Huawei Watch GT 2e review

Overall rating:

The Huawei Watch GT 2e is a sporty mid-range smartwatch with a variety of fitness tracking features, including heart rate, sleep, and stress monitoring. This makes them a great choice if you lead an active lifestyle. Navigating the menus and settings is user-friendly and intuitive. Given the price range, the build quality and feel of the watch exceeded our expectations. It also has an impressive two week battery life, which beats a lot of its competitors.

Unfortunately, the 2e doesn’t have a speaker or microphone, which could be a deal breaker if you need a smartwatch to make phone calls or use voice prompts.

PROS disadvantage
✅ Same battery life of 2 weeks as the GT 2 ❌ Proprietary operating system without support for watch faces and Android apps from third party providers
✅ Clear and vivid display ❌ No microphone and speaker
✅ Same light OS as the GT 2 ❌ Same software exclusions and problems as with the GT 2
✅ Premium build quality
✅ Kirin A1 chip

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to smartwatches. In contrast to smartphones, smartwatches can look and feel completely different. There are brands like Apple These offer countless functions that fit seamlessly into your device ecosystem, but usually affect battery life.

Then there are brands like Garmin that offer hybrid designs that are much closer to traditional smartwatches, but also offer modern smartwatch functions such as OLED displays. And then of course there are the various Android Wear OS compatible smartwatches.

Of all the smartwatches I’ve tried so far, I find Huawei’s approach to be one of the more attractive options. The Huawei Watch GT 2 that we recently checked all the boxes and were able to reliably perform all the basic functions of a smartwatch. The real killer feature, however, was the 2 week battery life.

Now Huawei has decided to expand its range to include the medium and sporty range Huawei Watch GT 2e (Energy). It’s inexpensive and contrasts with other mid-range fitness trackers like that Amazfit GTS. But unlike its competitors, Huawei is doing something different again.

Like other competitors, Huawei has reworked and removed some features to keep the price of the GT 2e down. However, the software that runs all Huawei smartwatches has been retained. Rather than downgrading the overall experience, the changes to the GT 2e provide a different type of experience that helps make it attractive to a different audience.

But are these characteristics enough to convince you, especially given the competitiveness of the mid-range market? Keep scrolling to find out more in our full review.

We also highly recommend going through ours Huawei Watch GT 2 review since it is our main point of comparison.

Check out ours too Comparison between GT 2e and GT 2 for a deeper look side by side between these two.

Personally, I bought the Huawei Watch GT 2e in July 2020 and paid $ 117.86 at the time.

Read Amazon Reviews | More details about Huawei

Unboxing experience

Typically, companies tend to forego a decent unboxing experience for cheaper models. But the GT 2e rocks the same high quality packaging materials and style as the GT 2. Most people unfamiliar with these models might even think that the GT 2e is just the GT 2 with a different paint job instead of one to be lower-animal model.

And also props to Huawei for the presentation of a work of art that matches the color scheme of the watch. They could easily have gotten cheaper if the GT 2e’s black color scheme had been used for all colorways, or simply showing a generic piece of art instead. These are small details that greatly influence the general perception of the product by the consumer.

Opening the box immediately shows the GT 2e in all its glory. And underneath is all the accessories and paperwork. The accessories supplied include the USB type C cable, the proprietary magnetic charger and the documentation.

Overall, the GT 2e feels more expensive just because of the packaging. I was really excited to test the GT 2e.

Huawei Watch GT 2 design & build quality

Slim design with high quality materials and high quality finish. Comfortable and interchangeable straps in cool new colors.

Most of the differences between the Huawei Watch GT 2 and the GT 2e are in the design. The GT 2 we tested earlier had a classy and high quality design that mimicked high quality analog clocks. However, with the GT 2e, Huawei took a step back and developed a design that caters to a more modern and younger audience.

The area that has been redesigned the most is the bezel area. We’ll talk more about the display later, but the bezel area looks cleaner now. It looks a lot simpler than the GT 2, but the redesign fits the watch’s design language better.

Another easy to spot difference is the new color options. The GT 2e is available in the colors mint green, lava red, ice white and graphite black. The new colors look great, especially this mint green color that we have on our device. They give the GT 2e a unique personality and I think it’s a great compromise with the higher end design elements of the GT 2.

In terms of build quality, the GT 2e uses the same high quality materials as the GT 2. The main body is made of stainless steel and has a ceramic back. I honestly expected Huawei to go for lower quality materials, but I’m glad I’m wrong.

