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The Huawei Watch Ultimate offers a good outdoor tracking experience overall for less than the competition, but it feels like it’s worth spending a little more to get something that offers a more complete smartwatch and extras like full mapping to make it more useful on your adventures.

Key Features

  • Depth sensor for freediving mode:With 10ATM water resistance
  • Expedition mode:Designed for hikes and trail runs
  • ECG sensor:Keep an eye out for arhythmia


The Huawei Watch Ultimate is a wearable built for serious outdoor adventurers and is clearly Huawei’s answer to the Apple Watch Ultra and watches like the Garmin Fenix and Epix.

Its arrival makes it the priciest watch in Huawei’s wearable collection, sitting above the new Huawei Watch 4 and Huawei Watch 4 Pro and promises features like a dive-proof design, new navigation features along with a design dressed in high grade materials.

It’s a bold move from Huawei to enter into this outdoor watch space with Apple, Garmin and others already offering strong options for hikers and climbers. So, does the Ultimate match or better the current outdoor watch greats? Here’s my take.

Design and screen

  • Comes in two model options
  • 1.5-inch LTPO AMOLED screen
  • Waterproof up to 100 metres

There’s a clear aim from Huawei to make the Ultimate feel like it’s a watch that could be mistaken for a traditional dive watch – think Omega Seamaster or Rolex Submariner. All the materials you’d expect to find on those watches are here like sapphire glass on the watch dial, ceramic in the chassis and bezel with a metal casing up front.

The side of the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s two options to pick from, the Voyage and Expedition Black with the former offered with a titanium strap and a rubber strap. The Expedition version is offered with just the more exercise-friendly rubber strap. I actually had both versions to test with the Voyage version landing first and the accompanying titanium strap was far too big for my wrists. I ended up spending more time with the Expedition model, but grabbed the secondary strap provided with the Voyage Ultimate.

Would you mistake the Ultimate for a high-end dive watch? I’m not really sure you would. Yes, the materials are there, but as a package it does still feel like a smartwatch that aspires to be a luxury watch but doesn’t entirely pull it off. It definitely has a sophisticated feel to it, but it might have been better for Huawei to embrace its own unique design.

What Huawei does have in its favour is a really crisp LTPO AMOLED display housed inside of the 48.5mm case. That screen measures in at 1.5-inches and offers a 466 x 466 resolution, matching the screen size and display technology used on the newer Huawei Watch 4 and 4 Pro. It has all the hallmarks of a great AMOLED, is responsive to touch and can be set to stay always-on at the expense of longer battery life. 

Unlike Huawei’s other watches, there are three physical buttons on the Ultimate with the extra added for Huawei’s new Expedition mode. Think the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra, but with a little less flair on the design front.

A data heavy watch gface on the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Then there’s the improved water resistance, which aims to make the Ultimate suitable for deep diving. It carries a 10 ATM rating, meaning it’s safe to be submerged in water up to 100 metres in depth. In addition to that, Huawei says the Ultimate meets the requirements of the EN 13319 standard for diving accessories, supporting free diving up to 100 metres. The Apple Watch Ultra also has an EN 13319-compliant design for comparison.

Features and performance 

  • Harmony OS works with Android and iOS
  • Access to Huawei AppGallery for Android only
  • Good collection of watch faces

The Ultimate runs on Harmony OS 3.0 and is compatible with Android and iOS (more so for the former), but Huawei has designed the watch to work best with its own Harmony OS powered smartphones.

Huawei doesn’t typically divulge the level of processing power its watches pack, but like its other watches, things do run slick. There’s no screen lag, the animation on widgets and watch faces are smooth and it’s generally an operating system that works well and is easy to get to grips with.

The top right physical button gets you into the main app screen where you might need to learn over time what each app icon actually represents as a mode, while the Down button will give you quick access to your most frequently used watch feature.

The app drawer for the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s a good mix of watch faces and I appreciate that each face includes a power rating to give you an indication of how much it’ll drain the battery. The notification feed is just a swipe away and there are nice widgets for information like the weather and wellness monitoring. The music playback controls are well optimised and there’s Bluetooth calling but it lacks the standalone cellular support you’ll get on the cheaper Huawei Watch 4.

Those smartwatch features don’t feel as well-built as the ones you’ll get on an Apple Watch and Garmin’s improving smartwatch ecosystem. If you care about features like payments, a strong third party app ecosystem and just a more complete smartwatch experience for both Android and iOS users, there are better options out there.

Fitness and health tracking 

  • Expedition mode for hikes, climbing and trail running
  • Dedicated diving mode
  • 100+ workout modes including golf

The Ultimate is billed to be a watch that you can take on dives, hikes, trail runs and any environment where your workout becomes a lot more rugged.

There are largely the same sensors onboard as included on Huawei Watch 4 to track and monitor your health and fitness. That includes an ECG sensor for more accurate heart rate readings, the dual-band GPS Huawei introduced on the Huawei Watch GT 3 to improve outdoor tracking accuracy when grabbing a reliable signal can be disrupted by tall buildings and heavily forested areas. There’s also temperature and an optical heart rate sensor, which can also monitor SpO2 levels.

