Honor Watch ES versus Honor Band 5 and 6

Got a Honor Watch ES-21C to replace the Honor Band 5 I have had for half a year in October. (And later a Band 6)

(Got it 20201003, this post was last updated 20201224)

An Honor band 6 have emerged after the Watch ES that is in between the two

Except the obvious visual differences, the Watch ES, Band 5 and 6, are functional identical, with some newer software in the Watch ES and band 6.

Add 20210508 Yesterday I got a Huawei band 6 that is almost identical to the Honor band 6 with contiguous SpO2 measuring and minor cosmetic differences. See this for my compare.

After months I see no drawbacks in the upgrade from the Band 5 to Watch ES, only pluses, And yesterday I got the Band 6. Well it is 33g vs 25g vs 21g (including the rubber strap), but all are very light. The strap need to be somewhat tight for at device like this to function, and the discomfort of this far exceeds the felt weight of them all.

 

On the arm the Watch ES feels less bulky due to its slightly rounded display, and rounded edges. and The Band6 even more so.

As can be seen the Watch ES even sticks up slightly less, despite objective measuring the devices says otherwise 12.2mm for the Watch ES vs 11.6mm for the Band 5 (it is a matter of how the shapes works on the arm)

The Band 6 takes a win here at 11.4

Also note on the first images and the below, how the curvature of the band matters for the Watch ES, if you do not have a fat arm.

Seen from the other side, the Band 6 have been uglyfied with a hideous huge brand stamp:

The “Huawei Watch Fit” is close to physical identical to the Watch ES, though its band attachment is curving away (as the Band 5&6), making the Watch ES variant more suitable for a lesser arm. But if you got a sufficiently fat arm then the band attachment of the Huawei variant looks better IMHO. On the other hand the Watch ES uses a standard band attachment, so can be changed to say a Milanese band…. (already ordered…) The Ban6 looks most like a slightly miniaturized version of the Huawei variant

The case width is approximately 30.5mm (30.0mm excluding the button), vs about 25.5 respectively 17.4mm. So the general feeling is that he new ones are both a widened Band 5 with larger display

So compared to the many pill-box on a string ‘smart’ watches, the Watch ES lands as a hybrid with the decent width. So you can see it as a rather wide band or compact watch. Personally I see this 3cm as right on the sweet-spot. The Band 6 is also compressed a bit in the other direction to better fit more women and children, but both the new works on my arm.

 

The obvious difference between them are the much large displays over trice larger 22 × 35 mm (7.7cm²) 280 × 456 pixels for the Watch ES and over twice larger 17.4 × 33 mm (5.7cm²) 194 × 368 pixels for the Band 6, versus the 10.8 × 21.6 mm (2.3cm²) 120 × 240 pixel of the Band 5.

Here seen with the closest to a white German shepherd in the default watch faces, to show the full display areas on both:

Most of the Band 5 faces are made with a black background, as this makes it less obvious how small a part of the surface the display covers…

On the Band 6 and Watch ES you can add your own image(s) to at the least one of the watch faces though (“Gallery” that acts sort of like a slide show):

There are a LOT of more or less hideous digital watch faces offered, and a dozen analogue ones, selectable from their app.

(Selecting an image consisting of say 1×2 black pixels works too, giving a minimalistic watch face)

On a phone I’m not a fan of displays with missing corners, but on a ‘watch’ where the faces are designed for it, I think it looks better and more ‘natural’ than squared corners.

 

The two clearly do not agree in their measurements when mounted on the same arm. I’m not sure which is the more accurate, but imported on the same phone, gives some clearly odd curves, and I THINK the Watch ES is the more accurate of the two, as the Band 5 often showed lower rates than I expected in the past.

 

The Watch ES syncs substantially faster with the Android app than the Band 5. 🙂

 

The extra software stuff of the Band 6 and Watch ES is (almost) all about the sport and health-fanatics stuff I don’t really care about. But AFAIK all are additions compared to the Band 5.

 

The interface is a bit different between the two, so I fumbled a lot finding the SpO2, as functions are not found by swiping from the watch face as on the Band 5, but you have to press the side button while the watch face is visible, to have a menu pop up with that, and a bunch of other stuff (including Timer & Stopwatch). So just a matter of getting used to a different interface.
The button turns the display on showing the watch face, and from a sub menu returns to the watch face. So I just (without even trying) incorrectly assumed that pressing it from the watch face would turn the display off, (if too impatient to wait for the automatic time out) – and well it does not, it shows the menu….

 

One crazy detail is that the charging cable that attaches magnetically (Identical for the Watch ES and Band 6) is of such a lousy stiff quality that it out of the box kept twisting itself off the watch!
I could not bend it to stay in a reasonable shape directly, but with the use of a heat gun (!!) I got the cable in a usable shape, bend like an L, allowing the pins to points upwards, for use on a flat surface e.g. a table.

I would expect that some hot water or a hair dryer might have done the same. But it must be modified to be usable after unpacking IMHO…
ADD: Though it looks a bit silly, you can actually charge it whilst  on the wrist if you are working at say a laptop with a USB-port

 

The Watch ES generally looks and feels like a decent sized watch:

Though obviously far from as elegant as a real watch like this….

And this is with the Watch ES band quite tight (and the Omega Polaris isn’t).

Reversing the order so the Polaris also sits tight, makes the thinness of the Polaris even more pronounced (close to half, 57%, 6.95 vs 12.2 mm)

Note that 12.2 mm is the actual thickness, the visible thickness ignoring the centre protrusion I measure to 10.7mm. So the circular 16.5mm ‘dome’ og the Watch ES goes down 1.5mm. The similar numbers for the Band 6 are 11.0mm and 0.4mm for the elongated sensor window.

 

Oddly they do not (currently) offer a completely minimalistic watch face with just the hands. The above with the ‘shadows’ following the hands is the closest. Even fewer analogue faces are available for the Band 6. Add spring 2021: A few additional are now offered.

 

A user-interface contra intuitive oddity: When an Alarm is active and you try to cancel it, nothing happens when you touch the cancel ‘button’! It keeps vibrating until you remove your finger!!!

 

You can find Gsmarena’s review of the Watch ES here. And the Band 6 here.