We tested the Huawei Watch GT, the good, nice and cheap smartwatch
Smart watches are one of the most controversial technological pieces of all, because many people do not see much meaning or value. However, for others, they are a fascinating tool that helps them control their health, exercise and possess one of the most iconic pieces of technology of the human being, with an extra technology.
I've been testing for a few weeks the Huawei Watch GT, a smart watch or smartwatch, in its version 46mm active. Its round box, accompanied by two physical buttons and, of course, a touch screen, added to its large battery and very competitive price, make it an ideal candidate for those who want to bet safely on a quality smart watch without their budget being huge.
I have analyzed the Huawei Watch GT, first version, waiting to try the Huawei Watch GT2, presented with the Mate 30. Soon you will also have the review of this second model.
We tested the Huawei Watch GT Active
The first thing you need to start using the watch, is to have to install two applications if you do not have a Huawei mobile, because in that case they are already integrated. One of them, called Huawei mobile services, it only serves as a link app, it is unusable, but it must be installed; the other is Huawei Health, which is from which we can see the health data, exercise, and all adjustments and communication with the clock.
Once set for the first time, the feeling is one comfort and adaptation to the wrist like few smart watches I've tried. Especially since the optical sensor barely bulges and has no sharp edges or edges.
The Huawei Watch GT fits perfectly on the wrist
It is not heavy or very light, but it has a perfect balance. It weighs 46 grams without the strap. The silicone strap that accompanies the one we tested is very soft, comfortable and with a precise adjustment. It is a very fine watch, 10.6mm thick, and that makes it comfortable, especially for sleeping with it; being able to take advantage of its function of measuring the quality of sleep that, I advance, is possibly one of the best I've tried in smart watches.
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Another of the benefits of Huawei Watch GT is that use standard 22mm straps with quick anchor (no need to use screwdrivers). We can reuse those we already had from other watches with that standard or buy new ones; without fear that they are not valid for future watches since most use these.
Another thing that I liked a lot is that, in the two weeks of use that I wear, the watch He has not suffered a single scratch, scratch or mark. I am not careful with watches because I understand that they are to enjoy them, and it is quite common in smart watches that the box takes small scratches or small marks that over time, and months, become annoying. With the Huawei Watch we can almost assure a pristine look for a long time.
Other data and Huawei Watch GT specifications They are:
- Active / Sport / Classic Edition: 1.39-inch AMOLED 454 x 454 HD screen
- Elegant Edition: 1.2-inch AMOLED 390 x 390 HD screen
- Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
- Optical heart rate meter
- Ambient Light Sensor
Using the Huawei Watch GT on a daily basis
What most doubts me in a smart watch is always the ability to react to wrist rotation, so that the screen turns on and see the time or check the data you have on the dial. Not only for the speed of ignition, but for the subtlety or how marked the gesture is for it to activate. In the case of the Huawei Watch GT is not infallible, nor fast.
Do not forget that we are talking about a mid-range smartwatch, so you have to include your capabilities at that price range. When I mean that it is not infallible, it is that there are certain times when the wrist turn has to be forced a little more for the screen to activate. And when I speak of slowness, I speak of tenths of a second of delay, from when we turn the wrist until it is turned on.
It is a very short period of time, but appreciable; and that other high-end smartwatch or with the screen always on do not have. However, this does not hamper the user experience, it is simply not the best in the market, but it is satisfactory enough that we can enjoy the clock without feeling frustrated.
One of the things that users of a smart watch value most is be able to change the screens or spheres: the more exchange options, the better; being able to adapt to each use, to each person and even to each situation. It is not the same to go with a sports sphere than an elegant one to an important work meeting, for example.
The clock freckles customization: it does not have too many spheres and are not configurable
The truth is that there are few areas available, 27 specifically. That may seem many, but without being configurable none of them sure there are many users who do not feel satisfied; missing a community that makes personalized spheres or, as Apple does, that we can at least configure with complications those that are already pre-established. The available spheres are not ugly at all, although this is a point to improve and it is not complicated for Huawei to do so in the future.
Like almost all smart watches, if the screen is on, we can place the palm of the hand on top of it to turn it off. However, it is somewhat uncomfortable that we cannot activate the screen by touching it, that only happens if we turn the wrist or press one of the two physical buttons available to the Huawei Watch GT.
These two buttons, once the screen is activated, have two specific functions and that we cannot configure. The upper button is used to access the tools menu of the watch and also to return to the main screen; the bottom to start sports routines. The tools available to the watch are the following:
- Exercises (That is, the sporting function with more accurate measurement of the pulse, rhythms, times, GPS) / There are multiple sports and also preloaded basic training for those who are not a regular athlete, but want to keep a basic guide of what they do
- Logs / That it is a history of all the sports activities we have done and where we can see in detail details such as unevenness, pulse, rhythms, speeds, training index, calories burned and recovery time after that session. Also from the Health application, we can see all these data saved and registered. The bad news is that these records cannot be exported to other platforms like Strava or similar, only to Google Fit and its very erratic and poorly made application.
