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The global smartwatch market has been growing at an exponential rate over the past few years, according to a recent study by Counterpoint Research. While Apple is currently dominating the smartwatch market (at 35.8%), companies such as Samsung (currently at 11.1%) and Huawei (sitting at 2.8%) have been gaining market share. And not to be forgotten, companies like Fitbit are also entering the market – their Versa model is a smartwatch, not a fitness tracker.
One of Huawei’s recent smartwatches is their Watch GT, which has all the features you would want in a smartwatch – long battery life, GPS, heart rate monitor and more.
Design & Hardware
The Huawei Watch GT’s case is made from a combination of metal, plastic and ceramic. On first glance, you’ll notice premium look of the watch with the metal buttons and accents. When wearing the Watch GT, you’ll notice that it’s lightweight and almost feels like it’s not even on your wrist. The Watch GT is also fairly thin at just 10.6mm. The right side of the Watch GT has two buttons, the top takes you to the apps list and also works as a home button.
The bottom button gives you quick access to workouts such as Running Courses, Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Cycling, Swimming and more. The bottom of the watch is where you’ll find the company’s TruSeen 3.0 heart rate monitor which can continuously track your heart rate.
The strap of the Watch GT uses both leather and silicone and has quick release pins, so you can easily swap them out. The leather adorns the top of the strap while the silicone portion is on the underside of the watch strap. This combination of materials for the strap makes it more comfortable to wear, especially if you plan on wearing the Watch GT during workouts.
The Watch GT comes equipped with GPS for workout tracking and is also 5 ATM waterproof, so it should withstand a dip in the pool with ease.
The 1.39-inch AMOLED touch display has a resolution of 454 x 454 and a PPI of 326. The display on the Watch GT is crisp and easy to read in all lighting conditions.
One minor annoyance is that even though I had the screen’s brightness set to auto, it was still on the brighter side when wearing the watch at night to track my sleep. Even setting the brightness manually to the lowest settings didn’t help that much.
Huawei hasn’t said the exact capacity of the Watch GT’s battery but they say that you can get up to 14 days of battery life with typical use and that’s with the heart rate monitor running continuously.
The Huawei Watch GT is available from NewEgg.ca for $259 CAD, and in comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active costs $299 CAD and the Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $519 CAD. You can purchase the Huawei Watch GT in two watch strap colours, Graphite Black and Saddle Brown.
In terms of the OS, the Watch GT is using Huawei’s own custom wearable OS rather than Google Wear OS platform. Huawei’s OS does share similarities with Wear OS in a few areas, such as how you navigate as well as the look and feel.
When you boot up the Watch GT, you’re greeted with the watchface. To change it, all you need to do is press and hold and you’ll be able to select from about 14 options. Unlike other wearable Operating systems, Huawei doesn’t give you the ability to download new watchfaces or apps to use on the Watch GT.
If you swipe to the right, you’ll see the continuous heart rate monitoring, another swipe shows you the weather and after that are your activity rings which show your steps, active minutes and how many times you stood up while using the watch.
Swiping up from the bottom will show your notifications and swiping down from the top brings you to a quick menu for Do Not Disturb, Show Time (which turns the screen always-on for about 5 minutes), Find Phone, Lock and Settings as well as the date and battery life.
One thing to note about notifications is that even though the Watch GT can show you notifications from your smartphone, you can’t reply or take actions on them. They just sit there idle, forcing you to pull your smartphone out.
Huawei Health App
To connect your smartphone to the Watch GT, you’ll need the Huawei Health app. The app is divided into three sections, Home, Exercise and Me. Home will show you information such as current step count, calories burned, the number of hours slept.
Exercise lets you begin a workout on your watch including Run, Walk, Cycle and Train. Me allows you to add a device, set a goal and make changes to your profile (like height, weight etc.) You also have the ability to connect the Huawei Health app to Google Fit or MyFitnessPal.
Another odd omission is that there’s no way to control music playback from your phone on the Watch GT.
One key feature of the Huawei Watch GT is the TruSleep feature. When enabled, the watch can monitor your sleep quality and breathing patterns in real time. It can also analyze your sleep patterns and can diagnose 6 types of sleeping problems.
Without TruSleep enabled, you’ll just be able to see how long you’ve slept for broken down by deep sleep, light sleep and awake. TruSleep also tells you your REM sleep and gives you a ‘sleep score’ with a recommendation on how you can get more deep sleep .
Overall, the Huawei Watch GT offers all the features most smartwatches have including, GPS, heart rate monitor all in a slim package that’s supposed to last days on end.