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Review: Huawei Watch GT 2

by : Matt Weston on : 10 Apr 2020 17:20
Huawei

In a market completely dominated by Apple and Fitbit, it can seem like there are only a couple options if you want to purchase a smartwatch. With the Watch GT 2, Huawei’s second-generation device is perfect for fitness fanatics.

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Huawei are still newcomers to the world of watches, having only released the original Watch GT in November 2018. But having spent a few weeks using their GT2 for this review, you can tell they’ve learnt a lot in such a short time period. The impressive design has been carried over to their latest wearable, as well as refining some of its specs and software. It’s evident that the manufacturer are making a big push into the smartwatch market.

The best place to start when discussing the watch is with the design. The GT 2 is the company’s first smartwatch with an all-in-one 3D glass screen. It’s available in two sizes; the 42 mm Series or the one we received to review, the 46 mm Series. The 46mm watch has a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen with a display resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. I was really impressed at how ultra-thin the screen was, at just 10.7mm thick! With a brightness of 1,000 nits, the picture looked incredibly sharp, making the most colourful watch faces stand out.

The next unique selling point for the GT 2 is its battery life. Powered by a Kirin A1 chipset, it uses power-saving technology to ensure low-power consumption. While using this watch, I was able to easily get over 24 hours of usage without needing to put it on charge. This was including having the watch screen constantly on. With the utilisation of power-saving features, I could use the device for another 24 hours.

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The combination of high performance and longer battery life makes it a great purchase if you’re constantly on the move. You’ll like the device even more if you’re into sport.

In Huawei’s dedicated sports mode, it’s able to provide exercise data for over 15 sports. These include running, walking, climbing, hiking, swimming, triathlon and using a rowing machine. Whilst going out running in the morning, the device was able to give me pinpoint accurate timings and measurements. The analysis was definitely appreciated, and you really miss it if you to exercise without having it on. After all, have you done exercise if it’s not been electronically logged?

While I did not trial wearing the device in a swimming pool, it has a 5ATM waterproof rating. This means that the smartwatch can survive at depths of 50m underwater for 30 minutes. It’s always handy to know if you get water on your watch while washing your hands, the device will be absolutely fine.

Other great fitness features are heart rate and sleep monitoring, as well as providing feedback on a user’s stress index. It can become very addictive swiping through and seeing if there have been any spikes in heart rate. In addition to this, there’s also a reminder to move about if you’ve been sat still for too long. While the idea is to encourage people to get up and stretch, I actually found this feature quite frustrating.

There are some other things which are worth noting. Bluetooth calling, an ambient light, thermometer and music playback functionalities have been added. The features you will primarily using on the device will be related to fitness tracking and that classic function of telling the time.

Overall I have been extremely impressed with what the smartwatch has to offer. It’s fair to say that it has got the basics right: a great design, decent battery life and covers lots of bases when it comes to sport modes.

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However, there a few things that it would’ve been nice to be included. For example, unlike there’s no NFC support which means you’re unable to make payments with the watch. There’s also no way to really customise the device to your own. The only thing you can really change is the watch face.

The biggest blow is that there’s no support for third-party apps, due to not having an app store on the device. If you need to update the device, you have to do it through the Bluetooth connection to your smart device. This is because there’s no Wi-Fi or LTE support for the device.

When it comes to deciding if you should buy this device, the main thing you have to weigh up is whether you are going to make the most of the fitness features. If you are a keen runner or cyclist, this could be the smartwatch for you. It’s down to doing the all-important basics superbly that I would personally recommend the device for active people. I think that having third-party app support will be an absolute game changer for Huawei and the smartwatch market. Until then, I can see why some people may stick to the tried and trusted Apple Watch Series.

Matt Weston

Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he's a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.

Topics: Technology, Apple, huawei, Review, Smartwatch, watch