Huawei has decided to change things up with its 3rd iteration in their premium smartwatch lineup this time calling it the Watch GT. It looks to be more ideal for the adventurer but also the person that wants to keep track of their body ranging from their heart rate to their sleep patterns. After I was a bit disappointed with the huge bezels and tiny display on the Watch 2 has Huawei been able to win me back with this one?
Well off the bat I already am feeling this look of the Watch GT. They managed to present a thin flat bezel while giving us a great deal of display real estate. This already made me eager to unbox it, charge it up and slap it on my wrist. The model provided by Huawei is the Black Stainless Steel which includes a graphite silicone strap while there is also a Stainless Steel (Silver) version which includes the brown leather strap. The all black is rather stealthy and the silicone band has managed to stay intact no matter the wear and tear I put it through.
Speaking of durability, the Watch GT is rated 5ATM which makes it waterproof and can be taken to the depths of around 50 meters. Just make sure you are rolling with the silicone band and not the leather one as that’s not recommended.
Like its predecessor there are two buttons on the right side dedicated for functionality. No funky coloring this time around though. Top button is for accessing the different app options while the bottom is what you can realistically call the Workout button. It brings up all workout activities and can be setup with a couple presses of that button.
Flip over the Watch GT and you are presented with the heart rate sensor and spots to show it utilizing a magnetic thimble charger. The charger itself is small, weightless and requires a Type C cable which is good as you can plug up any of your phone chargers to it. Try to keep it in a safe place as it can easily be lost as one of my tech comrades let me know this first hand.
I had really got on Huawei’s case in this area and glad they made changes in the display department. I often complained how the display was vibrant and colorful, but it was hampered by the huge bezel that made it look tiny. Thankfully that’s been flatten down and you can take in the 1.39” AMOLED display presented with a 454×454 resolution and 326 ppi. More screen means a better view at reading notifications and finger gestures.
Huawei made significant changes to their wearable with the Watch GT in various areas. First up they opted out using Qualcolmm Snapdragon chips which were on the last two versions and decided to go with ARM’s Cortex M4 chipset. It has the same 420mAh battery capacity as the Watch 2, but I been able to go lengths with this device. On a generous amount of run through I been able to push it to around two weeks and that’s with a good amount of continuous sync to a Galaxy Note 9. I usually have a hard time doing this non-synced on smartwatches getting at least a week. I will say to get the max effort for this is to turn off the continuous heart rate syncing. When I first had that option toggled ON, I got about nine days before I had to recharge. So in this area I was pleased. Only gripe having I feel like the wrist flick to wake is rather sensitive on the Watch GT. Sometimes I might slightly just move my arm and will notice the screen is awake. Also no ability to save music on the watch unfortunately.
Bye WearOS, Hi LiteOS
Another switch up from Huawei is electing not to use WearOS and instead go with their own custom LiteOS software. With this they have more control over how the Watch GT operates which goes all the way down to the accompanying Huawei Health app and could mean why it runs so sufficiently. There is a healthy slew of workout routines you can pick directly from the watch. There is also TruSleep which is Huawei’s sleep tracking mode. It has a good detailed number of hours, type of sleep and suggestions on what you could do to improve yourself. Since my sleep pattern varies it was on point with the results.
Only problem with LiteOS is you can’t get that outside support say in the way of custom faces. Apps like Facer and other 3rd party apps won’t work since none are compatible with LiteOS. Also, with LiteOS while you get notifications you can’t do anything with them. You can’t even click on say emails to expand onto your smartphone if needed. You can feel the limitations if you are used to WearOS.
Huawei made some hardware strives to their latest smartwatch which were promising. Design wise I’m fond of the build with it being lightweight, waterproof and its display shines thanks to its thin bezel. Software wise LiteOS works in regards to its built-in workout regimes and sleep tracking but falters in giving you more accessibility in the area of notifications and 3rd party app support. Its best feat realistically is its 2-week battery life. To use a wearable on the daily and not have to worry about charging for half the calendar month goes a long way.
If you are interested in a well-crafted smartwatch that is excellent for battery and workouts but don’t need additional 3rd party support give a look at the Watch GT by Huawei that is available starting at $199.99.