Huawei Band 7 review

A fitness tracker with a great screen and impressive smarts for a cheap price.

Recommended
Budget
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The Huawei Band 7 is a fitness tracker that wants to give you all of the features you’d have to pay more for if you were looking at buying the cheapest Fitbit tracker.

Want to track steps? Check. Want something you can wear in the pool? You can do that too. If you also like the idea of something that soaks up less wrist space than a watch and will still let you wear something else alongside your fitness tracker, it fits that criteria too.

It’s priced at £49.99 and often drops below that, making it a very affordable way to put a fitness tracker on your wrist. In return you’ll also get a colour screen, up to two-week battery life and the sensors that can track heart rate continuously and also let you check your SpO2 levels, to offer a boost to monitoring your general wellbeing.

This is the kind of budget fitness tracker that wants to make sure it’s useful when you’re not focused on hitting daily step counts or going out for a big walk. It also wants to help you spend less time on your phone by packing many of the same features, which you can glance at on a smaller screen for shorter periods.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
Recommended

Huawei Band 7

Budget

A well-performing fitness tracker with additional smartwatch and exercise features packaged up in a design that makes it comfortable to wear day and night. There’s an easy-to-read screen to check progress or use it in watch mode. If you’ve got an Android phone, you’ll also get all the smartwatch features Huawei has to offer.

Design

Features

Performance

Value


Who’s this for?

The Huawei Band 7 is for someone that likes the idea of owning a smartwatch and fitness watch, but doesn’t want it to dominate on the wrist. Huawei offers a mix of fitness watch, tracker and smartwatch features all with a design and screen that gives it the look of a pricier tracker.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Sleek look and comfortable to wear
  • Big screen to view data
  • Strong fitness tracking accuracy
  • Over a week of battery life
  • Continuous heart rate tracking isn’t very accurate
  • Needs phone to accurately track outdoor exercise
  • SpO2 readings don’t feel hugely useful
  • Setup can feel complicated

Expect to pay

RRP: £49.99 The Huawei Band 7 sits firmly at the affordable end of the fitness tracker market. Since launch, it has dropped to £39.99, putting it closer in price to the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, one of the best cheap fitness trackers available to buy right now.

Huawei Band 7 Review method

How we test

We used the Huawei Band 7 over a period of a few weeks paired to an Android phone and iPhone, wearing it on the same wrist during the day, including exercise, and taking it to sleep to make use of the sleep tracking features.

We also set up the tracker to receive weather forecasts, notifications from apps and calls and used the continuous health monitoring features to see how using the tracker with all features in play impacted on battery life.

To test the reliability and accuracy of the fitness tracker for information such as heart rate, exercise tracking and sleep monitoring, we used it alongside some of the best devices that currently deliver that information.

That included a heart rate monitor chest strap to test heart rate data during exercise, using a pulse oximeter to compare heart rate and SpO2 readings and using a more expensive Garmin running watch to test how accurate the Band 7 is as an exercise device.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional

Huawei Band 7 Setup

Fairly straightforward, but Android users need to pay attention

The Huawei Band 7’s setup process, it’s fair to say, has a fair few steps to it, which doesn’t make it the most straightforward one to get up and running.

While it works with Android and iPhones, you need to download the Huawei Health app to your phone, which, depending on the phone you own, can be easy or not so straightforward. If you’re using an iPhone, you can download the Huawei Health app from Apple’s App Store and then begin a pretty seamless setup process.

If you own an Android phone, you’ll need to download Huawei Health from Huawei’s own AppGallery, not Google’s own Play Store. You may be prompted on your phone about whether the download is safe, but this is part of the setup process.

Once you’ve downloaded the Huawei AppGallery and subsequently the Huawei Health app through it, it’ll appear on your phone’s home screen. Then the process becomes similar to the one on the iPhone. You can choose to scan for the tracker nearby ensuring Bluetooth is turned on on your phone, or scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to simplify that process.

If that doesn’t work, you can also manually add the Band by picking it out from the list of supported devices in the Huawei Health app.

So, depending on what phone you’re pairing it up with, the process can be very straightforward or a little more challenging to navigate.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional

Huawei Band 7 Design

A really sleek-looking fitness tracker

The Huawei Band 7 wants to be the type of fitness tracker that’s light enough to make it comfortable and that you can largely ignore. It has a big enough screen to take in your data when you glance at it, and is even something you can keep on in the shower or if you’re going for a swim.

The main core of the tracker is made up of a polymer plastic case with a nice matt finish that’s matched up with a silicone strap that can’t be removed, but does offer a traditional watch-style buckle to make it easy to put on and take off.

As a package, it carries a 5 ATM water resistant rating, which means it can be submerged in water up to 50 metres depth (around 164ft).

There are four case and strap colour combinations to pick from – wilderness green (pictured), flame red, graphite black or nebula pink. So whether you want a splash of colour or you prefer something that’s not so bold, you’ve got options.

Front and centre is a rectangular, 1.47-inch AMOLED colour touchscreen display with a 194 x 368 pixel resolution to ensure you get a good splash of colour on that screen. You can set it up to keep the screen always on, so it feels more like a watch, or you can choose to wake up the screen when you raise your wrist, if you prefer it to be less of a distraction. It’s a screen that’s nicely responsive to taps and swipes to navigate through menus, and is viewable indoors and outdoors, even in brighter outdoor light.

Alongside that screen is a physical button you can press to wake up the screen. Double press to push you straight into the main menu screen, or hold it down if you want to turn the tracker off completely.

It’s a really sleek-looking tracker overall; it’s pretty slim, the strap feels comfortable to wear for long periods, and the screen is high quality. If you like the idea of a fitness tracker that prioritises a good-sized screen to make sure you’re not squinting at your stats. Huawei does a very good job here.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional

Huawei Band 7 Features

More than you’d expect for the price

The Huawei Band 7 is a fitness tracker first that aims to push the boundaries of what you’d expect to find on a tracker that costs less than £50.

We’ll start with the fact that this is compatible with Android phones and iPhones, though if you pair it with the latter you do miss out on some features mainly in the smartwatch department. That’s the ability to control audio playing on your phone and having the ability to send quick replies to messages directly from the Band.

Back to fitness tracking, and the Band 7 has pretty typical sensors on board to track movement like steps and indoor exercise, and detect when you’re asleep. There’s a light-based optical sensor at the back of the tracker, which can non-invasively monitor heart rate and take SpO2 readings, but those are not medical-grade readings. These are used to give you an overview of your general wellbeing.

Huawei uses that optical sensor to deliver real-time stress monitoring as well, displaying your most stressful and less stressful parts of the day, and offers guided breathing exercises to calm you back down again.

It’s capable of tracking exercise time beyond walking down to the shops, with support to track 96 different workouts including running, cycling and swimming. It lacks the GPS sensor commonly found in most sports watches to accurately track outdoor activity, but lets you use your phone’s GPS instead to still get that good data.

Huawei also aims to offer metrics for those who take that exercise time a little more seriously, offering VO2 max estimates, which is the key indicator on most fitness watches telling you just how fit you are. It will also tell you if you’re training enough or too much and will tell you when to take a day off and to rest up.

When you’re not in tracking mode, the Band 7 can display phone notifications and know when someone’s trying to ring you. It’ll let you choose different watch faces, check the day’s weather forecast and, as mentioned, will let you send a quick reply to messages that pop up from friends and family on the Band.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional

Huawei Band 7 Performance

Interesting data, but it’s not overly accurate

The Huawei Band 7 promises to track your health and fitness, though no features are designed for medical use and it isn’t quite a fully fledged sports watch. It’s about offering a mix of features here that can appeal to anyone at the start of their fitness journey or someone that doesn’t need or want lots of information to wade through.

