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Ernest Hood - Neighborhoods Music Album Reviews

A newly reissued private-press curio from 1974 captures the bygone sounds of daily life in Portland, Oregon, in dreamy, proto-ambient form.
In 1975, the Portland, Oregon, musician Ernest Hood pressed his lone solo album, Neighborhoods, in an edition of a few hundred. He passed out copies primarily to friends, and the album, a curious blend of found sounds and proto-ambient, disappeared into the Pacific Northwest mist. Newly reissued by Freedom to Spend (in a much improved pressing, spread across two discs), it’s not the first such rarity to be pulled from the ether in the 21st century, as YouTube’s algorithm accumulates millions of plays for once obscure jazz and new-age records. But it might be the most uncanny, an album that kindles a sensation not unlike watching home videos of your own childhood.

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Huawei Band 3 Pro Review

Offering GPS, constant heart rate tracking, fitness and sleep tracking for less than £80, the Band 3 Pro is an impressive bit of kit.

Should I Buy The Huawei Band 3 Pro?
The Band 3 Pro is a great, inexpensive fitness tracker that doesn't skimp on features with constant HR tracking, built-in GPS and both exercise and sleep tracking on offer. The performance is great, and it's cost-friendly too. What's not to like? 

Price When Reviewed
  • £79.99 (around $97)
The Huawei Band 3 Pro is an inexpensive fitness tracker with high-end features on offer. Offering built-in GPS, 5ATM waterproofing, advanced exercise and sleep tracking with a battery that lasts for days, the Band 3 Pro offers a holistic view at your exercise and sleep regimes in a small, understated form factor.

We’ve spent a couple of months exercising and sleeping whilst wearing the Huawei Band 3 Pro, and here’s what we think.   

Pricing And Availability
The Huawei Band 3 Pro is pretty cheap when you consider the GPS-enabled exercise and sleep tracking on offer, with an RRP of £79.99. If that wasn’t cheap enough, we’ve found it for as little as £52.98 on Amazon UK at the time of writing – that’s more than half the price of the £129.99 Fitbit Charge 3 with similar features on offer.

If the price has you tempted, you can buy the Huawei Band 3 Pro exclusively from Amazon in the UK. Those in the US will have to take a look at our selection of the best fitness trackers for inspiration as it’s unsurprisingly not available to buy in the States.

Understated Design With A Bright Display
The Huawei Band 3 Pro features the same basic fitness tracker design employed by the likes of the Fitbit Charge 3 and Xiaomi Mi Band 4, comprised of a soft-touch silicone strap and a body that houses the display and all the required smarts to track your activity on a daily basis.

The Band 3 Pro features an understated, clean design with no external buttons, just a touchscreen and a touch-sensitive bar to interact with.
More specifically, you’ll find a 0.95in AMOLED display with a decent 120 x 240 resolution housed within the 11mm-thick metal body of the Band 3 Pro. The silicone straps are designed to be comfortable to wear over long periods, and we’ve got no complaints wearing the Band 3 Pro all day long and even when sleeping.

The understated design of the Band 3 Pro means it doesn’t draw unnecessary attention and, as such, makes it the ideal accessory for not only gym workouts but everyday life too. It’s available in Obsidian Black, Space Blue and Quicksand Gold, but if you want, you can mix and match the removable straps to create a unique colour combination (at additional cost, of course). Gold and blue, anyone?

You’ve got three watch faces to choose from, including a classic analogue watch face and a colourful watch face with a digital clock, weather information and step tracking for casual use along with a fitness-focused face that provides at-a-glance fitness tracking data.

There are additional watch faces on the Huawei website and the company claims that these will be released via OTA update, but almost a year after the reveal, these are yet to appear.

Impressive Fitness Tracking Capabilities
Featuring a built-in GPS and heartrate monitor, the Band 3 Pro is ready to track all kinds of activity. You’ve got access to constant activity tracking that measures not only your steps, but calories, distance walked, standing hours and periods of moderate-to-high exercise throughout the day, giving you a good overview of your general fitness.

