The Huawei Watch GT 4 41mm is a sleek and sophisticated wearable that excels in fitness tracking. While its smart features are bested elsewhere by similar competitors, it’s a reliable option for anyone who wants a traditional looking wearable.
- Mature and styish design
- Responsive and vibrant display
- Solid battery life compared to Apple Watch and Wear OS watches
- HarmonyOS looks and feels smooth
- Bulky screen
- Unreliable period tracking
- App functionality is bested elsewhere
- Runs on HarmonyOS:Uses Huawei’s own operating system
- TruSeen 5.5+ HR sensor:New and improved heart rate tracking
- Period tracking:Estimated period, ovulation and fertile window reminders
We’ve already taken a look at the larger, 46mm version of the Huawei Watch GT 4, but now we’re going to do a deep dive into the smaller model. The 41mm model comes with all the bells and whistles as its larger sibling, but it clearly has a specific audience in mind.
The Watch GT series may not sit at the absolute top of Huawei’s wearable products (that honour goes to the Huawei Watch ), but that hasn’t stopped it from coming with all the usual features and tracking software that you would expect from a premium smartwatch.
Unlike the Watch 4 Pro and Watch GT 3 Pro, Huawei has clearly put a lot of thought into the aesthetics of the Watch GT 4, with the company touting both the 41mm and 46mm models as “Fashion Forward”. If you’re wondering how you could possibly pick between the two sizes, it’s also very clear that the 41mm model is supposed to be a lot more feminine, giving you the choice between two very stark designs.
With all that said, I wanted to see if the smaller version of the Watch GT 4 could stand out from the crowd, and if this new refreshed design can really win out against other models on the market.
Design and Screen
- 41mm model is a lot more feminine than the larger model
- 1.32-inch AMOLED display
- Waterproof up to 50 metres
As I’ve already mentioned, the Watch GT 4 comes in two sizes. You can read our Huawei Watch GT 4 (46mm) review but I’ll be focusing on the 41mm model for this review.
The 41mm version I tested came in Light Gold with a metal Milanese Strap. There are two other colourways to choose from, including White and Silver, with the White model being my personal favourite. While I did receive many positive comments on the aesthetics of the watch, I’m less convinced by the way in which the main chassis juts out, creating a somewhat bulky presence.
I did like the style of this watch however and it looked great in a professional setting, although it is a little gaudy for my tastes. The metal strap that came bundled was slightly too large for my wrists and had the bad habit of coming loose, but that won’t be the case for everyone and there are other strap options available too.
My only bugbear here is that since it didn’t come bundled with a rubberised strap, working out with the watch did feel uncomfortable, with the metal chainlink design digging into my arm and pulling on my hair. If you’re hoping to workout in this model, I highly recommend picking out an additional gym-friendly strap.
Minus the watch strap, the GT 4 weighs just 37g. It had just enough heft for me to remind me that I was wearing it but it didn’t feel uncomfortable during everyday use. The aforementioned thickness of the chassis was more of an issue; measuring out at 9.8mm, it did feel very bulky and slightly ruined the sleek aesthetic Huawei is clearly aiming for. At times it felt more like a prop than a traditional watch.
Turning towards the display, the 1.32-inch AMOLED touchscreen packs a 466×466 resolution, the same specs as the larger model, just in a small form factor. It does not come with the latest LTPO display technology as the Watch 4 Pro, but the screen felt sharp and crisp during day-to-day use. It was also very responsive; swipes, presses and taps worked instantaneously and I didn’t notice any stuttering or lag during my review period.
The screen was visible in brightly lit environments and the viewing angles were always great, with the option of keeping the screen always on being particularly helpful while I was working out.
It also touts a waterproof rating of up to 50 metres, meaning that it can be taken in the shower or used at your local pool. If you’re hoping to deep-sea dive then you are out of luck, instead, you will want to look towards the Huawei Watch Ultimate or Apple Watch Ultra.
