Honor Band 5i review: an inexpensive fitness tracker with USB charging

Some technical solutions are so obviously desired by users that you wonder why

manufacturers so stubbornly refuse them. For example, these are fitness trackers that can be directly recharged from a USB connector. But no, each manufacturer has his own invention, which is not always compatible with the previous generation and often fragile at least in appearance. Two such models have appeared in the Huawei / Honor family this year. One of them - Honor Band 5i came to us for a review. By the way, it’s also a budget smart bracelet. In this review, the editors gg understands whether a USB charge is worth the candle.

What is it?

Smart bracelet for about $ 30. In addition to charging, it is interesting in color - it is available in dusty pink and olive versions (the usual black is also there). The model is cheaper than the usual "five", therefore, its characteristics are simpler. We basically saved on the screen, but the battery and hardware were also affected.

What does he look like?

Despite changes in charge design andnew colors, the bracelet looks exactly like Band 5. Unless the frame around the screen is in the color of the strap, and not in the color of the case. Near the screen - only one touch control button. The strap is made of soft silicone, smooth, tactilely more like last year's Band 4, but I like this material more, it is more pleasant. In addition, there are more holes on it, which does not affect ergonomics, but I think that in summer it will be oh, by the way, when in the heat you want to hide from any contact with third-party objects.

Behind the same heart rate monitor.

The USB connector is slightly curved. Therefore, wearing a bracelet is comfortable, and during charging it is less likely to break, since it is turned up.

What about the screen?

If the older version uses an AMOLED matrixwith a diagonal of 0.95 inches and a resolution of 120x240 pixels, then here - TFT with a diagonal of 0.96 inches and a resolution of 80x160 pixels. The decrease in resolution is noticeable to the eye, although this is not so evident in the photo, I think the camera algorithms "finish". Even if you do not compare the bracelet with other devices, you can still see that the image on the screen is grainy. This is the first difference.

The second is the brightness of the colors, although this is not so obvious. For a person who uses a smartphone with an IPS-display, it will be rather familiar at all.

The third is autonomy. The difference in battery capacity with the older model is 9 mAh (91 mAh versus 100 mAh), but the declared operating time is 7-9 days instead of 14, in fact, if used intensively, it’s likely five. However, it is also not enough, tea, not a smart watch, with which you usually need to regularly babysit.

Fourth is sensitivity. Although here I’m not completely sure what exactly affects the slow response of the screen: either a really lower sensitivity of the sensor, or simpler hardware, because of which the response does not occur instantly, like on an older model. In any case, if by some miracle for you this device will be a downgrade, then you will notice the difference in reaction speed.

In general, the display is the weakest point of the device, I could not get used to it.

What can he do?

In terms of features it's almost the same Band5 (which, by the way, we now consider the most interesting among inexpensive fitness trackers), the only difference is that it has fewer training modes. No running courses and swimming. The characteristics of the bracelet indicate that it has moisture protection, but it feels like the manufacturer would not want users to avoid unnecessary contact with water. Although, perhaps, I exaggerate.

The bracelet has nine training modes, amongthey are different options for walking and running, cycling, a rowing machine and the “other” (I usually use this mode for power). For each workout, you can set your goals (time, distance, calories) and alerts.

In my opinion, Huawei / Honor has smart bracelets andthe mobile application is the most convenient interface among low-cost solutions, they are also quite accurate in calculating by the standards of their class of devices (for professional athletes, of course, is not an option, but for those who like to start on Monday or those who are smart and moderate in physical activity, just right).

We recently had a Huawei smart watch on review.Watch GT 2 42 mm, now it is the most advanced solution of the company from the point of view of the platform. I’ll point out a few things that are not in the bracelets, so that you understand (if you are thinking about choosing between a watch and company trackers) what are the differences. The bracelets do not have the function of assessing the quality of a workout, analyzing breathing in a dream, tracking the recovery time after a workout.

More specifically in the Band 5i model, I noticed that inAs a result of a standard hourly workout in the gym, the bracelet counted more calories for me than often the other devices of the manufacturer and in general most fitness trackers and smart watches. There were no records with a pulse and the load was no heavier than usual, so for me it is a mystery why this is so.

The tracker has standard features likepulse measurements, sleep monitoring, an alarm clock (you can set several), alerts from applications (everything is set in "Health"), a timer, stopwatch and other standard little things.

What are the alternatives?

We have a guide for choosing a smart bracelet, wherelists all the most interesting models on the market at the moment. The closest competitor in terms of price, in my opinion, is the Honor Band 4. The tracker has better iron (screen, speed, training modes), but there are no measurements of oxygen in the blood and charging via USB. I don’t know how much USB, given the simplified iron, is an occasion to give preference to this model. I think not very much. Band 4 is cool, Band 5 is even cooler. I would recommend choosing one of them if the ecosystem of the manufacturer is pretty.

Do not forget that the market still has suchserious player like Xiaomi. Mi Band 4 is also good. But I do not really like the interface of the gadget and the application, although Xiaomi does not occupy the popularity of these trackers. If you have a Huawei / Honor smartphone, then I do not see the point of buying a fitness tracker from another manufacturer. If the smartphone is a different brand, then, of course, you can look around. But my opinion that the most interesting tracker on the market right now is the Honor Band 5 remains unchanged for now.

In the dry residue

Honor Band 5i is worth the money. The manufacturer, within the framework of a modest budget, was still able to give him a color display and did not stint on soft buns. But I have repeatedly written that fitness trackers with sensible characteristics are so inexpensive today (up to $ 50 there are excellent models) that saving a third of this amount and buying something simpler makes no sense. In Honor, they tried and added a killing feature in the form of USB charging to this rather simple model. But since it is not necessary to charge smart bracelets so often, I still recommend looking in the direction of the un simplified “five”.

2 reasons to buy Honor Band 5i:

  • there is very little money, but a smart bracelet oh how you want;
  • USB charging is critical to you.

2 reasons not to buy the Honor Band 5i:

  • cheaper iron is felt too much;
  • the difference in price with the flagship model of the brand is not so large as to save.

Honor Band 5 Bracelet Specifications

Dimensions and weight
43x17x12 mm, 23 g

Special features
water resistant, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, TruSleep sleep monitoring, 9 types of sports activity

touch, 0.96 ″, TFT, 80x160 pixels

Protection class
protection against water with pressure up to 5 atmospheres

Bluetooth version

lithium polymer, 91 mAh

Working hours
up to 9 days

Android 4.4 / iOS 9.0 and higher

Honor Band 5i

Inexpensive model with a TFT display, USB charging and a week of battery life

Budget continuation of the hit Honor Band 5 with a noticeably worsened display and convenient charging. Despite the advantages of Band 5i, we advise you to choose Band 4 or Band 5, the price difference is justified.

Buy in Citrus

USB Charging Smart Bracelet

For those who want to know more:

  • Guide to choosing a fitness bracelet: what to look for and the best models of 2020
  • Xiaomi killer? Honor Band 5 review
  • Huawei Band 4e review: a beautiful tracker for running and basketball
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review: New Standard of Fitness Bracelets
  • 10 best selling gadgets on AliExpress