In this Honor Watch 4 review, we’ll try to determine if this budget smartwatch can cater for all your health and fitness needs and offer everything you need when compared to the more premium models.
If you love the look of the Apple Watch but you’re put off by the extensive price tag, call off the search, Honor have just the thing. The Honor Watch 4 smartwatch has 12 professional workout modes and delivers health stats, including steps, stress levels, sleep, and GPS distance travelled, with impressive accuracy – all for an enticingly low price.
The smartwatch also packs an ultra-bright AMOLED touchscreen, which isn’t too dissimilar from the one you might find on the Apple Watch Series 9, Fitbit Versa 4 or many fitness trackers – and there’s also the impressive battery life. Is it worth considering? Let's find out.
Honor Watch 4 review
Honor Watch 4 review: price and availability
The Honor Watch 4 was launched in July 2023 and is available to buy now at Honor UK for a recommended retail price of £130 (approx. $165/ AU$ 248.49), as well as third-party retailers. The watch comes in two colours, black and gold. I've been using the gold model for this review.
Honor Watch 4 review: specifications
- Dimensions: 45.3 mm × 39.1mm ×11.2 mm
- Weight: approximately 32g (without the strap)
- Display type: 1.75-inch, AMOLED colour screen
- Display resolution: 450 x 390 pixels, 340 PPI
- Case material: 6 series alluminum alloy middle-frame
- Battery life: up to 14 days in smartwatch mode (GPS off)
- Compatibility: Android 9.0 or higher version, iOS 11.0 or higher version
- Water rating: 5ATM
- Connectivity: GPS, Bluetooth 5.2
- Speaker: yes
- Microphone: yes
Honor Watch 4 review: design and build quality
At first glance (and on first wear), the Honor Watch 4 feels sporty and, well, a little bit cool. It's sleek and lightweight, with a discreet pop of graffiti writing on its soft silicone strap. From afar, the super AMOLED rectangular screen is crisp and bright and very similar to the one you’ll find on an Apple watch - it works like one, too - and is agile and responsive.
To wake it up, simply give it a tap. The screen display then cleverly adapts to its surroundings thanks to its 60Hz refresh rate and sensor, which automatically adjusts the brightness based on your lighting conditions.
The strap itself is also comfy and flexible, and when adjusting, it tucks into itself, making it easier for people with different wrist sizes to wear the watch comfortably without the strap flapping about and overlapping. Once on, I can honestly say that I almost forgot it was there. It’s not bulky, and at 32g and just 11.2mm thick, it sits nicely under my jumper or jacket.
The sizing and comfort of the watch make it perfect for bedtime too. It's comfy enough to wear throughout the night, unlike other models, which can feel stocky and often catch on things.
The Honor Watch 4 is also a good example of an everyday smartwatch. Its rectangular screen with its rounded and polished edges rubs shoulders with the likes of some of the more premium watches on the market, such as the Apple Watch Series 8 or the Fitbit Sense 2 - but it comes in at half the price. My 10-year-old can’t wait to get her hands on it to show her friends her ‘Apple-esque’ watch - and as it stands, she can happily borrow it with that price tag.
Honor Watch 4 review: features
To wake up the watch, either a turn of the wrist (you can set it to the always-on mode, but be prepared to sacrifice some battery life in the process) or tap the side button - which, when pressed again, enables you to access a multitude of apps and functions including your activity records, workout status as well as your sleep records, a torch and the weather.
There’s no crown like the other devices, but with the help of the touchscreen, you have everything you need to scroll and enjoy the app menu. The button is for simply going back and forth - and believe it or not, during the testing period, the button hasn’t once activated by mistake. It’s well-placed, user-friendly and doesn’t stick out.
Honor Watch 4 review: fitness tracking
To start a workout, you’ll press the side button, select workout and then scroll through the activities until you find your sport. As a runner, I enjoyed working my way through the 13 running courses - and especially used the 36-minute Aerobic Endurance Run; just a warning, though - don’t expect to press and go.
The watch takes a while to find the GPS satellites - I found myself either waiting for them to connect - or just skipping the process and going anyway. No one has time for hanging around - yet I found that the GPS soon kicked in and once it did, the distance and speed accuracy seemed pretty on point for a non-dedicated running watch.