Performance and Software
- Runs on HarmonyOS
- App selection feels underwhelming
- No music control for iOS users
The GT 4 comes with the latest version of HarmonyOS, giving it a few more features than its predecessor, the Watch GT 3. It works across both iOS and Android handsets, meaning that I could connect my iPhone 13 Pro without any issues.
Since it doesn’t run on Google’s own Wear OS, some apps are off-limits; Spotify and Google Maps are not available, but there are a couple of alternatives from Huawei. Petal Maps works over GPS for certain workouts and felt pretty reliable. Music playback controls are present, but only for Android users, so I wasn’t able to try them out.
Huawei recently introduced a card function that allowed me to put my most frequently used apps and features in one place, so I didn’t need to look through the main grid to spot them. This was a helpful feature, but I don’t think it’s enough of an improvement to upgrade from the last generation.
The GT 4 comes with Huawei’s own Celia smart assistant as well as the accompanying app, but don’t expect it to come anywhere near the prowess of the Siri, let alone the Google Assistant. If you do want something with a bit more functionality like contactless payment or onboard music storage around the same price, then you’re better off eyeing up the Apple Watch SE 2 or even the Garmin Vivoactive 5.
Looking past the app selection, navigating the UI itself did feel smooth. HarmonyOS is as stylish as the wearable it powers and once I got used to the layout, I had no issue jumping between apps and diving into workouts.
Notifications came through in a timely manner and the ability to turn on timers and weather notifications was massively helpful. I wouldn’t call the experience revolutionary – even when compared to its predecessor – but it’s more than serviceable for anyone who’s not too bothered about the lack of app support.
Tracking and Features
- Period tracking feature
- TruSeen 5.5+ HR sensor
- A multitude of fitness tracking options
Huawei has put a lot of emphasis on the health and tracking features of the GT 4 range, further bolstering its capabilities compared to its predecessors. It comes with a wide range of workouts – although yoga is strangely absent from the roster – as well as the new and improved TruSeen 5.5+ HR sensor that monitors heart rate and calories.
Looking at the fitness tracking, the GT 4 uses an activity rings system based on World Health Organisation recommendations. Anyone who’s tried out an Apple Watch will be familiar with this concept and I appreciated its inclusion, offering a condensed and simple way of monitoring your time spent standing, moving and calories burnt. There are new 3D medals that can be earned through various workouts and challenges like cycling for 10km or hitting 200% of your exercise goal.
I wore my Apple Watch 6 alongside the GT 4 and was pleased to find that my daily step count and other fitness stats were in line on both devices.
The aforementioned TruSeen 5.5+ heart rate monitoring algorithm tracks heart rate, SpO2, sleep and stress. It promises better accuracy for activities like running, but I found that heart rate tracking during my cycles was mostly in line with my Apple Watch 6, sitting with a difference of 6-8bpm.
There is also a ‘scientific calorie counter’ included on the GT 4 which aims to help users strike a balance between good food intake and exercise. It required me to manually input all of my food habits into the Health app, which I found to be very time-consuming and at times complicated.
Personally, I don’t appreciate this style of meal-tracking as I find it puts too much emphasis on diet rather than exercise, but I can see some people getting along fine with it, provided you’re happy to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to data input.
Looking towards GPS support, I found that the GT 4 was reliable during my cycles around London. In most instances, it did require me to open up the Health app to resync my watch with my phone, as it had a tendency to disconnect between workouts. Putting that aside, the metrics, such as heart rate, distance and pace, matched up with my Apple Watch and the mapped route was accurate as to where I travelled.
One of the biggest features that Huawei touts regarding the GT 4 range is its period tracking feature, which is also supported on the Watch GT 3 Pro. Since my testing duration has only been around five-weeks, the GT 4 hasn’t been able to accurately predict my upcoming cycles as the algorithm needs more data to draw on, and to run a comprehensive test on this front would require wearing the watch for several months which just wasn’t feasible for this review. In the same vein as the scientific calorie counter, it required me to manually input all of my data, similar to other period tracking apps on the market.
