Huawei Watch GT first look: Trying desperately not to look techie

Huawei Watch GT is the first smartwatch running Huawei's Lite OS. Here's our first hands-on, along with price, specs and features.

Key Features

  • Huawei Lite OS
  • GPS
  • Month-long max battery

Huawei Watch GT: A smartwatch trying desperately not to look techie

Huawei’s latest wearable, the Watch GT, launched alongside the Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20. Interestingly, it isn’t a successor to the Huawei Watch 2. Instead of gunning for the smartwatch market currently owned by the Apple Watch Series 4, the Watch GT focuses on fitness tracking, ditching Google’s Wear OS in the process.

Huawei Watch GT price

Huawei hasn’t given the Watch GT an official price. We’ll update this article when we know more.

Huawei Watch GT release date

Like its cost, the Huawei Watch GT’s release date remains a mystery. Hopefully we’ll know more soon.

Huawei Watch GT

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Instead of running Wear OS – the software you’ll find on a load of smartwatches from the likes of Fossil – Huawei has used its own Lite OS. This was developed in-house at Huawei and in its current state doesn’t support any apps or mobile payments platforms. It instantly feels like it is on the back foot as a result.

Huawei’s also designed it to look and feel like a mechanical wristwatch. It’s made of metal and looks like it’s designed to be worn with a suit. It felt good to wear though, even if it’s not to my personal tastes.

The face feels well built and sturdy and there are two buttons on the side – both of which can be pressed to initiate certain tasks. It looks a bit like the Samsung Galaxy Watch, but without the clever rotating bezel.

Arguably the biggest reason Huawei has decided against Wear OS is the battery life. Even though a new more power efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon chip is available, most current Wear OS devices like the Fossil Q Explorist HR are still limited to a couple of days of use.

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Huawei Watch GT

With the Watch GT, Huawei is claiming you’ll be able to go two weeks without needing the charger. That’s with minor exercise too. Apparently if you just use it for notifications it’ll last a whole month off a single charge. If you’re hammering the GPS then you’ll get 22 hours. That’s still impressive going. To achieve these battery life claims, Huawei is using a new chipset, not too dissimilar from the Snapdragon Wear 3100. 

Lite OS itself looks like a mash-up of watchOS and Wear OS. The system felt suitably stable during my hands-on. Moving around the UI on the 1.39-inch AMOLED panel felt fast and reactive during my short time with the watch. Jumping into specific fitness tasks didn’t take too much time either.

Fitness tracking is a big focus here and Huawei has built specific modes for a wide range of activities both indoor and outdoor. There’s GPS here, plus an altimeter for measuring altitude during hikes, and a heart rate monitor. I didn’t have a chance to test out how accurate anything was, so stay tuned for the full review for all that information.

Unlike with the Apple Watch 4, Huawei Watch GT supports sleep tracking; it’ll try and identify your sleeping patterns and give you tips on how to improve.

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Huawei Watch GT

Opening Impressions

With no apps, mobile payments and a very male-centric design, the Huawei Watch GT feels like it could be a misstep. The battery life does sound impressive, but it’ll really come down to how well the fitness features perform as to whether there’s a market for this or not.