|✅ Excellent battery life of 2 weeks||❌ Proprietary operating system without support for third party watch faces and Android apps|
|✅ Clear and vivid display||❌ No wireless qi charging|
|✅ Fast, error-free and efficient operating system|
|✅ Premium build quality|
|✅ Good implementation of speakers and microphones|
Huawei is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic devices such as laptops, routers and smartphones. Thanks to successive hits of the flagship smartphones of the Mate and P series, Huawei continues to be successful and is today an important competitor for top brands such as Samsung and Apple.
In an effort to assert itself against the more established brands, Huawei has introduced a range of smart devices, fitness trackers and wearables as part of its Huawei ecosystem. The current flagship of the smartwatch and the product we’re going to look at today is that Huawei Watch GT 2.
With its wide range of functions and first-class workmanship, it is a direct competitor to the flagship offerings from Samsung and Apple. Compared to its products, the GT Watch 2 has a more restricted range of functions. Can Huawei use the dynamics and set the standard for high-end watches, or do they have to make more efforts? Keep scrolling to find out.
I personally bought the Huawei Watch GT 2 46mm version in February 2020 and paid $ 218 at the time.
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The latest products from Huawei have shown how competitive they are in the electronics sector. This is reflected in their current design language, as most of their products immediately exude a premium atmosphere that resembles the western high-end brands. This translates perfectly into the unboxing experience.
The packaging has the same completely black design as in Huawei Mate 30 Pro Smartphone. However, the shape and size of the box are more reminiscent of other high-end watch products. Aside from the product graphics, the front of the box is free of clutter.
The GT Watch 2 greets us immediately when we open the box. And once it’s removed, everything else is saved in its own sections. It contains a USB Type C charging cable and a proprietary magnetic charging station, an instruction manual and a quick start guide.
Overall, the unboxing experience was similar to most Huawei smartphones. They took a minimalist approach, where everything is instantly accessible, but the whole experience was classic, preparing you for the smartwatch experience.
Huawei Watch GT 2 Design & build quality
To start the review, let’s talk about the design and build quality. The Huawei Watch GT 2 transmits the premium design language that is present in Huawei’s flagship smartphones. It is made of high quality materials and is located on the stainless steel frame, the ceramic back and the glass front.
The bracelet that comes with the Huawei Watch GT 2 is also no problem. It fits perfectly with the classic aesthetics of the watch and is easily interchangeable if you fancy something different. It feels very gentle on the skin and offers an overall pleasant experience. I could wear it all day even when I’m sleeping.
In addition, the belt is extremely durable and shows no signs of wear even after a few months of daily use. The GT 2 fits my wrist (6.5 inches) surprisingly well. Although I was mainly advertised for men, I didn’t find it uncomfortable at all. It is not heavy or bulky and I have no problem wearing it all day.
There are two physical buttons on the side of the watch that resemble most analog watches. The upper button gives access to the menu and the various apps in the smartwatch, while the lower button gives access to the training menu. These two buttons are tactile and feel good. They are robust enough and avoid accidental pressing.
In terms of durability, the watch has shown no scratches or damage despite occasional bumps. Although there is no additional bezel for protection, the screen is perfectly fine. From the feel of the materials to the weight of the watch, the Huawei Watch GT 2 feels more like a real watch than an electronic device. It looks like it is competing with high-end deals.
Just like the smartphones from Huawei, the display of the Huawei Watch GT 2 did not disappoint. The Huawei Watch GT 2 is equipped with a capacitive AMOLED touchscreen display with 454 × 454 HD and 1.39 inch 3D glass. The picture is incredibly clear and sharp.
The colors are vivid and fall out easily. The different dials looked great, and I enjoyed cycling through different designs to see how they would develop in this beautiful looking display. The text was very easy to read even under less than ideal conditions, such as outdoors. The viewing angles were also great, making it easier to read notifications.
The touchscreen was also a pleasure due to its accuracy. My taps were easy to register and I had no problems navigating the menus. The well-optimized software (which we will discuss in more detail later in the test) and the well-placed menus make it easier to navigate in the menus.
