Here is the complete and detailed proof of Honor Watch ES, the smartwatch that doubles as a virtual trainer. Does it make sense to buy it? Find out HERE
Honor Watch ES Review
Are you interested in buying Honor Watch ES but before proceeding with the purchase do you want to understand whether or not it is worth investing your money in this product?
You are in the right place!
I tested Honor Watch ES for 15 days, I stressed it thoroughly and in this article, I tell you what I think of this product to keep on the wrist to monitor our daily physical activity, with an eye to the sport since it integrates a virtual coach always at our disposal.
If you are short on time and want to get straight to the point, I can tell you that Honor Watch ES is a good product overall, but it lacks GPS, which makes it useless for those who practice outdoor sports (running, cycling …).
I also point out that by spending a little more you buy the sister Huawei Watch Fit, which is identical from every point of view but also has GPS.
From my point of view, therefore, it makes more sense to buy products such as:
- Huawei Watch Fit: it is identical, but with GPS
- Xiaomi Mi band 5: it is more limited in some ways, smaller and more compact, but it costs only 30 euros and does practically the same things
- Honor Band 5: does practically the same things for 30 euros (only the big screen and the virtual trainer are missing)
- Amazfit GTS: for anyone who wants a complete smartwatch, including GPS
I repeat: Honor Watch ES is not bad at all, but there is a lot of competition in this price range and by spending a little more you can have MUCH more, even staying at Honor / Huawei. Or you can spend less for almost the same things.
That said, let’s move on to the more in-depth review of the product.
Quite classic. Inside we find:
- Honor Watch UK
- proprietary magnetic charger
1.64-inch AMOLED ( 456 x 280 pixels ), in color, large, rectangular, it reads perfectly day and night, even under the sun. It is very large and allows you to interact with it without any problem or difficulty. And I also like the rectangular shape on an aesthetic level.
The definition is also excellent: it is practically impossible to see the individual pixels. There is the auto-brightness sensor which works quite well.
Only one thing is missing: the possibility to activate the always-on, which would be very convenient.
DESIGN AND MATERIALS
Honor Watch ES is a really well-made product: comfortable to wear, resistant and sturdy, beautiful to look at, and quite elegant, much better than many other similar products. In short, we can keep it on the wrist both when we train and when we are at work or more formal events in a suit and tie.
The materials are also resistant and of good quality to the touch: we can wear the watch even while we train without having to fear of ruining or breaking it.
The case somewhat resembles that of an Apple Watch narrow in width: the strongly rounded shapes and the slightly curved glass where it meets the plastic body of the watch are really familiar.
The dimensions are contained and, as already mentioned, the rectangular display is really very comfortable: it is narrower and elongated than other competing products and therefore less annoying when we bend the wrist. The dimensions of 46 x 30 x 10.7 mm but above all the weight of only 21g of the case will make you forget you have it on your wrist: you can wear it even at night without any discomfort.
The rubber strap has a quick connection/release and therefore can be easily replaced with any other 18mm product, but the one supplied is comfortable to adjust, does not make the wrist sweat, and keeps the product stable on the wrist. I liked it.
On the sides, there is a single button (convenient to press in any situation) that allows us to interact with the functions of the watch, while on the inside there are various sensors to monitor the heartbeat and magnetic pins for charging.
Furthermore, HONOR has certified the smartwatch with a degree of water resistance equal to 5ATM, which means that the watch can be safely immersed in water up to 50 meters deep and therefore this allows it to be used in the pool or even below. the shower.
THE OPERATING SYSTEM AND SMART FUNCTIONS
The operating system of this product is the same as that of all Honor and Huawei smartwatches: it is very light, easy to use, intuitive, clear, and with all the main features at your fingertips, but a little limited in terms of smartphone notifications.
But let’s go in order.
By swiping left and right with your finger on the touch display you can switch between the favorite panels that we have decided to show. With a gesture from top to bottom, we have access to the quick buttons for activating the DND mode, to keep the screen always on, to find the smartphone, and to set a new alarm. These links are not customizable.
On the other hand, the dials are customizable, with a choice between the pre-installed ones and the possibility of downloading new ones from your smartphone (you will really find many!).
Returning to the operating system, I point out that unfortunately, it is not possible to download new applications: we can only use those already present and which will eventually be added with future software updates.
Another limit, as anticipated, concerns notifications from smartphones: the text shown is often too short and insufficient to read the entire message that has been sent to us (regardless of whether the notification comes from WhatsApp, SMS, email, or other).
By scrolling through the various horizontal screens we can access functions such as:
- heart rate detection
- SpO2 blood oxygen detection
- breathing exercises
- find phone
- stress levels
- playing music
- activity log
From the activity dashboard, we can see the steps taken, the minutes of monitored activity, and the hours of daily activity, but it is always possible to access more detailed information on the activity by going to the smartphone app (both Android and iOS).
