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Huawei Fit Is An Inexpensive, Basic Activity Tracker

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Today Huawei has officially revealed its Huawei Fit Activity Tracker which dropped on Nov 3rd. Retailing for $129.99, the device, in the usual watch-style form factor, features continuous heart monitoring as well as an always on 208×208 pixel, 1.04′ LCD screen. The large round, aluminum material face has good readability (when clean). There are no physical buttons or crowns to speak of, as user interface being solely based on touch and gesture based navigation (for example, flicking your wrist to scroll through the menu). Huawei’s Fit is surprisingly lightweight at a little under 35g; which felt odd as I expect these types of devices to feel a bit more substantive (Huawei said the device was designed with joggers in mind). Granted if it was much heavier there would then be complaints that an activity tracker shouldn’t be something you have to lug on your wrist while working out–damned if you do, damned if you don’t I suppose. The face comes in either a black or grey finish and the 18mm, quick release straps come in either blue, orange or black silicone, making them easily interchangeable (the black on black version is a Best Buy exclusive through December). The device is also rated IP68 water resistant which means it can withstand up to 50M submersion in water; with Huawei noting they’re working on tracking features for swimmers.

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Onboard the Fit is an ambient light sensor which triggers an automatic backlight to allow you to see the screen regardless of lighting conditions. Considering the screen is always on you can quickly see the time without fuss which is a nice touch. There’s no internal GPS as the Huawei Fit relies on connecting to your phone’s GPS via the Huawei Wear app (say that five times fast). There’s the standard accelerometer, gyroscope, continuous heart rate sensor and a capacitive sensor to recognize whether or not you’re wearing the Fit in order to save battery. Huawei says that the Fit can last up to 6 days on one charge, with charging time from 0% to 100% being about 2 hours which is great. When I took mine out of the box it was at 60% and took about 20 minutes to charge to 100%. The Fit can create a training plan for you, track your sleep and, when linked to the few available third party services, (HealthKit, Google Fit, UP by Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal) integrates meal planning and other fitness data. Huawei promised that more third party integration is on the way, including social media apps like Twitter.
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Since I was able to test the Fit for about four days, I was able to get a bit more acquainted with the controls and functions. I appreciated when the Fit sent an alert that I had been sitting down for over an hour without activity and prompted me to move around. Unfortunately I was mostly let down as the software left much to be desired. I didn’t care much for the Huawei Wear app, which is fairly straight forward in appearance but not intuitive enough as I had to guess-navigate my way around the app. The pairing process was a bit buggy, the first two tries being unsuccessful then, a few minutes later without prompting, the pairing worked. On the Fit itself, the swipe gestures weren’t always perfect, my down swipes often being mistaken for side swipes which would then take me into sub menus that I didn’t want to see. All the extra swiping meant a lot more fingerprints to the screen which is a smudge magnet. Many times I had to clean the face before I was able to read anything. If it wasn’t that, the reflective glare was a problem. I also thought it was annoying that when I wanted to measure my current heart rate, I had to wait around 14 seconds before the Fit gave a reading. When you’re jogging and trying to get up to the second information, that wait becomes a nuisance.
Huawei has been working quickly to position itself as a viable alternative to recognizable brands like Samsung and Apple. The Chinese manufacturer, currently standing as he worlds largest telecom equipment maker, is a barely recognizable name in the U.S. consumer market. Looking to change that, over the past two years, they have released a bevy of products to compete in the marketplace of smartphones and smartwatches. At this point, at least with their Fitness tracker, they have a ways to go before they can be truly competitive.
The Huawei Fit is available now on Huawei’s website, Best Buy, Newegg, Amazon, B&H Audio and Visual, and Macy’s.
The Good
– At $129.99, its a decent, less expensive alternative to other trackers
– Large, Always on display with backlight
– IP68 water resistant
– Available for iOS and Android
The Bad
– At $129.99, the Huawei Fit is overpriced since its so basic; you can get a premium device for just $20 more.
– The software needs work
– The form factor may actually turn off users that dont want such a large watch face
Overall
– Many may find the Huawei Fit fairly boring, but if you’re looking to get an entry-level smartwatch, this might be an option.
– Huawei Fit is definitely a “minimalist” device but does not offer anything truly competitive