Huawei has been active in the wearables sector for some time and has continuously launched new smartwatch models in India. The company launched the Watch GT for Rs. 15,990 early last year, and there is now a successor called Watch GT 2. Surprisingly, this watch offers more features, but is cheaper at Rs. 14,990. The new smartwatch promises a battery life of 14 days and has a speaker with which you can answer calls on the watch yourself. Should you put your money on the Watch GT 2? We'll check it out to find out.
Huawei Watch GT 2 design
Huawei offers the Watch GT 2 in two sizes; 42 mm and 46 mm. Surprisingly, the design for the two variants is somewhat different. The smaller one looks very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (review) with a simple case, while the larger version has markings around the bezel that give it a sportier look. We have the 46mm variant for this test.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 has two buttons on the right side. These stick out quite a bit, but are easy to press and offer good tactile feedback. The top button is in the user interface, while the bottom button can be assigned to any function on the smartwatch. Between these two buttons is the speaker grille, which is not easy to see.
Huawei used 2 wide 22mm bracelets for the Watch GT. These can be exchanged by the user and you can choose any standard 22mm bracelet of your choice. The basic option comes with a black fluoroelastomer bracelet that feels comfortable to wear.
The 1.39-inch AMOLED display offers a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels, which is higher than that of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which we recently tested. There is no pixel formation and the smartwatch has an automatic brightness with which it can adapt to changing ambient light conditions.
The heart rate sensor and the charging mechanism are located on the back of the device. The Watch GT 2 does not support wireless charging like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. Instead, a magnetic dock with pogo pins is used. The magnets on the charger help to securely attach the Watch GT 2. The Huawei charger uses a USB Type-C connector. So if you have a smartphone with a Type-C connector, you need to take one less cable with you.
Specifications, software and features of the Huawei Watch GT 2
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is powered by the company's Kirin A1 processor. Huawei developed this chip specifically for wearables, including smartwatches and wireless headphones. It competes with the Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC, which is used by most WearOS devices, and the Exynos 9110 SoC, which drives the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Huawei doesn't indicate how much RAM is available, but it does indicate that the watch has around 2 GB of storage space. This allows audio files to be stored on the watch itself, which can be streamed directly to a Bluetooth headset.
There is support for Bluetooth 5.1 along with GPS, which can be used to track outdoor runs. The device is waterproof up to 5 ATM, so you can take it with you for swimming. The 46 mm variant can also accept calls via Bluetooth.
Huawei runs proprietary software on the Watch GT 2 and is compatible with devices that run Android 4.4 (or higher) and iOS 9 or higher. In contrast to WearOS devices and Samsung Galaxy wearables, you have no way to download new apps to the Watch GT 2, which limits their functions somewhat. While this seems to be a major concern, Huawei has integrated a large number of essential functions into the device.
Like most other smartwatches, the Huawei Watch GT 2 can track steps and distances. It also has its own GPS for distance measurement. Heart rate, sleep and stress monitoring are also supported (although stress tracking only works in conjunction with Android smartphones). There is also a training log and some workouts are pre-configured. Huawei has managed to cover the basics, but the training list isn't as extensive as Samsung's on the Watch Active 2.
You need to download the Huawei Health app to sync the Watch GT 2 with a smartphone. The pairing process is quick and easy. Sleep and heart rate tracking are enabled by default. Stress tracking must be activated manually via the Health app on an Android smartphone.
Huawei Watch GT 2 performance and battery life
The Huawei Watch GT 2 has a razor-sharp display that is visible under direct sunlight. The ambient light sensor quickly increases the brightness when needed. Huawei doesn't offer always-on mode on this smartwatch, but you can leave the display on for up to 20 minutes after use. This could disappoint people who want a permanently visible display. The watch wakes up quickly when you raise your hand and the indicator turns off when you lower it.
Performance could have been better as the smartwatch feels slow compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 when scrolling through the user interface. If you swipe quickly a few times, the Watch GT 2 may not be able to register the last one. It also takes time to open sub-menus, which can be annoying if you're in a hurry. While we were using the watch at a leisurely pace, we didn't notice these problems.
The Watch GT 2 buzzes to alert you to incoming notifications and you can adjust the intensity of the vibration. You can see warnings on the watch but cannot interact with them. For example, if you hoped to be able to quickly respond to WhatsApp messages with the watch, you will be disappointed. You can answer calls on the watch. The built-in speaker is quite loud, but you need to move it close to your ears to hear callers clearly.
We tested the Watch GT 2's fitness tracking functionality by running exactly 1 km, and the watch reported 1.02 km, which is a good result. The Watch GT 2 uses GPS to track the distance and the route we took was shown on a map. To check the accuracy of the step count, we manually counted 1,000 steps while walking and the watch registered 994, which is also acceptable. We can say that the Huawei Watch GT 2 is good at step and distance tracking.
The sleep tracking was also accurate on the Watch GT 2 and correctly recorded our bedtime. The app shows a graphic and assigns a score to the sleep quality. It also breaks down your sleep patterns into deep, light, and REM sleep.
The heart rate measurement was consistent with the measurements we had received on two different occasions with a Mi Band 3 (review) and a treadmill.
Huawei does not specify the device's battery capacity, but claims a two-week battery life for the 46mm GT 2 watch. This seems too good to be true, and it isn't. However, the Watch GT 2 still managed a remarkable 10 days with the default settings, which is much better than most other smartwatches. If you activate stress tracking and actively log workouts, the battery life can be reduced. In our experience, charging was quick and it only took a little over an hour to fully charge the battery. The charger is compact and easy to carry.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is a good-looking smart watch that offers a very good battery life. If you're looking for a powerful smart watch for basic fitness tracking and notifications and don't want to charge it every other day, the Huawei Watch GT 2 is a strong case in itself. The performance is not at the level of the Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Galaxy Watch Active, and we hope that Huawei can fix this. For case 14,999, the Huawei Watch GT 2 is a good smartwatch.