There are plenty of workouts to track Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Let’s be honest though, It’s really the Watch Ultimate’s outdoor watch skills that are the main draw. First up is the new diving mode, bringing the new depth sensor and adding modes for recreational, freedive and technical diving profiles. There’s also the offer of diving-centric features like selecting the type of water you’re going to be diving into, turning on depth and dive timer reminders and conducting Apnea tests to assess those important breath holding abilities. If diving is your thing, there’s plenty for you here offered natively on the watch.

You also have an Expedition mode, which is activated from the additional physical button and is designed for hikes, climbs and trail runs. From that button you can set waypoints for key landmarks while reducing the GPS sampling rate to improve battery performance in exchange for location tracking accuracy. This mode also lets you see your compass, barometer and SpO2 data and provides quick access to the torch mode. This lives outside of the standard tracking mode, and is executed well in terms of how data is presented and does drain less battery at the expense of the best GPS accuracy.

Huawei does also include the ability to upload routes and use its route back navigation with breadcrumb-style mapping. You don’t get the full mapping support that you get on the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro or the Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 or the new Topo map support that’s been added to the Apple Watch Ultra in watchOS 10, which is a knock to the Watch Ultimate’s credentials as matching the competition in this area.

Outside of those big outdoor features, it’s more of the same in terms of the other sports, health and fitness tracking features that I’ve experienced on other recent Huawei watches. I found the dual-band GPS support performed better than the dual-band support on the company’s previous wearables, though I found that grabbing a GPS signal took an age on more than one occasion.

Expedition mode on the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Heart rate performance had its good and bad days. On a more intense interval track session it held up pretty well against Garmin’s HRM Pro chest strap and was 1-2 bpm out on average and max readings. Then on more steadier paced workouts it could be as much as 10 bpm out on some readings while other times near spot on to a chest strap. It performed well for indoor rowing tracking and pretty much matched up with the swim data from a Garmin watch and the swim-tracking Form Swim Goggles.

For day-to-day tracking, daily step counts were generally a fair bit under or over the daily step counts on a Garmin watch and the Oura Ring Gen 3, which were much closer with those daily totals. For sleep, it offered similar sleep duration and sleep stage breakdowns as the Oura Ring, which I’ve found to be one of the most reliable sleep trackers yet.

There’s plenty here, whether you care more about your workout time or your daily activity and accuracy and performance is good and not so good in places.

Battery life 

  • Up to 14-days in typical use
  • Up to 8-days in heavy usage
  • Charges fully in one hour

With the Ultimate, Huawei is promising similar battery numbers to its GT series watches, which means this is a smartwatch that can last up to two weeks in typical usage and that drops to 8-days under more strenuous activity. These numbers are based on lab tests with features like GPS use, sleep tracking and the amount of notifications you receive most notably impacting on the kind of battery you’re going to enjoy.

Workout tracking on the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I’d say those numbers reflect the kind of battery life I experienced in my testing time, which leaned more on the side of heavy usage. It’s a watch that can last up to a week and can go longer. Toggle the always-on display mode and the battery life will drop below a week.

The Watch Ultimate also charges up from 0-100% in an hour, which is the same rate of charging as the Huawei Watch 4. It does lack the Watch 4’s ultra long life battery mode, which does mean it’s not the longest-lasting Huawei Watch you can buy, but does put in a good performance compared to similarly priced outdoor smartwatches.

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Should you buy it?

If you want an outdoor smartwatch with good battery life: Huawei has managed to maintain the solid battery life performance it’s delivered on some of its other smartwatches, which will go further than the Apple Watch Ultra. 

You want the best outdoor smartwatch: Ultimately, if you can afford to spend a bit more, you can grab a more complete outdoor smartwatch from Garmin and Apple.

Final Thoughts

The Huawei Watch Ultimate was a clear move by Huawei to rival and hopefully better what Garmin and Apple offers for outdoors enthusiasts. It’s cheaper than the Apple Watch Ultra and the Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2, so it does have that in its favour.

Its approach to model the design of luxury watches slightly misses the mark for me, while the lack of full mapping support seems like a bit of a miss here, especially when Apple’s now added that to the Ultra too. Some of that diving support has now been added to the Watch 4 as well, which gives the Ultimate niche appeal and ultimately doesn’t feel like it’s worth grabbing over the Apple Watch Ultra or the Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2.

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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

Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices


Is the Huawei Watch Ultimate compatible with an iPhone?

Yes, the Huawei Watch Ultimate can be paired with an iPhone though not all features are supported. Most notable is the lack of access to Huawei’s Watch AppGallery.

Does the Huawei Watch Ultimate have Wi-Fi?

The Huawei Watch Ultimate does offer Wi-Fi, though it’s primarily used to offer general performance improvements.

Full specs

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