The wearable market has been rapidly growing and Huawei has remained competitive by releasing a large suite of devices. However, it can be argued that the Chinese company hasn’t made its mark just yet in the smart band market.
Enter the Huawei Band 6, the company’s latest attempt at disrupting the game. With a display that’s eye-catching and a price that can only be described as tempting, can the Band 6 finally be Huawei’s big splash in the smart band segment? Can this hybrid serve as the casual athlete’s GadgetMatch?
Sized like a watch, feels like a band
On my first impressions of the Band 6, I immediately mentioned its screen as one of its highlights. Amazing software can be derailed by hardware that’s weak and Huawei didn’t fail on this end. Its bigger screen is capable of making a big difference.
The thing with most smart bands is they’re valuable not as a one-stop hub for information, but as a tracker. More often than not, you go to your phone to check your progress on certain exercises or sleep patterns.
That’s not the case with Huawei’s newest wearable. Viewing time and other important information is a delight, even when faced directly under sunlight. Screen size is incredibly important in bridging that gap between smart band and smart watch. The Band 6 does that extremely well.
Even better is how despite its size, it doesn’t feel heavy when worn. It’s named Huawei Band 6 after all, not Huawei Watch. It’s light, but sturdy. Wearing it while sleeping was far from a burden.
It’s versatile and stylish. Very few products can offer that from this price point and from the smart band segment.
Battery life is respectable
While the Band 6 didn’t live up to the two-week battery life Huawei boasted, it’s no slouch. The battery went from 100 to 10 percent in a matter of a week, which isn’t bad considering it’s housing a large screen, automatic tracking was turned on for heart rate and stress, and workout modes were used five times a week. Using the Band’s full suite of features requires power, and all things considered, its battery holds up well.
Charging was also a breeze thanks to its straightforward setup. It only took the band one hour and 30 minutes to top up to 100 percent, which was quite respectable.
Big screen, big-time features for a band
The problem with most smart bands is how it skimps on features so it’s able to maintain a cheaper price point. Improving hardware can be expensive and it wouldn’t have been surprising if Huawei cut down certain features to keep the Band 6 affordable.
In that case, it depends on which wearable segment you’re comparing. Versus other smartwatches, it cuts down on features. You can’t play music straight from the watch and you can’t reply to texts despite its larger screen size.
But smartwatches are expensive for that exact reason. The Band 6 is best compared to smart bands and against its competition; it shines. It has all the features you’d expect out of a modern smart band.
Casual athletes will be glad to find that the Band 6 houses 96 workout modes such as Strength, HIIT, Jump Rope, and Indoor Run. Having a suite of workouts that wide is extremely helpful if tracking your exercises is important to you.
Assistance over accuracy
SPO2 monitoring is also an awesome feature to have especially given the current pandemic. However, accuracy isn’t this Band’s strongest suit, and it shows with the numbers that come up during workouts and with your oxygen levels. In fact, there was one instance during a HIIT session that the heart rate the Band was showing was lower than what I was experiencing. That’s something to consider when using the device as a measuring tool.
With that being said, it’s important to note that the Huawei Band 6 is best used for guidance and assistance rather than accuracy. Nothing beats medical-grade tools such as a pulse oximeter or coaching from a trainer. However, its wide suite of features is a great jumping point for someone who wants to live a healthier and active lifestyle. Considering that’s the value Huawei wants to promote with this new device, that’s a big win for them.
Huawei Health App provides the basics and some insight
The same statement above applies to the Huawei Health App as well. The app is best used for guidance and not accuracy.
The Health App is straightforward but filled with the right amount of information. Insight regarding weight tracking, exercises, and stress is limited, but useful, nonetheless.
There is one thing the Huawei Health App is very good at: sleep tracking. While insight from its tracking can feel repetitive at times, there’s a lot of substance to the data you’ll get. Aside from the basic Deep sleep-light sleep-REM sleep, the Health App also tracks Deep sleep continuity, breathing quality, and how many times you wake up during your cycle.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
Pricing it at PhP 2,599 may be considered as a risk given the cheaper price points of other smart bands. But the price increase is warranted. The Huawei Band 6 is undoubtedly an upgrade from cheaper smart bands, and it makes the right compromises, so the price doesn’t increase dramatically.
The Band 6 can serve as the bridge between the smart band and smartwatch segments. It’s sized and featured like a smartwatch, while being priced like a smart band. That’s a big win for Huawei and for the consumer.
5 workouts you can do anywhere to get you “In the Zone”
Together with Samsung, Rebel, and #TeamGalaxy coaches
Samsung Philippines teamed up with Rebel, a popular fitness app, to co-create a 5-part workout series called “In the Zone” comprised of yoga, meditation, cardio, and strength training.
The workouts are accessible through the Rebel app, led by coaches and #TeamGalaxy members, Carla Piscoso and Eduardo Lara. In this story, Piscoso and Lara demonstrated the routines while sharing their experience working out with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.
Full Body LIT
Short for low-impact training, the Full Body LIT is a 20-minute routine that’s perfect for beginners. It consists of 10 moves — most of which are dreaded by most people — guaranteed to make you stronger. For instance, reverse lunges to deadlifts, modified burpees, bicycle crunches, and more.
