At first glance, the new Huawei Watch GT 2 46mm series looks like last year's GT model. But it offers much more, like slick-looking 3D glass with a smaller bezel, faster speed, longer battery life measured in weeks not days, more indoor and outdoor activities, a new 4GB music player, Bluetooth phone calling, and copious amounts of health and activity readings.
If you're a bit on the lazy side like me, the GT 2 is addictive with an endlessly encouraging stream of big and small activities to track, 24/7.
Sure, it can display my incoming e-mails, social updates, and more, but the GT 2 is a veritable personal sports coach on my wrist, slicing and dicing every aspect of a workout or sleep. A simple walk outside without my phone (works with iPhones and Androids) for example, showed exactly where I was and my progress on the trail. It supports GPS and GLONASS satellite systems for accuracy, even keeping track of what side of the street I walked. Then it spits out separate heart rate, pace, cadence, and altitude charts in addition to a detailed summary of my walk, all of which can be accessed from the Huawei Health App.
In sports mode, GT 2 is compatible with 15 sports, providing full-scale monitoring of approximately 190 types of data. There are eight outdoor sports (running, walking, climbing, hiking, trail running, cycling, open water, and triathlon) and seven indoor sports (walking, running, cycling, swimming pool, free training, elliptical machine, and rowing machine). It provides targeted pre-exercise data analysis for different sports, data recording analysis during the exercise, and professional advice afterwards.
The heart monitoring uses Huawei's TruSeen, now upgraded to version 3.5 for more accurate real-time personal measurement of your heart rate in real time. Coupled with the intelligent AI heart rate algorithm, it monitors your heart rate throughout the entire day, even while you are sleeping. Unless in sports mode, you'll be notified if your heart rate is above 100 bpm or below 50 bpm for more than 10 minutes.
The GT 2 also uses the heart monitor to measure stress level using its own Huawei TruRelax AI. It helps you relieve stress by recording HRV (heart rate variability) values and providing feedback on your stress index. I had to initially respond to a comprehensive and clever questionnaire to help the watch pinpoint stress levels associated with my breathing and heart rate. The watch then provides a colourful "stress level" bar graph throughout the day. This is where the refreshing breathing training comes in at the right time, providing helpful breaks from my daily routines. It also has a sedentary alert, which reminds me to stand up and move around after a certain period of time. In addition to the above workout sessions, the GT 2 automatically records the number of steps, calories burned, and the number of times you stand up in a clear three ring circular graph.
Sleep monitoring is another GT 2 function that everyone should care about. Poor quality sleep affects our everyday lives. Huawei TruSleep 2.0 monitors real-time heart rate, sleep breathing quality, and uses big data analysis to rate sleep quality. It combines Huawei AI technology to accurately analyze sleep problems and provides sleep improvement suggestions, as well as personalized sleep services and reports to help you improve sleep quality.
The watch takes calls from up to 150 metres away from a phone via Bluetooth. It also supports phonebook functionality, letting you save friends' contact information on the watch and easily look them up. I was impressed with the music player, which can store up to 500 MP3 songs with custom playlists uploaded from a phone. I was able to listen from the watch's integrated clear speaker in unobtrusive whisper mode by placing it near my ear or decent boombox mode; but minus the rich bass. It also plays music from my phone via Bluetooth mode and rocks on wireless headphones and speakers. Nice.
What's behind the precision gemstone cut 1.39" 3D glass AMOLED HD 454 x 454 pixel, touch screen? Lots.
It's water and dust resistant, for starters. The huge battery powers Huawei's own Kirin A1 chipset with an integrated advanced Bluetooth processing unit, an audio processing unit, an ultra-low power consumption application processor, and a separate power management unit. This helps the Cortex-M7 processor achieve ultra-low power consumption of 10uA/MHz, which is far below the industry average of 30uA/MHZ. The net result is that the Huawei Watch GT 46mm (there is also a smaller 42mm band not available in Canada) can run for more than one month per charge.
But if you want to take in all of the features of the watch, one charge is good for about two weeks of intelligent heart rate monitoring and call notification functions, as well as weekly usage of up to 30 minutes of Bluetooth calls, up to 30 minutes of music playback, up to 90 minutes of exercise, and using the scientific sleep mode at night. The improved but still power-hungry GPS tracked sports mode achieves a battery life of 30 hours.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 46 mm Sport Model is available for an MSRP of $300 while the Watch GT 2 46 mm Classic leather strap Model has a MSRP of $320.