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Hands-on Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

Huawei’s latest smartwatch certainly has the looks but what about everything else?

Hands-on Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch
16 September 2020

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is easily one of the best looking smartwatches on the scene. Its classic good looks, titanium, sapphire glass and ceramic construction and that traditional, timeless circular timepiece shape all come together very well indeed.

Not everything about the watch, however, is as undeniably excellent as its design and build. For starters, it runs with just 32MB of RAM (yes, megabytes), making it less powerful than virtually all its smartwatch competition.

The Watch GT 2 Pro doesn’t run third-party apps like Strava, or Spotify, so it’s also on the back foot compared to the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3, not to mention Wear OS devices like the OPPO Watch.

This all begs the question - why is the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro still so incredibly good and easy to recommend? It all comes down to battery life and out of the box usability - keep reading to find out more.

1. It lasts and lasts (and lasts)Hands-on Huawei Watch GT Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is quoted to deliver 14-day battery life, and in the real world, it isn’t too far off that. We were getting between 5-7 days with the always-on display active, and a few workouts firing up the GPS. With light use, a day took it down by just eight per cent.

By comparison the Apple Watch delivers a maximum of two days on a single charge, and you can expect up to three to four days from Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3. This makes the GT 2 Pro the clear winner.

The reason Huawei’s able to hit these battery highs is its low power Kirin A1 processor, and the minimal demands it places on the watch’s dinky cell.

So while it can’t run third-party apps, the question to ask yourself is, what matters more to you, installable apps or excellent battery life?

2. Wireless charging makes life easierHands-on Huawei Watch GT Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

Unlike most wearable makers, Huawei has ditched proprietary charging and added Qi wireless charging to the Watch GT 2 Pro. Sure, it ships with a charging base, but you don’t have to use it. Place the watch on a wireless charger, or on the back of a compatible phone, including the P40 Pro or Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it’ll go from zero to 100 in around half an hour.

Just ten minutes of charge will easily get you through a full day of heavy use with the Watch GT 2 Pro, and given the fact you only need to power it up once a week or thereabouts, if you’re home has wireless charges dotted around, you could never end up with a powered down deadweight on your wrist again.

3. You may not need third-party appsHands-on Huawei Watch GT Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

For a certain kind of user who wants a smartwatch for training or smart living, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is definitely not the right choice. We’ve mentioned Spotify and Strava, but its lack of smarts extend further. You can’t reply to messages on it, for example. Additionally, while Huawei’s voice assistant, Celia is an upcoming feature expected to land on the Watch imminently, there’s no Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri support here.

That said, what the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro can do may well be as comprehensive as you need it to be. All your standard watch tools are accounted for - alarm, timer, stopwatch. It also pulls up a suite of weather information together, complete with sunrise and sunset graphs, and it packs a compass and barometer.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro’s tracking credentials are also on-point. Unlike the Apple Watch, it tracks sleep and stress, and like the competition, it measures heart rate, SP02 levels and can walk you through breathing exercises when things get a bit much.

4. Think of a sport - the GT 2 Pro tracks it

Hands-on Huawei Watch GT Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

With over 100 sports tracked, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is one of the most comprehensive fitness trackers you can buy. Press the upper button, tap workout, and you get a customisable list of everything from CrossFit, Skiing, Triathlon training and Taekwondo, through to more novelty ways of staying in shape - Hula Hoop tracking anyone?

With 5ATM waterproofing, the Watch GT 2 Pro is also built for both swimming pool and open water training - just don’t use the pre-fitted leather straps when taking the plunge - there’s a silicone alternative in the box for when things get wet.

5. It works with an iPhoneHands-on Huawei Watch GT Pro review: 5 things to know about Huawei's latest smartwatch

Our biggest gripes with past Huawei Watch GTs have been just how poor the experience is when they’re paired with an iPhone. Thankfully, the Watch GT 2 Pro matches beautifully with iOS mobiles, making it an excellent, round alternative to the rectangular Apple Watch.

Pair the watch with the Huawei Health app, available for iOS and Android, and the data it captures can feed into either Google Fit or MyFitnessPal on an Android device, or Apple Health when using an iPhone. This means everything from workouts to steps and heart rate aren’t confined to Huawei’s app, but can be accessed across all your devices, and be fed into other services.

iPhone notifications are also supported, just like on Android, and you can use the Huawei Watch GT 2 to make phone calls on thanks to a speaker and mic loaded up - Dick Tracy style.

In turn, while we’re absolutely not saying the Watch GT 2 Pro is perfect, its compromises may be a small price to pay for the fact it packs excellent battery life and amongst the best design we’ve ever seen on a wearable.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is out 5 October for £299.