I liked how the display showed the time of day, your time of exercising, your heart rate in beats per minute, your pace and your distance. The heart rate graph was handy, too, which displayed which aerobic zone I was working (e.g. aerobic, anaerobic or fat-burning). This made it easier for me to pace myself and not burn out - although, be warned - it wasn’t always as accurate as I hoped.
As you track your workout, you can also scroll through your music by scrolling left, pause your workout by scrolling right - or you can scroll down if you want to view your steps, calories, fat-burning rate, heart rate, average pace or training stress - the stats are all there as clear as day and I especially liked the Fitness Age feature which for one told me that my fitness age was 21 (20 years younger than my actual age) and if I’m hitting a good level of fitness.
I like the stress monitor too, which monitored my heart rate and told me that most of the time, my stress levels are below average - my nearest and dearest beg to differ.
Honor Watch 4 review: sleep tracking
For sleep, you’ll get a breakdown of the key sleep stages, including REM. It also captures sleep duration and time fallen asleep and generates a sleep score and some basic analysis of time spent in different sleep stages.
I’m pretty consistent with my sleep routine, and actually, I felt that the Honor was pretty accurate, with intricate graphs showing me how much deep sleep, light sleep and REM Sleep I’ve had each night.
I also get a sleep overview every morning with a summary showing me my time in bed - and my total time asleep, which is handy considering the first hour of my sleep is often me winding down and reading. During the day, you’ll also get a gentle nudge to move if you stay sedentary for too long.
Honor Watch 4 review: other features
Compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, the Honor Watch 4 has a built-in music player, which is easy enough to sync. My smartphone notifications came through clearly, as well as any calls via Bluetooth, as long as you’re in fairly quiet surroundings - it's a good function to have.
It was easy to mute your notifications (it stores a hefty 29 in all) by simply scrolling down, where you’ll find the dashboard, which gives you everything you need from volume control, your alarm clock and your torch button. I loved that I could use the watch to search for my phone too. Press the alarm button and find your phone via its ring - reassurance at its finest when your phone is buried deep in your gym bag.
There’s also a nice selection of watch faces to choose from. To select these, you’ll need to use the HONOR Health app, which is your main hub for your stats and watch customization.
I stuck to the Climbing face with my steps and movement ring on the show because, actually, on the watch itself, the movement ring function doesn’t show how many steps or how much movement you’ve done - you have to go into your workout stats or view your history for that - which I found a bit annoying. You can’t actually view the previous day’s history that easily, either.
Instead, you have to select the date of the particular day to get to all the information stored. It’s not that tricky I know but then again it’s not as intuitive as I expected it to be. I also found it hard to overlook the fact that there’s no way to make payments with the Honor 4. Nor will you have the option to operate a voice assistant, such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
Many times I pressed the side button and tried to speak into the watch. It didn’t work! You also aren’t able to download apps from the Google Play Store or similar - you have to work with what you’ve got - there’s not a bad selection, but you aren’t spoiled for choice with access to the likes of Strava or Steaks.
Honor Watch 4 review: battery life and charging
The watch charges its battery with the typical simple charging base that has a pair of magnetic contacts.
I won’t lie I was pretty excited to have a battery that lasted 14 days - yet not once did it hit 14 days. That said, the 451mAh battery did last me a good 8 days or so before running out of juice - not bad considering other brands can last a day - or even less!
Perhaps if I turned the automatic brightness off, didn’t answer the occasional call, and turned all the other metering features off - day and night, it would have lasted longer, but I’m not complaining.
The battery life on the Honor was refreshing and gave me one less to think about in life - plus, the battery charging was pretty quick, too, taking around 70 minutes to charge fully.
Honor Watch 4 review: verdict
The Honor Watch 4 is a nicely built watch and well-performing smartwatch, offering good fitness health features and smart basics including alarms, weather updates, breathing exercises and message notifications at an attractive price.
It doesn’t look or feel at all budget as I’d feared - yet it doesn’t quite have the premium feel of the Apple Watch or the like. However, the addition of GPS, its easy-to-scroll HONORHealth app and fitness workouts coupled with the good battery life make the watch excellent value for money.
We'd recommend it to people who aren't keen on getting an all-singing and all-dancing running watch but would like to have the option to track their physical activities and at least gain an insight into their improving (well hopefully) health and fitness levels.