In addition to tracking your pulse, the Fit is capable of quite a few tasks, though they’re all typical for the category. With its onboard accelerometer, gyroscope and HRM, it automatically keeps tabs on your steps, sleep, time elapsed, calories burned, cardio zone and distance traveled (when connected to your phone’s GPS). The new Huawei Wear app for iOS and Android also lets you create customized workout plans to meet goals such as running a 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon. The schedule is beamed to your wrist so you can stay on target without having to pull out your phone.
For those who are interested in activities other than running, Fit also has workout modes for walking and cycling, and it will follow your distance, time, fat burning and aerobic performance during those workouts. You can start a session from your wrist or phone, if you want to tap its GPS for distance-tracking.
The Fit is rated IP68 and 5 ATMs for water resistance, which, in layman’s terms, means it can withstand submersion at up to 50 meters. The goal is to add swim-tracking capability to the Fit by 2017, but this feature is not yet live.
Like many other fitness bands on the market, the Fit will remind you to get up and move if you’ve been idle for 30 minutes or longer. I got an alert in the middle of writing this story, and the watch showed an animated stick figure doing some stretches to prod me into action. (I ignored it, because who has time for that?). And just like the rest of its competition, the Fit will buzz to alert you of incoming calls, texts and messages from apps such as WeChat and Facebook. The list of apps that can send notifications to the Fit is short at the moment, but Huawei says it’s working on adding more.
During my time with it, the Fit was slow to read my pulse. I’m used to the Charge 2’s speedy response time, so the relatively long 12 seconds I had to wait for the Fit’s readout probably drove my heart rate way up.
Folks with more patience can likely live with that delay (and the Fit’s other minor shortcomings) in exchange for its relatively low price. For the money, it offers a decent list of features, especially that constant HRM, and a clean design. But $20 is a small price to pay to upgrade to the more powerful Fitbit Charge 2, which has a better display and faster sensor. Ultimately, the Huawei Fit’s biggest problem is that it simply doesn’t feel like something you’d spend $130 on. Huawei needs to drop the Fit’s price below $100 if it’s going to stand a chance against the competition.