Back when wearables were just hitting the market they were quite rubbish.
That’s not to say there were no good wearables but outside of well known brands, battery life, display resolution and even fit were something of a gamble.
Fast forward to 2019 and the wearable market has come a long way and there is no better example of that than the Huawei Watch GT2.
However, at R4 999, it’s not cheap and it’s up to us to determine whether the GT2 is worth your money or if you should give it a skip.
Big or small
The GT2 comes in two sizes – 42mm and 46mm with three iterations in each size namely Sport, Classic and Elite. Our review model was the 46mm Sport iteration with a plastic strap.
It fits rather well but the watch is incredibly weighty but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Inside the GT2 is Huawei’s own A1 chip and a 455mAh battery. This is covered up with a 1.39inch display and that is the real magic of this watch.
The display is incredibly sharp and there is not a single pixel out of place, no matter how closely you examine the display. Not only is it sharp, it’s responsive as well with every action being noted on the display.
The GT2 supports Bluetooth 5.1 and truth be told you won’t really notice how good this is aside from when you’re transferring data from your phone to the watch. It’s not a pointless feature at all and it insures the connection to your phone is rather strong – at least until you reach the 20m limit.
Once you’ve reached that limit the only things you won’t be able to do is make calls or receive notifications.
The GT2 sports 4GB of onboard storage so you can transfer music to the watch itself and connect Bluetooth headphones to the watch to listen that music. If you forget your headphones at home that’s fine as well as the GT2 sports a speaker.
The speaker is fine but we’re not sure everybody will enjoy holding their watch awkwardly to their ear in order to hear what’s being said in a loud room.
Huawei claims the Watch GT2’s battery will last two weeks depending on usage and in our testing, we got two weeks and one day of battery life.
The biggest drain on the battery is listening to music through the speaker and switching on the always-on display.
Honestly speaking those appear to be the biggest drains on the battery as not much else seems to hit it. Stopwatch? Fine. Exercising? Fine. Hell, the only thing we didn’t really test is sleeping with the GT2 because it’s simply too bulky for us to fall asleep wearing.
That’s okay though as not wearing the watch helped us squeeze a few more hours of life from the battery.
The only glaring problem we’ve encountered with the Watch GT2 is its bulk.
True, 41 grams doesn’t sound heavy but when you’ve had that weight on your wrist for a few hours it does get uncomfortable quickly. On hotter days it’s hard to ignore the sweat on your wrist and at night it’s just a bit too bulky for us to sleep with.
Despite the bulk while exercising we found the weight gave us peace of mind that it hadn’t slipped off but it is big and we can’t help but feel the smaller 42mm watch (which sadly doesn’t boast a speaker) would be a better fit for us.
As for which exercises can be tracked you’ll find a mix of cycling, running and swimming. The Watch GT2 sports a heart rate monitor as well and its rather accurate while at rest and while active. As regards swimming, the GT2 is resistant up to 5m.
Huawei has included its new TruSeen tracking which measures your heart rate with help from a special algorithm.
In addition to tracking your movement, the GT2 also has a few pre-loaded training sessions which guide you as you work out. The sessions cover the basics through to more advanced training courses.
GPS and GLONASS allows you to track the route you are taking. The watch can also show you the route after the fact.
Day to day
As this piece of kit lasts two weeks on its best behaviour, it’s worth talking about how it functions as a smartwatch.
You will receive notifications from your smartphone on the GT2. These include text messages, WhatsApp, Twitter notifications, calls and calendar notifications. The alerts can be customised to your preference.
Our biggest gripe is that the always-on display is a massive battery drain and that means you will be fiddling with the watch when you want to check the time. There is a sensor which switches the display on when you raise your wrist but sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.
As a day-to-day wearable the Watch GT2 is great and thankfully charging only takes two hours (for two weeks of life) so downtime is very minimal.
In terms of file transfers and software updates you will need the Huawei Health app on your phone.
Something else worth mentioning is the display’s fortitude in the hands of me, a clumsy fool. I hit the watch’s face on the underside of my desk a fair few times and accidentally hit the wall more than once while walking in a tight hallway. Despite my clumsy nature the watch held up well and upon returning the review device there wasn’t a scratch on it.
Despite its R4 999 price tag, the Watch GT2 is worth it for the battery life alone.
With that having been said, if you are an athlete or a fitness buff, the Watch GT2 is more of a watch than a fitness tracker. That’s not a bad thing at all but it is worth mentioning if you’re looking for a wearable that helps you track exercise more effectively.
For those that simply hit up the gym everyday and want to be a bit fitter, the Watch GT2 will help you on that journey.
The speaker is okay but the 4GB of storage allowing you to stream music on the run without your handset is absolutely fantastic.
The battery is the star here and we hope to see more wearables focused on battery life in the future.
The Huawei Watch GT2 is great as a smartwatch and if you’re in the market for one it’s worthy of your consideration. We’re even tempted to get our own.
Disclaimer: The Huawei Watch GT2 was sent to Hypertext for review purposes. The device has been returned.