Honor Watch GS Pro review: a good value rugged smartwatch

The Honor Watch GS Pro doesn’t suffer from any kind of identity crisis.

It’s not trying to walk the line between fashion accessory and fitness device – it’s going all out as a chunky, rugged smartwatch for the outdoors.

Honor is a sub-brand of Chinese tech giant Huawei and marks itself out with a slightly different style and more affordable prices. For example, Huawei’s new GT2 Pro smartwatch is sleek, stylish and costs £320. While the Honor GS Pro is up for a scrap and comes in a bit cheaper at £250.

The circular watch face sets the GS Pro apart from the Apple Watch or Fitbit Sense and puts this device in the mould of Garmin and Polar’s outdoorsy wristwatches.

The AMOLED display has a 454 x 454 resolution surrounded by a stainless steel bezel. Make no mistake, it’s a chunky thing and won’t slip on nicely under a dress shirt. Still, it only weighs 45g so it’s lighter than it looks. The strap is made from fluororubber and feels both comfortable and durable. Two buttons on the right can be used for confirming or exiting options but many people may just prefer to use the touchscreen. The display is a big target to aim for but I did find that it missed my input once or twice when I jabbed at it whilst out walking.

The GS Pro is water resistant up to 50m and a quick scroll through the various sports-tracking options shows what it’s meant to be used for. Snowboarding, mountain hiking, open-water swimming, cycling and other activities can be tracked using the on-board GPS that combines with an active heart-rate tracker to give you a breakdown of how you performed.

One handy feature is the ‘Route Back’ option which uses the GPS to help you trace your way back to where you started without having to consult your phone. I haven’t been out for any mountain hikes in the last week but I’m sure it could prove very useful.

All of this data syncs with the Huawei Health app, which you’ll need to download and register for in order to use the device. Unfortunately, it won’t go any further than Huawei’s app because you can’t migrate the data into something like Strava or Google Fit to consolidate it with other information you may have recorded.

For what it’s worth, the Huawei Health app is a pretty robust and easy-to-use fitness app for capturing all the information you’ll need to get fitter and healthier. Olympic athletes may want more depth, but for most of us it’ll do just fine. There were occasional lapses

Health tracking doesn’t stop at workouts, either. You can use the GS Pro for measuring your blood oxygen levels (very much in vogue at the moment) as well as record your stress levels.

Beyond the health tracking, there are general smartwatch functions such as the option to receive notifications, check the weather and control music. In fact, you can load music directly onto the GS Pro and use the built-in speaker to pump it out in all its tinny glory. As a side note, the speaker occasionally chimes in during a workout to give you an update on how you’re doing – which was a surprise the first time it happened.

You can set the screen to always-on if you want to although this will halve the battery life which Honor quotes as a whopping 25 days. I haven’t had the device for anywhere near that long so can’t be sure of the voracity of the claim yet. It charges via a small magnetic dock that plugs in to a standard USB-C cable.

Is it better than the Apple Watch Series 6 or Fitbit Sense? Nope, but it’s still a good proposition for anyone wanting a resilient smartwatch kitted out with all the vital sensors.

There’s not the kind of app support or depth of integration you’ll get from the aforementioned brands, but the GS Pro is still a nice package for a reasonable price. Adventurers will get a kick out of the rugged design and the fitness features are enough to give you plenty of insight and information for when Covid-19 is finally over and we can head out into the world again.

You can buy the Honor Watch GS Pro for £250 here.

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