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Huawei Band 7 vs Xiaomi S1 Active: Which Will You Choose

The Huawei Band 7 is one of the packages that has surprised many in the world of fitness bands. Based on my experience and testing, a lot of the features that are offered are very reliable and, more importantly, consistent. This will be an interesting encounter when I compare the Huawei Band 7 against the Xiaomi S1 Active.

Normally at fitness tracker doesn’t always out perform the smartwatch because the smartwatch has the greater capacity to have have more advanced sensors. I was surprised to see that the Huawei Band 7 won this comparison by a fair margin winning 4-2. Here is a quick summary of my testing results.

Smart FeaturesS1 Active
Health FeaturesBand 7
Third Party AppsBand 7
Workout Mode AbilityBand 7
GPS TrackingS1 Active
Battery LifeBand 7

4-2 is quite a big margin, and the only category that the S1 Active really shined is the smart feature ability category. As for GPS tracking, thats really a no contest because the Huawei Band 7 does not have built in GPS. In this artcle I will go into detail for each category and explain the advatages or disadvatages the devices have over each other.

If you are not previously acquainted with my comparison articles, I must inform you that I do not compare specifications. I solely compare my testing outcomes of the devices, as I believe it to be more valuable. This allows potential buyers to acquire insight into the device prior to making their purchase.

Smart Features : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

S1 Active has the ability to make a SOS call, which is a handy smart feature if you are in need of emergency assistance.

If you are not familiar with the smart feature ability category, it consists of built in features than can assist you with your daily life with a form of automation. Examples of this is, auto reply messaging, ability to answer calls and so forth.

In this category, the S1 Active is the clear winner in this category and is probably the most strongest feature that the S1 Active has to offer you. In the end you will find the final score to be a little lopsided. Here is my testing results

LevelS1 ActiveVersa 4
Final Score10/157/15

Based on my testing the S1 Active should actually score a lot higher and match some of the best watch’s in the market for smart features which are Apple, Samsung and Garmin. However the major downfall of the S1 Active is to provide some form of reliability. Here are a few things that the S1 Active has the advantage.

Ability to contactless payment : Unfortunately my version of the Huawei Band 7 in Australasia does not have contactless payment, however the S1 Active does. Xiaomi pay isn’t something that is used here in New Zealand, so if contactless payment is important to you, then you might want to check that out first before you buy. Xiaomi Pay also accepts Mastercard, and not Visa.

Ability to make a SOS call. A very handy feature to have when you are out and about. All you need to do is tap the sport button three times and the watch will make a direct call to your emergency contact. However, in my opinion it’s not a reliable feature because when your SOS call ends, it does not send a secondary SOS message like a test message to your contact with GPS coordinates. Or if you are in capable of tapping the sport button three times, it does not have fall detection to activate a SOS call. If this kind of feature is important to you then please be aware of the things that I have mentioned.

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Digital Assistance : The S1 Active has Alexa built in. Quite a useful feature however based on my user experience it’s very slow to execute my voice commands. It even gets to a point where Im not sure the device understands. My Versa 4 interaction with Alexa is far better and quicker than the S1 Actives is. Please note that I am only speaking from my own experience. Here in New Zealand we dont have a English setting yet, but I think’s it’s the reason for it’s slow performance.

Those are the three main advantages that the S1 Active has over the Huawei Band 7 in terms of smart feature ability. The S1 Active has all the features that the Band 7 has to offer in this category and does not hold any advantages over the S1 Active in this category. If you want to know more about how I go about testing and how I arrive to my final scores you can check out my articles for the full details.

Health Features : Winner Huawei Band 7

Huawei Band 7, Various heart rate tracking modes

When it comes to health tracking, both devices are not known to provide strong health features like what Fitbit, Apple or withing’s watch’s have to offer. Both devices provide very decent health features that can give you a general idea of you health, heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep tracking and the ability to deal with stress.

The only reason why I have given the Huawei Band 7 the win in this category is because it can one extra health feature that the S1 Active cannot. That feature is called snore detection.

Snoring can lower your bodies ability to resist insulin which in turn can cause diabetes which is why you see a lot of the leading health smart watch’s have this feature now within the last 5 years. This feature should not be used to treat causes of snoring, but the recording data is something you can share with your doctor in case you have deep concerns about your sleep health.

Third Party App Ability : Huawei Band 7

Huawei Band 7, timer is easy to activate

Third party app ability is really about how a device interacts with third party apps or any apps developed by the brand as extra’s. I was surprised to find that the Huawei Band 7 out performed the S1 active in this category, especially the indirect category. Here is a summary of my testing results in this category.

FeatureS1 ActiveBand 7
Connection TypeBluetoothBluetooth
App Stores2/52/5
In Direct Ability0/55/5
Direct Ability1/5zero
Final Score3/157/15

Considering the Band 7 win this category by four point tells you a lot about how great the Huawei Band 7 is. I would say based on my testing experience with the S1 Active, it’s the lowest score I have given a device and it’s mainly due to reliability and consistently. I will explain this briefly for each testing category.