Just like the GT 2 46mm version, it doesn’t feel too big or bulky. It fit my wrist (6.5 inches) perfectly. However, it’s significantly heavier than other options on the market like that Amazfit GTS.

Another notable change can be found on the buttons. The shape of the buttons on the GT 2e is now flat instead of the crown-like shape on the GT 2. There is no real downgrade here in terms of functionality as the new buttons work just as well as the old ones.

They are tactile and require a fair amount of force to operate. The buttons worked every time I pressed them. They’re also pretty flush with the body so there weren’t any accidental pressures, especially during more intense workouts.

The belt has also got a new look. There are now holes all over the harness for proper ventilation during exercises. These vent holes also seamlessly serve as punch holes for the buckle.

The mechanism for attaching the straps has also been changed. Huawei has opted for a more sporty look that also holds the watch more stable in the hand. The gap that was previously in the belt design of the GT 2 is also no longer there, which means that there are no areas for dust accumulation.

The disadvantage, however, is that the watch can no longer be laid flat. I like activating the GT 2’s AOD functionality and turning it into a clock for my desk. Trying to do this with the GT 2e is awkward and just doesn’t work. But of course that’s not a total deal breaker.

The straps are easily removable and can be exchanged for other colors or alternative designs from third-party manufacturers. Note, however, that the belts made for the GT 2 are not compatible with the GT 2e.

Overall, I don’t think the GT 2e is an inferior or cheap looking smartwatch. Its clean and simple design makes it feel more like a tool than a fashion accessory. That’s perfectly fine with me, and I think most smartwatches in this price range focus on features over aesthetics anyway.

Huawei GT 2 vs GT2e strap

display

The responsive touchscreen works well, but this model lacks the curved screen found on other Huawei smartwatches.

The Huawei GT 2e inherits the same AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display of the GT 2. The resolution of 454 × 454 makes the picture incredibly sharp and clear. Text and menus are easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions. The viewing angles were great too, making notifications easy to read.

The colors are also vibrant and a treat to see. Watch faces like the standard neon light (which is currently only available on the GT 2e) are perfectly brought to life on this AMOLED display.

In contrast to the GT 2, the GT 2e no longer has a 3D screen. I enjoyed using the GT 2’s curved screen because it has a unique feel, but you won’t really notice that unless you compare the two screens side by side.

As mentioned earlier, the bezels have been redesigned. The engraved markings have been removed, giving the GT 2e a cleaner, but arguably simpler look. The disadvantage here is that the bezels now appear larger, despite being the same size as the GT 2.

The touchscreen is responsive and works similarly to the GT 2. My taps register easily and I have had no problems navigating the menus. The well-optimized software (which we will go into in more detail later in the test) and the well-placed menus make navigation quick and easy.

The GT 2e also inherits the AOD (Always On Display) functionality of the GT 2. You have the option of choosing between four different AOD dials with different styles. The choice is very limited as Huawei needs to tweak the watch faces to use as little battery as possible.

But I find the AOD dial designs to be much better compared to competitors like the Amazfit GTS. AOD functionality is limited and seems to be just an afterthought in this model.

However, I just decided to turn off AOD as I don’t think the battery tradeoff is worth it. But people who don’t like the raise-to-wake functionality should be happy with this feature.

Health and Fitness Tracking

Sports and fitness tracking features are where this watch shines, although it is slightly flawed with step and stress measurements.

The Huawei Watch GT 2e does a good job with both the standard health monitoring functions and fitness tracking. Let’s start with the health monitoring features.

Many health-related functions can be accessed immediately on the home screen. These include the automatic stress test and 24/7 heart rate scanning. These functions use more battery, but can be turned off in the Huawei Health app.

Daily statistics can also be quickly accessed from the main screen. However, you will only get a brief summary with no options for a more detailed view. You need to access the Huawei Health app to learn more about your data.

The GT 2e also has a fairly accurate sleep monitoring feature that can be used in conjunction with Huawei’s TruSleep feature that is included in the app. The watch also reminds you to get up after sitting for a long time. You will also be notified when you reach your step goal, which can be set or deactivated in the app. There’s a lot to do in the Huawei app, so we’ll talk more about that later in the review.

In terms of fitness tracking, the GT 2e offers 100 sport modes in addition to the basic training modes of the GT 2. Due to limited space, I wasn’t able to test all of these training modes during my week-long test period that I had and for time reasons. However, I do appreciate the variety of workouts available and will use them in the future. It is sure to beat most of its competitors who only have very limited training and sport modes.

