Released in mid-September, the Huawei Watch is part of the third generation of Android Wear watches. This new addition to the growing collection of “smart” watches available on the market scores particularly well in the look and feel department.
Watch Design and Specifications
The Huawei Watch houses several modern hardware and software features in a body that’s comparable in size to a standard watch:
• 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU
• 512MB of RAM
• 4GB internal storage
• 300mAh battery
• 1.4-inch diameter AMOLED display
• 400×400 pixels with 268ppi
• Android Wear 5.1.1
• Wi-Fi compatibility and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
• Heart rate monitor on back
• Rear charging pins
The circular face has been a hit with reviewers, and many have remarked on its sleek appearance and how easy it is to read. The placement of the crown button in the 2-o’clock position makes for quick access to watch functions.
Six models of the Huawei Watch are available with various combinations of premium body and band materials. The body colors stand out the most, offering users a choice of black, silver or gold.
Although it’s primarily made to work with Android 4.3 and higher, Huawei’s new device is also compatible with iOS 8.2 and higher. This allows both iPhone and Android phone owners to take advantage of the features of Android Wear and its associated apps. Notifications for text messages, emails and incoming phone calls appear on the screen, as do Google Now cards, which deliver information such as traffic and weather conditions. Vibration accompanies notifications, and the Wi-Fi capability ensures that users don’t miss anything important when they’re away from their phones.
When the watch is activated, the screen can be controlled by scrolling with a finger or flicking the wrist. A voice control option is also available for use in situations where looking at the screen would be dangerous.
Reviewers enjoy the round display of the Huawei watch, reporting that it delivers good color and clarity. With an inherent “ambient mode” along with brightening and dimming features, it’s possible to run the watch for up to two days without having to charge it, although most reviewers found that this claim from the manufacturer wasn’t always accurate.
The Android UI and software capabilities are pretty much the same across all Android Wear devices. This may mean performing a little extra tapping and swiping at times to access apps and information, and some apps may lag when loading.
Pros and Cons
The construction of the Huawei Watch is the highlight of most reviews, with TechRadar commenting that the “premium design” is “understated, sophisticated and wouldn’t look out of place underneath a dinner jacket.” The fact that the watch is only available in one size, however, was a problem for some other reviewers.
Unimpressive battery life, difficulty accessing features when using iOS and the lack of GPS all stand out as strikes against the Huawei Watch. The price, which can range anywhere from $350 to $800 depending on customization, makes this one of the most expensive Android watches on the market.
According to Ars Technica, the Huawei Watch is “a solid wearable, sporting a speedy processor that makes interacting with the smartwatch easy.” However, major reviewers agree that the price is too high for what amounts to standard Android functionality packaged in a premium body. For those who don’t mind paying more for its sleek appearance, the Huawei Watch provides reasonable performance that puts it on par with its closest competitors.