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Announcing New Honor Choice Smartwatch  

Honor is making a bold statement with its resurgence in the Indian market, introducing the Honor Choice smartwatch as a pivotal element of its growing ecosystem. Priced at an attractive Rs. 5,999, this device is not just another addition to the crowded smartwatch arena.

It aims to carve out a niche for itself by blending sophisticated design with robust fitness tracking capabilities. As I embarked on this review, my curiosity was piqued by Honor’s commitment to offering a blend of style and functionality that caters to the needs of the modern fitness enthusiast.

This review delves into the Honor Choice smartwatch, exploring whether it lives up to the hype and whether it deserves a spot on your wrist as your new workout companion.

Design and Build Quality

The Honor Choice smartwatch impresses right from the moment it is unboxed, showcasing a design that strikes a balance between elegance and functionality. The centerpiece of its design is a stunning 1.95-inch high-resolution screen that boasts up to 550-nits of peak brightness, ensuring that your watch face is visible even in bright sunlight.

It’s worth noting that the smartwatch lacks automatic brightness adjustment, which can be a bit of an inconvenience in darker environments, occasionally leading to a blinding experience when checking the time at night.

The design is characterized by its significantly large bezels that frame the display, lending it a distinct look that might not appeal to everyone. Yet, the smartwatch compensates for this with a classy-looking metal frame that adds a touch of sophistication to the overall appearance.

On the right-hand side of the watch is what appears to be a dial, but is actually a cleverly disguised button—the only physical button on the device. This design choice simplifies interaction with the smartwatch, maintaining a sleek and uncluttered side profile.

The build quality of the Honor Choice smartwatch is commendable. The metal frame not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also contributes to its durability, promising longevity even with daily wear and tear. The tactile feedback from the solitary button is satisfying, with just the right amount of clickiness to confirm user inputs without feeling too stiff or too loose.

Despite its robust construction and appealing design, the smartwatch does come with a white silicone strap that may not be to everyone’s liking.

The strap employs a tuck-under mechanism for securing the watch on the wrist, which can be somewhat fiddly and less convenient than more traditional clasp mechanisms. Additionally, the strap’s white color may require more frequent cleaning to maintain its appearance, and it has been reported to cause skin irritation for some users, particularly in hot and humid conditions.

Strap and Comfort

The silicone material chosen for the Honor Choice smartwatch’s strap is lightweight and flexible, which are desirable qualities for any wearable. Silicone is known for its durability and resistance to sweat and water, making it a popular choice for fitness-oriented devices.

The white colour of the strap poses a practical challenge. While visually appealing at first, it is prone to discolouration and requires more frequent cleaning to maintain its pristine appearance. This maintenance aspect can be a drawback for users who prefer a low-maintenance accessory.

Comfort is paramount when it comes to wearables, and the Honor Choice smartwatch’s strap has its pros and cons in this area. The silicone strap is soft and does not feel cumbersome on the wrist, allowing for prolonged wear without discomfort.

The mechanism for securing the strap—a tuck-under style—might not be to everyone’s liking. It can be fiddly to adjust and secure, especially for users who prefer the quick Snap-On convenience of traditional buckle straps.

An important aspect to consider is the strap’s compatibility with sensitive skin, particularly in varying climates. Some users have reported skin irritation after wearing the watch for extended periods, which could be exacerbated by the hot and humid conditions prevalent in certain regions.

The combination of sweat, silicone material, and friction can lead to discomfort, making it imperative for users with sensitive skin to consider this factor.

Unexpected feedback from the strap was its tendency to make noise when in contact with certain surfaces, such as while typing on a laptop with a plastic construction. This minor annoyance might not be a deal-breaker but is worth noting for users who are sensitive to such disturbances.

Given these considerations, it may be advisable for potential users to explore alternative strap options. The market offers a variety of strap materials and designs that can be more suited to individual preferences for comfort, maintenance, and skin sensitivity.

Replacing the strap can enhance the overall user experience, tailoring the Honor Choice smartwatch more closely to personal needs and lifestyle.