Another interesting feature of the GT Watch 2 is the Always-On-Display (AOD), which is similar to OLED smartphones. You can choose between a digital clock and an analog clock. It would be nice to see other designs, but these standard designs help conserve battery life. The battery life is very long, but not too serious.
Health and fitness tracking
Huawei already had a solid fitness tracking system for its previous smartwatch and smart bands. The Ribbon of Honor 5 used to be my daily driver thanks to its well implemented practice routines. Most of these routines are back and have now been improved on the GT Watch 2.
Honor Band 5 gave a rough estimate of my training results, but the GT Watch 2 took things to the next level and gave more accurate results. This became clear during my indoor bike sessions.
In some sessions, I don’t think my Honor Smart Band’s results are correct. However, thanks to the more precise sensors, I am more confident with the results of the GT Watch 2. With this watch, you cannot fake your training routines.
A unique aspect that I wasn’t expecting is the voice prompt. It is activated whenever you start and stop an exercise routine. The voice prompt was loud and clear thanks to the GT 2’s well-implemented speaker, but can be turned off if it bothers you or if you think it will bother people around you.
In addition, the GT Watch 2 automatically records step count, heart rate, sleep and stress as long as you activate it in the Huawei Health app (which we will discuss later). There are other standard features that are also included in other Huawei fitness products, e.g. For example, the warning that you should get up or the message that appears when you have reached your step goals.
The GT 2 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.1. It’s implemented well here because it could maintain a solid connection even when I was far from my phone. I did not find any dropouts, even when I answered calls from my smartphone.
Speaking of phone calls: my favorite feature of the Huawei Watch GT 2 is the built-in speaker and microphone. With this feature, I can easily take calls without touching my phone. I don’t always keep my smartphone in the house, but thanks to this function, I never missed a single call.
Both the speaker and microphone quality are excellent. The loudspeaker is loud and clear and I had no problem understanding what the caller is saying. The microphone is great too and I have never received any complaints at the other end of the call.
Another unique feature of the Huawei Watch GT 2 is the ability to save and play music. I mostly use this during training or when doing tasks that I don’t want to be distracted by my smartphone. Music can be played through the speaker or other Bluetooth devices like my Huawei FreeBuds 3.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 is also waterproof and can be worn up to 50 meters away and swim within 10 minutes. That means you can take it with you for swimming. You also don’t have to worry if it gets spattered with rain.
Despite its extensive features, the Huawei Watch GT 2 has some notable omissions that are common among competitors. One of them is the lack of wireless Qi charging. Almost everything in the Huawei ecosystem, including the Huawei Mate 30 Pro / P40 Pro and Huawei Freebuds 3, supports Qi wireless charging. It would have been nice to be able to throw it into a wireless charger and forget about it when you end your day.
Another gap in the GT Watch 2 are cellular data and Wi-Fi. These are common with other smartwatches, so some users who come from other platforms may find this a problem. Personally, I don’t mind that because it extends battery life.
Huawei Watch GT 2 software experience
The disadvantage of most smartwatches is the software experience. It’s easy to pack a smartwatch with the fastest processor and the best specs on the market. However, if the software implementation is below average, the entire experience falls apart.
In this case, Huawei is going a different direction by using its proprietary software called Huawei Lite OS. This unconventional move is a big risk since most consumers are already used to the Android Wear operating system. However, I am happy to inform you that Huawei has done a fantastic job implementing the software.
The Huawei Lite OS lives up to its name. The operating system offers you restricted functions within the clock and only access to the essential functions. The remaining functions can be accessed via the Huawei Health App.
I personally think this is a good idea because it keeps the menu clean and clear. Everything is easy to find. And above all, the low weight of the operating system helps to extend the battery life.
Scrolling through the GT Watch 2 is smooth and delay-free. The refresh rate is noticeably slower than most smartphones, but I didn’t find it problematic. Navigating the operating system is also easy thanks to the user-friendly design. I didn’t have to refer to a manual or documentation to find what I needed.
The notification system is also a great feature of the Huawei Lite operating system. Since the connection between the GT 2 and the smartphone is solid, I don’t miss any notifications. This is different from my Honor Smart Bands, where I always miss important notifications despite a solid Bluetooth connection.
