OPERATION OF THE HUAWEI WATCH GT2
Operation and set up of the Huawei GT2 is just about as easy as it gets. In normal use, one only has to turn watch up to see the screen come on. The screen remains on for five seconds. If you swipe down immediately you will access the Quick Access Menu which has options for Do Not Disturb, Show Time (Watch stays on for 5 minutes), Find Phone, Alarm, Settings and Time, Date and Battery. If you swipe up, it will display messages or notifications from any of your selected smartphone apps, to include all social apps.
When on and displaying the watch screen, simply swipe left or right to discover heart monitoring, stress monitoring, local weather, music and all day activity monitoring. Stress monitoring is another feature that will not work when Huawei Health is operating on an iPhone. To change the face, simply push down on the touchscreen and hold for e few seconds and then scroll left and right through the faces included with the watch.
By pressing on the top button twice, it will bring you to the features screen. Features include Workout, Workout records, Workout Status, Heart rate, Sp02, Activity records, Sleep, Stress, Breathing exercises, Call log, Contacts, Music, Barometer, Compass, Notifications, Weather, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, Flashlight, Find Phone and Settings. And you thought the Watch GT2 might be lacking as one couldn’t download third party apps…
There are plenty of tricks and tweaks, many not mentioned anywhere and you have to go through all of the above features and scroll left and right, up and down to discover things hidden away. For example, we can create playlists on the smartphone in the Huawei Health App but, when simply turning the watch on and swiping to the Music Player, there is no way to get to them. We only learned this through going through the Feature set via the top button and swiping down when the Music player showed up. Only then could we access our Play Lists.
One of the biggest assets of the Huawei Watch GT2 has to be its Sports Tracking abilities. It is capable of tracking 13 different running courses, Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Outdoor walk, Indoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor cycle, Pool Swim, Open Water, Climb, Hike, Trail Run Triathlon, Elliptical, Rower and Other to set what you want yourself. Each choice had configurable settings. This all includes real time coaching and turn by turn navigation which so many other similar devices don’t have. We went for a walk yesterday and, at the mile mark, the GT2 let us know our time, steps, pace and heart rate.
Once we were done and returned to look at the Huawei Health App, the data was absolutely incredible to include heart rate throughout and time in various zones to include Extreme, Anaerobic, Aerobic, Fat-Burning and Warm-up, Pace, Cadence and Altitude. Details covered other things such as Calories, Elevation Gain, Descent, Aerobic Training Effect, VO2Max and Recovery Time. All records are maintained and fitness tracking can be shared with Google Fit and MyFitness Pal.
Perhaps the biggest negative about the Fitness Tracker of the Huawei Watch GT2 is that there is no option to upload and sync track activities. Having said that, the GPS and mapping of travel during fitness activities is dead on.
OVERALL FIT AND FEEL
My biggest concern we had prior to receipt of the Huawei Watch GT2 initially was size. Would it be to wide for my wrist or too tall? The GT2 itself has a 46mm base, is 12mm thick and weighs 41 g. The band is a 22mm strap which can be replaced and the watch fits very well; not to wide and not thick whatsoever. Except for the fact that I seem to always be playing with it, I hardly know its there. I have never slept with a watch on ever, but now find myself waking to see how I slept last night, all fully recorded and detailed on the Huawei Health App.
I use the Huawei Watch GT2 exclusively with the Freebuds 3 and they were always on my head even before getting my hands on this GT2. Huawei has done a remarkable job of integrating their products. From the watch alone, the music is clear and crisp with plenty of volume. Perhaps the only thing I might mention is, unlike when I listen to the Freebuds 3 on my Mate 20x, I have to reconnect each time when I listen to music directly from the watch. I had gotten so used to them always ‘just starting and stopping’ when placing them in and removing them from my ears when used with my Huawei Mate 2ox. There is something I do really like though and that is the fact that there is a button right there to delete the current song if you no longer want it. Over the years, my collection has grown to thousands of songs and its much simpler to get rid of a song when its right there in your ears.
Right now I can find the Huawei Watch GT2 that we tested in this report for $226 at Amazon USA and for $298 Cdn at Visions Canada. I am seeing the Samsung Active2 for $278 at Amazon USA and the Apple Watch 5 for $449. Dollar for dollar, the Huawei Watch GT2 is easily the clear winner here, considering the built in features and battery life that literally blows Samsung and Apple out of the water. Different people will have different needs and I was back in forth with a life-long friend talking smart watches yesterday. He later called me back and days end and said that he went with the Active2…solely because his phone was a Samsung. Totally understandable.
Would I recommend the Huawei Watch GT2 for your smart watch purchase? Well, I will say right off that I have been provided this Huawei GT2 as a product sample. I have been around the business long enough that everyone knows I won’t pull punches regardless. Simply, I crave the best there is in tech. If it says anything about the GT2 whatsoever, I spent just under $1000 two days ago and my wife and two sons are equipped just as I am. It’s actually the first time I have ever reviewed a product and made subsequent purchases for others having thought so much of that product. Kind of amusing actually as my wife is a tad competitive and she is constantly comparing heart rates, or how deep sleep we had, or even SP02. Kudo’s Huawei!