First look review: Honor ES | Affordable fitness tech with a lot of features

Sleek, light and a good option if you're looking for workout tools on a budget
First Look Review: Honor ES

The world of fitness trackers has grown a great deal in recent years and the range of features available are popping up on an increasing number of affordable devices. The Honor ES is the latest to join those ranks, offering a lot of handy tech for under £100.

As well as a 1.64in AMOLED touchscreen, the Honor ES has a lot to offer when it comes to training, with 95 different sport options in addition to tracking sleep, heart rate and stress. There are also 12 animated workouts, a 10-day battery life, and an SpO2 monitor.

Is it as good as it sounds? We've been putting the Honor ES through its reasonably priced paces to see how it compares to the growing range of fitness trackers out there.

Honor ES: Key features

Price: £99.99 | Weight: 21g (without strap) | 1.64" AMOLED Touch Display | 456 x 280 pixels | 10-Day Battery Life | 95 Workout Modes | 24/7 Heart-Rate Monitor | Stress and Sleep Monitor


Honor ES

When it comes to design, the Honor ES has a lot going for it. The slim, lightweight design twinned with the impressively clear and bright 1.64in AMOLED touchscreen makes for an impressive piece of kit. At 21 grams, it's almost unnoticeable when it's on the wrist and the thin strap offers a soft and comfortable experience.

The screen, probably the most impressive aspect of the watch, delivers an easy to use and responsive interface. Scrolling left or right brings up the core features of the watch: steps, stress, activity heart rate and music controls, while a downward swipe will take you to the topline watch controls.

The solitary button on the right opens up the main menu of features and shows off an impressive selection of options. That includes workout controls, SpO2 monitoring, sleep tracking, weather and notifications.

The information displayed on the watch itself is top line, but, you can pull out a surprising amount of data when you link to the Huawei Health app. The interface isn't quite as extensive as what you'll find with brands like Garmin or Fitbit, but there's ample analysis to satisfy the data fans out there.


First look review: Honor ES | Affordable outdoor tech with some neat features

Honor has put a lot into the ES for those looking for training features and the 95 different activity options should have most fitness enthusiasts covered. Those different modes do vary in terms of the amount of information you can get, with more niche options receiving time, heart rate and calories.

When it comes to running the ES has more than enough tracking functionality for the bulk of users. There may not be any advanced analysis on the device but you can expect to find pace, speed, cadence, stride length, heart rate zones and distance, although that does need to use your phone GPS signal for full usage.

As well as the range of activities, perhaps the most useful feature on the Honor ES for fitness is the in-built range of animated workouts you can do via the screen. The selection may not quite do the job for anyone looking for customised training plan, but for those just looking for simple guidance to keep active, they're an impressively clear and fun way to do a workout.


First look review: Honor ES | Affordable outdoor tech with some neat features

When it comes to tracking accuracy, the Honor ES does fall short in a lot of cases. The heart rate tracking tends to fluctuate a fair bit when doing a fitness activity and we did have issues when connecting with the app when running. The result often meant the run was tracked without a GPS signal and gave us a significantly lower reading than the actual distance.

As you would expect, this also means that heart rate zone analysis can vary and we often found the breakdown after exercise to appear incorrect. When compared with the Huawei Health app the final numbers often seemed to differ from what was delivered via the watch.

For sleep, the information delivered appeared to be accurate, generally falling in line with what we expected. On the watch itself, the overview is limited, however, the Huawei Health app gives a lot of detail on levels of sleep and what that actually means.

First look review: Honor ES | Affordable outdoor tech with some neat features

The SpO2 monitoring is a nice addition to the watch and allows you to see how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Based on the heart rate data we experienced this may have issues with accuracy, but for a budget level watch, it's a welcome addition that shows Honor is putting some major effort into delivering more advanced features.

Other features

Outside of fitness features the ES offers enough in terms of functionality to make it worth a look as a simple, but competent smartwatch. As well as notifications and weather information, there's also an effective breathing exercise app, the ability to operate your phone music, activity records, and stress monitoring.


For the price, the Honor ES has an awful lot going for it. The design is sleek and looks great, there are an impressive amount of features packed into it, the screen is crystal clear, and for fitness fans, there are absolutely loads of useful activity features to utilise.

The only downside to the watch for us was the accuracy of the tracking. Wrist-based sensors are still developing to the point where the data is delivering the goods, so at this price point, it's not surprising that there are issues. However, if training analysis is a core focus for your wearable tech, it may be a problem.

Tags:    Workout
Tagged    Workout