Last year, I reviewed the Huawei Watch GT 2 Android smartwatch. Although limited in customization, it was a solid choice for those looking for a smartwatch. Since then, the company has come out with a newer, classier looking version.
Our Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro review looks at one of the latest smartwatches from the company with a more refined design than its predecessor. It is fairly similar to the Watch GT 2, so if you’ve read that review, a lot of this will sound the same.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro has the following features and specifications:
|Display||1.39 inch 454 x 454 HD Sapphire Glass AMOLED touchscreen|
|Processor||Kirin 1A1 + STKL4R9|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1, BLE/BR/EDR|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic, optical heart rate, air pressure, SpO2, VO2max|
|Battery||14 days for typical use|
|Charging port||Magnetic charging thimble|
|Charger voltage||5V 1A|
|Buttons||Power button, function button|
|Water resistance||5 ATM|
|Watch Case Colour||Nebula Gray, Night Black|
|Watch Strap||Black Fluoroelastomer Strap, Gray Brown Leather Strap|
|System requirements||Android 5.0 or later|
iOS 9.0 or later
|Dimensions||46.7 x 46.7 x 11.4mm|
|Weight (without strap)||52g|
What’s in the box
- Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro
- Charging cradle
- Charging cable
- User Guide/Safety Information/Warranty Information
The size, thickness, and weight of the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro are quite nice, and it’s definitely comfortable to wear all the time. Slightly bigger than the GT 2, it does look a bit classier and less sporty.
An inverted triangle indicator is at the top of the dial with silver lines printed on it at the hour positions. On the side are two buttons: power and function. Between the buttons, just below the casing, is where the speaker resides with the microphone on the opposite side. On the back of the watch, you’ll see an array of four sensors. The sensors allow the watch to take your heart rate and oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels.
The main differences between the Watch GT 2 Pro and the Watch GT 2 are in the lugs, the material used, the printing on the face, and the size. The lugs on the GT 2 are pronged, while on the GT 2 Pro are a solid piece. The Pro version is also constructed from Titanium instead of Stainless Steel. The face printing is right on the Sapphire Glass surface on the GT 2 Pro but on an exterior, non-movable bezel surrounding the GT 2 display. Finally, the GT 2 Pro is 0.8mm wider, 0.7mm thicker, and 11g heavier than the GT 2.
There are two different watch straps available for the Watch GT 2 Pro: a black fluoroelastomer strap or a gray brown leather strap. Our review unit came with the leather strap option. I much prefer this strap — both for looks and feel — over the fluoroelastomer strap. Not only does it look nice, but it is also nicely stitched along either side. The long side of the strap has closely spaced rectangular holes cut out of it. This also allows you to fasten the watch at pretty much the perfect tightness for many wrist sizes. The strap also has a free loop and a fixed one by the clasp.
Even though the Huawei Watch GT 2 is slightly larger, it still has a 1.39 inch AMOLED 454 x 454 HD touchscreen display. In this case, however, it is a Sapphire Glass display. It is quite bright, even on automatic brightness settings. As for the colours, the AMOLED screen is rich and vivid as one would expect. The touchscreen is responsive and I didn’t have any issues swiping left, right, up, or down or while tapping the watch face to launch a workout.
Ease of Use
When starting up the Huawei Watch GT 2 for the first time, you’ll be prompted to select a language. Next, you’ll be directed to download the Huawei Health app for your device and pair the watch to it. To pair the watch, open the app, accept the permissions, click on the devices tab, and add the smartwatch. Once paired, your fitness and health data, contacts, and location information syncs between the Watch GT 2 and the Huawei Health app on your device.
Once paired, you can enable notification access to receive notifications on the smartwatch as they appear on your phone. While you can receive notifications, you can’t respond to them from your watch. It would be nice to be able to respond to at least SMS messages and chat apps from the watch. Hopefully, Huawei can add this in the future, especially considering it has voice capabilities (more on that in a bit).
Once you’re paired, that’s about it. Pressing and holding the top button allows you to power the watch on, off, or restart it. Pressing the same button lets you select the various apps like a workout, heart rate, SpO2, call log, barometer, compass, notifications, weather, stopwatch, alarm, timer, flashlight, find phone, settings, and a couple more.
Pressing the bottom button gives you quick access to initiate a workout. Workouts include assisted running courses (run/walk, fat burning, aerobic, and more), outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor/indoor walk, outdoor/indoor cycle, pool swim, open water, climb, hike, trail run, triathlon, elliptical, rower, or other. It even includes tracking for cross country skiing, snowboarding, or downhill skiing. While I didn’t test it out, there is also a new golf driving range mode.
As you can see, it is a pretty detailed and robust list with over 100 workout modes available. Each workout has a settings option that will let you toggle notifications for distance, heart rate, and guided training effect. Once you start a workout, the watch will guide you through different workout stages.
The watch obviously defaults to the watch face screen. Swiping left or right will cycle through the various screens. When swiping left, these include heart rate, stress, weather, music, and daily activity tracker. These screens are for displaying data only and cannot be drilled down into. On the other hand, if you press the top button and select heart rate, you can also swipe up to get a slightly more detailed look at your current day’s heart rate zone stats. On this same screen, sleep will display the breakdown between sleep and naps, and the activity record has a few further detail screens, and so forth.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro runs on LiteOS. While it runs well, there’s virtually no customization on the watch. As mentioned above, the watch has a watch face screen and screens for heart rate, stress, weather, music, and daily activity record. You can modify the order these are in or add sleep or SPO2, and change the order. Given that the watch also includes a barometer, compass, workout, alarm, timer, and other functionality, you’d think you could set these as swipeable home screens as well. Unfortunately, you can’t. Personally, I’d love to add a couple more home screens to the watch. Sure, you can still access the timer or barometer by pressing the top button and scrolling down, but that takes extra steps.