However, there are some disadvantages. One of them is that I cannot interact with my notifications. It is not possible to reply to or reply to notifications such as text messages and Facebook messages. But I think that’s for the better as I imagine typing on a smaller screen may not be the best experience.
I would also like to briefly mention how great Huawei’s support for the software is. There are always software updates that bring new functions and dials. It also brings bug fixes and additional software optimization. You won’t be left behind even when a new flagship smartwatch comes out.
Most of the additional functions of the GT Watch 2 can be accessed via Huawei Health App. It comes pre-installed with most modern Huawei smartphones, such as Huawei Mate 30 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro/.P40 Pro Plus. You can easily download it from the Google Play Store / Apple App Store if you are not a Huawei user.
The app has a lot of features and is easy to use, but I would have preferred if the menu had been a bit more efficient. I would have liked to be able to quickly navigate the menus of my device, but instead I have to go through several tabs first before I can access the smartwatch settings.
There are several menus, but the main menus are the main menu and the Devices tab. The main menu gives you access to various health and exercise records. This includes heart rate, sleep, weight, stress and oxygen levels. Recordings of your other Huawei devices are stored here.
The main attraction here is of course the device menu, with which you can access the various additional functions of the GT 2. You can change the watch face, customize one of the preset watch faces, or download from the various pre-made designs available.
Huawei tends to update the watch face library and now has a wide range of different styles. You can save up to 31 watch faces in your smartwatch, so you can choose a watch face without having to access the Huawei Health app.
You can also import music into the GT 2 in the Health app. The GT 2 is limited to approx. 2 GB for music. So if you have a large collection, your entire music library won’t fit here. Also note that only MP3 and AAC file formats are accepted.
Apart from that, there are some extensions to the apps on the watch. One example is TruSleep from Huawei. With the sleep tracker of the GT 2 you can monitor your sleep. However, TruSleep goes a step further by analyzing your sleep patterns and accurately diagnosing common sleep problems. You will also get some tips on how to improve your sleep.
The settings for heart rate monitoring can also be controlled here in this app. You can choose whether the GT 2 should monitor your heart rate continuously, or you can leave it in smart mode. Continuous heart rate monitoring mode provides more detailed and accurate information, but consumes more battery life.
There is also an alarm mode that can notify you in extreme cases like high or low heart rate. You will also be notified when your heart rate returns to normal.
There are other functions, e.g. B. the possibility to set up an alarm or to select your preferred contacts. These are some features that I would not normally use on my smartwatch. So it’s nice to see them here in the app instead of hiding them in the smartwatch settings.
One limitation of the Huawei Health app is that you have to create a Huawei ID and you cannot log in anonymously. This is an additional step in the setup process that can be annoying, especially if you’re not a Huawei user.
The most important feature of smartwatches for my application is the battery life. I hate charging smartwatches because I’m so used to traditional watches with long-lasting batteries. Here the Huawei Watch GT 2 really shines.
Huawei claims that the Huawei Watch GT 2 lasts up to two weeks. While it is impossible to measure this number accurately, this was mostly the case during my test period. I never had to think about the battery life of this device.
This is mainly thanks to the Kirin A1 chip and the efficient Huawei Lite OS, which reduces power consumption to a minimum. The battery life alone is enough to impress me.
I’ve been using the Huawei Watch GT 2 for about five months and have enjoyed my time with it. Everything from its wide range of functions and its long battery life has made this device my daily driver.
It is not a perfect smartwatch. There’s no way to fully customize the watch faces, and you can’t install third-party applications. There’s no wireless QI charging, and you’re stuck in a proprietary charging station. Interactions with notifications are also limited.
However, I think that the stable software and the constant battery life of two weeks are a valid compromise. If you appreciate more features and prefer Google’s Android Wear operating system, the GT Watch 2 won’t suit you. However, if you want a minimalistic but effective software experience, an excellent battery life of two weeks and an excellent build quality, there are very few smartwatches that can keep up with the Huawei Watch GT 2.
It should also be noted that the Huawei Watch GT 2 is available in two versions. There are 46mm and 42mm versions. The device I have for this test is the 46mm version, but we’ll discuss the 42mm version quickly.
46mm (classic variant)
The 46mm is the main variant of the Huawei Watch GT 2. It is technically the superior model because it has more functions. It’s primarily for men, but anyone can wear it because it’s not heavy or bulky.
