It’s pretty tough to justify introducing a new fitness tracker to the market. There’s not much else to improve on besides making tracking more accurate — the most pressing problems are on the software side, where companies are still trying to figure out how to help you use all the data that’s being collected. But, credit to Huawei — their new Huawei Fit tracker manages to separate itself from the pack by promising a battery life of nearly a week and more accurate heart rate monitoring.
The Fit is a round 39.5 mm aluminum smartwatch that can be fitted with 18 mm or 20 mm bands, making it one of the smaller options on the market — great news, because most wearables still seem too large for smaller wrists. Huawei is taking the Pebble route with Fit by using a low-power display, trading color for battery life. It’s not quite the same as a Pebble, though — Huawei is using a black and white 208 x 208 resolution memory LCD touch display. They say that allows the device to wring six days of battery life out of an 80 mAh battery, which should charge back up in two hours using the magnetic charger. Oh, and great news for swimmers — it’s IP68 waterproof.
All of the standard fitness tracking features are here, including step counting, distance traveled, calories burned, VO2 max calculation, sleep tracking, and automatic detection of activity (running, cycling, swimming, and so on). But, the big draw will be continuous heart rate tracking. Huawei says their sensor has higher signal strength and can account for variation in skin tones that could throw other sensors off. Heart rate can be taken at a single moment using the app, but it’ll also be automatically turned on when a workout is started. Or, Fit can continually monitor heart rate over a four-hour span. Whichever way it’s used, the data is logged in Huawei’s app and analyzed to detect possible health problems or to help improve pace during workouts.
That leads into Huawei’s new running coach.Using that heart rate data along with the rest of the fitness stats recorded, Huawei’s app can help runners train for 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon races. Finding a steady pace can be the toughest part of training, and by helping runners maintain a steady pace based on their usual physical exertion, Huawei is making the Fit look like a pretty intriguing device.
Despite having a touchscreen, the Huawei Fit isn’t meant to be a fully-fledged smartwatch. The hardware inside is minimal, but it is enough to power some smartphone notifications. Fit will be able to display incoming calls, which can be dismissed or answered. The watch will also have alerts for incoming messages, although those messages won’t be displayed on screen. It’s not an Android Wear watch, let’s put it that way.
Fitness trackers are a hard sell right now, but the Huawei Fit has a lot going for it. It’s lightweight, on the smaller side, has terrific battery life, and not only should it take more accurate heart rate readings, its companion app can do more with that information. More importantly, it’s reasonably priced at $130. The case of the Huawei Fit comes in silver or grey, while bands are available in black, blue, and orange. It’ll hit Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg starting today, with the black model starting out as a 60-day Best Buy exclusive.