We’ll start with the basics, and that’s how well it delivers fitness tracker features like tracking daily steps, monitoring sleep and how it motivates you to move more and now it presents data on the Band and the companion phone app.

Huawei lets you track your daily progress straight from the watch face or you can swipe right from the watch face to see a dedicated screen with rings that glow. That glow grows as you step more, and move around in each hour of the day, and it tells you if you’ve achieved 30 minutes of exercise time for the day.

We tracked the same data with a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and a Garmin Forerunner watch to compare and found that data like daily step counts were within 300 steps on average of the other trackers. It’s highly unlikely all trackers will deliver identical data because they use their own unique software to interpret steps, so we expect at least for it to be in the same ballpark, which was the case on the Band 7.

When you’re inactive for long periods, the Band 7 will flash up a message to tell you to think about getting up and moving, and will reset once you’ve been up and taken a walk for a few minutes. Beyond that, it doesn’t do anything else really to motivate you to move more.

If you decide you want to take it to bed to track your sleep, it’s a nice, lightweight tracker to wear in bed first and foremost compared to most smartwatches. During sleep it will closely monitor what time you went to sleep, how long you slept for, and give you a sleep score to give you a sense of how well you slept. It’ll also track sleep stages – deep, light and REM, with the latter tied to memory and learning.

We took it to bed with an Oura Ring Gen3 and a Garmin sports watch that offers sleep tracking, to compare the results. The Huawei delivered similar sleep duration data and also offered similar sleep stage breakdowns as well. The Band will display your previous night’s sleep, but you’ll need to go to the Huawei Health phone app to see your night’s sleep in greater detail.

The Band 7 is also capable of tracking your heart rate and SpO2 levels day and night, but, as stated, not with any type of medical grade level of accuracy. This is about offering insights into your general wellbeing as opposed to saying that you might have a serious issue with your heart or your blood oxygen levels.

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional

We found on both fronts that the data, while interesting, was not especially accurate, particularly the heart rate monitoring, where we found real-time and continuous heart rate measurements could be as much as 10 beats per minute higher than recordings from a dedicated pulse oximeter that can capture the same data. It was a similar story for the SpO2 readings, which seemed to sit at 100% on most days, when results were more varied on a more traditional finger-worn pulse oximeter.

Huawei uses its optical heart rate sensor to let you monitor your stress levels during the day through heart rate variability measurements. Those intervals between heartbeats can offer an indicator of the stress the body could be under, with Huawei displaying stress level at high, medium, normal or when you’re relaxed. Our accuracy concerns over the heart rate sensor meant those stress readings felt questionable and should only be used as loose guidance. If you do feel particularly stressed, there are some timed breathing exercises, which can last from a minute to three minutes, that you can follow on the tracker to help you find your inner calm again.

You can use this fitness tracker to track your exercise and Huawei promises 96 workout modes – including running, cycling and swimming – that it will closely record. If you spend a lot of time cycling or running outside, then you’ll need to use your phone’s GPS sensor, which is done through the Huawei Health app, to more accurately track that outdoor time. If you don’t, the accuracy of tracking aspects such as distance covered isn’t very accurate. 

Strangely, tracking heart rate during exercise with the onboard optical heart rate sensor fared better than the continuous monitoring, and we found it delivered data a few beats per minute out of a chest strap heart rate monitor, which is considered a more reliable way to track heart rate during exercise.

If you’re a runner, there’s more here for you, thanks to Huawei’s TruSport fitness system that will also generate your VO2 max to offer an insight into your fitness levels, or even suggest recovery time between tough exercise sessions. The data was surprisingly in line with a dedicated Garmin sports watch, so Huawei has pulled off some high end features on a much cheaper tracker.

