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Huawei puts a smartphone in a smartwatch

Huawei has added more smartphone-like functionality to its upcoming Band 6, which is set to launch on 18 June.

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We know a smartphone when we see one: a tall, touchscreen panel. Huawei has implemented this form factor on a user’s wrist with the HUAWEI Band 6, which offers smartphone features directly from the smartwatch.

The new smartwatch adopts a new 1.46” AMOLED screen with a physical button on the side, so apps look more akin to their smartphone variants and the side-mounted physical button is familiar to the latest smartphones. Despite the new physical button, it maintains a 5ATM waterproof status. Even though the screen is now bigger, it promises a 14-day battery life, double that of the Watch 4 from 2019.

It packs a host of new features, like heart rate rhythm monitoring, breathing guidance, and 96 workout modes. Heart health tech has trickled down from its premium Watch Pro range into the Band series, with additional tools for resting heart rate alerts as well. It can provide:

  • High heart rate alert: Adults with a resting BPM (beats-per-minute) above 100 are normally considered to have a high heart rate. There are pathological and non-pathological causes for this. Pathological rapid heart rate could be caused by conditions that interfere with the cardiac conduction system, such as coronary artery ischemia, cardiac diseases or side effects from certain drugs. Non-pathological rapid heart rate is often caused by anxiety, fatigue, smoking or a high degree of caffeine or alcohol consumption.
  • Low heart rate alert: Adults with a resting BPM below 50 are normally considered to have a low heart rate (although people in deep sleep, active adults and career athletes may have an average resting heart rate below 50 BPM). A low heart rate could be attributed to issues with the sinus node, cardiac conduction pathway or metabolic issues, cardiac diseases or side effects from heart medicine.

It has also coupled this with TruSleep 2.0 technology, where sleep stages are detected and recorded for a better understanding of one’s sleep. This technology is paired with Smart Alarm, which can wake a user up at a lighter sleep stage so they feel less groggy when woken by the vibrations. Users would provide a time range of when they want to be awoken, and it will buzz at the end of the range if they don’t enter a light sleep stage to ensure users are woken up on time.

TruRelax is a new stress management tool, developed with help from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They have studied heart rate variability and implemented algorithms to detect stress based on this. Users will get an alert to enable stress management through breathing exercises, which can help them stay grounded and cool-headed to focus on the stressful task at hand.

Menstrual cycle tracking is also added to the smartwatch, which can help users plan when menstrual periods are about to start and end. This can also be linked to food tracking, pregnancy planning, fat burn, sleep, exercise activity, and stress to help users understand how their menstrual cycle may be changing based on these factors.

With 96 sports modes directly accessible on the watch, they cover activities like running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, and rowing machine. The smartwatch also supports specific rep counting like rope jumping, which accurately monitors the number of jumps and provides additional exercise metrics such as the number of consecutive jumps. It is also tailored to various types of dancing, with specific metrics for each of the dance types.

Other additional nifty features include music player control, granular notification control, remote control of the camera, and finding one’s phone with the watch.

The HUAWEI Band 6 will be available in Graphite Black and Sakura Pink for R1699 from 18 June. Pre-orders open online from 11 June from https://consumer.huawei.com/za/

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