Huawei Watch review: Smart and pretty

Smart and pretty

GSMArena team, 20 November, 2015.

Introduction

Smartwatches offer few practical uses, have terrible battery life, and are little more than plasticky toys - you've heard the rants. Well, while we're waiting for developments on the first two counts, the Huawei Watch addresses the last one.

Universally accepted as the most beautiful smartwatch in existence upon its announcement in March, the Huawei Watch sure took its time to make it to consumers' wrists. Its classical timepiece design is as relevant now as it was on day one, and that's its main allure - the Huawei Watch just looks and feels a lot like a regular watch.

Huawei Watch review

You get a few case color options, each with a choice of a leather strap or a steel bracelet and you can grab standard aftermarket replacements and swap them in a matter of seconds with your bare hands, or fingernails, really. Not exactly Motomaker customizability but not strapped (punny...) for options either.

Under the classy surface it's as standard-issue as they come, though. The vast majority of Android smartwatches now are powered by the Snapdragon 400 paired with half a gig of RAM and 4GB of storage, and the Huawei Watch is no exception.

There's the usual features, but nothing extraordinary - dust and water ingress protection, motion and heart rate sensors, vibration. The greatest bit is perhaps the Sapphire crystal glass - an exclusive feature outside of the Apple realm (where it doesn't come cheap, either).

Huawei Watch key features

  • 1.4" AMOLED display, 400 x 400 pixels, 286ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926), quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage
  • 300mAh Li-Ion battery, rated at 1.5 days of uptime, 80% fast charge in 45 minutes
  • 42 x 42 x 11.3mm, 60.5-136g depending on strap/bracelet option, interchangeable standard 18mm straps
  • Stainless steel casing, IP-67 certified, water-resistant for 30 minutes, up to 1 meter deep
  • Android Wear OS, compatible with smartphones, running Android 4.3 or iOS 8.2 and up
  • PPG Heart rate sensor, 6-axis motion sensor (gyro + accelerometer), barometer
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
  • Vibration

Main disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Android Wear still has limited functionality

The price to pay for having the classiest smartwatch is certainly a pretty steep one. For the same amount of cash you can easily get a pretty good Swiss-made regular watch, which unlike the Huawei Watch won't be obsolete within a year. Or ten.

We're also quite bummed by the lack of an ambient light sensor. The claim for design considerations doesn't really stand - both Apple and Samsung have implemented one underneath the display without spoiling the looks.

Huawei Watch review

And then comes the issue of what you can actually do with a smartwatch. The fact that the Huawei Watch is marketed more as a dress watch doesn't help either - you won't be pumping iron with the same timepiece you'd be taking to the restaurant in the evening, right?

With all these thoughts battling inside our heads, we kick off our review of the Huawei Watch, starting with unboxing and hardware overview on the following page.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-513648

So if I run it's not enough You're still in my head forever stuck So you can do what you wanna do I love your lies, I'll eat 'em up But don't deny the animal That comes alive when I'm inside you

  • AnonD-259759

This is far better than Samsung Gear S2, in terms of quality and battery.

  • Anonymous

Great design.