The wearables industry has been slowly booming with major players already marking their presence in the field. From Apple to Samsung and competitive players like Xiaomi and even Realme, everyone has their own smartwatches. One of the key players in the smartwatch category right from the beginning has been Huawei and its latest entrant is giving new goals for rivals in many aspects - mainly battery.
We've been using Huawei Watch GT 2e for almost two weeks after receiving the Lava Red variant under embargo. Paired with an iPhone 11 Pro, the Watch GT 2e was tested extensively during this period and here are some of our findings.
Before we get to the review, here are the key features of the Watch GT 2e. The smartwatch is priced at Rs 11,990, which is one of the biggest USPs of the watch given how premium it is and the features that it bags. More on that later.
- Display: 1.39-inch OLED 454x454 pixel resolution
- Strap: TPU Strap or Fluoroelastomer Strap depending on the colour variant
- Colours: Lava Red, Mint Green (TPU) / Graphite Black and White (Fluoroelastomer)
- Sensors: GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE, GLONASS, gyro, accelerometer, geomagnetic, optical heart rate, ambient, air pressure, capacitive
- Memory: 4GB
- Battery: 455mAh, 5W charging support
- Durability: 5ATM water-resistant
- OS: Huawei Lite OS
- CPU: Kirin A1
These are the key features of the smartwatch, which contribute to the overall user experience. Here's the review:
One of the finest looking smartwatches in the industry right now, which leans towards fitness enthusiasts. It has a sporty look, which will be liked by many and the circular touch dial gives it a traditional watch look, which has been consistent with Huawei watches so far. The Lava Red variant looks spectacular and has a bold design, but those who want an elegant touch can opt for the Mint Green. The choice of TPU strap with contrast colour matching is a nice touch to the smartwatch.
Huawei Watch GT 2e is comfortable to wear all day long and even during sleep. It's light enough to not bother you while wearing for long durations, which is the primary idea behind the design considering its impeccable battery life, which we will discuss later below. The dial weighs around 43 grams even though it has a combination of metal fused with plastic. There are two physical buttons that sit perfectly along the circular curve of the dial on the right side without protruding. Overall, the Watch GT 2e has a seamless design with no visual interruptions for a striking look.
There are two aspects to the display - one is touch and the other is visual. Huawei Watch GT 2e wins on both. In terms of visuals, the display is bright enough to be used outdoors without straining the eyes or covering the dial to get a glimpse of the notification. As for the touch, it is smooth, and responsive, which is more than what you could ask for from a smartwatch its price.
The user interface plays a crucial role in the overall experience. The Watch GT 2e has a lite and pretty straight-forward UI, which can be familiarised in a matter of a day. The physical button on the top lets you access the menu and the lower button can be mapped to any complication of your choice. Swipe down from the top of the screen shows battery and gives access to shortcuts. Swiping up from the bottom shows all your notifications. To go back to the previous, one must swipe left to right on the screen. Swiping left or right from the main screen will take you through various options like a heartbeat, weather, music, and your daily activities.
Getting used to the interface was did not require a lot of effort. The Huawei watch UI may not be as sophisticated as Apple Watch UI, which offers a lot more, but it sure gives users no reason to complain.
If there's one reason why Huawei Watch GT 2e should be bought, it is the battery. Having used Apple Watch, Fitbit smartwatches, and a few others, the Watch GT 2e is sure leaps ahead of the competition. Huawei has invested a lot in making sure its smartwatches last long, addressing one of the biggest pain-points of the wearables, and the Watch GT 2e is a torch-bearer of that commitment.
Huawei promises 2-week battery life, and from our tests, we found that claim to be humble. First, we tested the Watch GT 2e without the standby mode, where the display is always lit, and at the end of the week, the battery had still been at 50 percent. Then we switched to standby mode and at the end of 8 days, the battery was at 15 percent. From what we've seen and tested so far, Huawei Watch GT 2e's battery life is the single most valuable addition and a huge USP to convince smartwatch buyers.
The Huawei Kirin A1 chipset has a lot to do in this regard. With smart power consumption, Huawei Watch GT 2e doesn't compromise on the performance. To test its water-resistance, I once wore the watch through pouring rains of Bengaluru and it did no harm to watch even though I was drenched till the toe.
In full disclosure, the Watch GT 2e was used with always-on heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking at night, SPo2 measuring, always paired to the phone, notifications enabled for all apps and brief workout.
With heart rate monitoring, SPo2 monitoring and sleep tracking, Huawei Watch GT 2e gets everything you need from a smartwatch. The data gets collected in the app, which can be accessed anytime. The sleep tracking is pretty detailed, thanks to Huawei's TruSleep. It shows deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep statistics along with breathing quality, naps, regularity to bed etc. All this information can be used to improve your sleep habits and I'm more focused on doing so after studying my sleep data.
Then there's activity tracker, which gets accurate step counts, elevations and running included. The watch is 5ATM water-resistant, but we couldn't test it for swim laps due to the lockdown. The watch also gives heart rate data it has collected over any period of time up to one year, which can be useful in the case of elderly persons.
Overall, I found the Watch GT 2e's health tracking capability to be at par with most rivals if not extraordinary. The SPo2 is certainly a nice addition to have in the watch, which may not be accurate but gives a fair idea.
Huawei Watch GT 2e's pros outweigh the cons. I did experience some issues with the watch's raise to wake function, but after resetting the smartwatch a few days ago, the issue hasn't returned. Even though there are some really cool watch faces, I wished there were options to add complications to the watch face for quick access. Most of the watch faces show date and time, except for the JetStream, and Clear watch faces. But this is not a deal-breaker on any count as Huawei can always fix it with a software update. But when it will do it or whether it will or won't is a completely different question. We could certainly live without it considering the price point.
That said, Huawei Watch GT 2e is a promising smartwatch not just for fitness and health enthusiasts, but for an average user who would like to be in the know-how of his or her health. The striking design is a bonus and the never-to-die battery is a boon.