watch GS Pro. While the fitness band styled watch has all the functionality of a smartwatch, it is hard to ignore its fitness focused features. Jam-packed full of sensors and useful workout, health and fitness apps, here is a convenient and affordable two-in-one wearable to have.
You may have come across the Honor Watch ES before. It looks similar to Honor’s parent company, Huawei’s Huawei Watch Fit minus a few features, sensor and one fewer workout mode to keep the cost down. Admittedly, the Huawei Watch Fit looks better (see below) but apart from the built-in GPS sensor, both watches are very similar. They even share the same companion app, the Huawei Health app. So why bother with Honor Watch ES? One word, price.
The Honor Watch ES is cheaper and more affodable than the Huawei Watch Fit. In this article, we attempt to break down and list the features that stand out most to us and why we recommend the Honor Watch ES (shown below).
Before we jump into the details, here are the key specifications of the Honor Watch ES.
|Display: 1.64 inch AMOLED 456 x 280 HD resolution touchscreen (slide and touch gestures support) 326PPI, 70% screen-to-body ratio, 16.7 million colours, covered in 2.5D curved glass|
|Sensors: 6-axis IMU sensor (Accelerometer sensor, Gyroscope sensor), Optical heart rate sensor, Capacitive sensor, Ambient light sensor, Spo2 monitor to track blood oxygen level|
|GPS: GPS supported via Bluetooth to a smartphone with GPS|
|Connectivity: BT 5.0, BLE|
|Battery Life: 10 days normal use, 7 days heavy use.|
|Water resistance: 5 ATM|
|Charging: Magnetic charging thimble, full charge in 100mins. 70% in 30mins.|
|Works with Android 5.0 or later and iOS 9.0 or later.|
|Dimensions and weight: 46 × 30 × 10.7 mm, approx. 21 grams|
10 Reasons to Get the Honor Watch ES
The watch offers many outstanding features. Here are 10 of them that speak to us directly and why we would recommend the Honor Watch ES.
1. A CROSS BETWEEN A SMART WATCH AND A FITNESS TRACKER
I am not one for fitness bands. They have tiny, difficult to see monochrome screens and limited functionality. A typical fitness band may present time and some basic fitness data, but that is about it. It uses hard buttons instead of touchscreen and offers hardly any customisation.
The Honor Watch ES is not just a fitness tracker but a smartwatch. With its big colour display, it will present useful information such as steps, heart rate, calories burnt, weather, distance travelled, steps climbed, battery power, date and time at a glance. It also features a touchscreen that supports swipes, taps and gestures. Plus, there are tonnes of customisations to play around with. More about its fitness features later.
2. ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT
You hardly notice that it is there. The watch weighs a mere 21 grams. Compare this to a full size smart watch, that is hardly anything. The Honor Watch GS Pro launched at the same time as the Honor Watch ES weighs 76 grams. That is 3.6 times heavier than the Honor Watch ES. The soft silicon strap together with the slim and lightweight case ensures that the watch does not get in the way. You can wear it in your sleep, during your workout, in the shower or for a swim and make it work just as hard as you do.
3. BIGGER AMOLED TOUCH DISPLAY
A step up from the standard fitness band, the Honor Watch ES has a bigger, more usable 1.64-inch touchscreen display. Compare this to smaller touchscreen such as the 0.95-inch display on the Honor Band 5, it is 1.7 times bigger. This makes it easier to swipe up, down or sideways and tap to get what you want. It also means the display can show more information at a glance. The display goes right up to the sides and corners for a bezel-less effect and is covered with a 2.5D glass for a smooth, rounded drop.
4. WATCH FACES – WITH MORE TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL
You can customise the watch face to suit the time of day or your style with more to download and install from the Watch Face Store on the Huawei Health App installed on an Android device. For iOS users, however, there is no access to the Watch Face tab. You will have to live with the 12 watch faces you are given onboard the watch. These clock faces are stylish, colorful and makes the watch stand out. Take a look at the 12 default watch faces below.
Honor Watch ES also supports always-on display with 6 different basic watch dials to choose from. This is known on the watch as standby watch faces. You will be warned when choosing one of these standby watch faces that the battery life will take a hit.
5. ROUND-THE-CLOCK HEART RATE MONITOR – NEVER MISS A BEAT
The Honor Watch ES has a built-in heart rate sensor for 24/7 heart rate monitoring. It uses Huawei TruSeen 4.0 technology to provide timely alerts of elevated or abnormal heart rate results. The heart rate data is also presented in a friendly graph format so you get a 24 hour overview of your heart rate. The heart rate monitor really comes into its own during your chosen workout mode as it combines with other sensors to show just how hard you are pushing yourself physically.
6. BUILD IN EXERCISE COURSES – YOUR VERY OWN VIRTUAL COACH
No time for the gym, use the onboard quick workout courses. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your chosen workout either at home or in the office. No membership fees to pay. Not even a subscription to a certain fitness app (we are looking at you Apple). Think of it as your free virtual coach with your fitness class right out of your wrist. These built-in workout courses use a combination of 44 different animated clips to guide and track your progress in real-time. The 12 preloaded fitness courses are as listed below:
- Neck and shoulder relaxation
- Exercise at work
- Burn fat fast
- Full body-stretch
- Strengthen heart and lungs
- Advanced chest workout
- Ab toning
- Ab ripper
- Core workout
- Leg and glute toning
- Leg workout
Our advice is to pace yourself. If you are new to working and fitness training, these courses will be a challenge. So, take your time and complete each stage of the course in your own time. The counter will motivate you to go faster to finish each stage quickly. Only do so when you are more familiar with the exercises and courses.
