We compare the new Honor Band 3 fitness tracker with the Fitbit Flex 2, to see which of these cheap wearables is best for counting your steps, monitoring your calorie burn and measuriring your heart rate.
As well as the new Honor 9 flagship phone, Huawei used its big Berlin launch event to reveal an affordable fitness tracker – the Honor Band 3. This Fitbit-style wearable offers a lot of functionality for just £60, keeping tabs on your lifestyle without emptying your wallet.
So how does the Honor Band 3 compare with the Fitbit Flex 2, one of Fitbit’s least expensive trackers at just £79 here in the UK?
Read next: Fitbit fitness trackers compared and rated
Honor Band 3 vs Fitbit Flex 2: Design
Both the Honor Band 3 and the Fitbit Flex 2 are compact, lightweight wristbands which are designed to be as unintrusive as possible.
Honor’s fitness tracker weighs just 18g and is pleasingly slender too, roughly 10mm at its thickest point. So you can pretty much slip it onto your arm and forget about it. Fitbit’s wearable is much the same, offering a slim and light plastic frame that sits comfortably on your wrist.
If you want something to track your swim sessions, then good news. Either of these fitness trackers will work as they’re both fully water resistant.
You get a small choice of colours with each band, to suit your own style preference. However, the Flex 2 is the more flexible wearable here. You can actually pop the brain of the device out of that wrist band and slip it inside a variety of other housings, including pendants and bangles.
Honor Band 3 vs Fitbit Flex 2: Screen and interface
The Fitbit Flex 2 uses a very simple visual interface. Rather than sporting a built-in screen, the Flex 2 only has a series of five colored LEDs which flash to indicate how close you are to completing that day’s target activity. These LEDs also light up when you receive a notification on your phone, with full customisability so you know whether a call or message is worth checking out.
For everything else, you’ll need to check out the Fitbit app on your phone.
This is where the Honor Band 3 is a superior device. You get a 0.19-inch black and white PMOLED screen built into the fitness tracker, which can display essential info at a glance. No need to pull your handset out of your pocket to check your exact steps count, calorie burn and so on.
Like the Fitbit Flex 2, the Honor Band 3 can alert you to any incoming texts, calls, messages and so on. Both devices can grab your attention with a vibration function.
Honor Band 3 vs Fitbit Flex 2: Features
If you want to monitor your heart rate, perhaps to check out your recovery time after some intensive exercise, the Honor wearable is your best choice. The Honor Band 3 comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, a feature missing from the Flex 2. This offers continuous pulse monitoring, in the background.
Still, either of these trackers offer some form of sleep monitoring. You can see how much quality kip you’ve had the following morning and get suggestions on how to improve your sleep sessions.
When it comes to battery life, there’s a clear gulf between these two devices. While the Fitbit Flex 2 offers roughly five days of use per charge, the Honor Band 3 can keep going for up to a full month. That’s according to Honor, anyway; we’ll be testing that claim in full, to see if you really get 30 days of use before the 105mAh cell is drained.
Both the Honor Band 3 and the Fitbit Flex 2 are compatible with iOS and Android smartphones.
Stay tuned for our full Honor Band 3 review.