Huawei Band 7 review TL;DR: a fantastic, uber-comfy fitness tracker that packs plenty of useful features for an extremely affordable price.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with fitness trackers.
I love the satisfying joy they give me when I hit my 7000 steps a day. But I hate how they get in the way when I’m trying to sleep or type on my laptop, forcing me to remove said tracker in frustration, then forget to put it back on again when I’m finally ready to move.
I also love that little motivational vibration thing trackers do to remind me to ‘get up and move’ when I could easily stay chained to my desk for 16 hours straight. But I hate how the data they give you can sometimes be inaccurate (the Whoop 3.0 had me convinced I’d developed a serious heart condition for a while, but I hear that’s all sorted now with a new sensor in the Whoop 4.0).
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: if a fitness tracker isn’t comfortable to wear 24/7, and it doesn’t give me reliable data, then it’s not fit for purpose in my book. And that means I’d rather forgo trackers altogether. Up until now, that is.
Because it’s safe to say my long-held views on fitness trackers have done a complete 180 since putting the new Huawei Band 7 to the test. Ultra-thin and ridiculously comfortable with a smart watch-worthy touch screen and reliable tracking – all at a very reasonable price - this tracker hasn’t left my wrist since I first strapped in on. In short, I love it. Read on to find out why you’ll love it, too.
Huawei Band 7 review: Price and availability
Huawei Band 7 review: Design and ergonomics
In terms of appearance, the Band 7 looks almost identical to the Band 6, and the specs confirm this is largely the case. The stunning AMOLED display screens are both 1.47 inches in size, with the same 2.5D glass screen protection, the same 194 x 568 resolution, and the same brightness.
There are minuscule increases in the new case’s height and width (the Band 7 is 44.35mm x 26mm to the Band 6’s 43mm x 25.4mm), but these differences are so minute that you’d struggle to spot them when placing the two trackers side by side. However, the redesigned bezels outlining the Band 7 screen are now ‘ultra-narrow’ to draw more focus to the display, and they have a nicely rounded finish that doesn’t catch on clothing.
The Band 7 claims to have a new ‘ultra-thin’ design due to a one-millimetre reduction in the thickness of the body (9.99mm to the previous 10.99mm). Perhaps more impressively, the Band 7 weighs a mere 16 grams without the strap compared to the predecessor’s 18 grams. And while shaving a whole two grams off might not sound like much on paper, the Band 7 is featherlight so it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it until a notification calls you to action.
Altogether, this slightly thinner, lighter design is made all the more impressive when you consider that the Band 7 packs improved tech features including the introduction of an Always-On Display (more on that later).
In terms of looks, the Huawei Band 7 is sleek, stylish, and pretty darn sexy. It certainly doesn’t scream fitness tracker and has all the appearance of a smartwatch, instead. Available in four colours: Graphite Black, Flame Red, Nebula Pink and Wilderness Green (which is very attractive in the flesh), I’m also pleased to report that the strap is highly resistant to dirt and doesn’t look grubby after two days. In fact, mine still looks as good as new.
Made from highly flexibly, super soft silicone that’s extremely comfortable to wear and completely non-irritating - even for those with sensitive skin like me - the strap has lots of holes for extra ventilation, so your wrist never gets sweaty when the temperature rises. And it’s definitely conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.
Huawei Band 7 review: Battery life
I’m not great at charging non-vital devices, which explains why I’ve never invested in an Apple Watch that needs charging every 18 hours. Conversely, Huawei claims that the Band 7 has a 2-week battery life in typical usage scenarios (that includes having the Always-On Display on at all times), and up to 10 days of use in heavy usage scenarios. I’d say these claims are more than fair.
I get around 12 days wear out of my Band 7 before I need to charge it, and I’ve been playing with it a lot. Best of all, a full charge only takes two hours, and an exclusive ‘fast-charging’ feature means you can give it a five-minute charging boost when you’re short on time for an extra two days of use.
Huawei Band 7 review: Health and wellness features
In terms of fitness, health and wellness features, the list is long. The newly upgraded Huawei TruSeen 4.0 hardware supports 24/7 heart rate monitoring and automatic, all-day SpO2 (aka blood oxygen saturation), while the Huawei TruSleep 2.0 tracker records your quality of sleep. Meanwhile, TruRelax monitors your stress levels and can provide you with calming breathing exercises when you need them, plus hydration and medication reminders via the Healthy Living Shamrock.
Aside from the obligatory step counter, the Huawei TruSport fitness system has 96 workout modes covering everything from running, cycling, yoga and CrossFit to more random activities like laser tag, frisbee and parachuting, and you can set customisable goals for each workout mode including distance, length of workout and calories burned.