From my time using this feature, I’ve found that its usability is fairly limited. Huawei claims that it uses your temperature and a deep learning algorithm to predict your period, ovulation and fertile windows, but the criteria seems skewed towards those who have an ‘average’ cycle – which lasts around 28 days – meaning that it will struggle to make predictions when variables such as contraceptives and health issues (such as PCOS) come into play.
Personally, I prefer using the period tracking app Clue as an alternative. I would however recommend this feature more for people who want to track their fertility windows rather than their periods but overall, I wouldn’t count on it over your own intuition and knowledge of your own cycle.
- Great battery life although half what the 46mm model is capable of
- Same charging set-up as its predecessors
- No power-saving features
Huawei promises up to seven-days of battery life for the 41mm model of the Watch GT 4. The larger, 46mm model boasts a 14-day battery life, which it can achieve provided that you’re not regularly using features like GPS-workout tracking and the always-on display.
I found the battery of the GT 4 41mm to be very impressive, lasting around that quoted seven days depending on the usage. However, without using the GPS-tracking on a regular basis, I was able to stretch that lifespan to 10-days of use before I needed to recharge, with most days using up just 10% of power without the always-on display enabled. It’s unlikely that most people will hit that level of longevity but it is nice to know that the GT 4 can go the distance when you need it to.
Switching to the always-on display took a bit of a toll, with between 15-20% battery drop-off per day. Turning on other health monitoring modes and raise-to-wake gesture support decreased it even further, but even with more intensive use it stilll lasted several days before the tank was empty.
Engaging with the GPS-tracking feature will have more impact, but overall, I think you could get at least four days out of the GT 4 under exhaustive use. For context, the Huawei Watch 4 Pro averaged out at around 4.5 days, meaning that you will be getting similar endurance with both of these devices. Even with heavy usage, the longevity here is still quite impressive in the GT 4’s price bracket and if you’ve ever felt frustrated with the 1-2 day battery life of mainline wearables from Apple and Samsung, then you’ll get on far better with what’s available here.
Should you buy it?
You favour style over substance
If you’re looking for a stylish smartwatch that comes with all the basic functions you would expect, the Huawei GT 4 is a great option.
You want more functionality
The GT 4 is more than serviceable, but it lacks the functionality of Apple and Samsung alternatives, and it’s limited even further to iPhone users.
I’m torn on the Huawei Watch GT 4 (41mm). Ignoring the women-specific branding, I do believe that it’s a stylish watch ideal for professionals, and unlike what Huawei implies, perfectly acceptable for anyone to wear.
The fitness and health tracking features are vast and accurate, and while I wouldn’t recommend the period tracking feature, it does offer a lot of reliable information regarding overall health. Plus, you can’t deny that its battery life puts many other wearables to shame and does leave you wondering why other companies can’t follow suit.
The main downside here is that it doesn’t boast the same third-party capabilities as some watches in its price bracket. The Apple Watch SE 2 for instance, while not as broad in scope where fitness tracking is concerned, features plenty of extra features like contactless payment and offline music storage for less. There’s also the Garmin Vivoactive 5 which, while it does cost slightly more, still has a few smart features like the Apple Watch but can match the GT 4 on fitness tracking. What these watches don’t have is the eye-catching design of the GT 4, which shines when out and about but can be a bit out of place at the gym.
The 41mm option doesn’t feel quite as workout-friendly as its larger 46mm counterpart, which is why the best feature of HarmonyOS – the fitness tracking – is subdued here. If you want a great fitness smartwatch from the get-go then you’re far better off opting for the Huawei Watch GT 4 46mm, which is paired with more workout friendly watch-straps in the box. Still, you can always swap in a silicone or rubber based watch strap with the 41mm variant, but it’s something that you’ll have to buy serparately.
How we test
We thoroughly test every smartwatch we review. We use industry-standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Worn as our main tracker during the testing period
Thorough health and fitness tracking testing
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The Watch GT 4 can be found in two sizes, 41mm and 46mm.
The Watch GT 4 does support music syncing and watch music management, but it is only available through Android and HarmonyOS handsets.