Fitness bands have come a long way over the last few generations and were extremely popular in 2019. These affordable wearables don’t just track activity stats but serve multiple conveniences like letting you peek at incoming notifications, incoming calls or to help you find your phone.
In India, the two most popular affordable fitness trackers this year were HONOR Band 5 and Mi Band 4. Both of these bands are quite similar on paper – in terms of features and price – but vary a lot in terms of practical experience on offer. So, which one should you buy? Let’s stack them against one another to help you decide.
The Mi Band 4 has a pill-shaped core that fits inside a silicon band. The core embeds the display underscored by a home button that sits flush with the main body and is hardly conspicuous.
In comparison, the Honor Band 5 has a rectangular screen and is more mini-watch-like. The core has a clearly marked home button underlying the same size screen. Its textured strap has a proper buckle and looks so much more premium than the plain snap-on silicone strap of the Mi Band 4.
More importantly, the Honor Band 5 fastens more securely on our wrist than the Mi Band 4 that can come loose with intense activity. Both of these bands are water-resistant up to 50m and can be worn in a pool.
We’d say that the honor Band 5 is more thoughtfully designed. Unlike the Mi Band 4, which is available only in Black, Band 5 comes in three attractive color options – midnight navy, coral pink, and meteorite black.
Both the Honor Band 5 and the Mi Band 5 have 0.95-inch AMOLED color screens with 120×240-pixel resolution. Yet the display feels a bit smaller on the Mi Band 4 because of the substantial bottom bezel. The Honor Band 5 tactfully covers this void with a prominent circular home button.
Both screens are similar when it comes to quality and brightness. The Honor Band 5 display, however, felt a tad more responsive.
Performance and features
The Honor Band 5 and Mi Band 4 are quite well matched in terms of features. Both of these bands support notification sync, weather forecast, have heart rate monitor and can track sleep. Basics such as incoming call alerts, idle alerts alarms, stopwatch, timer, silent mode, goal setting, music playback controls and ‘Find my phone’ are all covered too.
The Honor Band 5 offers a couple of extras like the option for monitoring of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and the ability to act as a remote camera shutter. We should give it to Honor, when it comes to more precise tracking. They use Huawei’s TruSleep and TruSeen technology, which is way better than a lot of other tracking technology available in the market.
As for activity tracking, both bands can track your steps, swim styles and offer numerous workout modes. Different training plans offered by Huawei Health apps are relatively better presented.
Battery Life and Charging
The Mi Band 4 has a slightly bigger battery capacity than the Honor Band 5. The battery backup on the two bands is quite similar, though. With our usage, both lasted for around a week on a full charge.
Both of these bands come with proprietary charging docs. Charging was relatively more comfortable on the Honor Band 5 since we didn’t have to pull the core out of the band – unlike on the Xiaomi tracker. The band 5 charger also clings more firmly as compared to the proprietary charger of the Mi Band 4.
Both of these bands offer great value for their respective prices, but the Honor Band 5 is clearly the better choice here. It’s more thoughtfully designed, has a more appealing interface, is more accurate at fitness tracking, and offers a couple of extra features like SPO2 measurements and the ability to act as a remote camera shutter.