We also used the indoor run, outdoor walk, pool swimming and indoor rower modes to get a good sense of what this tracker has to offer, and for shorter workout times, it fared pretty well as far as offering a good-sized screen to display your data and good accuracy on the whole.

If you want to use the Huawei Band 7 as a smartwatch, you do have a good-sized screen to use the features it offers on that front. Swipe up from the main watch screen to see incoming notifications from apps such as WhatsApp. You’ll need to scroll to read through those messages, but they’re digestible on that display.

Huawei Band 7 on the arm of a manCredit: Saga Exceptional

If you’ve got it paired to an Android phone, you can actually send quick replies to messages you receive to save you reaching for your phone. You’ve got dedicated screens to display the day’s weather and do basic things like set timers, alarms and use the tracker as a torch.

There’s also a useful Find Phone mode that will send a vibration and pinging sound to your phone to help you locate it.

Away from the Band’s screen you can adjust settings in the Huawei Health app, which, as we explained earlier, can be a bit finicky to set up, but does give you access to more watch faces to go with the nice mix already preloaded onto the Band 7.

You can also decide whether you want to turn the richer sleep tracking, inactivity alerts or continuous heart rate tracking off, to preserve battery life or you simply don’t care or want to see that information.

It’s a bit busy in places and lacks the more welcoming feel of Fitbit’s app, so it’s worth spending a bit of time exploring to see what the app has to offer.

Huawei Band 7 Battery life

Unlike smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, the Huawei Band 7 is a fitness tracker that promises to last for weeks, and is definitely capable of doing that.

Huawei claims the Band 7 should last up to 14 days in typical use. That typical usage is defined as doing things like monitoring your heart continuously, tracking your sleep every night, receiving more than 50 notifications a day and tracking 30 minutes of exercise a week.

Heavier usage sees that number drop to 10 days and that usage includes double the amount of exercise time tracked a week and the screens turning around 500 times a day, which seems a lot.

Bottom line, the Huawei Band 7 is definitely capable of lasting up to two weeks and will comfortably last more than a week before you need to charge it. Even when monitoring heart rate continuously, tracking sleep every night and receiving notifications each day, the typical battery drop each day was 10-15%.

Huawei also includes a useful quick charge mode that means, when you plug it into the proprietary charging cable for just five minutes, you’ll get two days of battery life. So when you’re running low, it doesn’t take long to top things up.

The back of the Huawei Band 7 fitness trackerCredit: Saga Exceptional

Huawei Band 7 Value

The Huawei Band 7 offers great value in terms of what it offers in looks, features and performance, especially when you compare it to other fitness trackers that fall in and around the same price.

While there are definitely some fitness trackers in this price range that make compromises, particularly with design, the Huawei Band 7 is built with good materials, including the kind of screen you’d typically find on something more expensive, and has the same type of sensors found on pricier watches and fitness trackers.

Compare it to other fitness trackers that sit around this price, like the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, Honor Band 7 and Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 and none of those trackers do anything massively different from Huawei’s.

Fitbit’s Inspire 3 costs more but offers a more seamless setup process and a software experience in general that feels more intuitive for those new to tracking their fitness and general wellbeing.

While the RRP price sits at £49.99, the likes of Argos and Amazon offer the Huawei Band 7 for £39.99, so you can actually pick it up for less to make it an even better value buy.

Huawei Band 7 Competition

Also consider…

The Honor Band 7 lying on a stripy towel, with activity metrics on the screenCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Honor Band 7 is almost identical to the Huawei tracker

Honor Band 7

The Honor Band 7 is pretty much identical to the Huawei Band 7 in looks and features and retails at the same £49.99 but can also be picked up for as low as £39.99. 

It offers a thicker case design and smaller case compared to the Huawei Band 7, but matches it with a similar sized AMOLED colour touchscreen display, compatibility with iPhones and Android phones, and can deliver up to two weeks of battery life.

It also includes sensors to track heart rate and blood oxygen data and can use your phone to accurately track outdoor activities like runs and cycling.

