Huawei has a unique take on the idea of a smart watch. The company’s Watch GT 2 almost belongs in a different product category. It has its charms, but it is, well, not very smart.
There is little in common with, say, the Apple Watch, other than both are watch-sized computers that fit on the wrist.
For a start the Huawei Watch GT 2 looks nothing like the Apple Watch. It is round, like a non-smart watch. In most of its incarnations it looks like a conventional watch with hands ticking clock-wise around the watch face.
Plenty of battery life
Unlike Apple’s Watch, you can get two weeks from a single charge, although that time plummets when you use its music playing capacity.
I didn’t test this, but Huawei says the Watch GT 2 is waterproof enough to measure your swimming activity.
The biggest different between the Huawei Watch GT 2 and other smart watches lies in what it does. Or to be more accurate, what it doesn’t do.
If you have your phone nearby, you can make Bluetooth calls on the Watch GT. Huawei says 150 metres, in testing I found it struggling if the phone was 15 metres away.
Huawei Watch GT 2 is all about activity
The device will monitor your heart rate and track physical activity.
There’s a built-in GPS so you know where you’ve been. You can check emails, texts and calendar items, although you need good eyes to read off the tiny 46mm display.
That’s about it. Unlike other smart phones, it doesn’t run third party apps. Don’t even think about using the Huawei Watch GT 2 for something like checking onto an Air New Zealand flight.
You are stuck with the stock software with little room for customisation. It is what it is.
Huawei has opted to use something called LiteOS as the operating system. No, I’ve never heard of it either.
LiteOS is all about fitness and health tracking. At the launch function Huawei talked about the 15 different types of exercise activities the phone tracks. You can also track your sleep. It collects a lot of data.
In that sense LiteOS is fine, but limited. Let’s hope Huawei can do better if it has to deliver its own phone operating system.
Compared with smarter smart watches you get a lot of activity tracking and a ton of battery life. Depending on your taste you might also like how it looks. On the downside you can’t do anything like as much with it as with an Apple or Samsung watch.