The Huawei Watch Fit doesn't revolutionise the fitness tracking market, but by getting most of the basics right it sets itself up as a solid option for casual and newbies who are only just getting started working out. A lack of advanced features make it a poor choice for even semi-serious runners and cyclists, however.
- Intuitive UI
- Free guided workouts are useful to beginners
- Decent battery life
- Bright, colourful display
- No real app support
- No local music
- Review Price: £130
- GPS, 6-axis IMU sensor (Accelerometer sensor, Gyroscope sensor), ptical heart rate sensor, capacitive sensor, ambient light sensor
- Custom Huawei OS
- 90+ activity tracking options, 12 guided workouts
- 1.64-inch AMOLED touch display
- 5ATM water resistance
The Huawei Watch Fit is the Chinese tech heavyweight’s latest attempt to conquer the growing wearables and fitness tracking market, and on paper it’s a fairly compelling device.
The Huawei Watch Fit aims to pack a wealth of fitness tracking tech, including free guided workouts, into a distinctly Apple Watch Series 5 looking package.
For casual users this makes it an appealing device that matches key competitors from the likes of Fitbit and Garmin for casual entry level athletes.
But a number of niggling, and occasionally odd, omissions make it ill-suited for even moderately serious gym goers and runners, especially if you like to take your workout outside.
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The Huawei Watch Fit has a pretty design, but there are some issues
The Huawei Watch Fit looks like a stretched out Apple Watch. It has a rectangular, metallic main body, with a rubberised strap attached. On its side sits a single power/control button that’s used to turn the 1.64-inch AMOLED touch display on and navigate menus.
The OLED screen is a rarity on a device at this price and, while it doesn’t offer the variable refresh rate seen on the flagship Apple Watch, it works very well. It’s responsive and the dimensions, coupled with the rubber band’s snug fit, make it comfortable to wear, even during prolonged workouts.
The 5ATM rating also ensures it’ll survive aquatic adventures and is suitably sweat resistant to do its Fit branding justice.
Overall, this is one of a select few trackers this price I’d describe as looking nice, and a clear step up on its function focussed Vivosport and Fitbit Charge competition visually.
The interface is also intuitive, though be warned you’ll have to download and have Huawei Health running on your phone to connect and access any of its smart functions.
A quick tap of the side button activates the screen while a second opens the app menu, which includes shortcuts to its fitness tracking and general smartwatch services. An upwards swipe opens the notifications menu, while sideswipes take you through a customisable set of data screens showing things like your step count, the local weather and your current heart rate.
The system and design work well, but there are a few small issues. For starters, the straps aren’t swappable like they are on Garmin and Fitbit’s alternatives. So if you do accidentally damage the strap, or just fancy changing the colour, you’re going to be up a creek without a paddle.
The watch doesn’t feature a terribly developed application ecosystem, even compared to Garmin and Fitbit. The menu is limited to what you get on Huawei Fit, meaning that, outside of its fitness tracking functionality, you’ll be limited to basic notifications, stopwatch and weather alert services.
Even these are fairly limited. Music is a prime example. The Fit only lets you control music streaming from your phone. There’s no direct support for Spotify, or local music, despite the watch featuring 4GB of onboard storage.
This is a little sad considering the fact local music playback has started trickling down to wearables this price recently and is expected to make an appearance on Fitbit, Gamin and Samsung’s next gen’ affordable offerings.
It also hinders the appeal of using the watch for outdoor, distance-based exercises like running and cycling as if, like most people, you like your workout to have a soundtrack you’ll have to lug your phone with you anyway.
The issue is compounded by the fact the watch doesn’t feature an altitude meter to track elevation, which will be an annoyance for even moderately serious outdoor runners and cyclists. This is a shame as during testing I found the GPS fairly snappy and generally offered stable and reliable distance tracking.
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The Huawei Watch Fit offers great tracking in some situations
Thankfully, outside of these minor issues the Huawei Watch Fit is a very accomplished tracker for newbie gym-goers and people looking to get fit from home.
The Huawei Watch Fit on paper can track over 90 workouts. These include everything from running and cycling to boxing, sports skiing and roller skating. Going through the menu I’m yet to find an activity it doesn’t have an option for.
How exactly it tracks each one differently is at times questionable, with many offering the same performance stats, but the information on offer is detailed and well presented enough to help most budding athletes find their rhythm. Stats include distance, VO2 max estimates, heart rate zones, cadence, calories burned and training effect and recovery time.
The training effect and recovery time, as is the case on Garmin, are particularly useful for newbie exercisers as it gives a rough breakdown of what gains, or damage, the workout offered. Recovery time then instructs you how long you should rest before your next workout, which is equally important if you want to avoid injury early on.
If all this sounds familiar, it should, Fitbit and Garmin’s wearables offer all the same features. But the Watch Fit has one crucial trick up its sleeve that helps boost its allure to complete newbies: its guided Fitness and Running courses.
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The guided courses are similar to the guided workouts function you get on more expensive Garmin Vivo, Forerunner and Fenix watches and on Fitbit’s Premium service. They offer curated workouts with animations that show you how to do each exercise in the circuit. At the moment the feature supports 12 Fitness and 13 Running guides.
The Fitness services aren’t a replacement for a personal trainer, but the animations and easy to understand “difficulty” ratings on each offer a clear path and enough tuition to get most newbies working out and progressing fairly quickly. The only downside is that the guides aren’t customisable the same way they are on Garmin and there are far fewer animations and tutorials than what’s currently on offer with Fitbit Premium, which means most people will outgrow them with prolonged use.
The Running courses have a bit more longevity, with the HIIT training option in particular being a standout. HIIT training is a horrible, but effective way to train that sees you repeat short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods for a set amount of time.
Though the services aren’t as developed as their more established Garmin and Fitbit competition, the wearable’s RRP and lack of a subscription fee make the Watch Fit a compelling choice for casual users looking to kickstart a home exercise regime.
The Huawei Watch Fit offers solid battery
Huawei quotes the Watch Fit as offering 10 days regular use under the below, fairly specific conditions:
“Huawei TruSleep is enabled, heart rate monitoring is enabled. Screen is checked briefly 200 times per day, 50 messages, 3 calls and 3 alarms reminding in 24 hours, and workout for 30 minutes per week. GPS mode: 12 hours use”.
That on paper puts it about on a par with the Garmin Vivosport, which is impressive given its OLED screen. WIth real world use I’ve found battery life is impressive.
Using the Huawei Watch Fit as my primary tracker I’ve generally gotten at least a week and a half’s use out of it before needing to charge it. This entailed tracking my morning exercise bike workout each day, plus three runs with the GPS on and notifications active. The only battery saving measure I used was having the always-on display option off.
The only wearables I’ve tested with significantly better battery life are dedicated, much more expensive trackers, like the stellar Garmin Fenix 6 Solar.
Should you buy the Huawei Watch Fit?
The Huawei Watch Fit is a solid entry level fitness tracker for anyone looking to get fit from home thanks to the addition of free guided workouts.
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However, a lack of advanced tracking metrics, app support, and advanced coaching, mean it’s ill-suited to even moderately serious athletes.
Like all wearables this price, the lack of local music playback also diminishes it’s appeal to outdoor runners and cyclists, who don’t fancy lugging their phone or MP3 player with them.