7. TONNES OF WORKOUT MODES – IT WILL TRACK EVERYTHING THAT DO
The Watch ES supports up to 95 different workout modes. A basic list is presented by default. You can or remove these. It basically covers everything one can do with regards to fitness. Of these, there are 10 professional workout modes that offer high-level fitness tracking with personalised guidance. The common ones are running, walking, cycling both indoor and outdoor, as well as swimming, elliptical and rower. The other workout modes are categorised under indoor, fun, sports, water, winter and extreme. You are bound to find your favourite workout, sports or activity to track here.
Having a fitness oriented smartwatch motivates you to do more to stay healthy. The Honor Watch ES with its comprehensive set of workout modes means you can track all your fitness activities beyond just walking, running and swimming. Gym based workouts like strength, spinning, stepper, air walk, HIIT training to instructor led workouts like yoga, pilates, aerobics are included. Sports like tennis, baseball, rugby and cricket to taekwondo, boxing, karate, fencing and even dancing can be found. It truly has it all.
Once you have completed your workouts, you can review them directly on the watch via Workout Records or for a more detailed breakdown, sync the data to the app on a smartphone and view the performance of each workout there. The app also provides personalised recommendations and tracks both your chosen workout and exercise courses.
While supported, we could not trigger the automatic workout recognition. Not wanting the watch to miss our workouts, we usually set this prior to starting our workout. Honor claims that the Honor Watch ES can automatically detect the type of workout and start logging this so you can always keep on top of your fitness activities.
8. SLEEP AND STRESS MONITOR – IMPROVE ON YOUR SLEEP.
For sleep and stress monitors, the watch uses TruSleep 2.0 and TruRelax technologies respectively. Learn about your sleep patterns and how to improve this over time. TruSleep technology identifies the different stages of your sleep and breaks this down in a graph format in the app. These stages; deep, light and REM are explained alongside breathing analysis. Together, they provide high-level sleep tracking, assessments and recommendations to help improve sleep quality. The app does warn that enabling TruSleep for more accurate sleep monitoring will reduce battery life.
As for the stress monitor, the watch helps you manage everyday stress do you knoe when to ease back and relax. It comes with Huawei TruRelax technology. Use it in conjuction with Breathing Exercies to calm your mind. To start using the Stress monitor, answer a series of questions on the Health app. Then watch the bar graph to understand your daily routine and which activity contributes to your stress level. I can tell you that I am the calmest when I am spending time with my family and friends in a relaxed environment.
9. BLOOD OXYGEN MONITOR
Just like the Apple Watch 6, it takes a few seconds to read the blood oxygen saturation levels with the SpO2 monitor. You will need stay still while the reading is taken. But, once it has a reading, it will continue to measure and update the oxygen level in your bloodstream. This is useful to understand the state of your respiratory system. The progress indicator shown when it is taking a reading may not represent the amount of time it needs, if you stay still, often it takes less time to get a reading.
10. BATTERY LIFE
Even with a bright colour display and a screen this size, the watch manages a respectable 7 days of use for our review which sounds about right. Honor claims up to 7 days of heavy use with HUAWEI TruSleep and Heart rate monitor enabled. At a push, it will last up to 10 days on a full charge. It also supports quick charging to quickly top up the charge in a short time. A quick 30 minutes charge is enough to make the watch last for a week. It reaches full charge in just over an hour.
BONUS: CYCLE CALENDAR
It is also worth mentioning that the Honor Watch ES has the ability to track and predict the menstrual cycles. This is presented in the cycle calendar, both on the app and in the watch. Use this to stay on top of menstruation or ovulation with a reminder on the watch for when these are taking place.
Would We Recommend the Honor Watch ES
Would we recommend the watch? Certainly. As more than just a fitness tracker alternative and to those who already have an Honor or Android smartphone, the Honor Watch ES works wonderfully. The ability to download and install more watch faces keeps it fresh and exciting. Those intending on using the watch with an iOS device will find certain features unavailable. Still, you get a full set of smart watch functions like timer, alarm, flashlight, find my phone, stop watch, notifications and weather.
The lack of GPS sensor may be ‘no-go’ for some but it all your workouts are indoors or at the same place (at home, swimming pool, pitch, gym or studio), there is really no need for mapping data. If you must track the location of your workout, carry your phone with you.
Finally, the real benefit of the smartwatch is in the large and bright AMOLED display. That and the string of onboard sensors. The advanced features are made easier to use on the large colour display. Our favourite is the fitness courses, those animated video clips are so easy to follow. Other apps readily accessible on screen include workout records, workout modes, heart rate sensor, SpO2 monitor, sleep and stress monitor, breathing exercises and activity records. For a watch with an affordable price tag, it certainly is not short of features and is well equipped with useful sensors.
This article was originally published on Colour My Tech and is adapted for our audience here.