The Honor Band 7 is a very minor upgrade on a budget fitness tracker that still offers good features for the price, but doesn’t push the boundaries of what is already on offer at that rate.
- Good features for the price
- Nice display and battery performance
- Easy to use
- Still no onboard GPS
- Not hugely different from Band 6
- Not the most attractive tracker
- 5ATM water rating:Take the Honor Band 7 to depths of up to 50 metres
- OLED touchscreen display:Bright enough to be easily viewed outdoors
- 96 workout modes:Including swimming, running, rowing and more
The Honor Band 7 is the fitness tracker update to the Honor Band 6, which launched in 2021 and was surprisingly a solid-performing budget option for those that wanted a good mix of metrics with a bigger screen than most similarly priced trackers.
The Band 7 doesn’t see Honor make sweeping changes though, focusing on giving it a more attractive look than its predecessor, whilst also providing a boost on the connectivity front.
It sticks to a similar affordable price, but is there enough here to upgrade, and is it a better option than similarly priced trackers like the Huawei Band 7 and Xiaomi Mi Band 7? Let’s dive in.
Design and screen
- Polymer case and non-removable silicone strap
- Comes in three colours
- 5ATM water rating
Honor hasn’t strayed too far from the design of the Band 6 and that’s a recurring theme when you see how much is actually different on the smarts front as well.
You’re still getting a 43mm-sized case that at 10.99mm thick, is just a tiny bit thinner than the Honor Band 6 (11mm). Honor has used what it calls a ‘metal spraying process’ on that case, which essentially means it’s trying to give it the look of a metal case, but it doesn’t quite do the trick. It feels a slight touch more attractive than the 6, but you still know there’s plastic there.
Honor has stuck to a solitary physical button that you can press to wake up the wearable or get to the watch face screen, or double tap to get to the main menu screen. It has ditched the red line from that button, which didn’t seem to serve much purpose other than looking a bit out of place.
That screen is the same 1.47-inch, 194 x 368 pixel resolution display from the Band 6, with 2.5D Gorilla Glass to give it a boost in the durability department. It’s a very good screen to find on a tracker at this price. It’s sharp, offers good colours, gets pretty bright too and I had no issues using it in brighter outdoor light, plus it was easy to view in the pool as well. One thing you do have to live without is being able to keep the screen always-on, but the raise to wake is pretty responsive on the whole.
The strap attached to it is a nice, soft touch silicone-style material that you can’t remove unfortunately, but along with the three case colours, you are given the option to pick from green, pink and black shades. There’s a pretty standard buckle included but it’s one that stays put during workouts so you won’t have to worry that it’s going to go walkies.
There’s no change in the water rating either. Honor sticks to a 5ATM cap, so it’s still fit for being dunked in water up to 50 metres depth. I’ve kept it strapped on in the shower and taken it for swims and it’s survived to keep on tracking without issue.
Fitness and health tracking
- 96 workout modes
- 24/7 heart rate and SpO2 monitoring
- Connected GPS
While there might be some minor differences in the design department, it’s hard to find anything that’s different in terms of how the Band 7 tracks your health and fitness compared to the Band 6.
If you want something to keep track of your steps, the Honor Band 7 can do that and throughout my testing it was generally within 500 steps of Garmin’s daily step tracking. Inside of the improving Honor Health app you can see when you’ve met your daily step goal along with a record of exercise minutes and active calories burned.
There’s an optical sensor on board to monitor heart rate 24/7 and while heart rate ranges generally matched up with Garmin’s reliable continuous monitoring, resting heart rate was typically higher and anywhere from 5-10 bpm higher on some days. That sensor will also let you monitor SpO2 levels, capturing latest readings, ranges and low levels that are worth looking into.The data isn’t really put to much meaningful use and Honor’s decision to explain oxygen saturation via a Wikipedia definition is certainly an interesting move.
Heart rate tracking (or more specifically heart rate variability) drives stress tracking, giving you a breakdown of stress levels and you do get a nice breakdown of the stressful and less stressful periods of your day.
You do have automatic sleep tracking and you can see your previous night’s sleep and sleep duration on the tracker and a breakdown of sleep stages along with a sleep score. If you take a nap, it’ll capture that too. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how the sleep tracking performed. Data like sleep duration, sleep stage breakdowns and sleep scores were nicely in line with the Garmin watch and Oura Ring 3 I was wearing to bed as well.
