When I wrote the first part of this back in April 15, 2021- it seemed that AliExpress would have the new Huawei Band 6 (GLOBAL) that week to I guessed that meant we outside of China would not be able to actually get one for maybe another 3 weeks – and I’d seen nothing yet the Xiaomi Band 6 GLOBAL version.
Since then I have acquired both bands as you will see below – the Mi Band 6 box was in English, the Honor 6 in Chinese but both work in English no problem. I don’t speak a word of Chinese.
Of course you would expect Huawai to try to jump the gun as they did last time – but in several respects, the Huawei Band 5 wasn’t a patch on the Xiaomi Mi 5 band – the former has only a few preset watch faces where the latter has an almost infinite supply.
This time around, the goal-posts seemed at first to have changed – the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 has a much better (rounded, not curved) display with a most welcome lack of wasted space on the top and bottom of the face area due to a custom, rounded display.
The Honor Band 6 seemed to claim to have a CURVED display, however, mine looks only MARGINALLY curved – Nothing like the stock image I show below right which – it turns our belongs not to the Honor Band 6 but to the dramatically more expensive 1.53″ TalkBand B6.
To be sure, both bands are a little more pricey but still reasonable.
I like my Xiaomi Mi band and it’s straps but I must say the add-on magnetic bands are a tad rough-cut and the standard band has a tendancy to slip off. It will be interesting to see how the Huawei compares. It’s band is more secure – certainly.
Update May 26, 2021
My Huawei Honor Band 6 just turned up – something of a let-down as I was expecting a curved display and ear-bud – my mistake for not checking more carefully!! There is a SLIGHT curve but NOTHING REMOTELY like the photo above. See that watch face above right that says 10 08? Well, my Honor Band 6 came with that installed, but looking somewhat squashed – the “10” and the “08” overlapping each other. That face is called “ColorDream” and interestingly, it looks squashed in the APP and on the case as well. Seems to me that they simply bodged some faces designed for the Talkband B6 to fit the Honor Band 6. But don’t let that put you off – there are loads of faces for the Honor Band 6.
Now, regular readers will know I’m a Xiaomi Mi Band fan, having owned Mi Band 4, 5 and currently Mi Band 6 which I’ve discussed separately already. How on earth, you may ask, could the Huawei Band possibly compete – especially on the watch face front with only a few faces available?
I just activated the Honor band 6 on my Huawei Health App which I kept from the last time I looked at Huawei bands – and there are lots of faces now but still not in the same league as the number of available Xiaomi faces!
This morning I took my new Huawei band to the market, paired it EASILY to the APP on my Android phone – and being me, the very first thing I did was to go looking for watch faces. I found a winner and installed it no problem.
Since returning home, at first, every time I went to the Huawei Health APP, it saw my new band and synced, no problem (my heart rate is a healthy 68bpm it seems) and I went to Watch Faces – OOH, I was going to say I get a connection error – but now I’m not. There are 10 faces on my Huawei watch including the one I downloaded at the market… and under “recommended” there are about 90… ok, now I’ve found one I like – and an opportunity to show the Mi 6 and Band 6 side by side, both on full brilliance, both in fairly strong office lighting. I now have 11 faces installed on the Honor band itself.
Sub-100 faces still doesn’t compare with the many hundreds of faces available for the Xiaomi Mi 6 but apart from the squashed ones, they are generally ok. As far as I can see, no third party Watch Face APPs yet but maybe they need a little more time? I noted something about a specification for the face designs so maybe that’s all on the way?
Meanwhile…. that squashed face issue – see the Honor 6 box – it’s squashed on the box, too.
So – my Honor Band 6 is ok but not groundbreaking. The instructions in my box and in the instruction sheet are entirely in Chinese – not a word of English at all – yet the watch appears multi-lingual – my setup is in English.
Pretty clearly, the very curved version with earbud is called the “TalkBand B6” and what’s this – £129 in the UK (€147 on Amazon.es) for the Talkband B6? Someone has to be joking? It is really beautiful but that’s a lot of money.
Meanwhile, I just figured out how to trigger SpO2 monitoring on the Honor Band 6… press the button while the display is already on, scroll up and you’re there.. there IS one neat feature (gimmick?) – touch an onscreen button on the band and it rings your phone which then says “I’m here” in a female voice. I am currently at a loss – the phone APP says “sleep 6h 32 mins” – I only got the band this morning and I’m pretty sure I’ve not been asleep since.
Meanwhile see my review of the Xiaomi Mi 6 which continues to be my favourite band.
Update June 1, 2021
Thanks to readers for feedback and thanks to Banggood for the quick response re: USA. It seems that Banggood cannot sell Xiaomi products in the USA. That’s all I know but if someone said there was some anti-competitive behaviour involved I would not be entirely surprised, anyway, to my American subscribers… sorry guys. I guess I’d best save any spare Xiaomi gadgets for my summer trip!
Update April 2022
The Mi Band 6 continues to be my favourite – for a while I was swayed by the Redme Smart Band Pro and Watch 2 Lite – see my April 2022 review. I still like them, the Watch 2 Lite has quite a few new faces available online via the new Mi Fitness APP and the Smart Band Pro has the same but lower in number right now. In here, I refer to the Mi Fit APP which inexplicably is now defunct, replaced by the stupidly-name Zepp Life APP which seems to me like change for the sake of it.
BUT I’m back to my Mi Band 6 for one reason only – the utterly stunning number of free watch faces I can access on the (Android Play Store) MiBand6 app (not to be confused with an APP with the same name but including spaces). It is pretty much impossible to scroll through the faces in the APP and reach an end 🙂
Just for the sake of it here are 6 new faces I downloaded (for free) just last night onto my Mi Band 6. Note that the first and last faces don’t work too well in sunlight, the others are just fine. Indoors they all look great.
Now what we need is some enterprising individual to do something like this for the Redme Smart Band Pro (I’ve no idea if this is possible or not).
I just checked and the Amazfit website does seem to have quite a few faces now for the Huawei Honor Band 6 (432 frehh faces) but (wait for it) 5122 fresh faces for the Mi Band 6. I’m not yet seeing ANY such third party sites for the Smart Band Pro or Watch 2 Lite