- Exercise status / It is a personalized control that tells you more or less what your fitness status is based on the exercises you have done and registered with the watch.
- Heart rate / It will show us a graph of our pulse throughout the day in addition to the current measurement. This function is very interesting (even if you don't exercise) to see how your organism behaves in any situation: a walk, shopping, lying down or even sleeping, can give us signs that a cold, flu, or how our heart faces both efforts (whether sports or not) and breaks.
- Activity / Copied from Apple Watch, is a visual way of seeing in three simple rings. If daily you have fulfilled the goal of steps, stand 12 hours standing (at least one minute for each of those hours) and a third ring, of daily exercise compliance. This function is motivating and effective. A copy, yes, but it is effective after all.
- Break / We can see the hours we slept the night before (but to see it in more detail, better to see it in the smartphone application).
- Barometer / It shows us a graph of the atmospheric pressure and another of the altitude in which we are.
- Compass / Well, that, a digital compass that marks the cardinal points and the direction where we point the clock.
- Weather / A small summary of the current climate and temperature situation in the place we are
- Posts / A summary and history of all the latest notifications we received on our smartphone
- Search Phone / To make it sound if we have lost it, as long as it is within the range of the Bluetooth connection
- Settings / Here we can configure the aforementioned Screen always on, the brightness, the dial, activate the mode do not disturb and see the details of the clock, although any of these functions can already be done from the main screen without having to navigate between menus.
From the main screen we can easily change the dial Simply holding a few seconds: a carousel is displayed where we can choose from all available spheres.
Sliding from the top of the screen we access the shortcut bar; where we can activate the do not disturb mode, the screen always on, search for the phone, lock the screen (very useful if we shower since the water can activate without wanting the screen and start touching buttons). In this access bar we can also see the date, if the phone is connected or the battery that has left the clock.
The Huawei Watch GT receives notifications, but does not allow you to answer them
Sliding from the bottom we access the history of notifications that we have received on the watch, which are a copy of those we have received on the phone. And not, Unable to answer messages from the clock. It does not have a speaker for voice control or predefined answers or anything: we can only read what comes to us. Useful, but incomplete.
And sliding from left to right we will navigate through the following screens (not configurable). Pulse graph and current pulse; on another page the Activity (the daily objective rings of steps, exercise and being lifted); and one last screen showing the current weather and outdoor temperature.
It must be said that the operation between these screens, or those of the menu, has some lag. That is, it goes a little slow. It does not become annoying, but it is obvious.
Sleep measurement on the Huawei Watch GT
As I said before, the sleep measurement is very good on this watch Nails quite accurately the hours you go to bed and wake up even if you are on the couch watching TV late in the day, half lying. And, of course, it represents the quality of sleep in a beautiful graphic thanks to what Huawei calls TruSleep.
I really miss being able to see a detailed graph of the pulse during the night since it can give us very clear signs of recovery, if we are incubating a virus, anomaly, etc … Although you can always see in the pulse graph next to the rest of the day.
Of course, we can see our graph and dream evolution, during the last weeks, months, days, or throughout the year. If the ideal is to sleep 8 hours, that is a third of our life, and it is something worth paying attention to and try to take care of, improve and enhance it as much as possible. There is much talk about exercise and nutrition; and the dream is another of the fundamental pillars of our health. A smart watch can help us a lot to improve it.
Pulse measurement on the Huawei Watch GT
This point is critical for the reliability of a smartwatch if what interests us most is health and exercise, as much or more than GPS accuracy.
The Huawei Watch GT is not perfect measuring the pulse, like no optical wrist sensor I've tried to date, and I've tried many. Is it quite accurate? No, I think that for many things it is not. It is approximate and can give us general references, yes.
What does this mean then? What for athletes of a certain level are not worth it because there are many erroneous measurements and data that do not match reality (measured reality and compared with a reliable pulse sensor with chest electrocardiogram). In low and resting pulses the margin of error is smaller and, therefore, the approximation can serve as a reference to see how you are recovering, if you are altered, etc …
Pulse measurement is not too accurate, especially during exercise
May my catastrophic words not sound. Always keep in mind that it is not a watch of the highest range, and it is normal that there are things that are not perfect. As an orientation for resting pulse It is a useful tool, And that for many of the users of this watch is more than enough. Possibly because for this price range there is nothing reliable in pulse measurement. It is a poor consolation, but it is a consolation after all.
Recording exercises on the Huawei Watch GT
Many people become obsessed with the GPS accuracy of their watches. It is important yes, but do not lose your mind. We must take into account, again, the price of the device, the precision we seek, if that matters to us and the conditions to which we submit it. Among tall buildings in a city the signal is always poor, just like between very closed mountains or very dense forests.
