Wearable tech has evolved so much from the strap-on pouch for your phone on your arm, made possible by technological advancements that have shrunk most of the things we used to own into mobile devices we now carry or wear everyday, everywhere. So what's next? Honor's answer to that is "to look good wearing them".
Introducing the Honor Band Z1, a smartwatch that is simply elegant to have on one's wrist. but let's explore together what the Honor Band Z1 is all about.
Big thanks to Honor for the sample that made this article possible, the Honor Band Z1 is currently available and retails for RM259.00 at vmall.my.
- Long Strap: 244.4 x 38 x 9.5 mm (9.4 x 1.5 x 0.4 in)
- Short Strap: 229.4 x 38 x 9.5 mm (9 x 1.5 x 0.4 in)
- Weight: 25 grams (0.88 ounces)
- Straps: Hypoallergenic TPU fabric
Under the hood
- Bluetooth BLE 4.1
- Battery: 70 mAh (maximum 3 working days, 14 standby days)
- Sensors: G sensor, Cap sensor
- Display: 128 x 128 PMOLED luminescent touchscreen
- Huawei Wear App: Android and iOS
Honor's brand color is extremely close to cyan, but I prefer to call it baby blue.
They manage to fit in all those information at the back.
It got me thinking, why? It's not like the box is going to be displayed on the shelves where potential consumers would take the box, read, then say "Cool features, I'm just so gonna buy it." OR perhaps it means this is going to be the perfect gift for loved ones?
Sliding off the outer cover reveals the inner white box.
Open box, the top lid is hold to place via magnets. Honestly speaking, I am very impressed with the overall presentation of the Band Z1.
In the box:
- Honor Band Z1
- Magnetic USB charger
- Extra strap band
- Product guides and warranty
The Band Z1 uses the same magnetic charging cradle as the Huawei Watch. It easily attaches to the bottom of the band without having to fiddle around with orientation of the port.
Design & Hardware
Taking the Band Z1 out of the box, immediately I notice how light the band feels. Even with the stainless steel body and watch alike design, the band only weights around 25 grams, which is comparably similar to other models of fitness trackers.
Because of the small watch face, the Band Z1 feels more like a women's watch and looks awkward on large wrists.
What's more, underneath the strap's matte finish, there's unique pattern visible from certain angle. It makes the band feel a lot more suitable for females instead.
The strap is comfortable on the wrist.
The white model we have in our labs is particularly eye-catching.
If you look closely in the photo, even if the watch face has a round glass, the display underneath is actually square.
128 x 128 pixel PMOLED display.
What is PMOLED you ask? The name is Passive Matrix OLED, as oppose to the commonly known Active Matrive OLED (AMOLED). It is usually used as display for MP3 players, flip-phone sub-displays or other devices that require simple display.
- Simple display control scheme (no storage capacitor)
- Easier to fabricate
- Lower cost
- Not efficient (require higher voltage due to no storage capacitor)
- Shorter lifespan
- One or two colors only
- Low resolution
The display might look good indoors, however it suffers greatly at bright outdoors, particularly during the time when I was out for lunch.
Navigation of the menus is supported via the touch screen and the wrist twisting action as shown in the video below.
The companion app - Huawei Wear is available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The app is easy to use and the overall user experience is fluid and informative. At a glance, you'll have an idea of your daily fitness and sleep condition as the app communicates with the band via Bluetooth.
Additional settings is available such as idle reminders and even managing which app's notifications to be pushed to the band.
Then, of course, you'll have a summary report of the fitness and sleep data captured.
With monthly charts and graphs for statistical view.
For a basic fitness tracker, I'd say the Honor Band Z1 does the job really well.
First, I have to highlight that the Band Z1 is a beautiful device. The reason I use the term "beautiful" is quite obvious, I mean, the minimalist design language is plastered throughout the whole device. Brushed stainless steel body surrounding the 1 inch touchscreen, paired with straps in matte finish.
However, it does fit on a female's wrist better than a male's. Throughout the whole testing and review period, I've receive numerous questions from my friends, colleagues and even strangers. Their first question - "Is that a smartwatch?", then what comes afterwards - "It looks girly on your wrist."
Deal with it. *puts on sunglasses*
Battery life, as claimed by Honor, it would last for a maximum 3 days working time. But that's only applicable if you turned off the push notification as well as the wrist-wake function. If you enable all the bells and whistles, the Band Z1 at most could last you around 1.5 days. It's all up to your expectations on how a band should work on your wrist.
If you ask me if the Honor Band Z1 worth buying, I'd say at RM259, you can't really find anything priced so affordable and works so similar like a smart watch.
- Clean packaging & presentation
- Good build quality
- Simple setup
- Magnetic charging dock
- Smartwatch alike features
- Competitive price
- Only available in 1 size
- Stainless steel body prone to scratch
- Poor battery life
- Sloppy touch sensitivity
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