Last Wednesday, KnowTechie’s roving reporter (namely me) took a train to London for a briefing with Honor – the youth-oriented sub-brand of Donald Trump’s favorite tech company, Huawei.
Although Honor lacks immediate brand-recognition in the US, it’s massive in Europe and Asia. It’s among the top five smartphone vendors in France, Russia, and Italy. Within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, Huawei is second only to Samsung – and much of its success comes from Honor, thanks to its eye-popping designs and affordable prices.
At an intimate meeting by leafy Tavistock Square, Honor showed off three new products. Two I can talk about; one, not so much.
A new fitness band for competitive gym bunnies
First up, the Honor Band 5 Sport. I tend to shy away from covering fitness wearables. That’s for two reasons: a.) they’re excruciatingly boring, and b.) I’m allergic to most common strap materials. If I end up reviewing one, I’m in so much pain I want to amputate my arm, a bit like how James Franco did in 127 Hours.
But this one is interesting enough to justify a few paragraphs. Unlike most fitness bands, which focus on a few key metrics (steps taken, calories burned), the Honor Band 5 Sport emphasizes the quality of exercise. So, for example, if you’re a basketballer, it’ll highlight information about things like landing impact.
The Honor Band 5 Sport can do that because it literally clips onto your shoe. Of course, you can also wear it like a traditional wrist-mounted fitness tracker. It comes with a colorful strap that, according to the company, is made out of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.
The Honor Band 5 Sport is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has a 14-day battery life. Global pricing information is not yet available, but we should expect it later this month when the device is formally launched at an event in Amsterdam.
We’re also getting a review unit, so keep an eye out for our coverage later down the line. Oh, the things I subject myself to for you, dear reader…
New fitness earphones
Those who’ve followed Huawei for the previous few years know the company is tentatively wading into the audio space. At the IFA 2019 tech show in Berlin, the company unveiled a special chip that, in theory, offers lower-latency performance than what you’d get with Apple’s AirPods 2. That’s crucial if you’re playing multiplayer games or are trying to hold a phone conversation.
And now there’s the Honor Sport Pro earphones, which look genuinely interesting. Unlike totally wireless earbuds, there’s a strip of neckband connecting the two halves. This pulls apart to reveal a USB-C connection, which is used to charge the device.
Interestingly, you can also use it to pair the earbuds with your phone. It packs a technology called HiPair, which lets you connect the Honor Sport Pro to your phone by plugging it in. This saves you the effort of fiddling with your Bluetooth settings.
Sadly, this feature only works with select Honor and Huawei smartphones. That’s a shame because it’s a really good idea.
Again, we’re getting a review unit of this, so keep an eye out for our in-depth coverage later down the line.
A new Honor phone with a snazzy back
As you might expect, Honor is rolling out a new phone. There’s literally nothing I can tell you about it, other than it’s called the Honor 9X, and it has a really intriguing back (that, incidentally, is nothing short of frustrating to capture). When the light hits it in a certain way, it creates a little ‘X’ pattern.
Honor will formally announce this phone next week. We’ve already got our grubby mitts on a device, so keep an eye out for our coverage.
What do you think? Interested in anything Huawei is doing with these new products? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.