You can customize the watch face itself — but even there, it’s only limited customization. Currently, you can select between 13 different watch faces. While some are the same as the GT 2, there are a few new ones. Of these, only five allow you to customize them, and three only let you select the primary and secondary time zone. It would be nice to customize at least the colour hints on each watch face at a minimum. It is limited to certain display features based on the design of the ones you can customize. You can also choose between six different stand-by watch faces, which, when enabled, offer up an always-on display that decreases battery life and disables the raise to wake feature.
Huawei mentioned that downloadable watch faces are coming at a later date, but they haven’t surfaced yet as of the time of this review.
The Huawei Health app is what you’ll have to install for long term tracking. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is not compatible with Strava or other fitness apps, so you have to use Huawei Health to track your workouts and other health statistics.
By default, the main dashboard shows your daily activity across the top and tiles for heart rate, SpO2, stress, sleep, weight, and exercise records. This can be edited to remove or add tiles you desire. Across the bottom are tabs for health, exercise (which lets you start a workout or view the training plans), devices (for pairing devices, adding or managing music on the watch, firmware updates, and notification settings), and me, which lets you adjust your profile and other settings.
Health and activity tracking
Like the Watch GT 2, the tracking for heart rate, SpO2, stress, sleep, and workout activity is some of the best I’ve seen.
Each tracking feature displays your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly stats. Selecting the heart rate settings cog allows you to set a heart rate warning as well as heart rate zones. These zones include warm-up, fat-burning, aerobic, anaerobic, and extreme. It even breaks down exercise intensity zone levels and affects your body, which is very beneficial.
Each of the other activities also has an info screen that displays some handy information and tips to improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels. Overall, it really is robust in its tracking and reporting.
One weird thing about the app is the inconsistency in the additional info. In one screen, it’s found in the settings cog, in another the hamburger menu, in another the info icon, and in yet another the more settings. Finally, there doesn’t seem to be a way to save or sync your activity online. If you get a new phone or reset your phone, you’ll lose all previous stats.
As far as the software rating is concerned, while I’ve scored it a 90 overall, it would be split to 85 for the watch software limitations and 95 for the Huawei Health application. While still slightly limited, there have been some improvements to the watch software since I reviewed the GT 2.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is powered by the company’s Kirin A1 chip and has 4GB of storage. As mentioned above briefly, the watch does function quite well with quick touch and swipe response.
Initiating a workout is straightforward; however, the GPS does seem to take a bit (upwards of 30 seconds to a minute) to lock. Once locked, the workouts seem to be pretty accurate, and the voice coaching/updates are helpful for training plans. As far as fitness functions like step, sleep, and heart rate tracking, the watch performs very well. Daily step counts were in line with other smartwatches I’ve used, and the sleep and heart rate tracking seemed pretty accurate as well.
More watches are adding a small speaker for listening to music or taking calls. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro has music storage capabilities (and can be used to control third-party music apps like Spotify) and can also be used to answer a phone call. Having used the same feature on the GT 2, I was still impressed with the sound quality when playing the default track stored on the device. It gets quite loud and remains clear, and even better than some smartphones I’ve used in the past. Depending on what you’re doing, if you don’t want to run with headphones or take your phone, using the Watch GT 2 Pro to listen to music while you walk or run is totally acceptable.
The watch connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It is easy to connect, and it stays connected as long as you’re within a 30-foot range of your phone. As mentioned above, GPS does take a short while to connect. However, once it does, it stays connected for the duration of the workout and is accurate.
With the Huawei Watch GT 2, you can make and answer calls on the watch. The first time I tested this out, I didn’t tell the calling party I was using the watch. During the conversation, they didn’t mention they couldn’t hear me or ask me to repeat myself. Near the end of the conversation, I asked how it sounded and was told “just fine.” When I explained I was using the watch via speakerphone type mode, they were surprised and mentioned it didn’t sound that different than through a smartphone.
Huawei claims up to 2 weeks of battery life under average use for the Watch GT 2 Pro. I consistently hit the 12 to 14 day mark between charges during testing. However, when using GPS to track your workouts, I ended up getting 8-10 days with a daily GPS workout activity. I estimate an hour of GPS workout activity takes up about 4% battery life.
When depleted, the watch takes just over an hour to charge using the included charging cradle.
For a fitness watch, this one definitely has great battery life depending on what you’re using it for.
While the Huawei Watch GT 2 retails for CA$299.99, the Watch GT 2 Pro is a bit more at $398.99. That is a bit of a premium to pay for basically the same functionality, but the build quality and style make the watch just that much classier.
If you hurry, you can pick one up for $348.99 (leather or fluoroelastomer strap), which makes it a bit better, as they are on sale until February 3rd. On that note, the Watch GT 2 can be picked up for $198.99 right now as well.
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a classier version of the Watch GT 2 with a few other improvements. With over a higher build quality, great battery life, 100 assisted workouts, GPS, and onboard music storage, it’s definitely a watch fitness enthusiasts will want to consider.
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Huawei Watch GT 2 ProCA$398.99
Ease of Use9.5/10
- Classy design with Titanium casing
- Comfortable to wear
- Sapphire glass display
- Quite a few specific fitness type tracking available
- Displays heart rate, SpO2, and stress levels on watch
- Can store and play music on the watch
- 100+ workout modes
- Can use the watch for phone calls and use it as a speakerphone
- Limited watch faces and customization
- No extra apps can be installed
- Can't make calls or reply to text
- Can't swipe away single notification
- A tad pricey