Honor Watch ES

Honor Watch ES

The HONOR Watch ES is a sports focused smartwatch released in September 2020. HONOR used to be the value brand of HUAWEI but was spun off as a separate company in November 2020. This should allow HONOR to avoid some the restrictions placed on HUAWEI by the United States

The Watch ES is using a HUAWEI DK3.5+ST processor. Even though this is a lower specification chipset than the popular Kirin A1 used in more expensive HONOR watches, the watch does not lag and is responsive.

This watch is using Lite OS, the proprietary operating system for HUAWEI smartwatches. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store such as the Google Play Store. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Similar Smartwatches

HUAWEI launched 3 very similar smartwatches in 2020. The $40 HONOR Band 6, $80 HONOR Watch ES and $95 Watch Fit.

While these watches look similar and have the same tracking sensors, there are a few differences as per the following table.

Band 6Watch ESWatch Fit
1.47″ AMOLED Screen1.64″ AMOLED Screen1.64″ AMOLED Screen
No GPSNo GPSGPS
10 sports modes10 sports modes + 85 customized workout modes11 sports modes + 85 customized workout modes
No animated workouts12 animated workouts12 animated workouts
$40$80$95
Band 6 vs Watch ES vs Watch Fit

If you can live with a smaller screen, no GPS and no animated workouts, the Honor Band 6 is a bargain at only $40.

Design

The Watch ES has a rectangular watch face design and is quite sleek, stylish and attractive. The only color available is black, pink, white. The case is plastic. This smartwatch is not too big at 46.0 x 30.0 x 10.7 mm and weighs 21g. The watch is slim with a thickness of 10.7 mm. It is comfortable and can be worn while sleeping.

Honor Watch ES Colors
HONOR Watch ES Colors

The Watch ES comes with a 20mm silicone interchangeable strap. The strap is comfortable and quality is acceptable for this low price point.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen and 1 physical button. The touchscreen works very well with no lag. While the screen is not the biggest, fonts, menus and icons can easily be read and navigation is not too complex.

The Watch ES has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. The watch has a swimming mode that allows the screen to be locked. Salt water or chlorine could be problematic so make sure to rinse, wipe and dry the watch after swimming.

Screen

The screen of the Watch ES is one of the highlights of this smartwatch. The 1.64″ AMOLED Touchscreen, with 456 x 280 pixels and 326 ppi pixel density delivers a high-quality visual experience. This is the same screen that is used in the more expensive HUAWEI Watch Fit. Indoors the display is excellent while outdoors it is acceptable but not great.

HONOR does not indicate what screen protection is provided which is disappointing. That being said, this is not a rugged watch and we imagine most people looking to purchase would not be doing activities that will be damaging the watch.

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The Watch ES comes with a 180 mAh battery. HONOR claims that typical usage battery life is 10 days. Real world battery life is approximately 7 days, while not best in class, is reasonable.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the Watch ES has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can only receive notifications and there is no ability to respond to notifications from the watch.

The Watch ES lacks many connectivity features:

  • Does not have a speaker or microphone hence cannot answer or place calls via Bluetooth
  • Does not have a camera
  • Does not have cellular connectivity
  • Does not have Near Field Communication (NFC) for payments
  • Has 4GB of internal memory but not available to the user for items such as MP3 storage
  • Does not have GPS

Health and Fitness Features

The Watch ES comes with 4 sensors: Accelerometer,  Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 11 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.

Sleep tracking is very good as well for this watch and the unique Smart Alarm feature which will wake you up if it detects that you are in a light sleep during a preset period. This feature works well. Also included are 10 different sports modes and 85 customized workout modes.

Heart rate accuracy at rest, casual activities or steady state runs is relatively accurate. For casual tracking, this may be adequate but could be a concern if you are looking for high tracking accuracy for your sports or fitness goals. However with interval training, short bursts of activity or high intensity training, accuracy is poor. Tattoos, hair, sweat and even skin color are factors that impact accuracy as well.

This is a common problem with nearly all wrist based optical heart rate monitoring. While there are a few exceptions that do a pretty good job on heart rate monitoring, such as the Apple Watch 6, serious trainers should look into a chest strap for best heart rate accuracy.

HUAWEI Health App

The HONOR Watch ES uses the HUAWEI Health app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well. You can see how the HUAWEI Health app ranks on our Smartwatch Apps Page.

Known Issues

As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.

Verdict

Good watch for fitness and sleep tracking but drawbacks include no notification reply ability, no 3rd party apps, no GPS and no NFC. The nearly identical HONOR Band 6 can be purchased for less than half the money. You will get a slightly smaller screen but the Band 6 is a much better bang for your buck.

Specifications

General

Read Review
Watch Type Sports Focused Smartwatch
Gender Unisex
Release Date September 2020
Operating System Proprietary - Lite OS
App HUAWEI Health
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 9.0+
Processor HUAWEI DK3.5+ST

Design

Shape Rectangular
Case Size 46.0 x 30.0 x 10.7 mm
Case Material Plastic
Weight 21g
Strap Width 20 mm
Strap Material Silicone
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Black, Pink, White
Input Touchscreen, 1 Button
Water Resistance 5 ATM

Screen

Screen Size 1.64"
Screen Type AMOLED Touchscreen
Resolution 456 x 280
Pixels per Inch 326 ppi
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection None

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 10
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) N/A
Charging System Magnetic
Capacity 180 mAh

Features

Notifications Receive Only
Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth Calling No
Bluetooth Music No
Speaker No
Microphone No
Camera No
Cellular No
GPS No
Near Field Communication (NFC) No
Payments No
WiFi No
Voice Command No
Memory 4GB (not available to user)
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Swimming, VO2 Max
Sport Modes 10
Automatic Workout Detection Yes
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Unique Features 12 animated workouts
Smart alarm wakes you up in light sleep during a preset period
Advantages 10 day battery life
Good quality screen
Excellent fitness and sports apps
Nice display
Good sleep tracking and smart alarm
Disadvantages Cannot respond to notifications
No app store with third-party apps
No NFC or payment capability
No Strava support
No GPS
Verdict Good watch for fitness and sleep tracking but drawbacks include no notification reply ability, no 3rd party apps, no GPS and no NFC. The nearly identical HONOR Band 6 can be purchased for less than half the money. You will get a slightly smaller screen but the Band 6 is a much better bang for your buck.

Published: January 31, 2021

Honor Watch ES - WatchSmarty
HONOR Watch ES

The Honor Watch ES is a good watch for fitness and sleep tracking but drawbacks include no notification reply ability, no 3rd party apps, no GPS and no NFC.

Product SKU: Honor Watch ES

Product Brand: Honor

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 80

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.4