Hands On: Huawei GT2 watch
13 February 2020 | 0
Huawei packs a lot of technology into its devices and the second generation of the GT line of smart watches is no exception.
That said, from a look and feel perspective, the GT2 is one of the most watch-like smart watches we have yet reviewed, from its conventional layout, to its metal bracelet with butterfly clasp.
With a large round case (46mm) and 24-index resin bezel, the two right-side pushers give it a very familiar appearance. However, it was not obvious during usage, particularly with the multifunction display, as to why the bezel is marked in 24 units, as it never seemed to relate specifically to what was onscreen. Regardless, it is a pleasing thing to have on your wrist. While 46mm might be a little large for some, it is on trend, and at 45.9 x 45.9 x 10.7 mm and 41 g (without strap) it is no heavyweight.
The review model was the 46mm version on the metal bracelet, though a silicon strap is also included. This is a slightly different spec to the 42mm version, as it gains a speaker for phone call functionality, as well as stress tracking, and file storage for the likes of offline music. It also has a 454 x 454 resolution screen and 4GB of RAM.
Based around the in house developed Kirin A1 platform, the dual-chip design gets impressive intelligent power saving technology which Huawei claims allows a full 14 days of “typical use”.
In testing, we never got that far. We can certainly verify 10 days, but at that point, it was well tried and rotated out for a column wheel chronograph. Huawei says that complex algorithms review the usage and adjusts to optimise available power. It certainly seems to work.
The sensor complement is impressive too, with accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, optical heart rate sensor, ambient light sensor, air pressure sensor, and capacitive sensor, as many bases as are wanted are covered.
The basic functionality for tracking activity is very well addressed, in conjunction with the phone app. With the ability to go from swimming to elliptical training and beyond, all of which is over and above normal pursuits such as walking, running, hiking and cycling, it can measure and combine data from heart rate, speed, distance, calories burned, to produce metrics such as SWOLF (swimming efficiency). However, with only a 5-atmosphere water resistance rating, it might not be up to anything more than swimming.
It is the GT2’s ability to combine base data for insights and pleasing visualisations that makes the it stand out as more than a consumer grade fitness tracker. However, this is where the device peaks. While being able to connect to your phone to extend its capability, the GT2 can only use Huawei apps and cannot download from sources such as the Android app store to extend its own capabilities. In terms of the functionality it provides, this is not a bad thing, but in the price point, there are Android Wear OS devices that can potentially do more. Huawei’s Lite OS is very well designed, easy to use and benefits from the level of integration that delivers such good battery life. It is a trade off that will likely suit many.
With a fair range of colour and strap options, the GT2 is an attractive package for a well performing fitness tracker. Is it a smartwatch? Not in the sense of something like a Wear OS device, but if you are looking for a device that can do all of your fitness tracking, with good stats and insights, as well as provide long battery life and not look out of place beneath a suit cuff, or south of a t-shirt sleeve, then the GT2 delivers.
The Huawei GT2 is available online form €235.