But, of course, the Band 3 Pro really shines in the dedicated exercise tracking department. It’s focused on running, swimming and cycling, offering dedicated modes for indoor and outdoor tracking for each, as well as a free training mode that you can use during any other exercise.

Running is the main focus of the Band 3 Pro, and via the Huawei Health app for iOS and Android, you can create a tailored running regime via to help you run faster, improve your stamina or train for a 5K. Whatever your motivation, chances are there’s a regime that aligns with that.

When running outdoors, the Band 3 Pro measures pace, distance and calories burnt alongside VO2Max measurements and a breakdown of your session via the Huawei Health app post-workout.

This includes in-depth information about your aerobic training effects, a heartrate breakdown, a map displaying your overall run with colour-coded tracing to indicate different areas of intensity and, most importantly, recommended recovery time before you attempt another run.

You can expect this level of in-depth information when cycling too, although there aren’t any exercise regimes tailored to cycling at the moment.

Swimming is another area where the Band 3 Pro excels, offering automatic stroke detection alongside calories burned, number of laps and your SWOLF score (which combines the number of strokes per length and the time it takes to complete a length) to help improve your form over time. The 50m water resistance certainly comes in handy here, and Huawei claims that it’s resistant in both chlorinated pool water and saltwater.

We’ve found the tracking to be impressively accurate no matter what we’re doing. We even put it up against the Apple Watch Series 4 on a handful of occasions and the results were almost identical. That’s impressive when you consider the high-end price tag of the Apple Watch and the sub-£80 price of the Band 3 Pro, and shows that there’s some serious tech under the hood here.

Alongside exercise tracking, the Band 3 Pro offers advanced sleep tracking capabilities. It’s automatic, so no need to remember to turn it on before you drift off to the land of nod, and measures just about everything you need to get a good overview of your night’s sleep. Via the Huawei Health app, you’ll see a breakdown of your sleep including total duration, the various stages of sleep, number of times you woke up, your breathing quality and more.

The most impressive part is that the app then takes this information and offers tailored advice to help you improve your sleep, be it exercising more during the day or performing deep breathing exercises before you get into bed.
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With general fitness, exercise and sleep tracking, the Band 3 Pro provides a holistic view of your exercise and sleep regime and provides insight into how one can affect the other.

Alongside fitness-focused features, the Band 3 Pro also provides notification support, phone call alerts and an alarm function too. It’s fairly basic, but if you want more smarts with a similar level of fitness tracking, you should consider the Huawei Watch GT 2.

Long Battery Life – As Long As You Don’t Exercise
Despite featuring a relatively small 100mAh battery, the Band 3 Pro can last for days with casual fitness and sleep tracking. We’ve found that it lasts around four days with real-time heartrate tracking before it needs a top-up, but Huawei claims that jumps up to 18 days with it disabled and up to 30 days on standby.

When it comes to dedicated exercise tracking – with GPS enabled – the battery life drops down to around 8 hours. That might not seem very long, but it’s long enough for most long-distance races. If you’re planning on doing anything longer than that (hats off to you!) then you might want to consider the Huawei Watch GT 2 with a claimed 30-hour battery life with GPS enabled.

When the Band 3 Pro does need a top-up, it takes around an hour and a half to go from flat-to-full via the contact charger. It’s not as elegant as other options on the market, as you have to align the plastic arms of the charger with notches in the body of the tracker and snap it into place.

The upside of this is that it’s very secure and you’re safe in the knowledge that it won’t stop charging, even if it falls off the table.

Verdict
The Band 3 Pro is a great, inexpensive fitness tracker that doesn't skimp on features. It offers constant heart rate tracking alongside built-in GPS that provides not only a great exercise tracking experience, but the sleep tracking on offer is impressive too. Plus, the understated design makes it fit in both the gym and at work. 

All that for less than £80? We think that's a great deal, especially when you consider the built-in GPS support - something usually exclusive to £100+ wearables. 

Specs
  • 0.95in AMOLED display (240 x 120)
  • 54 x 19 x 11mm
  • 25g
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 5ATM waterproofing
  • 100mAh battery
  • 6-axis accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • HR sensor with constant tracking
  • GPS
  • Exercise tracking
  • Fitness tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Notification support

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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