Honor Band 6 firmware update brings automatic SpO2 monitoring

A new firmware update making its rounds adds automatic blood oxygen tracking to the Honor Band 6. Up to now, the fitness tracker only allowed for on-demand readings.

The Huawei spin-off brand has a range of wearables of its own. One of these is the Honor Band 6 which has more than a passing resemblance to the Huawei Band 6. In fact, the two are almost identical both in looks and functionality.

The only real difference between them is that Huawei’s product had continuous SpO2 measurements, while Honor Band 6 only had on-demand readings. But this firmware update upgrades the Honor Band functionality, which means that pretty much the only remaining difference between them are the color options.

In our review earlier this year, we note that Honor Band 6 blood oxygen saturation works well. It hardly ever fails to register a reading the first time around. About 20 seconds is all it takes to get an on-demand measurement. The readings seem good enough, although it is worth noting that measurements from the wrist are never going to be on par with dedicated finger-based SpO2 readers.

However, how many of us are really going to take time through the day to take a blood oxygen level reading? Probably not many. This is why having a device that automatically does this for you makes the functionality many times more useful.

One year since its launch, a new firmware update for Honor Band 6 is rolling out now which does exactly that. What’s more, users will also get alerts for low blood oxygen readings. Checking this in the morning after you wake up can help identify if you are coming down with an illness.

The other update the software brings is a significant upping of the number of sports modes tracked. It is now 95, up from 10 previously. That’s one less than the 96 that can be found on Huawei Band 6. We’re not sure which is the one sport that did not make the cut.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

You can check out our hands-on review of Honor Band 6 on this link. The device packs a massive 1.47 inch display so is great for those that want something that is easy to read but are not ready for (or do not want) a smartwatch. There’s a plethora of fitness features on-board and all of this works fine. No built-in GPS, mind you, but you do get Connected GPS.

All things considered, this is a decent offering. We especially like the two week battery life and the reasonable $60 price-tag.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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