Read our Honor Band 7 review
Xiaomi Mi Band 7Credit: Xiaomi
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is another low-cost fitness tracker

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

One of the most popular affordable fitness trackers is the Xiaomi Mi Band and the Mi Band 7 typically retails at £39.99, making it a cheaper alternative to the Huawei Band 7.

It offers a slimmer band design compared to the Huawei Band 7 and still includes a vibrant and colourful AMOLED touchscreen and can offer up to two weeks of battery life.

It matches the Huawei fitness tracker for features such as daily step tracking and sleep monitoring, can monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels and also delves a little deeper into advising you how long to recover in between vigorous exercise time.

Huawei Band 7 Final verdict

A great buy if you’re looking to track the basics

The Huawei Band 7 is a fitness tracker with a great set of features for the price and also wraps things up in a really sleek design that’s comfortable to wear all day and night.

Its strengths lie with counting daily steps, monitoring sleep, delivering more than a week of battery life and offering a great colour screen to keep an eye on your progress.

It holds up well against the similarly priced competition but if you own an iPhone, you’ll miss out on some of the smartwatch features such as sending quick messages to your phone contacts from the Band and letting you adjust volume or skip music tracks playing on your phone.

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that offers a high quality design, does the basics well and comes with some nice extras, especially if you own an Android phone, the Huawei Band 7 is a great buy.

Recommended

Huawei Band 7

Budget

A well-performing fitness tracker with additional smartwatch and exercise features packaged up in a design that makes it comfortable to wear day and night. There’s an easy-to-read screen to check progress or use it in watch mode. If you’ve got an Android phone, you’ll also get all the smartwatch features Huawei has to offer.

Design

A comfortable fitness tracker to wear with a big, high resolution colour screen and silicone strap that makes sure it stays put.

Features

Delivers the basics well with additional features that make it useful for those that take exercise time a little more seriously or want more of a smartwatch.

Performance

Good fitness tracking accuracy with some surprisingly good sports tracking and anywhere from 10-14 days of battery life.

Value

The Huawei Band 7 offers design, screen and software of high quality that feels slick to use, with a range of features that matches the competition.


Who’s this for?

The Huawei Band 7 is for someone that likes the idea of owning a smartwatch and fitness watch, but doesn’t want it to dominate on the wrist. Huawei offers a mix of fitness watch, tracker and smartwatch features all with a design and screen that gives it the look of a pricier tracker.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Sleek look and comfortable to wear
  • Big screen to view data
  • Strong fitness tracking accuracy
  • Over a week of battery life
  • Continuous heart rate tracking isn’t very accurate
  • Needs phone to accurately track outdoor exercise
  • SpO2 readings don’t feel hugely useful
  • Setup can feel complicated

Expect to pay

RRP: £49.99 The Huawei Band 7 sits firmly at the affordable end of the fitness tracker market. Since launch, it has dropped to £39.99, putting it closer in price to the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, one of the best cheap fitness trackers available to buy right now.

Huawei Band 7 Specs

Weight 29g
Dimensions 44.35 x 26 x 9.99 mm
Screen size 1.47in
Screen resolution 194 x 368 AMOLED
Removable strap? No
Operating system Proprietary
Compatibility Android and iOS compatible
Workouts tracked 96 different workouts
GPS Connected GPS
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth Yes
Cellular No
Michael Sawh

Written by Michael Sawh he/him

Updated:

Michael is a contributor for Saga Exceptional. He’s a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specializes in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he also co-ran the features and reviews sections of T3, and has a long list of bylines in the world of consumer tech sites.

With a focus on fitness trackers, headphones, running wearables, phones, and tablet, he has written for numerous publications including Wired UK, TechRadar, GQ, Men’s Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff, and has appeared on the BBC Travel Show.

Michael is a keen swimmer, a runner with a number of marathons under his belt, and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.

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