Ever since it was announced at MWC 2015, the Huawei Watch became one of the most talked about wearables before cooling off and taking months to emerge onto the market. It finally landed and I’ve gotten my hands on one to see if it meets the hype or not.
Huawei Watch: First impressions
Right from the get go, it’s hard not to be impressed with your purchase. The Huawei Watch comes in a sleek display box on par with high end traditional watches. Indeed this is a trend that is present throughout your experience with the Huawei Watch as the manufacturer sought to design a watch more like an actual watch rather than a wearable.
The build of the watch screams quality from the stainless steel frame and genuine leather strap to the sapphire crystal, high quality screen. While there were some murmurs within online threads stating the watch as heavy, I personally found it rather light compared to my stainless steel Fossil watch. The most important part of the design is that when you wear the Huawei Watch it just feels like a normal watch and doesn’t intrude with your day until you want the watch.
The only design flaw I could find in the whole experience was the charger. The “hockey puck” charger can sometimes fool you into thinking the Huawei Watch is charging away, only to have you wake up to a 25% battery. This is caused by the charging port not sitting into the watch correctly. Simply make sure you feel the vibration when you connect the charger to the watch and you can avoid this.
You can watch the full unboxing video below.
Huawei Watch: Best features
The best feature of the Huawei Watch is simply its design. While wearing the watch, once someone catches a glace at it, you do need to remind them where your eyes are! People will ask you what it is and how it works as it is a gorgeous piece of kit. With that in mind the watch does offer plenty of other great features and innovations.
Siri made it cool, but people talking to their phone like a best friend is slowly becoming more popular. The Huawei Watch will await your command upon hearing “OK, Google…”. From here you can say “text my girlfriend” or “what time is the Liverpool game on at” to which you’ll get the answer to your query. It’s just like Michael Knight having a chat with KITT.
This is one of the features that sets the Huawei Watch aside from the rest of the Android Wear market; it comes with built in WiFi. Should you make your way to work but leave your phone at home, you will still receive notifications to your watch once your phone maintains a WiFi connection and your watch is connected to WiFi in work. You can even respond to text messages, WhatsApp messages or emails and the like through the reply function coupled with Google Now voice recognition.
Heart rate monitor
Over the Christmas break, there was plenty of craic knocked out of the heart rate monitor, as the watch was passed between friends drinking Red Bulls and pints to see who had the best heart rate. Whether or not you would actually wear the Huawei Watch to the gym or out jogging is questionable, but nonetheless the feature is there.
Android and iOS: Take your pick
This is rare, but also not the first time Huawei have pulled it off. Just like the Huawei Talkband, the Huawei Watch is compatible with both Android and iOS. Granted, iOS will be slightly more limited for the time being, it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.
Watch faces to bate the band
While there is a haype of watch faces loaded onto the Huawei Watch as stock, you can download even more from the Google Play Store. The range is astonishing, varying from analogue to digital watch faces and traditional to ultra modern. In fact, some of the biggest traditional watch makers, such as Rolex, have been cracking down on knock off watch faces mimicking their finest work.
If all these don’t cut if for you, the option to get hands on remains. You can create your own using Watch Maker, which comes in both free and premium versions.
Huawei Watch: The worst features
As mentioned above, there is really only one irritating thing and that’s the minor inconvenience that comes with making sure the watch is sitting correctly on the charger. Other than that the minor annoyances or water hitting the screen and the phone thinking it’s a touch slowly go away as you adapt to having a responsive device on your wrist.
While this is perhaps the most complete and best looking smart watch on the market, many consider the price to simply be too high. Within context, the price of the Huawei Watch at €380, isn’t all that bad. The Moto 360 2 weights in a shade cheaper while this is the same price you would be looking to spend on Apple Watches. While I was more than happy to fork out the cash for the Huawei Watch, the price tag at which this piece of jewellery comes as an acquired taste.
The battery in the Huawei Watch is pretty decent considering it’s default set to “Always On”. Most smart watches, such as the Moto 360 and Fossil’s latest addition have that silly looking flat tyre on the bottom which turn the screen on and off. Doing away with these, meant the Huawei Watch screen is always on, but does go to sleep, waiting to be spun awake.
With that in mind, the Huawei Watch gives an awkward amount of power. I’m quite a heavy user and would get a day and a half from the watch, meaning I really get a day and just charge every night regardless. It’s likely a lighter user would get two days from a single charge.
Connectivity is another strong point. I often have the watch, WiFi and Bluetooth headphones all connected at once (here’s to my health) and the device never drops connection. My previous wearable of choice was the Pebble Kickstarter Edition which regularly dropped connected despite consistent firmware updates.
Huawei Watch: The verdict
While the price will deter all but the tech saavy early adopters, the Huawei Watch is a fantastic piece of kit. Unlike the Apple Watch, Android Wear does not really have the loyal brand following to drive sales. What Huawei have created might be one of the pricier wearables on the market, but they have also bridged the gap between wearable and fashion accessories. The Huawei Watch is likely to be the nicest and most functional smart watch on the market for quite some time to come, which might just justify that price tag.
We picked up this watch from Amazon.co.uk. If you’re the impatient type, try out Amazon Prime’s 30 day trial and get free delivery to the Ireland via Parcel Motel.We ordered on a Saturday, with the Huawei Watch arriving into Parcel Motel on the Monday night. Insanely fast!