Honor has announced a new fitness tracker that looks like a smartwatch. The Honor Watch ES is its version of the Huawei Watch Fit, which has the character of a stretched Apple Watch.
Only European pricing has been revealed to date. The Honor Watch ES costs 99 Euro, and will be available from September 7. This suggests it may cost around $110-120 in the US.
Highlights are clear to see. The Honor Watch ES has a large, colourful screen for its cost, far outstripping the relatively basic Fitbit Inspire HR. And having had the chance to wear it for an hour, I can tell you the display looks far less odd than it may appear in promotional images. This thing looks like an upscale smartwatch.
Just one part is missing, an element present in Honor’s Watch Magic 2 and the new Watch ES Pro. The Honor Watch ES only has “Connected GPS”, not full GPS.
This means it can take location data from your phone, but cannot hook up to GPS satellites to do the job itself. Try to start an outdoor run and you’ll see the following disclaimer:
The Honor Watch ES also has a plastic casing rather than an aluminium or stainless steel one. However, it still feels strong and the display is protected by toughened glass.
A large rectangular screen offers a great way to display heart rate and stress graphs, which make up some of the home screens accessed by swiping across the Honor Watch ES’s face.
However, as in other fitness trackers, you cannot install additional apps. Fitness tracking, remote music control, weather reports and notifications are the main features of the Honor Watch ES.
There’s also a watch face store, which the large display makes the most of. The Honor Watch ES has an unusual 1.64-inch rectangular OLED screen of 456 x 280 pixel resolution. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a wearable with anything shaper or more colourful at the price.
Honor says the battery lasts for up to 10 days of normal use, which is also excellent in this class.
While the Honor Watch ES’s features are fairly limited, there are plenty of workout extras. It has 95 exercise tracking modes and 12 guided animated workouts. These are made up of 44 different moves displayed on-screen as animations.
The watch can also auto-detect six basic types of exercise, like runs and walks. Other fitness features include estimated SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) readings, guided breathing exercises, 5ATM water resistance, sleep tracking, female cycle tracking and 24/7 heart rate.
I would recommend a full GPS watch like the Forerunner 35 to those with a serious interest in tracking runs and hikes. But at the price it is hard to complain when the Honor Watch ES has such a bold, sharp screen.
The Honor Watch ES will be available to order in Europe from September 7, for 99 Euro. US pricing and availability is yet to be announced.