Huawei Watch GT2 46mm review: Great fitness band, not-so-great smartwatch

The ongoing tussle between the US and China has made the latter’s biggest technology company Huawei change its product strategy in several international markets, including India. Known for its premium smartphones in the country, Huawei announced in 2019 that it would also bring its ecosystem products to India. Soon after, the company launched in India its premium smartwatch, the Huawei Watch GT2.

Priced at Rs 15,990, the Huawei Watch GT2 (46mm) has packed in some interesting features, besides the regular fitness-related ones. On paper, the smartwatch seems to have something in store for everyone. But does it? Let’s find out:

What it offers

Design: The Huawei Watch GT2 has a mature design that goes well with most outfits. It has a circular case with a slightly raised touchscreen on top and a heart-rate sensor at the bottom. Covering the case is a metallic frame made of stainless steel, which looks novel and modern. The frame around the screen is minimal and stamped with numerical (multiple of twos), representing time in the 24-hour format. The right side of the frame features twin multipurpose buttons; the top one for general menu and bottom one (customisable) for workout menu.

Display: The Huawei Watch GT2 design is accentuated by a bold-looking 1.39-inch OLED touchscreen of a 454 x 454 resolution. The screen supports sliding gestures; swipe-down for quick settings, swipe-up for notifications, and swipe-horizontally (left and right) to access music player and information related to heart rate, stress, weather, steps count, etc. The screen is bright, vivid and has good sunlight legibility. It supports several watch faces, most with dark backgrounds that look dazzling on OLED screen. The watch also supports custom watch faces, allowing you to turn any picture from your phone into a watch face background.

Health and fitness features: The Huawei Watch GT2 is loaded with several health and fitness features, including the uncommon stress and air pressure monitors. Starting from health-related features, the smartwatch has a multipurpose heart rate sensor, which accurately registers heart rhythms during active and resting hours. Through this sensor, the watch also monitors stress levels. It supports auto stress level monitoring, and has a dedicated breathing exercise built in to assist in bringing down the stress level. The heart-rate sensor also doubles up as a sleep monitor to register sleep quality.

As for fitness features, the watch supports several activities, including running courses, outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor walk, indoor walk, outdoor cycle, indoor cycle, pool swim, open water, climb, hike, trail run, triathlon, elliptical and rower. There is also the option to choose ‘other’ for workouts that are not part of listed fitness activities. For outdoor activities, the watch supports GPS and GLONASS. These satellite positioning systems allow the watch to instantly fix location coordinates and accurately record data.

Battery: Complementing the smartwatch’s dazzling display and useful health and fitness features is the Huawei Watch GT2’s on-battery time. Depending on how you use the smartwatch, you get at least eight days of on-battery time on a single charge.

What could have been better

Storage: The Huawei Watch GT2 has 4 GB of shared internal storage. Of that only 2.2GB is accessible for storing data — audio files, additional watch faces, etc. That seems inadequate.

Huawei Health app: The Huawei Watch GT2 is heavily reliant on the company’s Health app (Android and iOS). Unfortunately, the app is neither intuitive nor agile. It seems to be designed primarily to present the health- and fitness-related stats. Therefore, there is nothing more you can expect from it. It lacks a built-in store for watch faces and apps. That said, the watch does not support any third-party apps and watch faces, and makes do with the limited set of apps and watch faces that come pre-installed.

Operating system: The Huawei Watch GT2 has a sleek performance, thanks to Huawei’s lightweight operating system. However, the proprietary operating system lacks basic features. For examples, quick replies are missing; the watch struggles with notifications; not all instant messenger notifications are received on watch; audio controls for music files playing on the phone show up only when the Huawei Health app is active in the phone’s background; raise the wrist feature shows the watch’s home screen every time; and the watch gives preference to its speaker and microphone for calls even when the phone is connected with wireless earphones.

Specifications
Weight 41g (without strap)
Case 46mm (Metal + Plastic)
Display 1.39-inch AMOLED
Connectivity Bluetooth - BT5.1
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic, Optical heart rate, Ambient light, Air pressure, Capacitive
Charging port Magnetic charging thimble
Water resistance 5ATM

Verdict

The Huawei Watch GT2 seems more of a well-equipped fitness band than a full-fledged smartwatch. It impresses with its premium design, on-battery time, accurate health and fitness tracking, and sleek performance. However, its restricted companion app (Huawei Health) for smartphones and a limited app ecosystem leave you asking for more.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel