Review: Huawei Watch 2



Huawei announced its new Watch 2 at Mobile World Congress. This second iteration of the smartwatch comes packed with boatload of features. With the Watch 2, Huawei has gone with a more sporty look, abandoning the classy looks of the first generation.

The Watch 2 features more sensors, GPS, continuous heartbeat recording, a ceramic bezel, and more. It also features Android Wear 2.0, which brings a host of improvements, including the Play Store right on your wrist. A cool feature is the “watch mode,” which will take your 1-2 day battery life and turn it into 21 days. This leaves you with only a watch face and a pedometer function, nothing more.

The Huawei Watch 2 features a dial that measures 45mm in diameter. It features a high-definition AMOLED display with a 390×390 pixel resolution. The Watch 2 is available in two designs – Standard and Classic. The standard version comes in Carbon Black, Concrete Grey and the Classic in Titanium Grey. The one reviewed here is the standard edition featuring Concrete Grey color.

There is also an LTE model that offers a SIM slot of its own, thus being able to make phone calls or send messages, without having to be connected to a smartphone. The version we have reviewed here is the non-LTE model without any SIM card slots whatsoever. In terms of build quality, the Watch 2 uses a thermoplastic case, with ceramic bezel, and interchangeable silicone straps that will endure the sweat of your workout.

The overall design and build quality is very good. Under the hood, the Watch 2 runs on the new 1.1GHz Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor – Qualcomm’s first dedicated wearables chip. The smartwatch also comes with 768MB of RAM, which is plenty for a smartwatch. In addition, there’s also 4GB of internal storage so you can store music on the watch and listen directly via Bluetooth headphones.

The smartwatch also comes with the NFC feature, so you can use Android Pay from your wrist. Also, the Watch 2 features a large 420mAh battery for an all day battery life. The Watch 2 is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance.

Android Wear 2.0 is a major improvement on the previous version and it’s the killer features of the upgraded platform that you’ll be using most often on the Huawei Watch 2. So that’s standalone apps, Android Pay, dedicated home screens and so on. The tweaks to Android Wear 2.0 are very welcome, especially in terms of how notifications are displayed, with smaller icons and more space for actual information.

The Huawei Watch 2 has two crown buttons: one for accessing your list of apps while the second can be configured to act as a shortcut. The crown of the smartwatch does not rotate though.

Huawei has decided to embrace fitness in a big way packing in an optical heart rate sensor, built-in GPS and taking some of the fitness tracking skills included in the Huawei Fit. My experience with the Fit was quite good. I was able to record fitness tracking details (such as steps, calories, distance, and elevation) and it’s displayed on the Watch in the form of activity rings.

The battery performance is quite brilliant on the Huawei Watch 2. It was the best we could get on any wearable with a screen we have tested so far. On a single charge, we got almost two days worth of juice, which is an achievement in itself.

Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the Huawei Watch 2. The AMOLED screen is bright and sharp when you need it to be and it dims to a level where it doesn’t blind you in the middle of the night. It is also quite responsive and we did not run into any major glitches during our review period. If you are on the market for a dependable wearable, the Huawei Watch 2 should definitely be on your list.

Price: AED 1099