Honor Band 3 review

Basic tracking on a budget

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Battery life and app

  • Lasts up to a month between charges
  • Effortless syncing
  • Convoluted app setup but easy to use after that

The really appealing part about the Honor Band 3 has to be the battery life – it goes for a month. That’s the Honor claim, at least. But even a pessimist will be pleased, as even with smartphone notifications pinging away and regular exercise you still get close to that claimed figure.

The reason this is great is that the band is so comfortable you only really need to take it off to charge it once a month. Since that’s only 12 times in a year it’s likely you’ll commit to wearing it, and the app takes this commitment even further.

The app syncing works so well you won’t even notice it or think about it. Just open the app and there will be all your data up to date. It’s actually better at this than Garmin's wearables and makes this part of the wearable lifestyle seamless and easy, so you continue using it.

The only gripe here is that the information from the connected smartphone is minimal – you’ll see who’s calling or messaging but little beyond that.

The app itself is a bit convoluted at the start as it’s actually three apps you need. Once all that is installed and you allow permissions for literally everything you can think of, to a creepy degree, then it’s up and running.

One app, Huawei Wear, sorted out the connection and read out basic data and settings, then the Health app extrapolates data. You can see sleep in detail with tips, steps and heart rate, and exercise is laid out clearly.

You can even set up goals easily, with training plans created for you to follow, like for a 5km run or a marathon, for example. These also give you reminders to get you out the door.


When it comes to in depth sleep tracking, swim tracking, heart rate monitoring and ease of use, the Honor Band 3 does an excellent job. That one month battery life and effortless smartphone Bluetooth connection make it a useful tool.

The lack of GPS and minimal on-screen smartphone notification information leave it falling short of a smartwatch though. This is a lifestyle tracker that doesn't reach into true sports tracking or true smartwatch uses. There are more affordable trackers and there are more adept, albeit pricey, smartwatches.

So if this hits the specific needs you have then it’s perfect – anything short of that and you might want to consider varying your budget.

Who's this for?

This is for those who want to track their health and perhaps ease into exercise, especially if that exercise is swimming or roughly-measured running, perhaps with a heart rate zone training focus. 

It is also for those who want to see their sleep in detail and be given information to improve that.

And it's for those who like the idea of seeing who’s calling or messaging without needing to know any more.

This is also for those who want to spend more than the basic but less than the comprehensive. Over a smartphone, it offers swim tracking, so for some it will be worth the money for that alone.

Should you buy it?

If you are sure that you want to swim and do heart rate zone running then this is a good fitness and life tracker.

If you aren’t interested in sports and simply want a step tracker then perhaps a cheaper alternative could work too. If you want more sports or notifications then you might want to splash out a little more, on, say, a Garmin Vivosport or Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro.

First reviewed: February 2018

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.