Huawei Band 4 experience – and why I returned it…

I was looking for a device that tracked some basic health functions. I don't do sport, so I don't need GPS.

The Huawei Band 4 is £30 (free home delivery from most retailers) and comes with a black, pink or orange strap.

If you buy two on Huawei’s website, you can them both for £50. However, the second one must be pink or orange, and delivery is £5.

I have a Huawei P30 Pro phone, so the Huawei Health app was pre-loaded. Syncing and updating the Band was simple.

First day
  • The Band counts sleeps of under three hours as a nap and it detected my nap perfectly.
First night
  • I went to bed around 2am. I woke up twice in the night. My alarm was set up 8am but as it’s the weekend, I snoozed it twice (8am and 8:10am) and went back to sleep until 10:00am.
  • Whilst the Band successfully detected my 2am-10:00am time in bed, it didn’t realise that I turned off an alarm, so it thought I actually awoke four times through the sleep, which skewed the results as it thought I kept waking up.
  • When my phone alarm went off, the Band vibrated (nice feature).
  • Whilst the Band is clever enough to know about phone alarms (though it didn't detect my Android-based Lenovo Smart Clock alarms), it didn’t seem to be clever enough to realise my snoozing was not a normal ‘wake up in the night’ and count the last two hours as, basically, a nap.
Second day
  • It detected my nap perfectly.
Second night
  • I went to bed around 12:00am and woke around 7:00am.
  • The Band said I was sleeping between 3:45am and 7:00am.
  • In reality, I went to the bathroom around 3:45am.
  • The Band had no recollection of me sleeping between 12:00am and 3:45am, causing the app to tell me I have had insufficient sleep and having skewed results/sleep recommendations.
Other notes
  • The heart rate tracker appeared to work perfectly fine. It seems to measure my heartrate many times per hour.
  • The battery life, including with continued heart rate tracking and Huawei TruSleep enabled, was excellent. Though I didn't keep it long enough to know for sure, I expect it to last at least five days between charge. The manual says charging takes around 1.5 hours.
  • I unfortunately had to turn off the ‘raise to wake’ function as the screen kept coming on randomly whilst I was moving around in bed. There is no automatic brightness option (either via. an ambient light sensor or by downloading the local time of day) so this got annoying at night. A time-scheduled 'raise to wake' would be a nice option.
  • When you press and hold on the Band home screen, it vibrates and allows you to change the clock face. However, when moving around in bed at night, if you rest the screen anywhere on your body, it not only turns the screen on but vibrates randomly through the night and potentially messes with your clock face. There appears to be no ‘lock screen at night’ function.
  • Whilst it tracks SpO2, you need to trigger this reading manually. This is presumably because it takes 30 seconds or so, and you should be still. All fair enough, but if someone was hoping for continuous SpO2 tracking, it’s not realistic. Not on this device, anyway. Not sure about other devices.
  • There appears to be no way to share the data between Google Fit, Runkeeper etc. There was no ‘Data sharing’ option anywhere in my version of the Huawei Health app (v11.0.4.523).
 

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