At a time when many thought Huawei has given up on the wearables market, the Chinese company launched its latest smartwatch, Watch GT.
Measuring at only 10.6mm thick, the Watch GT has a round 1.39-inch Amoled touchscreen display with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels and is available in two models – Classic and Sport.
The Classic model (version tested) features a stainless steel round case with black ceramic bezel and a brown leather band, while the Sport model is an all-black affair down from a black stainless steel case to its black silicone band.
Apart from these differences, they are basically the same smartwatch. I prefer the Classic model as I like the two-tone design and brown leather band. From far, it looks like an analogue timepiece. But it is quite a big watch, and might not be ideal for slim wrists.
The inside of the brown leather band is made of silicone that is more resistant to sweat and feels very comfortable. Thus, you have the best of both worlds in terms of looks and functionality.
The Watch GT comes with a barometer, altimeter, accelerometer and a built-in heart rate monitor that provides all-day tracking of your heart rate as well as built-in GPS to track your runs. It is also able to monitor your sleep.
Given its affordable price tag, something has got to give. There is no built-in Wi-Fi or Near Field Communications (NFC). Without NFC, it does not support any form of mobile payment unlike the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
PRICE: $298 (Sports), $328 (Classic, version tested)
WATER RESISTANCE: 50m
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, GPS
WEIGHT: 46g (without strap)
BATTERY LIFE: 5/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
It also does not use Google’s Wear OS. Instead, it uses Huawei’s Lite OS mobile operating system. This means there are few apps and watch faces available.You only get basic ones such as torch, weather, compass, stopwatch, timer and alarms. And there are only 12 watch faces to choose from. Furthermore, Huawei is not allowing third-party support for Lite OS.
Interestingly, you have to use the Huawei Health app to pair with the Watch GT. It makes me wonder if the Watch GT is a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.
Because in terms of smartwatch functions, the Watch GT is lacking. For example, you cannot see an Instagram photo on the smartwatch when the notification arrives even though it has a big display.
However, in terms of fitness tracking, the Watch GT performed superbly. For tracking steps, the Watch GT’s readings were only 3 per cent off from the readings of my calibrated Apple Watch Series 4.
Using GPS to track runs, the Watch GT was only 200m off from my usual 5km jogging route.
For sleep tracking, the Watch GT is as accurate as Fitbit which – in my opinion – is the leading sleep tracker for fitness trackers.
It produces sleep cycle graphs, similar to those found on Fitbit’s fitness tracker, which break your sleep patterns into deep sleep, light sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. It also provides insights to deep sleep continuity and your breathing quality during sleep.
Furthermore, it gives your sleep an overall score – from 0 to 100 points – and provides tips on how to improve your sleep. For example, it might say your breathing quality during sleep is not good enough and how to improve it.
The Watch GT has a battery life rated at 14 days with heart rate monitoring turned on. If turned off, it can last a month. It is said to last 22 hours with continuous exercise tracking with heart rate monitoring and GPS turned on.
In this review with the Watch GT paired to an Android smartphone all the time, I found the smartwatch to have 50 per cent battery life on the sixth day (with a 5km GPS-logged run) after a full charge. By then, I had already caved in to battery anxiety and put it to charge.
Verdict: The Huawei Watch GT is more of a fitness tracker that looks like a smartwatch, at a very affordable price.
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