REVIEW: Huawei Watch GT 2 - A beautiful watch and a great fitness tracker
Plenty to like about Huawei's latest device.
My testing of the Huawei Watch GT 2 got off to an inauspicious start. Issues arose with the Huawei Mobile Services app (which is required on non-Huawei Android phones to run the watch) on the Pixel 4 we were using. The app repeatedly crashed any time it was launched.
The watch worked perfectly with the Huawei P30 Pro (obviously) I tested, but the teething problems on other Androids was a worrying start to the review.
Thankfully, Huawei quickly identified and rectified the problem with the app and it was discovered the issue arose from an update to the app just a day previous.
That means we could get back to the equally important issue of reviewing the Huawei Watch GT 2, Huawei’s latest delve into the world of wearables, building on the solid ground work of the previous Watch GT.
It's possible the Watch GT 2 may have slipped under your radar considering it was announced at the same event as the Mate 30 Pro, one of the most anticipated phones of 2019 - due to the fact it would be the first Huawei phone shipping without access to Google services.
We've said it before, but the smartwatch is a tricky customer to get right. Android watches have struggled to match up with the seamlessness and functionality of Apple's wearable OS in recent years and that's still true to a certain point today.
But Huawei has made decent thrust of it by creating a device that offers far more than just a handy way of viewing your smartphone's push notifications, as I discovered when testing out the 46mm Huawei Watch GT 2.
Software and Design
It’s the second Huawei watch to forgo Google’s Wear OS (the first Watch GT did as well), with the company saying the decision was made in search of more battery life (and boy did they find more battery), although it’s possible the uncertainty regarding its phones and Google software may have factored in the decision.
Boasting a two week battery life and running Huawei’s Lite OS, it doesn’t fall down in other areas and offers people a choice of sizes to suit their needs.
You can choose the smaller, more elegant 42mm size option should you wish and interestingly, it also offers a speaker and full phone call functionality.
A really cool feature is the ability to save music on the watch and sync it with wireless headphones to play music during your workout, meaning there's no need to lug your phone along.
It is, and we can't stress this enough, gorgeous and clearly ranks among the most stylish smartwatches available today.
Its bezel doesn't rotate and is mostly for show, but it looks sleek and sits nicely on the front of the screen meaning it doesn't interfere with any of your swiping gestures.
There are two physical buttons on the right side. One of these is the home button, which also brings up the built-in app selector, and the other is specifically for health tracking and launching workouts.
Huawei makes very long-lasting fitness trackers. It says the 46mm version of the Watch GT 2 should last up to two weeks off a charge, the 42mm band a week.
Even with Always-On-Display on and using GPS tracking, it still lasted a full week during our testing.
Charging wearables daily or even twice weekly is irritating, so it's a major jewel in the GT 2's crown. More than once I'd forgotten about it for a few days and remembered with a jump that it needed to be charged, only to discover there was still a healthy percentage left on the device.
The Watch GT 2 has built-in GPS and is water-resistant to five metres. The built in GPS is a definite advantage over fitness wearable rivals like the Fitbit Versa 2 which require your phone to act as a GPS beacon.
It also offers a slew of information for those looking to improve their fitness with some cutting edge training monitoring and guidance.
In the workout section of the watch, you'll find options for running courses, 13 of these are provided as well as others like outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor walk, indoor walk, outdoor cycle, indoor cycle, pool swim, open water swim, climb, hike, trail run, triathlon, elliptical, and rowing machine.
There's also some quirky features in the watch such as calculating your VO2Max. Now, it must be stated that for pure results, a VO2Max testing must be conducted in a laboratory, but the watch is able to give you a rough idea of what you're working with. Results should be taken with a pinch of salt.
There's no doubting the Watch GT 2 is very well made watch that is comfortable for 24/7 wear and has a stellar battery that has proven to last at least a week, even with heavy use.
The beauty of not having to charge the device regularly while still having a lovely AMOLED high resolution display cannot be overstated.
For too long, smartwatches have tried to do too much. They've tried to be a little smartphone on your wrist. But honestly, how many of you have ever responded to a message from your smartwatch, or answered a call? These are all nice little features but they're unnecessary for the average user. Huawei hasn't got bogged down in trying to make these little features work and the watch is far better because of it.
Overall, for the price you're paying, you get a good GPS sports watch and the perfect option for those looking for a little more than what Fitbit offers and a little less than Garmin.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is available for €239 in stores.