The Huawei Band 7 is for those who want a smartwatch that’s compact enough to wear every day, can last a long time on a charge, and covers all basic features. And the fact that it doesn’t break the bank makes it all the more interesting.
Available in black, green, pink and red, and priced at €59 / £50, it’s one of the more affordable options around.
What makes the Huawei Band 7 impressive is the long list of features it has managed to squeeze into that price. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters, just 16g (28g with the strap), supports 96 training modes, tracks heart rate, blood oxygen and sleep, displays notifications and has up to 14 days of autonomy. But above all, it’s a very comfortable wearable that you’ll forget it’s on your wrist for hours on end.
The Huawei Band 7 comes in a simple box with a proprietary magnetic charger.
The Huawei Band 7 is very light, but also very robust. The low weight is achieved by not using any metal on the casing, which Huawei says is made from polymer materials. You’d be forgiven for thinking the case itself is metal, as it makes a very plausible impression.
On the front, there’s a 1.47-inch 194x368px AMOLED display. The rectangular shape makes the screen appear larger than it is, while the viewing experience is excellent – vivid colors and great contrast. The screen is also very bright, even for the sunniest days. There is no automatic maximum brightness option, however.
There’s a setting to dim the display at night, which is a great feature for those planning on wearing the Band 7 to bed and using its sleep tracking feature.
There’s also the ever-important display, and there are five watch faces to choose from – four digital and one analogue.
The glass on top of the screen is slightly curved from top to bottom, and the screen ends on a bevel where it meets the frame, allowing for a comfortable, edge-free touch experience.
The case is dark gray on our Black model. There is a single button on the right side of the Huawei Band 7 which displays workout modes. A second tap takes you home.
Looking under the Huawei Band 7 reveals the optical heart rate sensor and the two proprietary magnetic charger pins.
This is also where you access the pins to remove the strap. It’s a proprietary shape, so you can’t use a standard watch strap. You have to push the pin down to remove the strap, which is a little tricky to do because the strap tilts in the pin. It’s not something we expect a lot of people to do often, so that’s not a problem.
Third party straps are readily available from online retailers which is great.
Software, fitness and sleep tracking, battery life
The Huawei Band 7 runs a real-time operating system that brings functionality to the home screen and has no installable apps. It’s not really smart in the sense that you can’t easily extend its functionality.
Instead, a watch screen acts as your app. By default, you get a screen for heart rate, SpO2 reading, weather, music control, and activity widget. You can choose which screens appear and rearrange them, but oddly this isn’t done via the screen itself (unlike many smartwatches where a long press on a screen would allow you to delete or hide it). move). You have to go to the settings menu, which is unintuitive and tedious.
Another downside is that you can’t change the side button function, or add a long-lasting action.
The Huawei Health app is available through the Play Store, but once you set it up, Huawei prompts you to download the latest version from its website. There is also an iOS app.
There are 10 watch faces pre-installed and over 4,000 via the Health app. Most are of good quality.
But the lack of features also translates into simplicity. Once you set up the Huawei Band 7 or get used to its default state, it will do a great job of showing you what you want to see.
Let’s talk notifications. You can tell the Band 7 to show notifications from every app, but you’ll only be able to return a response in certain apps. For example, you can’t reply in Viber, but you can in Messenger, and only with predefined phrases like OK, NO, YES, etc. or with an emoji.
Fitness tracking is very robust. You have 96 workout modes at your disposal, which cover everything this reviewer does. You get detailed insights during training. There’s a nifty graph that shows you how engaged you are, based on your heart rate.
I did a side-by-side comparison with my trusty smartwatch, which I wear every day, and found the Huawei Band 7 to be slightly more consistent. While my other wearable device occasionally skipped up or down when reading by bpm, the Huawei Band 7 was more stable.
I’m confident the Band 7 has been accurate in tracking my progress.
I tracked my sleep with the Huawei Band 7 and again compared it to my proven smartwatch. Here the Band 7 was not as accurate.
It thinks you fell asleep the minute you lay down, whereas my other watch would correctly track the time that elapsed before I actually fell asleep. This resulted in my usual device saying I slept just over 6 hours, while the Band 7 said I slept just over 7 hours. That night I slept for 6 hours.
The other problem is the apparently over-exaggerated deep sleep data. One night, the Huawei Band 7 says I got close to two hours, while my other watch clocked 40 minutes. I’ve consistently gotten over 2 hours of playback per night with the Huawei Band 7.
Overall, the Huawei Band 7 gave me great sleep scores, even on nights I know I didn’t sleep well. If you really want to improve your sleep, the Huawei Band 7 will not give you the necessary information and you will think that you sleep well.
To end on a really good note, let’s talk about battery life. Huawei claims up to 14 days of typical usage. We had 8 days of heavy use – about 5 days with notifications on with always-on display on and 4 workouts. The other 3 days band 7 was set to wake up to wake screen, notifications off. We have little doubt that the Huawei Band 7 would last almost, if not a full 14 days if you were just using it as a watch.
The Huawei Band 7 is one of the best options for a capable smart wearable at an affordable price. It’s well-built, has a solid feature set, and solid health and fitness tracking capabilities.
Battery life is excellent, in keeping with this type of device. There’s a color for everyone, and the price is very competitive. The Huawei Band 7’s only serious rival is the Xiaomi Smart Band 7, which shares the price and is just as capable. You will therefore have to decide which of these portable devices is best for you.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with the Huawei Band 7 and we would definitely recommend it to a friend!