$70 Huawei Band 2 Pro shows the right stats to measure your fitness progress

Huawei band 2 pro
Huawei

Huawei, while best known for its smartphones, is also adept at making great wearables. Its latest is the Huawei Band 2 and the Huawei Band 2 Pro, which is the far more interesting of the two new models. Here’s everything you need to know about the fitness bands.

Where to buy the Huawei Band 2 Pro

In the United States, the Huawei Band 2 Pro is sold through Amazon, where it costs $70 and comes in either black, red, or blue. Amazon is also the place to get the Band 2 Pro if you’re in the United Kingdom, where it’s 80 British pounds, but only comes in the black color scheme. The corresponding Huawei fitness app is available for iOS and Android, and is free to download.

Why should you buy the Huawei Band 2 Pro?

The Huawei Band 2 Pro is compelling, mainly due to something we rarely see on anything other than top-flight fitness trackers: VO2Max measurement.

What’s VO2Max? It’s a metric used to measure how fit you are, by assessing the amount of oxygen your body can take in and use as energy. Unlike stats like calorie burn or step count, your V02Max number will improve the fitter you get, so it’s a great motivator, and an excellent indicator of whether your hard work is paying off. It’s worked out using analytical data taken from your heart rate and energy output, whether that’s on a treadmill, stationary bike, or through GPS when running outside. VO2Max is measured on the Band 2 Pro using sports analytics company Firstbeat’s technology, which promises 95-percent accuracy in its readings.

To get a VO2Max reading you’ll have to wear the Huawei Band 2 Pro, which has the all-important PPG heart rate sensor, and not the more basic Huawei Band 2 which is also available. The sensor is mounted underneath the body and active all day. The Band 2 Pro also has GPS onboard, which is naturally rather heavy on the battery. With it active, the Band 2 Pro will be out of power in 3.5 hours, but without it, working time — even with the heart rate monitoring — extends to 21 days, according to Huawei.

Firstbeat has also worked with Huawei on a running coach, where a personal training plan is created based on your fitness level, plus a recovery time indicator so you don’t over-exercise, and stats showing how your workouts are improving your overall fitness. The Band 2 Pro has Huawei’s TruSleep measurement, which monitors all stages of sleep including REM, and presents the data on a dashboard in the Huawei Health app. It also has a breathing coach for some mindfulness exercises.

On the technical side, the PMOLED screen shows all the related fitness data, and the band will pair with your Android phone to provide notifications, incoming call alerts, and a reminder if you accidentally leave your phone behind somewhere. Both the Band 2 and Band 2 Pro are water resistant to 5ATM, so are safe for swimming.

If many of these features sound familiar, it’s because the Firstbeat technology — that’s the VO2Max and all the training programs — is also used on the Huawei Watch 2. Here, it’s squeezed down into a sportier fitness band, rather than full-on smartwatch.

Update: The Huawei Band 2 Pro is now for sale in the U.K., a few weeks after its U.S. launch.

Product Review

The Oaxis Timepiece is minimalist in style, maximalist in frustration.

The Oaxis Timepiece wants to be a traditional watch, a fitness tracker, and a basic smartwatch all-in-one. That’s a tall order, despite it sounding quite simple, so can the sub-$180 wearable manage to pull it off?
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Wearables

Fitbit’s new fitness tracker is its cheapest, but you can’t buy it yourself

The Fitbit Inspire is the company's cheapest wearable device yet, but interested customers will not be able to buy it for themselves. The fitness tracker offers basic functions and features, but it may be Fitbit's most important product.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Amazon discounts Garmin, Fossil, and Apple Watches for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if you’re after a great gift for that special techie in your life, a smartwatch might be just the ticket. We’ve sniffed out the five best smartwatch deals available on Amazon right now.
Wearables

To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?
Outdoors

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Wearables

The Google Pixel Watch could finally launch sometime this year

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. Eventually, according to rumors, Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.
Wearables

Sony’s weird Wena isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smart watch strap

Sony's Wena smart watch straps have been around since 2015; but the company has now decided to launch them outside of Japan, starting with the U.K.. The straps convert traditional watch straps into smart watches.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Mobile

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…