Navigating through 100 workout modes might sound like a nightmare, especially on the GT 2e’s screen. However, Huawei did an excellent job with the presentation.

The basic workouts like indoor and outdoor cycling, indoor and outdoor runs, etc. are shown by default. You can then add specific sport-related workouts or custom workouts. You can also remove the training sessions that you are not using from the home screen. With this customizable menu, you don’t have to scroll through a long list when you want to do a specific workout.

The watch also automatically detects whenever you start exercising. This is incredibly useful for people who forgot to set the exercise modes on their smartwatch. The 100 workout modes were originally exclusive to the GT 2e, but were later added to the GT 2 through a software update.

The GT 2e’s health tracking and GPS are not perfect, but they are more than usable. There were minor issues such as B. imprecise voltage detection and step detection.

I didn’t find the automatic stress test particularly helpful because the results weren’t always accurate. The stress test was always normal, even when I was clearly stressed. But of course it’s just a rough estimate, so I wouldn’t expect too much anyway.

The footstep detection problem is only a minor complaint. The GT 2e sometimes registers more steps than usual and can think that I am walking, even when I am stationary. This is not an issue that is unique to the GT 2e and occurs even on more expensive models so I can be forgiven for this given the price.

properties

This is a fully featured watch for the price, including music playback, but it doesn’t have support for third-party music streaming apps.

The Huawei GT 2e surprisingly retains most of the functions of the GT 2. Some highlights are Bluetooth 5.1 for solid connectivity, the same fast and efficient Kirin A1 processor, the impressive battery life of 2 weeks and the Light OS from Huawei.

The GT 2e can still play music, which is surprising. I was expecting this model to be exclusive to the high-end models, but I’m glad it’s still here. Other models in the same price range don’t even have built-in memory for listening to music. This is a win in my book no matter how limited this functionality is.

It’s just a shame Huawei Lite OS doesn’t support third-party music streaming apps like Spotify. If so, I would listen to music more often with my smartwatch.

The GT 2e also has media controls for the content that is played on your smartphone. This was incredibly useful for turning up the volume or pausing the video while I’m away from me Huawei Mate 30 Pro Smartphone. Unlike the Amazfit GTS, it doesn’t have any noticeable latency.

The Huawei Watch GT 2e also inherits the water resistance of the GT 2. You can wear this while swimming up to 50 meters for up to 10 minutes. The GT 2e can withstand a splash of water or get wet in the rain.

But as with any mid-range smartwatch, there are of course some notable exclusions. The most noticeable missing feature is the lack of speakers and microphone. For people who rely on the speakerphone for voice prompts or use the microphone for phone calls, this can be a deal breaker. Personally, I don’t use my smartwatch to make phone calls, so it doesn’t affect my use case too much.

Note that you will not be able to receive calls even if you are using Bluetooth headphones / earphones with the GT 2e. Again, I didn’t use the GT 2e to listen to music, so this wasn’t a problem for me.

The GT2e unfortunately inherits the same drawbacks as the GT 2. There is no official support for dials or third-party applications yet. There is also no support for Qi wireless charging. On the other hand, most competitors don’t have this function either.

Huawei Watch GT 2e software experience

Huawei GT 2e user interface

Fast and efficient operating system with user-friendly navigation but no customizable screens and menus.

The core of every smartwatch is the software experience. And in this price range there is usually a lot to be desired. It is almost always expected that companies will sacrifice their mid-range models. It can be software, hardware, or both. However, this is not the case here.

The Huawei Watch GT 2e runs the same version of the Huawei Light OS that can be found on the high-end GT 2. The user interface is identical for both models. Both units are also similar in terms of speed and performance.

For those unfamiliar with Huawei’s Light OS, the focus here is on speed. Navigating the menus and finding settings is easy. It offers a good amount of information and settings without cluttering the screen with too many options. The aesthetics are not heavily influenced by Huawei’s EMUI or other Chinese design conventions, so the operating system fits regardless of the smartphone used.

There are still occasional dropouts while navigating the home screen, but these are not enough to spoil the overall experience. I also never crashed on the GT 2 or the GT 2e.

The fact that you get a nearly identical experience with a high-end model is impressive. If someone is jumping off a smartband or isn’t sure they’re ready to get involved with Huawei’s smartwatch ecosystem, the GT 2e is a perfect starting point. And if you ever decide to upgrade to the GT 2 or one of Huawei’s future smartwatches, you’ll always feel right at home.

