Honor Watch ES, analysis: a great activity bracelet

Large screen, activity tracking, notifications and even a blood oxygen saturation reading , the Honor Watch ES is a smartwatch that offers a lot for a little . It has its shortcomings apart from its advantages, we have analyzed it to verify it.

Volume 90%

The market for smart watches is increasingly saturated as most mobile manufacturers also have a smartwatch. Honor has several. And it recently renewed this catalog with the Honor Watch ES, a rectangular screen model that looks a lot like its close cousin, the Huawei Watch Fit . Let’s see how much the new Honor proposal gives of itself.

Honor Watch ES data sheet

  HONOR WATCH IS
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 10.7mm thick
21 grams (without strap)
SCREEN 1.64 inch
AMOLED
DRUMS Up to 10 days
Fast charge (70% in 30 minutes)
SPORT ACTIVITY 95 Workout Modes
Calorie Counting
Sleep
Monitoring Heart
Rate Monitoring Blood Oxygen
Measurement Stress Measurement
CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth 5.0
RESISTANCE 5 ATM
PRICE 99.9 euros

HONOR Watch ES Smartwatch Activity Bracelet 5ATM Smart Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor, Blood Pressure and Sleep Fitness Tracker Unisex Compatible with Android iOS (Black)

RRP on Amazon € 99.00

A design that looks great on the wrist

In the photos there may be a certain resemblance to the Apple Watch, but nothing could be further from the truth: the Honor Watch ES has a longer screen, is thinner , has a body built in polycarbonate and maintains a slight curve for the surface, also for the base of the watch. It is a watch that wears well, does not disturb and does not look too large, even on small wrists.

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The construction materials denote the range to which the smartwatch belongs: plastic, hardened glass covering the screen and silicone for the strap . The exterior appearance is casual and elegant, it avoids the sportier design and allows the use of any other 22 mm strap.

The screen takes up almost all the space on the front, leaving just under a millimeter for the frame (the black area in our case). The case is made of polycarbonate (Honor offers the Watch ES in black and pink apart from white, although the latter color cannot be purchased in Spain) and in the lower part, built in plastic, the heart rate and SpO2 sensors are appreciated. in addition to the two charging ‘pins’ . The smartwatch is attached to its base by magnetism.

The Honor Watch ES fits very well on the wrist, is light, does not disturb in use and offers a touch control that is complemented by the physical button on the right side. This button is used to go back to the ‘watchface’, it also turns on the screen and gives access to the different shortcuts of the smartwatch .

The design is pleasant, it fits very well on the wrist, the touch is not noticeable of poor quality and it is waterproof (5 ATM)

It does not appear to be low-end even though it does not give the feeling of being ‘premium’: it is halfway between a mid-range smartwatch and an activity bracelet . In terms of hardware, it is closer to the second type of device than to the first; As much as your screen stands out with its own light, never better said.

The screen is its best quality

For the price, one would expect a low-performance screen, but it is just the opposite: the AMOLED panel of the Honor Watch ES is not only the first thing that attracts attention, it is also its most characteristic detail. Large 1.64-inch surface, resolution of 280 x 456 pixels (326 DPI density), has automatic brightness and takes advantage of the front surface very well (Honor ensures that this use reaches 70%).

The panel looks good outdoors as long as it is not in direct sunlight: on these occasions there is some difficulty in reading . It offers a good tactile response, Honor allows you to choose to turn the screen off or to keep it always on (just choose a ‘Sphere on standby’, with the logical reduction of autonomy), it can also be turned off by covering the entire surface with the hand. This gesture does not always work, nor can you wake up the screen by tapping on it.

The Honor Watch ES offers water resistance and lasts up to 5 ATM

The representation of the colors is correct: they look natural and do not show saturation. The Honor Watch ES has a high level of contrast, the viewing angles are excellent and responds precisely to the gesture of the wrist to activate the screen. A glance is enough to see at a glance everything that matters: both the size of the screen, the sharpness and the interface contribute to the great visibility of the panel in most conditions.

Sports performance: GPS is missing

To obtain a record of routes outdoors it is essential to carry your smartphone

The Honor Watch ES has a smartwatch design and screen, but its heart beats to the rhythm of an activity bracelet . This is evident in the sports record: the lack of GPS forces you to carry your mobile during any outdoor practice. At least if you want to get the precise route of the exercise, the watch does offer good control of steps and distance , even without compatibility with satellites.

The step calculation is very precise: with the Honor Watch Es, distance can be measured without GPS and with a fairly small margin of error

It is not a smartwatch designed for professional athletes, nor for those who practice sports on a regular basis and, without meeting the requirements of a detailed record, they do want to obtain a complete report of each sport practice. As far as outdoor recordings are concerned, the Honor Watch ES does maintain the same type in the rest of practice: it supports 95 training modes . There is nothing.

Same route recorded with GPS (Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, left) and with Honor Watch ES, without GPS (right)

The calculation of steps is sufficiently precise, also the distance (the margin of error with respect to the GPS is around 5% per kilometer). The heart rate reading is also sufficiently accurate, both at rest and during activity. We have observed some delay showing the beats during sudden changes of rhythm, all without appreciating an exaggerated deviation, neither at low nor at high beats .