Another limit to note: you can only control the music played on your smartphone, it is not possible to save music in the internal memory of the watch. Sin.
I also point out that if the device has been paired with a HUAWEI / HONOR phone, we have the possibility of being able to use it as a remote shutter for the camera.
Going back to talking about notifications, we can see them all quickly by swiping from bottom to top. As always, all apps that send notifications can be customized via the HUAWEI Health app. Tapping the notification opens it in the full screen displaying 6 lines of text that you can scroll to continue reading. As already mentioned, however, the notifications are read-only and therefore no option allows you to respond to them. Furthermore, if we do not manually delete the notifications from the smartwatch, they accumulate (it is not enough to delete them and open them from the phone, they must also be deleted from the watch every time).
The emojis are not even displayed, just as we cannot see any photos that are sent to us and we cannot hear the audio notes and voice notes.
Obviously, since there is no microphone, we cannot use the Honor Watch ES to answer calls or to send voice notes.
FUNCTIONS FOR FITNESS
So far all very well, but we must not forget that Honor Watch ES is a product designed also and above all for sport.
Let’s start by saying that the heart rate monitor positioned in the lower part of the case can record our heart rate 24 hours a day; the device is also able to estimate the oxygenation of the blood SpO2 and, thanks to the presence of an accelerometer and gyroscope, can keep track of the quality of our sleep. The stress level measurement function is interesting.
But how does it behave when it comes to training, sports, and fitness?
As anticipated, I have tried this smartwatch to monitor various Crossfit workouts and I can say that:
- the calorie calculation is clearly underestimated (compared with Garmin Venu and with the displays of the Concept rowing machine and the Assault Bike), we are talking about 50% fewer calories detected than other competing and more reliable products
- heart rate calculation is sufficiently accurate, but not perfect, especially when we are struggling a lot or when we have sweaty / wet-arm
- the stress calculation is quite similar to that of the Venu
- the blood oxygenation calculation is quite similar to that of the Venu, but more often than not it asks for a new reading, especially if the strap is not tight and the wrist is not perfectly still
- there are over 95 sports activities to monitor, but only in a few cases do these activities offer precise information related to that sport; in most cases, only calories, steps, beats, cardio zones, and little else are monitored (in practice it makes no sense to monitor 95 activities if then only the name changes from one activity to another)
- Most of the information related to sports activity must be analyzed from the smartphone app, while the watch shows only steps, minutes of exercise, and hourly movements
- you can set high and low heart rate alerts
- there is automatic detection of some activities, which works quite well but not flawless (walking, running, elliptical and rowing)
- Honor Watch ES regularly sends notifications reminding us to get up and do some stretching exercises if we have been inactive for too long
- NO GPS, so all outdoor activities such as running or cycling require a phone connected with Bluetooth to take advantage of the smartphone’s GPS. In practice, it is useless if we want to do outdoor and outdoor activities without carrying a phone
But, in addition to all this, the real novelty of Honor Watch ES is having a trainer who allows you to explain up to a dozen fitness courses through short animations that can be viewed directly on the watch screen. Some animations show you bodyweight exercises, stretching, and ab workouts as well as 44 other standard movement demonstrations.
If I have to be honest, however, it seems to be a nice but not very useful function: the exercises shown are few and very simple, nothing that cannot be found on any free training or fitness app. And then, since there is no speaker or loudspeaker, you have to constantly look at the lock screen to check the reps and the exercise. Isn’t it better to have a phone with a big screen in front of your face and maybe even a strong speaker to guide us in training and repetitions?
However, it is interesting that there are suggestions that are also suitable for the office, useful to do on break at work while taking our eyes off the computer to relax neck and shoulders for example.
For the female audience, there is also a menstrual cycle calendar that can be added to the main menu of the HUAWEI Health app.
Another major limitation: it is impossible to extrapolate the data on sports activities and bring them to other platforms.
Very good: on the Honor Watch ES card it guarantees up to 14 days of basic use, which comes to about 8-10 if we train often or want to monitor a lot of activities. However, everything depends on how many sensors we keep active, how many notifications we receive, and how many times we train.
In all cases, however, it still seems to me to have a really excellent autonomy, especially considering that the recharge is very fast and if we compare it to other smartwatches, which reach an average of 1-3 days.
Too bad that the battery has to be recharged with the proprietary charger, which we have to carry with us if we are away for more than a week. For 5-7 day trips, however, there is no problem.
Unless there are active offers, Honor Watch ES costs 100 euros: a far too high priced for what it offers, especially if we consider that in the same price range there are much more complete smartwatches, with GPS and able to manage much better the notifications.
As I have already said, I prefer either to spend more to have the GPS too, or to spend less to have 90% of the same features, but saving at least 50-60 euros.
I reiterate what was said at the beginning: Honor Watch ES is not bad at all, its only problem is the price, definitely too high if we consider the lack of GPS and the limitations related to the notification system. For the same price, there is better around.