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Apps Stores : Not a lot to offer which is why both devices gets a 2 out of 5. The band 7 does not have the ability t down load apps. Never the less the apps that are on offer from both app galleries are not very useful, such as calculator, puzzles or chess. It’s definelty not at the same level as Apple, Garmin or Google for that matter.

In direct ability : If you are not familiar with the term, it’s where you can share all of your tracking data with a third party application, and in my opinion is the preferred way to do it. The Huawei Band 7 gets a perfect score in this category because the tracking data synchronised immediately once my phone was in Bluetooth range. Whereas the S1 Active, it sometimes didn’t synchronise, and sometimes it does a few days later. I think there maybe bugs still be fixed, but in my experience using the device for this, it wasn’t great.

Direct Ability : If you are not familiar with the term, it’s the ability to control an app directly from the watch, whether it’s a third party app or a app developed by the brand. Unfortunately the Band 7 does not have this ability, whereas the S1 Active does. The app gallery is compatible to Android and IOS phones only, any phone that uses a different operating system wont be able to download apps onto your watch.

The S1 Active cannot download any third party apps onto the watch but it has it’s own brand apps. I downloaded a notepad app onto my phone and a lot of the time, the app will disconnect and ask me to reinstall. My experience when using this feature wasn’t the greatest which deserved it’s rating of 1 out of 5. Please be aware of this before you buy.

Workout Mode Ability : Huawei Band 7

Huawei band 7 can determine your recovery times. S1 Active cannot.

When it comes to tracking your workouts, both devices are very reliable when doing so. However the Huawei Band 7 wins this category quite easily as the more superior with a greater workout mode ability. Here is a summary of my testing results.

CriteriaS1 ActiveBand 7
SpecialitySmart AppsHealth
Basic Level5/55/5
Intermediate Level1/53/5
Advanced Level0/51/5
Final Score6/159/15

In the end the Huawei Band 7 has the clear advantage over the S1 active with a three point gap between the two devices. There are a few features that the Huawei Band 7 has that gives it the edge over the S1 Active.

Ability to determine your training load : A useful feature that can help you train a lot smarter. This feature uses all of your activity data, sleep data and stress data to form a easy to read number to identify your training load. If your training load is low, you should take it easy and do recovery workouts such as walking, or if your training load is high, then your body is able to withstand high intensity training. A very reliable feature.

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Determine your fitness level : This can only be achieved if you are doing any aerobic type exercises such as running. From this it can determine your V02 max which is your bodies ability to absorb oxygen during activity. To put it quite simply when a person is very fit, their bodies ability to absorb oxygen is more efficient which in turn you will get a higher V02 max. Very useful feature to have when tracking your fitness level.

Ability to improve performance : This feature is an advanced feature which is called Running Ability Index (RAI), this feature can help you to run more efficiently. All is required is for you use the running programs by Huawei, and the RAI will track that information over time and provide some insight to your running ability. I do have a full article on how this all works so you should check that out at some time.

These are the main advantages that the Band 7 has over the S1 Active, if you want to know more about my testing and how I provide a final score check out my latest articles on workout mode ability.

GPS Tracking : Winner Xiaomi S1 Active

S1 Active’s GPS tracking is very reliable

There is only one winner in this category and that is the Xiaomi S1 Active by default because the Huawei Band 7 does not have built in GPS. Even still, the S1 Active is very reliable when it comes to GPS tracking and is in fact one of the top devices that I have tested to date.

For more information about my testing results, please check out my article on the devices accuracy

Battery Life : Winner Huawei Band 7

Huawei Band 7 music control is a s good as the S1 Active

Normally in this comparison, I would compare two categories which is battery economy and GPS battery consumption. In the end I have left out GPS battery consumption because the Band 7 does not have GPS built in. Here is a summary of my final testing results.

CriteriaS1 ActiveBand 7
Battery economy without GPS2/54/5
Final Score2/154/15

In the end the Band 7 has a two point advantage over the S1 Active, which is huge in battery economy. I will break it down.

CriteriaS1 ActiveBand 7
Battery economy without GPS per day14%10%
No of days69
Star rating 24

Please note that the battery life test is based on my own typical battery usage. I always end my testing once 90% of it battery has been consumed and as you can see the Band 7 has the clear advantage over the S1 Active which makes the device 29% more efficient.

Don’t get me wrong that the S1 Active’s performance is very good, because 6 days battery without GPS tracking is very good. But it does give you an idea how good other devices are in the market. My number one ranked devices can last up to two weeks on a single charge, and those are the types of devices that I will give a five star rating on.

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about both devices in comparison. The Huawei Band 7 has been one of the devices that’s performed above expectations and at a very affordable price which makes it an attractive option to choose.

In the end I was very surprised of the final result being this way, but after taking a moment to reflect on what I have written, I still think it aligns with how I think about both devices based on my testing.

I truly hope you have gained enough information about both devices before you decide to buy. Both devices have it’s imperfections, but please take note of some of the things that I have mentioned that could impact on your user experience. Once again thank you for reading.