42 mm (Ultra Slim Variant)
The 42 mm is the second variant of the Huawei Watch GT 2. It is mainly designed for women due to its smaller and light design. The disadvantage of this model is that it has a shorter battery life and some functions like the built-in speaker are missing.
46mm vs. 42mm technical data
Here are the full specifications of the two variants.
|Huawei Watch GT 2|
|SIZE||45.9 x 45.9 x 10.7 mm||41.8 x 41.8 x 9.4 mm|
|WEIGHT||41g (without strap)||29g (without strap)|
|WATCH CASE COLOR||Black stainless steel, stainless steel, titanium gray stainless steel||Black stainless steel, stainless steel, rose gold stainless steel|
|BRACELET||Titanium gray metal strap, orange fluoroelastomer strap, brown leather strap, black fluoroelastomer strap||Khaki leather strap, cyan fluoroelastomer strap, rose gold-Milanese strap, black fluoroelastomer strap|
|DISPLAY||1.39 inches AMOLED 454 x 454 HD||1.2 inches AMOLED 390 x 390 HD|
|NFC||Supported (limited in China version)|
|CONNECTION||Bluetooth: BT5.1, BLE / BR / EDR||Bluetooth: BT5.1, BLE / BR / EDR|
|BATTERY LIFE||14 days for normal use||7 days for normal use|
|SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS||Android 4.4 or higher
iOS 9.0 or higher
|SPEAKER and MIC||Supports||Unsupported|
Which one should you choose?
Both models are a good representation of the design philosophy of the Huawei Watch GT 2. Some users may not be interested in the speaker and microphone functionality and are willing to forgo it to get a cheaper and lighter design. Users who want the full GT Watch 2 experience are strongly advised to try the 46mm version instead.
Huawei Watch GT 2 VS Huawei Watch GT: Specifications
This is how the Huawei Watch GT 2 beats the older generation.
|Huawei Watch GT 2
|Huawei Watch GT
|DIMENSIONS||45.9 x 45.9 x 10.7 mm||46.5 x 46.5 x 10.6 mm|
|WEIGHT||41g (without strap)||46g (without strap)|
|WATCH CASE COLOR||Black stainless steel, stainless steel, titanium gray stainless steel||Black stainless steel, stainless steel, titanium gray stainless steel|
|BRACELET||Titanium gray metal strap, orange fluoroelastomer strap, brown leather strap, black fluoroelastomer strap||Dark green fluoroelastomer tape, orange fluoroelastomer tape, white fluoroelastomer tape, black|
|DISPLAY||1.39 inches 3D glass AMOLED 454 x 454 HD||1.39 inch AMOLED 454 x 454 HD|
|CONNECTION||Bluetooth: BT5.1, BLE / BR / EDR||Bluetooth: BT4.2, BLE|
|BATTERY||14 days for typical use|
|WATER RESISTANCE||5 ATM waterproof|
|SPORTS MODE||fifteen||N / A|
|NFC||Supported (limited in China version)|
|Microphone and speaker||Supports (Bluetooth calls)||Not supported (call reminder)|
|SpO2||Yes （Limited in Andriod China version）||No|
|Pulse||Normal + under water||normal|
Is the upgrade worth it?
The Huawei Watch GT 2 has a number of upgrades compared to its predecessor. The Kirin A1 chip of the new GT Watch 2 is a clear upgrade compared to the old processor. It is both faster and more efficient than the previous version.
The newer GT 2 also supports a newer and more stable version of Bluetooth. The original Huawei Watch GT is still perfectly usable, but not as good as the new GT Watch 2. There are other upgrades like the new microphone and speaker, and the new training and sport mode. The GT 2 is also expected to offer extended support and software updates from Huawei.
Overall, the older generation had a clear goal of what they wanted to be. However, the newer generation performs almost all functions better. If you are the owner of the original GT Watch and are not satisfied with the proprietary operating system of the previous generation, you will not be satisfied with the GT Watch 2.
However, if you liked the original GT watch or you didn’t own any of these watches and want to get the best experience possible, I strongly recommend you to choose the Huawei Watch GT 2