If you want to track exercise with the Honor Band 7, you’ve got your pick of 96 workout modes once again, with a core of those modes giving you more activity-specific metrics. These include runs, cycling and pool swims as well as indoor workouts like rowing.
There’s still no built-in GPS, so you’ll need to lean on your phone’s GPS to track outdoor exercise, and luckily the stability of that connection seems to have improved. If you don’t use that GPS support then unsurprisingly, accuracy is not great. An 11km run was clocked at 9.24km without a phone connection. For pool swims, it was 75 metres out on a 2,000 metre swim with average stroke rate and pace having a noticeable disparity compared to that of a Garmin and the Form Swim Goggles. When used during indoor rowing workouts, stroke counts and average stroke rates were pretty similar so I was happy with the performance there.
Heart rate performance for steady paced workouts performed surprisingly well and weren’t too far off a chest strap monitor, though it was also inconsistent for some indoor workouts. The good fit does mean that you can get some good exercise HR data at times, which you can’t say for a lot of trackers at this price.
Smartwatch features and performance
- Music playback controls
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Uses Honor Health app
When it comes to features outside of the tracking experience, things are still largely the same with the Honor Band 7. You’ve still got a nice collection of colourful watch faces, though you can only store a maximum of two faces at a time on the wearable itself.
You can swipe from that watch screen to see your notifications, though some will only let you simply read parts of the message like the subject line of an email received.
You’ve got useful music playback controls, weather forecasts and features like a find my phone mode, a torch, timers, a stopwatch and the ability to set alarms.
Honor doesn’t talk about processors or the RAM the Band is packing, but I didn’t see any issue on the performance front. It’s not laggy when swiping through screens or launching modes, and getting to grips with what this tracker can do doesn’t take long at all. It’s added Bluetooth 5.2 to improve connectivity support between your phone and the tracker, but I’m not convinced this is the sort of addition to really shout about, nor does it make a noticeable difference during day-to-day use.
If you like something that lets you know that an email has landed or you want an update on a sports score, or even simply a track and check the weather, the Honor Band 7 does a perfectly fine job of it.
If you want something that will let you pay your way via NFC, give you apps and take music on the go, you’re going to have to pay more money for a tracker or smartwatch that will give you those features.
- Up to 14-day battery life
- 10-days in heavy usage
- Fast charging mode
Honor hasn’t budged from the battery numbers it promised on the Honor Band 6. You can expect up to 14-days in typical usage or 10-days in heavy use, which means turning on features like continuous health monitoring and regular exercise tracking.
It’s no surprise to find the daily drop-off is around the same as its predecessor. I saw a battery drop on average of around 10% and that was with regular notifications firing over, some outdoor or indoor exercise tracking and with continuous heart rate and SpO2 monitoring. That does equate to 10-days, which is what Honor promises here.
When it does drop low, you get a pretty useful fast charging mode that will get you back from 0-100% in under an hour. It’s the same charging cable as well, which does enable that fast charging and securely locks in place via magnets on the back of the device.
So it’s still a good battery in fitness tracker terms, but doesn’t offer any improvements on its predecessor ultimately.
Should you buy it?
If you want an affordable fitness tracker with a good screen: If you want a fitness tracker with a bigger, higher quality screen than you’ll find on most similarly priced trackers then the Band 7 does deliver on that front.
You want a massively upgraded Honor fitness tracker: Some design tweaks aside, this is effectively the Honor Band 6 in a slightly improved look.
The Honor Band 7 might have tweaked the look but underneath it is pretty much the same fitness tracker, which is a shame after the last one made a really good impression. If you were hoping for a radically improved tracker then unfortunately that’s not the case here, but it’s still a good, solid, affordable tracker to consider.
How we test
We thoroughly test every smartwatch we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Worn as our main tracker during the testing period
Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices
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The Honor Band 7 can receive and display notifications from apps including WhatsApp.
You can’t answer calls on the Honor Band 7 due to the lack of an onboard speaker and microphone to enable it, though you can accept and reject incoming calls that you can then deal with on your connected phone.
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