Operating System and Usability

The smartwatch’s navigation is centred around a 1.95-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, which stands out for its responsiveness. Comparable to a smartphone from a few years back, the screen allows for effortless swiping and tapping, ensuring that interactions with the device are fluid and intuitive.

The primary method of navigation is the touchscreen, complemented by a single button on the side of the watch.

Pressing this button from the watch display screen brings up a menu of apps laid out in a “honeycomb” structure, reminiscent of the grid menus found on Apple Watches.

This layout is not only visually appealing but also facilitates easy access to various features and applications, making the process of finding and launching apps more convenient.

One notable omission is the automatic brightness adjustment feature. The smartwatch can reach up to 550 units of peak brightness, which is impressive for visibility in bright outdoor conditions.

The lack of automatic adjustment means that users may find the screen overwhelmingly bright in darker environments, potentially leading to discomfort. This is a minor drawback in an otherwise user-friendly interface.

The app menu’s familiar, honeycomb-like arrangement not only makes it easy to navigate but also adds an element of familiarity for users who may have experience with other smartwatch interfaces. This design choice underscores Honor’s intention to provide an operating system that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, catering to the modern user’s expectations.

The overall usability of the Honor Choice smartwatch is enhanced by its responsive screen and well-thought-out navigation system. Users can easily monitor their fitness activities, check notifications, and access various health metrics directly from their wrist, making the smartwatch a convenient companion for daily use.

The seamless interaction with the device, coupled with the straightforward layout of the app menu, ensures that users of all tech-savviness levels can enjoy the benefits of the smartwatch without a steep learning curve.

Health and Fitness Tracking

At the heart of the Honor Choice smartwatch’s fitness capabilities is its activity-tracking feature. The device offers a straightforward yet effective way to monitor daily physical activity through three concentric circles that display the number of steps taken, minutes spent in medium to high-intensity activity, and calories burned.

This visual representation provides users with an at-a-glance understanding of their progress towards daily fitness goals, encouraging an active lifestyle.

The smartwatch’s fitness tracking accuracy is generally commendable, especially when it comes to detecting periods of increased physical effort during workouts.

Whether engaging in kickboxing, weight training, or various forms of strength and conditioning exercises, the Honor Choice smartwatch reliably registers the intensity of the activities, allowing users to track their performance over time effectively.

However, the step counter feature has been noted to exhibit some inconsistencies, with instances of the device congratulating users for meeting their step goals while remaining stationary.

Despite this, the overall accuracy of the fitness tracking is sufficient for casual to moderately serious fitness enthusiasts to monitor their activities.

Beyond activity tracking, the Honor Choice smartwatch is equipped with several health monitoring features that contribute to a holistic view of the user’s health. These include:

Continuous monitoring provides insights into heart health and the intensity of workouts. Measures blood oxygen levels, which is important for assessing overall health and fitness. Monitors variations in stress throughout the day, offering users a way to manage and reduce stress.

Provides detailed insights into sleep patterns, including duration and quality of sleep, which is crucial for recovery and overall well-being.

Accessing more detailed data on these metrics requires an additional tap after swiping right from the watch face, a minor inconvenience that doesn’t detract significantly from the user experience.

The Honor Choice smartwatch includes a variety of workout modes to cater to different fitness interests and activities. This versatility ensures that users can accurately track performance across a wide range of exercises, from more traditional workouts like running and cycling to specific training sessions like kickboxing.

The inclusion of multiple workout modes enhances the smartwatch’s utility as a fitness tracker, making it a valuable tool for users with diverse fitness routines.

Honor Health Smartphone App

Pairing the Honor Choice smartwatch with the Honor Health app is a straightforward process, especially when using Honor smartphones like the Honor X9b, which comes preloaded with the app. The seamless integration between the smartwatch and the smartphone via the app allows for an efficient setup process, enabling users to quickly start tracking their health and fitness activities.

The Honor Health app offers a range of features that complement the data collected by the smartwatch. Users can dive into detailed analyses of their workout sessions, monitor sleep patterns, track heart rate trends over time, and get a clear picture of their stress levels and SpO2 measurements.

The app provides guided workout options, which are particularly beneficial for users looking to vary their fitness routines or start new workout regimes from the comfort of their homes. However, it’s worth noting that these guided workouts are available only through the smartphone app and do not directly interact with the smartwatch.