In the Huawei Watch GT it is not configurable every few seconds the GPS takes references, but going by bike clearly it is not every second. And that means that there are small lines to draw the drawing of the route. It hardly matters because in the end, compared to a high-end GPS specific for cycling, there was hardly a variation of 600 meters in more than 100 km. GPS works perfectly and it is reliable enough to record multiple routes fairly accurately.
Notifications, alarms and other observations
The good thing about smartwatches in general is that they can be an extension of the phone for notices and notifications: if we want to be ultranotified All watches are perfect. But if we want to be notified only of the most important, so detoxify us Being so aware of the phone is also a great idea.
Having an alarm on the clock is very useful, since it allows us to wake up silently. That is to say, vibrating with force will cause us not to hate the sound or music that we have on our alarm clock and at the same time we will not wake up those who sleep beside us.
In addition, it is possible set a smart alarm with a margin from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. This means that, if the watch detects that you are in a phase of light sleep, it will wake you up so as not to have it in a phase of deeper sleep; That could translate into a terrible dream feeling. This way it relieves a lot.
The measurement of caloric expenditure is very imprecise. This ruling, for those interested in the sportier or health side, will be annoying. Other smartwatches, even if you are not recording a sports activity with GPS, know that your pulse is high and that there is more activity than normal, so the calculation of caloric expenditure estimates it, with more or less precision. But the Huawei Watch, despite indicating that your pulse has been high, does not show that caloric expenditure has risen barely. This is a major mistake.
Nor does he know how to interpret minutes of exercise, for example, if you ride a bike. It even notifies you to stand up and move and activate because you have been sitting for an hour (even if you have stood on the bike itself).
The battery of the Huawei Watch GT is its strong point
The battery consumption while using the GPS and the pulse sensor in any sporting activity is extraordinarily low, possibly the lowest of all the watches I've tried. In an output of three and a half hours by bike less than 20% of consumption.
But I will give you other detailed data of the battery expense in multiple scenarios.
- As a smart watch, the daily expenditure is 7-8% (with all functions activated and without registering any GPS activity)
- With the Screen function always on, the expenditure is triggered at an average of 17% per day (with all functions activated and without registering any GPS activity)
Being a basic smart watch, and not having applications, only pre-installed tools, the only variations in battery consumption come from having done some GPS activity that, as I said, consumes approximately 6% per hour. If the screen function is always on, the battery will only last 6 days, which remains a more than acceptable range.
If not, and do not use GPS but notifications, sleep measurements and continuous pulse, the clock can last about 13 days. The data is taken from the version that I have been using, the Huawei Watch GT Active 46mm box In the Elegant 42mm version the battery is reduced, according to Huawei, by half: 7 days with full use. Without GPS or screen always on.
But if the battery of the Huawei Watch GT It is good, its load is even better: this point is of vital importance and very noteworthy. We want to wear the watch at all times for sleep and pulse records; and having to be charging it for a long time is a nuisance. We can even forget that we have left it charging and spend more time without it.
I will give you a summary with the charging times:
- From 10% to 28% in 10 minutes
- In 30 minutes I was already 61% charged
- In 50 minutes it was 86% charged. 76% of the total in 50 minutes
The last phase of charging is always the slowest for any battery. However, the Watch GT performs great:
- From 83% to 94% in 17 minutes
- From 94% to 100% in 16 minutes
The full battery from 0% (I never recommend rushing until the battery runs out to recharge) would take 100% charge, an hour and a half maximum. But without reaching these extremes, my recommendation is to load it, for example, while taking a shower. If it takes 30 min throughout the process, you will have recharged the battery approximately 50%, enough to have the watch always charged by doing it once or twice a week.
The good and the bad of the Huawei Watch GT
The Huawei Watch GT is surely one of the three best smartwatches in its price range. It is a very good option and its aesthetics of traditional watch with round case make it very attractive. It does nothing very badly, but not very well unless it has a large battery. This is, perhaps, one of the most important reasons for this watch to stand out and stand out from its rivals.
- A shame not being able to configure the spheres or that there is a community of users who share theirs to choose from. A problem that energy measurement does so badly. A joy that is such a comfortable watch and that you don't have to worry about the battery.
- A success that does not come loaded with useless or useful applications or functions only for a few.
- A disappointment that we can not control the music from the clock or even have a small music list inside the clock itself to connect headphones and listen without having the phone on top.
But nevertheless, calibrating the good and the bad, the Huawei Watch GT is a watch made of very good materials, durable, efficient, that does not give problems or is frustrating to use without having to pay a lot of money.
Now is a good time to buy this Huawei Watch GT: since the second generation has been introduced, the first begins to be discounted. And it is still a highly recommended purchase.
Get the Huawei Watch GT Active at Amazon