Sports practices and cardiac recording only with the watch

Sports recording (walking) in combination with the phone’s GPS

The Honor Watch ES has an oximeter with which to calculate the oxygen saturation in the blood. To obtain the data, a few seconds of rest are needed; after which a reading is obtained that, without being valid as medical data, serves as an approximation for sports performance .

The blood oxygen saturation reading complements the use of the Honor Watch ES as a sports accompaniment: it is very useful as an activity bracelet for indoor sports, also for collecting breathing and effort data during outdoor workouts . For these practices it is advisable to also carry your smartphone.

An interesting complement is the virtual trainer. With it it is possible to follow certain exercises just by looking at the clock: 12 training courses are included with 44 animations that demonstrate how to do different routines correctly . This makes it much easier to do without the phone, even the gym.

Nice interface and good connection with the mobile

The Honor Watch ES with an Android mobile (Google Pixel 4a)

The watch in question is based on Huawei proprietary software and requires the Huawei Health application to configure the device on the phone, synchronize the activity data and also to share the location via GPS in the case of using both for sports practices in the outside. Broadly speaking, they do not involve problems of use, neither the watch software nor the smartphone app.

The Honor Watch ES interface is intuitive and comfortable to use. It works by gestures: shortcuts are displayed from top to bottom; vertically upwards you access notifications; and by scrolling the screen horizontally you have access to the widgets , with functions such as the activity rings (quite similar to the Apple Watch ), the heart rate recording or the music player controls (the one on the mobile, the Honor Watch ES not allows music or apps). These widgets are customizable.

Honor Watch ES connected to iPhone X

The button on the right (and only) side allows you to call up the options menu from the watch face and return to said face from any other function. In addition, the gesture of sliding your finger from the right side of the screen to the center allows you to go back, just as it happens on the mobile with active navigation gestures. The use is very intuitive .

The Honor Watch ES has configurable alarms directly from the device, offers mobile reminders, includes the weather forecast, can become an improvised flashlight (super useful) and even allows you to send messages through the Huawei Health application if you have them. assets. All of these functions complement the band’s own health and activity log ; leaving out the usual functions of a smartwatch, such as mobile payments, responses to notifications, installation of apps or listening to music with Bluetooth headphones.

The Honor Watch ES does not allow the installation of applications, lacks mobile payments and does not offer music playback with Bluetooth headphones

In terms of notifications, the Honor Watch ES is fair: its display system is cluttered and it does not allow to eliminate notification by notification , only all at once. This blurs the reading, especially when emails arrive: the screen only shows the header. WhatsApp messages are read correctly (and cannot be answered, not even with predefined phrases).

In Huawei Health, all records are perfectly visualized, from activity and training to heart rate, stress and sleep data . The Honor Watch ES captures the sleep data well enough, it also identifies each of the states and offers information on the quality, the duration or the times that the user wakes up. The reading of the information is very clear, just like the rest of the health parameters. And data is logged automatically , even during naps.

Huge battery and lightning fast charging

The Honor Watch ES maintains the look of a smartwatch and the soul of an activity bracelet, although when it comes to the battery it is more of the second than the first. This greatly benefits its use as it can last for more than two weeks on a single charge . Even with sports activity log, constant heart rate monitoring and notifications on the wrist.

Autonomy is one of its greatest virtues: it is enough to charge it once and not worry for a long time. In addition, the charge included in the watch is extremely high speed: the Honor Watch ES can revive from 0 to 70% in 20 minutes . And just by connecting the USB to a computer port, nothing to use fast chargers (in the box it only brings the cable, no charger comes).

Fast charging is another of its great qualities: the Honor Watch ES charges from 0 to 70% in 20 minutes; which gives you more than a week of use

The full charge takes a little longer: just over an hour (the last leg goes noticeably higher). In terms of technology, the watch includes a cable with a USB A on one end and a double-pin magnetic connector that anchors to the bottom of the device . It does not involve complications: it is enough to bring the magnetic end closer to the Honor Watch ES so that both establish the union and the energy is transferred.

Honor Watch ES, the opinion of Xataka

After more than two weeks with the watch on the wrist, we have not had bad feelings, quite the contrary: the Honor Watch ES is an excellent device with which to complement the use of a smart phone . It can work with Android and also with iOS (its use is somewhat more limited in the second), it replicates notifications on the wrist, it has a health record that is at the level of a superior device (we have found the reading of heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, always for the type of device it is ) and automatically saves all activity to be transferred later to the application.

The exterior design is that of a smartwatch, although its use is much closer to that of an activity bracelet. The cost of the Honor Watch ES, which stands at 99 euros, makes it ‘understandable’ the lack of GPS, not being able to install applications or use the device as a media player (connecting a Bluetooth headset, for example), a price that It can get expensive when compared to a band . Even so, Honor offers one of the best screens that can be seen in that price range, the autonomy is also notorious. And what to say about the fast charge, it is a success.

The design and how good it feels on the wrist add remarkable value as a smartwatch, as well as how good its screen looks. At least as long as the sun does not shine directly

The Honor Watch ES is perfect for anyone looking for an activity tracker with a much more legible screen and authentic smartwatch design . By contrast, those looking for a ‘wearable’ capable of keeping up with sports will have to look for another accessory: Honor would have rounded up its proposal if it had included GPS.

 

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