Honor Band Z1 review

Honor enters the world of the cheap fitness tracker

Honor Band Z1
Honor Band Z1

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

In my opinion fitness trackers are becoming less and less useful every time a new one is announced. Many smartphones now offer basic fitness-tracking features, and as smartwatches grow in popularity I can't help but see dedicated trackers going the way of the dodo.

The only market that is likely to persist is people who wanted a cheap pedometer a few years ago – and the Honor Band Z1 does that exact job, and not much else.

If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful tracker rather than one with lots of features, this could be the choice for you.

Honor Band Z1

We liked

The design of the Honor Band Z1 is its most appealing feature. It's one of the classiest-looking fitness trackers on the market right now, and that's partly down to the fact that it takes a lot of its design cues from current smartwatches. The waterproofing is a welcome touch too.

The tracker app seems to work really well, and the Huawei Wear app is very useful, showing a lot of information compared to some others you can get right now.

We disliked

The Honor Band Z1 doesn't offer enough functionality in my opinion. I'd rather have a full-on fitness tracker here and spend a little extra money. It's a shame that Honor has apparently opted for a lower spec to hit this price point.

The sleep functionality isn't very useful at all. I found it inconsistent, and I couldn't really trust what the Z1 was telling me.

Honor Band Z1

The lack of a heart-rate monitor feels like a major omission. It's a shame that Honor hasn't put more into the Band Z1, and made it an all-round fitness device.

Final verdict

The Honor Band Z1 is satisfactory if you're looking for a pedometer-like fitness tracker. It's at the level of the cheapest Fitbit you can buy, and if you want a device and a display that looks kind of like a watch, the Z1 is a much better choice.

The Z1 is comfortable to wear for long periods, and Huawei's Wear app works really well, as long as you're not planning on doing a lot of varied exercise.

I just wish Honor had put a bit more functionality into its first wearable. All in all it's fine, but it's not going to inspire you get out of bed every morning and go for that much-needed run.

First reviewed: February 2016

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.