2015 has been the year of wearables. Ever since the CES, many wearables had been introduced and sold. While the Apple Watch made a lot of noise in the market, there were many other Android smart watches that were also released. One of them is the Huawei smartwatch.
I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this brand or the company prior to receiving this watch. Just pronouncing the name is challenging. There are plenty of reviews online, just search “Huawei Watch Review” or head over to Youtube to view some Huawei unboxing clips.
First impressions, this is an impressive piece of hardware. I’ve broken down the sections below into the key areas where I think this smartwatch shines over other competitors. After a few months of researching smartwatches and reading multiple reviews and watching clips, I decided on the Huawei smartwatch.
I only had two requirements for a smartwatch:
(1). Software must be Android Wear (Yes I’m an Android Freak)
(2). Must look and operate like a normal watch. I.e. I wanted to wear it out to meetings, wear it with a suit or casual clothing and for outdoor adventures like hiking, MTB etc.
Here are my first impressions after wearing the Huawei smartwatch for 3 weeks.
Huawei Smartwatch – Overall Design and Look
The overall build quality and design is excellent. Just looking at it doesn’t even look like a smartwatch. The round dial, leather straps and analogue dials give the watch a classic look. It is quite thick when compared to other smartwatches. The cross section of the watch body is 11.3 mm thick. Some people might not like the thickness, but I love the overall size and weight of the watch. Feels great on your wrist.
When it comes to design, the Huawei watch beat all its competitors. Like the Motorola’s Moto 360 and LG G Watch R, the Huawei smartwatch has a large round open design. However, the leather strap, polished metal body and metal bezel makes it stand out from the rest.
The straps can be changed or customised easily depending on your personal preference. I switched mine over to the silver metal band.
Features I Love
The watch screen is a 1.4 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 400×400 pixels. This is the highest resolution I’ve seen in a smartwatch. The pixel density is a decent 286 ppi. This equates to an extremely clear and sharp screen. The text and graphics stand out in both low light as well as glary sunny days. The Huawei smartwatch is protected by a Sapphire glass. I’ve been told this increases the strength of the glass and protects the display. The 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor with 512 MB of RAM is good enough to run any Android Wear application flawlessly. The watch is very fast to respond and so far I’ve experience little to no lag between switching screens and interacting with my apps. P.s I have a lot of apps on the watch.
Powered by Android Wear, the operating system developed by Google for wearables, the Huawei watch can do a lot of things. Google Fit is preloaded and helps you track all your activities related to fitness. I use this as well as Endomondo for fitness tracking. Forget your Fitbit, heartrate monitors and other step counters etc. This watch does it all and it’s always synced with your phone. In my case the Samsung S5. Note about heartrate: You need to manually check the heart rate from the app. The sensor doesn’t continually check heart rate.
The Huawei watch is IP67 dust and water resistant. Even with the rating I wouldn’t risk it. I generally remove the watch at night and I don’t wear it in the shower. Swimming with it is not recommended, even though it’s protected up to one meter under water for 30 minutes.
One of the most important features when it comes to smartwatches is battery life. With my current usage: checking emails, SMS messages, notifications and voice input, the watch lasts around 1.5 days for me. With some applications and usage, it will practically be reduced to one day. You will need to charge this phone daily or low usage users every two days. I have no issue with this and seems a lot better than some of the other watches on the market.
The charging dock is somewhat challenging, and you might find it difficult to charge the watch initially. The magnet base needs to align to the 3 pin port on the phone. After some repetition you will get the hang of this. If you place it incorrectly, you might find your phone hasn’t charged and you will need to repeat the steps. Once connected, the charging process usually takes a little more than an hour.
The Final Word
The only setback I can see with this watch is the price. Yes this watch is expensive. In terms of functionality, design and wearability I believe the Huawei smartwatch is the current front runner of all wearables currently on the market. If you’re on the lookout for a classy smartwatch which looks like a normal watch, easy to use and has the power to run your apps, then the Huawei smartwatch stands out.
Update 15/03/2016: My Huawei watch got updated to 6.0.1. Now adds to support to the speaker. You can make calls as well as hear calls from the watch directly. The update activates the internal watch speaker. Also new gestures were added to flip through the menus and navigation.
Links for further research:
Huawei Watch: Official Company Site