The Honor Band Zero embraces the circular face. Huawei

With its circular time-telling face and familiar buckle closure, it's tempting to think of the new Huawei Honor Band Zero as a smartwatch. Resist. True, it will show the time (synced from your smartphone), but it's more accurate to call the Honor Band Zero a souped-up fitness- and sleep tracker with some built-in alerting capabilities. (That isn't necessarily a strike against it, by the way.)

Hardware and design

  • Large size: 9.6 inches by 1.5 inches by 0.4 inch (244.4x38x9.5 mm)
  • Small: 9 inches by 1.5 inches by 0.4 inch (229.4x38x9.5 mm)
  • 1.4 ounces/40 grams
  • 70mAh battery
  • Water-resistant

In wearables, it's all about that face. Huawei embraces the trend of emulating a classic watch, giving this Honor Band Zero a circular, thickly bezeled touchscreen on a buckled, plastic strap. Like the Apple Watch , the Honor Band Zero comes in two sizes (small and large), and varies the routine with three colors, in this case white, dark gray and pale gold.

It looks a lot like the Misfit Shine , but with a touchscreen, OLED face.

The Honor Band Zero comes with a smaller size for slimmer wrists. Huawei

The wearable meets military specification IP68 for resistance to water and dust, a must for any wrist-worn gadget you're bound to splash with water or dunk into the sink. In this case, Huawei promises protection for down to 10 meters, which is almost 33 feet. In contrast, most water-resistant smartphones are rated to hold out down to 1 meter of water, or 3 feet.

How about that all-important battery life? This 70mAh ticker can take you as long as four days on a single charge, with a standby time of up to 14 days.

What it can do

  • Track fitness activities and calories
  • Monitor sleep
  • Locate phone
  • Take photos remotely (iOS)
  • Mute incoming calls (iOS)
  • Gesture support
  • Android, iOS support

Like typical smart devices, the Honor Band Zero connects to your Android or iOS phone through Bluetooth. You'll manage the device -- and sync the time -- through a free mobile app. If you've got a Huawei phone, the Honor Band Zero works with Android 5.0 and up; on other Android phones you only need Android 4.4 or higher. The software also supports iOS 7 and up, making the wearable a cross-platform device.

Tracking your fitness and monitoring your sleep are this wearable's main (and common) functions. It'll also track your calorie consumption and count your steps, find your phone (being in Bluetooth range helps) and manage alarms.

Interestingly, iPhone users get the additional functions of being able to trigger photos remotely and silence incoming calls.

While you will be able to view incoming calls and reminders, the Honor Zero Band won't serve as a communications hub on your wrist for reading and responding to calls, texts and social-network updates.

It does, however, support gestures to light up the screen by wiggling your wrist or raising it up.

Pricing and availability

The Honor Band Zero has been announced for China and Europe, where it will go on sale towards the end of the year for 79 euros or £59. There's no word on US or Australian launches yet, but the UK price converts to $90 or AU$130. If it does eventually make its way to the US, it will join the rectangular Huawei TalkBand B2 , a wearable with similar functions and a built-in Bluetooth earpiece.

Editor's note September 1: Added UK and European prices.