Unfortunately, the GT 2e also has the same problems as the software of the GT 2. The menu is not customizable, meaning you cannot change the order of the various screens or the order of the menus. You always have to swipe a certain number of times to get where you want to be.

Managing notifications is fine but leaves a lot to be desired. You can view the notifications, but you cannot interact with them. The screen also scrolls while reading notifications, which is annoying when scrolling through long texts. But I do appreciate the consistency and speed of access to the notifications.

Overall, there are some special features of Huawei’s Light OS. However, none of these should deter the user from checking the watch, especially given its price. Instead of getting a scaled-down and limited software experience, you get the full package.

Huawei health

Huawei GT 2e watch faces Health app

When it comes to health monitoring, this watch excels in tracking sleep, heart rate, stress, and more with the well-designed Huawei Health app. Unfortunately, users have to create a Huawei ID in order to use the app.

Those who read our review of the GT Watch 2 should already be familiar with the Huawei Health app. But for those who missed it, we’ll be briefly walking you through the GT 2 and GT 2e related software.

The GT 2e offers many functions that can be further optimized when using the app. Some examples are TrueSleep, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and automatic stress detection. Some of them require manual access to work, while some provide more detailed information when accessed through the app.

I usually don’t like opening such apps and I prefer to change the settings on the smartwatch. Fortunately, navigating the Huawei Health app is easy. There aren’t too many settings to mess around here, and the approach is pretty straightforward. I find that more ideal compared to other approaches. For example, the Amazfit app has too many settings, which can be overwhelming.

Watch faces can also be changed using the Huawei Health app. There are many high quality designs available, ranging from realistic looking analog dials to whimsical designs. There’s no support for custom watch faces, but they keep improving their game by providing new high quality watch faces.

I honestly had no problem looking for something that would fit my style. The standard watch face with an animation is already enough to impress me. There is also a watch face that can be customized by adding a photo.

Adding watch faces to the GT 2e is much faster compared to most of its competitors. The entire process only takes a few seconds. And if you’d rather toggle between different watch faces, you can easily do so without the app. The watch can save approximately thirty-one watch faces (most competitors can only save one additional watch face from their respective apps).

One caveat here is that you have to create a Huawei ID in order to use the app. I would have preferred to use this app anonymously as a Huawei ID is useless if you don’t have any other Huawei devices.

Overall, however, the Huawei app is clean and easy to use. Again, the discomfort I have is not enough to affect the overall experience.

The Huawei Health app is pre-installed with most modern Huawei smartphones. However, for non-Huawei and non-Android users, the Huawei Health app can easily be purchased over the Internet Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Battery life

Very impressive 14 days of battery life, but requires a proprietary magnetic charger rather than a wireless charging option.

What sets Huawei smartwatches apart from the rest of the competition is their focus on battery life. The GT Watch series is said to have a battery life of two weeks, which was mostly the case for both the GT 2e and GT 2 during our test period.

Sure, various functions such as GPS, Always On Display, fitness tracker, 24/7 heart rate sensor and weather will drain the battery faster. Even when these were on, the battery life was still insanely long.

I charge almost every device I have with me every day. Adding another device to charge would drive me crazy, which is why long battery life is a must for me on smartwatches. And I’m glad Huawei didn’t cut the battery life on this lower-tier model.

The charging process takes place via the supplied proprietary magnetic charger. I don’t like the fact that it’s proprietary, but it’s small enough to carry around. It also connects via USB Type C, which I always have with me.

Just like the GT 2, the GT 2e does not offer wireless charging. It would have been nice to put my smartwatch on a wireless charger along with my smartphone. But we have to remember that this is a mid-range smartwatch. I keep forgetting that because it’s similar to the high-end GT 2.

judgment

Huawei Watch GT 2e AOD

Overall, the GT 2e is a fantastic product. Huawei has made the right cuts and kept the essential features to make a smartwatch good enough for the modern audience.

It has its shortcomings, which are more evident when compared to the GT 2. But you have to keep in mind that the GT 2 is a more expensive model. Compared to other models in the price range of the GT 2e, you will notice how good the GT 2e really is.

It can be as good as the GT 2 and has many features that put its competitors to shame. If you like Huawei’s operating system, you will love the GT 2e. However, if you are not satisfied with Light OS, the GT 2e will not convince you. Either way, the GT 2e is a great product and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a mid-range smartwatch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *