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Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro Review

With the promise of multi-week battery life, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a tempting prospect

Verdict

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro looks nice, is well built and does the tracking it offers well. The excellent battery life is just the icing on the cake. There are a couple of gaps that need filling, notably NFC payments, but this is an excellent choice if constant charging is putting you off investing in a smartwatch. 

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Competant tracking
  • Versatile wireless charging
  • High-quality material choice

Cons

  • No mobile payments
  • Can be sluggish

Key Specifications

  • Multi-week battery life
  • GPS
  • OLED screen

With the promise of multi-week battery life, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a tempting prospect for those who like the smartwatch functionality but are less keen on the usual nightly charge you’ll need with an Apple Watch 6 or Galaxy Watch 3.

And it’s not just the stamina that’s impressive here. This is a nice looking smartwatch and one that offers myriad workout options, some of which we haven’t really seen before, along with a focus on high-end materials.

Design – The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is very much a ‘watch’

There are two distinct design trends you’ll find with smartwatches. There are those, like the Apple Watch, that try to look distinctive and modern. Then there are the ones that try to pass themselves off as more traditional timepieces. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro sits firmly in the latter category.

This is a smartwatch that wants to fool you into thinking it’s less clever than it actually is, and it does a pretty good job. The body is made from slick grey titanium that gives an oddly, but welcome, light feel and there’s sapphire glass over the display to protect from scratches. Throughout my time wearing the watch every day it has barely picked up the hint of a scratch. The back is ceramic, too. These are high-end materials that give a real classy finish.

Attached to the face is a leather strap, again with a dark grey hue, but you’ll also find a more sporty rubber version in the box. This is always a nice touch as I wouldn’t want to get too active with the default strap on.

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In general, this doesn’t look like an ‘Active’ watch even though it’s definitely light enough to run with. It’s far more styled to go with a suit than running shorts and the large face means it’ll likely be less appealing for those with smaller wrists. I’d usually go with a smaller watch, but of course there’s a huge amount of people who like this style.

Two buttons flank the circular display and while I would have preferred a button that rotates, these are fine for navigating the UI. The OLED screen itself is sharp and clear, with good outdoor visibility even in direct sunlight. It’s very responsive too – always an important factor for a smartwatch.

Software and fitness tracking – Huawei goes its own way

While this isn’t selling itself as an active watch, Huawei has impressed with its tracking abilities before and there are plenty of fitness features. I really appreciate the, albeit niche, ski tracking which is rare on anything but a dedicated device. There’s a driving mode for golf which measures swing speed and tempo included too.

I also really like the ‘Route Back’ offline navigator which will lead you back to a point of interest even if you’ve got no connection. This goes hand-in-hand with the ski and hike modes. Another outdoor mode offers sunrise and sunset times, tide times, moon phases and bad weather alerts.

Of course, there’s support for more traditional tracking methods too. Huawei says there are 100+ workout modes and I have found the tracking to be very accurate throughout. The GPS managed to lock on to my position without difficulty, however I have found the heart rate monitor to give slightly higher readings than watches I was comparing it too, usually by about 7/8 beats. 

Huawei has chosen to go with its own software, rather than something like Android Wear. This is both a good and bad decision, but one that really allows Huawei to maximise battery life. This isn’t an OS built for apps, but for small panes of information. You still get notifications from your phone, weather alerts, alarms and timers, but this all comes from Huawei. I’ve never been a huge fan of watch apps, and Huawei’s own utilities are well designed and reliable.

I do wish there was a universal payment service, and maybe a deal with Spotify to allow offline music syncing. Add both of these in, and when you factor in the excellent battery life, Huawei’s watch OS is one of the most tempting around.

The selection of watch face options is plentiful, though I didn’t find too many of the default ones that attractive,

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Battery life and performance – The good and the bad

Before I get onto the big win here, I have some issues to note with the performance. Swiping and scrolling through the UI elements, clicking through notifications and starting workouts are done just a bit slower than I would like. There are constant frame rate drops when swiping around and it’s just not what I expect from a Pro device. I have noticed this consistently when using the watch and while it’s not a dealbreaker, it just make the whole experience a bit of a slog. 

The battery life though is certainly better and easily among the best you’ll find anywhere. Huawei claims this can last up to two weeks or 30 hours with GPS constantly on and those claims aren’t outlandish. I wore it for a solid week before it died and that was with a number of runs using the GPS and constant message notifications from a paired Huawei P40 Pro. This is really impressive stuff.

Another bonus is proper Qi wireless charging, rather than relying on an irritating proprietary charger. You can charge the watch up either with include base, or on any Qi charger you’ve got lying around. As with all QI watches, it’s far easier charging it on a flat wireless charging than on a vertical one. If you’ve got a phone with charge sharing features then you can use that to charge the watch too, another nice trick.

Should you buy the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro?

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro looks nice, is well built and does the tracking it offers well. The excellent battery life is just the icing on the cake. There are a couple of gaps that need filling, notably NFC payments, but this is an excellent choice if constant charging is putting you off investing in a smartwatch. 

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