Removing any workouts you don’t do from the Workouts menu is easy, as is prioritising those you do regularly. And if you go into your Workout Settings, you can turn on the ‘Auto-detect workouts’ function to detect changes in movement for four different activities - walking, running, rowing, and elliptical training – thanks to the device’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensor.
Because the watch is water-resistant to 50 meters in-depth, you’ll find a swimming workout mode where you can customise the length of the pool to calculate how many lengths you’ve swum (it’s advised you should keep this tracker away from steam rooms and saunas), while the 6-axis motion sensor helps to identify swimming strokes such as butterfly, backstroke, freestyle and breaststroke, as well as calories burnt, number of strokes, speed, laps, distance and average SWOLF (aka swimming efficiency). This feature was a very nice surprise and worked very well in the pool.
One useful bonus feature for the Band 7 is the new Workout Status button, where you can quickly access high-level metrics including the Running Ability Index, VO2Max, recovery time, and training effect to get data-driven workout evaluations and tips based on your VO2, fatigue levels and training stress - all features you’d expect from a more premium sports watch.
However, the Band 7 still lacks the enabled GPS of the best running watches or best triathlon watches, so you will still need to carry your phone with you to measure the distance or speed of your runs. Seeing as I usually carry my phone with me on runs anyway to listen to music or guided workouts, I can’t say this bothers me. And for the price, I really don’t think you can complain.
Finally, the AMOLED display also deserves a mention. For the screen size, it has amazing resolution to easily view your workout data and all the various phone notifications available including incoming calls, messages, news alerts, and weather forecasts (there are even Find My Phone and Do Not Disturb functions, plus a torch, stopwatch, alarm, and timer). And the new Always-On Display, which is rare in trackers, gives you a choice of five brightness levels.
The touch-activated screen supports slides as well as taps, and a discreet on/off button on the side also works as a function button, making the Band 7 as functional as a smartwatch.
You get more than 4000 watch faces to choose from on the Huawei Health app (some paid for), and a few of them are modular so you can customise them to see the metrics you want. If that wasn’t enough, you can even turn a treasured pic of your pet or favourite person into a watch face to put a smile on your face.
Huawei Band 7 review: Accuracy
In the name of science, I strapped on my Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor to compare data during runs and workouts. Overall, I have to say the heart rate tracking – courtesy of the optical heart rate sensor on the back - is pretty decent, and it’s definitely on a par with many of the more expensive trackers on the market.
While it could be a little slow at times to respond to decreases in heart rate when I lowered my intensity or pace, I didn’t notice any big swings in heart rate or pace readings either. I also found the steps counter was very precise on walks and was equally reliable in the skipping mode.
The TruSleep 2.0 sleep monitoring technology uses infrared light to identify the time you fall asleep and monitor your sleep stages, sleep breathing and sleep quality. I’m happy to say the ‘falling asleep’ and ‘waking up’ times seemed to measure up, and sleep disturbances seemed to be recorded accurately (like the time my dog decided she wanted breakfast at 4.30 am). But, if I’m honest, I have no idea if the rest of the sleeping stats were accurate, even if I did enjoy looking at them in-depth in the Huawei Health app.
Huawei Band 7 review: Verdict
The Huawei Band 7 isn’t a drastic re-imagination of its predecessor, and it certainly didn’t deliver on the once-rumoured upgrade of built-in GPS.
Don’t get us wrong, small refinements, including the decreased weight and thinner body, are very welcome in terms of increased comfort and wearability, and the Always-On Display is a great add-on. But existing Band 6 owners have no major reason to rush out and upgrade to the Band 7 anytime soon, especially when the two bands are almost identical in appearance and features.
However, don’t let that observation detract you from the fact that the Huawei Band 7 is an amazing fitness tracker sold at an incredibly affordable price – at least half the price of the Fitbit Charge 5.
So, if you’re in the market for a new fitness tracker that’s accurate, attractive, functional, and jam-packed with useful features, the Huawei Band 7 deserves to be at the top of your wish list, if only for the beautiful AMOLED display and fantastic comfort factor. Highly rated.
Huawei Band 7 review: Also consider
The Whoop 4.0 is perfect for die-hard fitness fans who want to track their fitness level and take charge of their recovery, rather than general health stats such as steps and water consumption. The monthly subscription fee might prove too costly for those wanting general fitness tracking, though.
The Fitbit Charge 5 provides you with a Daily Readiness Score which is essentially the same as the Strain Score in the Whoop App. To access it, you need a Fitbit Premium subscription which will also cost you a monthly fee, just in the case of the Whoop App. Like the Whoop 4.0, it also has excellent sleep tracking capabilities.