Let’s see, scratch-resistant sapphire glass, and cold-forged stainless steel. This is no Apple Watch, but the Apple Watch slayer. Meet the Huawei Watch, the best Android Wear Huawei has ever made. Stylish and well-made, this smart watch is made for those who recognize the need for a watch that can be worn for different occasions and do more than tell the time.
Display and Design
This is certainly not a cheaply made smartwatch, nor does it give off that kind of feeling or quality. The Huawei Watch is a 42mm beauty with a thick 11.3mm body. It had followed the way of the Moto and LG by having a round display, which is pretty refreshing since all this time all we’ve been getting are squares these days.
It comes in silver or black and there are both fine-grain leather and cold-forged 316L stainless steel straps for your choosing.
For this review, we’ve gotten the black on black stainless steel case and link band, making it a very pleasing piece to look at, at a first glance. It felt chilly to the touch thanks to the cold-forged steel, with it pleasantly fitting on the wrist shortly after. It weighs a healthy 136 grams, and certainly breathes a premium and practical feel. I personally loved the black on black, because it looked and worked professional, especially in my line of work.
The display surrounds all over the bezels that are only 0.6mm thin, giving you 1.4 inches of display. The AMOLED display brings out a 400 x 400 resolution with a ppi count of 286. With all these factors combined with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, expect vibrant colours, crispy texts and ease of viewing under bright lights and even under the hot KL sun. One drawback would be the lack of an ambient light sensor, meaning that you need to preset your brightness to adapt to your situation.
With already impressive physical hardware, how the internal hardware that makes this watch tick?
With what it’s price tag suggests, (RM1799-RM1999 depending on what material and finish you choose), it fires all cylinders when it comes to technical specification.
Other features include a IP67 water resistant rating, which means that it can withstand dust and submersion of up to 1m of water for 30 minutes.
Keeping the watch running is a standard 1.2 Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.
Battery and Software
Running on pure Android Wear, there are certainly no qualms on performance and energy efficiency. The display is ‘always on’, and comes with plenty of pre-loaded watch faces for your picking. If none of them suit your liking (which we find quite strange), you can always head to Google Play to download or buy any of the hundreds of available watch faces for your watch. My favorite is certainly the Moon Phase watch face as shown on the picture below.
Tip: Please make sure you have synced your watch with a compatible smartphone (Android/iOS) as it downloads and pushes the data to the watch.
Huawei claims to boast a battery life of a day and a half, and even with heavy usage, the claim is certainly tried and true. With brightness on medium, WiFi and Bluetooth sync to my Mate 8 and sometimes iPhone 6 Plus, I only had to charge the 300mAh battery once a day at night before I hit the hay. In terms of charging, it’s most certainly not slow as it surprisingly has its own form of quick-charging just like the Huawei Mate 8. Expect a fully charged watch from an hour of charging. You get a wired dock that charges the watch, using pins that are made to fit the base of the watch. It’s magnetic so the watch and charger won’t disconnect by accident or sudden movement. The catch however, is that the dock is pretty loose and tricky, making it a chore to line up the pins to the watch before it can begin charging. There were moments where I thought I had it connected and went away, only to find out later that it wasn’t charging at all.
Fitness Tracking and Sensors
Google Fit is pre-loaded, so you can keep track of your steps and fitness in real time. If that ain’t your thing, Huawei has also pre-loaded its own daily tracking app, where you enter your own personal details, and it will keep track of your steps, as well as calories burnt and even the number of times you stand up. You can set your own goals, and the watch would track if you’re walking, running or any aerobic movement. Alternatively, you can even download the Jawbone UP app, since Huawei has a collaboration with Jawbone. One thing that you’re going to miss out would be the lack of a built-in GPS (which explains why it has a good battery life), hence this watch is most certainly NOT your ideal running pal. It’s no surprise really. It’s such a premium watch, why drench it in sweat and scratches when you’re on the run? (literally)
It’s no surprise that we’d spend thousands on watch because of style and status, but what about on a watch that does more than that? We’re talking about up to RM2000 here, and is it worth it? We say YES. It caught more attention than my Tag Hauer Carrera, simply because it looked stylish and futuristic on my wrist. It’s definitely part of my daily drivers, for work and play. It pushes emails, tells me that my Uber’s arriving and what song I’m listening to. Only thing is, it’s not made for runners and it won’t track my location. If you’re okay with that, it’s a sound investment that won’t let you down ( just remember to get used to charging your watch from now on!)