Piscoso was able to immerse herself into the workout when she used the Galaxy Buds Pro’s 360 Audio feature. The surround sound experience pumped her up, allowing the sound to match all her dynamic movements.
Upper Body HIIT
If you’ve been working out for a while now, you probably know HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training — the workout that gives fitness newbs mixed feelings. It’s a mix of short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest squeezed in between.
This intense workout was led by Lara through a 16-minute routine that focuses on the chest, back, shoulder, and arms. And what better way to enjoy a sweaty session? A piece of heart-pumping music delivered with superior sound quality.
In the Rebel app, “Basics of Running” introduces you to a program where Lara guides you on proper form, skip drills, and warmups designed to condition the body.
If you’re starting to keep an active lifestyle for a while now, this workout is the perfect routine to start. Per Lara, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation helps tune out the background noise effectively, so he can focus on running.
To Piscoso, doing a Vinyasa sequence can help improve energy levels, promote relaxation, and lower stress — perfect for ending a tiring day or week.
Like Lara, Piscoso found the Active Noise Cancellation helpful in keeping her focused, too, especially during meditation.
Jump Rope Workout
Whoever told you jump ropes are boring surely hasn’t seen Piscoso in action. The fitness instructor took jump rope workouts up a notch with variations such as butt kicks, high knees, and double unders.
She didn’t even worry about the Galaxy Buds Pro falling off due to its comfortable and secure fit, which definitely stayed in place despite having an insanely vigorous workout.
A chance for a healthier you
If you decided to turn your life around this year but got derailed, fret not. Rebel community members get an exclusive 20% discount voucher when they buy the Galaxy Buds Pro until July 31, 2021.
Non-members who want to get their hands on the limited-time voucher can download the Rebel app and sign up for an account to get the promo code on the “In the Zone” series’ description. Promo code can be used to purchase the device via Samsung Online Store.
On another note, Samsung is also holding an online contest for Samsung Members and the Rebel community. Five lucky winners can get a chance to take home a Galaxy Buds Pro and one-month free Rebel+ subscription, and 25 winners of a one-month free Rebel+ subscription. For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, visit samsung.com/ph.
Android will soon support COVID-19 vaccine cards natively
The handiest feature of 2021?
Google has revealed it’ll open up Android’s built-in passes system to let users digitally store their vaccine cards. The company calls it “COVID Card,” and the feature will first roll out in the US with support for healthcare providers, regional governments, and other authorized agents.
Users will not be required to install any particular app to store or access the digital card on their devices. The native supports means that the operating system can seamlessly load the card, and health agencies can leverage its APIs to deliver confirmations.
Once a digital version of the COVID Card is stored in a device, users can easily access your vaccine data via a shortcut on their device home screen, even when offline or in areas with no data service. The real-life experience will be similar to iOS’s Wallet, which acts as a central repository to store tickets, confirmations, and other cards from third-party apps.
The information stated on the card will not be synced with Google’s cloud, and no ads will be delivered based on its content. The COVID Card will show information such as the name of the vaccine and when you took its first and second doses. If a user wants to access this information on multiple devices, they will need to store it on each device manually.
In April 2020, rivals Google and Apple made an unprecedented announcement. The two rivals joined hands to help governments in tracing contacts of Coronavirus-positive people. In other words, the software links up to the government’s own contact tracing applications through an API or application programming interface. The joint effort bore positive results for many smaller governments that couldn’t afford to create a new solution from scratch amid a raging pandemic.
Fitbit’s special edition of the Ace 3 makes physical activities fun for kids
Time to get them active!
With the advent of smartphones and other distracting technology, keeping kids active might be a challenge — especially if you aren’t the type to engage in physical activities. But starting ’em young can help build a healthy, fit, and sustainable lifestyle.
Fitbit’s kid-oriented smartwatch, the Ace 3, comes with a special edition that will catch your kid’s attention. And it might just make them excited to do a bit of sport and exercise.
Meet the Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions. It comes with an engraved band with an embossed Minions design that will make any kid eager to wear it. Built with a kid’s behavior in mind, the watch is comfortable and secure to wear even when using a silicone band and bumper. Moreover, it can be even submerged in water with its swim-proof design!
For those who aren’t keen on having yellow on their wrists, there are two more Minions-themed bands that kids can wear: Despicable Blue and Mischief Black.
Just like every adult’s smartwatch, it comes with nifty features we need. There are hourly alerts to move and reminders to reach your daily goals. More importantly, the Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions ensures there are extensive safeguards to secure a kid’s privacy.
Parents, for instance, can set up a family account to have more control over privacy and protection. The Parent View in the app will let parents track their kid’s activity and manage the kid’s app experience.
Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy Minions-themed activity badges in the app. The badges serve as a reminder for kids to keep chasing daily activity goals. Along with that, the Kid View allows kids to view important data such as their activity and sleep stats, as well as parent-approved friends, clock faces, and avatars.
Price and availability
The Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions is powered by eight days of battery life. It’s available in the Philippines at Fitbit.com, Digital Walker, and Lazada for PhP 4,790. Meanwhile, accessory bands are sold exclusively on Fitbit.com at PhP 1,390.
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