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Huawei Watch GT 2 Review

Huawei is back with another version of its GT smartwatch, which now has a better processor and 3D glass. Find out more in our full review.

Should I Buy The Huawei Watch GT 2?
The Watch GT 2 arrives with improvements such as a Kirin A1 processor, 3D glass and increased sports tracking to take on rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Apple Watch Series 5.

It's clear Huawei has done some good work, especially with long battery life, but the Lite OS is lacking app support which is big drawback.

Price When Reviewed
  • $249
We would like to start this review by talking about the generational evolution that Huawei is contributing to the development of its devices, which is not limited to smartphones such as the new Mate 30 Pro or the P30 family.

We are talking about the evolution in design and innovation that the brand is bringing to its products, something that can be seen at first sight in this new Watch GT 2 smart watch with innovative functions that can set a trend among products related to this market .

This is the case of features such as TruSleep 2.0 to which TruRelax is added. It helps you recognise and relieve stress situations by recording the values ​​of HRV (heart rate variation) to notify the user at any given time.

Price & Availability
Before going into pricing and availability details, you should know that you can find the new Watch GT 2 in two different sizes. The 42mm for those with a smaller wrist, and the 46mm for those who prefer a size big. We are reviewing the larger 46mm model here.

We don't have a firm Watch GT 2 release date yet with Huawei saying they will arrive in October for the European market. In terms of pricing we know it in Euros only and expect the UK prices to be similar.

Huawei Watch GT 2 42mm: € 229
Huawei Watch GT 2 46mm: € 249

In terms of competition, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 starts at a price of € 319 or $299 for the 44m size, while the Apple Watch Series 5 is priced at £399 / $399 or € 499.

Design & Build 
If the new Watch GT 2 family of Huawei is characterized by something, it is for offering a shiny polished metal body that closely resembles traditional analog watches, with a 3D crystal on the top that fits perfectly flush with the bezel.

In this way, the visualization of the information is shown in the highest layer of its glass with very good viewing angles. The company has decided to maintain the same range of case sizes as the previous generation, with the 42mm model and the 46mm model.

In both cases, the weight turns out to be tremendously light, since the most compact weighs just 29g, while the larger model reaches 41g. On average, the weight of this new series has been reduced between 5 and 10g compared to the previous ones.

They look quite different to each other in style, with the smaller option looking similar to Samsung's wearables.

The thickness of the body of both is 10.7mm, quite minimalist, which makes it comfortable to take it everywhere. We didn't find the 46mm case uncomfortable or heavy, even for sleeping.

There are a couple of physical buttons for operation, which are complemented by the touchscreen, which offers a fairly fast and agile response of the interface.

The unit you buy comes standard with a pair of straps to be able to exchange them. Each case size has a silicone Sports edition, a Classic edition with a leather strap, and another Elite edition with a metal strap. 

The Watch GT 2 is 5ATM rated which means it can survive 50m under water. Note that the touchscreen won't work when wet.

Features & Performance
Inside the Watch GT2  we find the new Kirin A1 chipset with an advanced Bluetooth processing unit that will offer significant savings in energy consumption. Together with the Cortex M7 coprocessor, it is supposed to improves the battery life compared to the Watch GT, which was already very good.

The screen of the Watch GT 2 on our 46 model is AMOLED and 1.39in, with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. The 42mm model stays in just 1.2 inches diagonal and 390 x 390 pixels resolution for context.

The 1000 nits of brightness of the screen is something you will appreciate if you do outdoor sports, making it easy to read any information on the screen. Music playback is available stand alone with 4GB space to store your favorite tracks - 500 mp3s, according to Huawei.
There is no version with 4G cellular connectivity, at least for the moment, so you'll need to stay connected to a smartphone for a lot of functionality. You can take calls on the watch, helped by the integrated microphone and speaker, which work well.

According to Huawei, this new Watch GT 2 series improves coverage and increases connection distances with the smartphone even in situations where the smartphone is up to 150m away. This is thanks to Bluetooth 5.1.

Battery Life
Huawei states that the 46mm Watch GT 2 battery can guarantee a battery life of two weeks before having to recharge, or 30 hours with the GPS on.

After five days of intensive use, with WhatsApp notifications activated, as well as the smart heart rate monitor turned on constantly, the remaining battery percentage was at 54% of its capacity. 

This confirms to us the good work and the advances in energy efficiency of the watch of this generation with a larger battery of 455mAh. Being optimistic, this means that the 46 mm model holds 10 days of use before having to recharge its battery.

Not quite the two weeks Huawei promises but it may be achievable with different usage.

Note that if you are thinking about getting the 42mm model, the battery drops in half, offering a capacity of only 215mAh.

For the average user who uses the GPS on to run three times a week, the duration will be slightly shorter than that of the data sheet, but much longer than what we are used to seeing in the market.

In fact, we verify that it is in line with the times achieved with the Samsung Galaxy Watch, which is one of the most durable, even exceeding the week of use but with the screen deactivated.

It must be taken into account that the indicated values ​​are with the Watch GT 2 screen Always-On.

The charging base is a similar to that used by the rest of the smartwatch on the market, a flat piece of plastic with magnets to position the watch on top. The connection is USB-C in order to take advantage of the same cable as your Android mobile.

Software & Apps
The new versions come standard with the operating system Lite OS to the detriment of opting for Google WearOS, a success if we think that these devices could also have been affected by the veto of US companies with Google in the lead.

Here it should be noted that the ecosystem of applications is not as wide compared to Google, or others such as Samsung's TizenOS which already has a long way to go. However, Huawei claims to be encouraging developers to make apps compatible.

Although the system interface has improved considerably, with a large number of functions, we continue to miss a greater variety of available spheres and applications.

At the moment, the Watch GT 2 can monitor up to 15 different sports to monitor the workouts and collect the data of any activity carried out throughout the day.
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It is a clear disadvantage of the Huawei Health App, since the application with which your smartwatch synchronizes with your Android mobile, does not offer only support from third-party applications in the fitness section, such as the recognized Strava or MyFitnessPal.

Graphically it has improved the app, and it has the area of ​​My Medals with which you get rewards as you progress in your achievements. However, compared to other platforms such as Fitbit or Samsung Health, it has a path of improvement to offer greater interaction with social networks, or even compete with other users for greater motivation.

Another example that I like to cite in these cases is that of a Maps application in order to be able to navigate somewhere. Without a dedicated app, you won't be able to take advantage of the Watch GT 2 watch's potential, something that all its competitors offer.

Verdict
During our time with the Watch GT 2, we can safely say Huawei has advanced very positively in key aspects for the user such as design, interface use experience, as well as solid battery life.

The variety of sizes of its case and the wide offer of interchangeable watch straps next to the different editions available, gives you a wide variety of choice.

Huawei has work to do to realise the full potential of the hardware, though. The Watch GT 2's Lite OS is limited when it comes to software and apps, which is a big drawback compared to rivals from the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Specs
  • Lite OS operating system
  • Kirin A1 processor
  • 46 mm dial case (available 42 mm)
  • 3D curved glass screen
  • 1.39-inch AMOLED 454 x 454 resolution
  • 4GB storage
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Touch control with double keypad
  • USB Type-C magnetic charging base
  • Water resistance 5ATM (50m)
  • 455mAh battery
  • 41g

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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