6 good reasons not to buy Huawei's Fit wearable

The latest Huawei fitness tracker, Fit, has an always-on watch face, up to six days of battery life, and you can swim with it. But those are the only good things the device has going for it.

huawei fit 1

I'm a big fan of wearables, and I generally like some feature or functionality in nearly every one that I test.

With the new Huawei Fit (See it on Amazon), however, I had to work hard to find anything to make it worth a recommendation. Fit is a new, $130 wristband activity tracker and watch with only a few valuable features and plenty of shortcomings.

Let's get the bad news out of the way first.

1. Huawei Fit auto sleep tracking is in hibernation

Fit is supposed to automatically sense when you're asleep and record the duration of slumber every night. I tested two different Fit devices, and neither one of them recorded my sleep at all. You'd think I was among "The Walking Dead," if you had to rely on my non-existent Fit sleep data.

2. Fit is bugged by Bluetooth

It was easy to make an initial Bluetooth connection between my iPhone 7 Plus and both Fits. But keeping the connection was another story. More than once, I had to remove my Fit from the Huawei Wear iOS app to reconnect the wearable. (An Android version of Huawei Wear is also available.)

What's worse, the Fit gave me fits when I moved out of range of my connected iPhone. For example, when I was ready to go to sleep one night, I put my iPhone into its kitchen recharging dock, where it normally sleeps. I got into bed, turned the lights out, and wham — Fit's haptic buzzer kept going off several times a minute to tell me it had lost the Bluetooth connection. Fortunately, the mobile app lets you turn off Bluetooth disconnection reminders, which solved the problem. But then you don't get any disconnect alerts.

3. Huawei Fit screen is hard to read and navigate

The device's black and gray touchscreen is hard to read in nearly all lighting conditions. The display should also either be more responsive to touch, or the device should have one or two navigational buttons on its sides. As is, you have to work hard for the touch screen to register taps and then navigate through onscreen menus.

4. It's difficult to read heart-rate data

If you're sitting still and curious about your heart rate, you can swipe through touchscreen menus to see a current reading. Well, that's how it's supposed to work. In reality, Fit told me I needed to tighten the strap to get a reading. I did as I was instructed but no amount of adjustment made a difference.

During exercise I was able to get heart-rate readings. And for the most part, those numbers were accurate, at least compared to the readings I got from a Polar chest strap (See it on Amazon). But Fit's heart-rate readings during workouts are hard to read. (The first Fit I tested didn't record resting or workout heart rates.) 

5. Huawei Fit alerts are useless

You can receive smartphone notifications on the Fit, but its alert-message font is so large that it's very difficult to read.

6. No social leaderboard

If you want to compete against friends, coworkers, or family who also use a Fit wearable, you're all out of luck. No competitive or social leaderboard exists for you to check how your peeps are doing.

There are quite a few reasons to avoid Huawei Fit all together. But I do like some things about it. 

Huawei Fit's few strengths

Fit acts as a watch, and it always shows the time. The battery reportedly lasts for up to six days, based on how you use it. The bands are interchangeable. You can swim with Fit. And you can create a running plan or schedule, complete with exercise reminders — a nice touch.

huawei fit 2 Huawei

Today there are so many other, far better wearables to choose from, so my advice is to skip Fit. Instead, take the $130 you would have spent on Fit, add another $20, and get yourself a Fitbit Charge 2 (See it on Amazon). You won't regret that decision. 

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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