Despite the initial smooth experience, some challenges emerge, particularly when switching devices. For instance, transitioning from an Honor smartphone to another brand like Samsung may introduce complications due to differences in account integration and app functionality.

The absence of a Google login option on non-Honor devices can lead to difficulties in syncing data and maintaining a cohesive health and fitness tracking experience. Such discrepancies highlight the importance of a consistent and flexible software ecosystem that accommodates various user scenarios.

Upon switching devices, users may encounter the need to create a new Honor ID, leading to potential data loss when repairing the smartwatch with a new phone. This situation underscores the delicate balance between maintaining user privacy and ensuring data continuity across devices.

The challenge lies in creating a system that securely transfers user data without compromising privacy, ensuring that users do not lose valuable health and fitness insights.

Connectivity and Integration

The Honor Choice smartwatch is designed to be compatible with a wide range of smartphones, leveraging Bluetooth technology for connectivity. When paired with Honor smartphones, such as the Honor X9b, users can expect a seamless integration experience, thanks to the preloaded Honor Health app, which syncs data effortlessly between the smartwatch and the phone.

This ensures that users can access their health and fitness data, receive notifications, and even manage calls directly from their wrists. Users may encounter some challenges when pairing the Honor Choice smartwatch with non-Honor smartphones. The primary issue arises in the form of app compatibility and account synchronization. For instance, the Honor Health app’s functionality and ease of setup can differ on devices from other manufacturers.

The absence of a Google login option on non-Honor devices complicates the process of syncing data and maintaining the continuity of health and fitness records when switching phones.

This can deter the user experience by requiring the creation of a new Honor ID and potentially leading to the loss of previously collected data when re-pairing the smartwatch with a new device. Such hurdles underscore the importance of a universally adaptable software ecosystem that can seamlessly integrate across different brands and operating systems.

The challenges highlighted with device compatibility and integration emphasize the need for Honor to develop a more unified software ecosystem. An ecosystem that supports easy login options across all devices, including the use of common accounts like Google, can significantly enhance user experience.

This approach would not only simplify the setup and syncing processes but also ensure that users do not lose valuable health and fitness data when changing devices. Moreover, it would reinforce the attractiveness of Honor’s smartwatch to a broader audience, making it a more competitive option in the saturated smartwatch market.

For Honor, addressing these integration challenges is crucial for the continued success and appeal of its smartwatch line, including the Honor Choice smartwatch. Enhancing the compatibility of the Honor Health app across various devices and operating systems will likely be a key area of focus.

Improvements in this domain could lead to a more seamless and user-friendly experience, encouraging wider adoption of Honor’s wearable devices.

Final Thoughts

The Honor Choice smartwatch emerges as a noteworthy contender in the bustling smartwatch market, especially for those invested in the Honor ecosystem or looking for a device that balances functionality with aesthetic appeal. With its sharp, high-resolution display, responsive interface, and solid build quality, it offers an attractive package for users seeking a reliable fitness and health-tracking companion.

The smartwatch does not come without its set of challenges. The lack of automatic brightness adjustment, the silicone strap’s comfort and durability issues, and the occasional inaccuracies in step counting slightly mar an otherwise impressive offering.

The experience of using the Honor Health smartphone app, while generally positive on Honor devices, reveals significant room for improvement in cross-device compatibility and account synchronization.

The Honor Choice smartwatch stands at a crossroads between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch, attempting to offer the best of both worlds. Priced at Rs 5,999, its value proposition is diluted by the competitive landscape, where similar or lower-priced alternatives offer comparable or better experiences.

Yet, for those deeply integrated into Honor’s developing ecosystem or for users attracted by its design and core functionalities, the Honor Choice smartwatch is a worthy investment.

Looking ahead, Honor’s focus should be on enhancing the software ecosystem to ensure a seamless experience across various devices, improving the strap design for better comfort and durability, and refining its health and fitness tracking algorithms for greater accuracy. Addressing these areas could elevate the Honor Choice smartwatch from a competent contender to a leading choice in its price segment.

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