Consumer Lifestyle

Review: Huawei Watch 2

The demands for smartwatches have not quite taken off in the way manufacturers would have expected to.

However, Google, Apple, Samsung and a host of third-party manufacturers are still plugging away.

Among those still in smartwatch game is Huawei, which recently introduced its latest Android Wear smartwatch in the form of the Huawei Watch 2 Sport.

Huawei second generation smartwatch has taken quite a step away from the fashion focussed first-generation Huawei Watch, with a more sporty, rugged and chunky look.

The smartwatch is powered by the new 1.1GHz Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor – Qualcomm’s first dedicated wearable chip while running on 768MB of RAM, makes it plenty for a smartwatch.

At the same time, Huawei Watch 2 Sport comes with a 4GB internal storage to store music on the on the watch and listen via Bluetooth headphones, a NFC reader to use Android Pay from the wrist while running on a 420mAH battery- a 40 per cent increase in capacity from its first-generation smartwatch.

Design

Huawei Watch 2 Sport is may not be an eye-catcher to everyone but it has a strong health and fitness angle with the design to survive rigorous workouts, training sessions or outdoor activities.

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That being said, its silicon strap is sweat-proof and it can be easily removed with handy pegs on the underside of the strap making it simple to detach from the watch.

The dimension of the Watch 2, 48.9 x 45 x 12.6mm display a sizeable presence on the wrist, it is comfortably bigger than its predecessor although it has a smaller display.

Despite being big, weighing at 57g, it is a lightweight considering the GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G nano-SIM crammed inside the Huawei Watch 2 Sport body.

On the other hand, the Huawei Watch 2 Sport does not include a rotating bezel or crown, but instead offers a two-push buttons that are located on the right-hand edge of the watch casing, making it an unusual design selection as the Android Wear 2 supports a rotational input.

At the same time, another odd design choice by Huawei is reducing the screen size of its second-generation smartwatch from 1.4in to 1.2in.

And despite it is just a minor difference, it is noticeable if you compare the two generation of smartwatches together.

Android Wear 2

Being the one of the first smartwatches to be running on the new Google’s Android operating system (OS) Google Wear 2, the smaller screen of Huawei Watch 2 Sport has affected the use of a great feature.

This is because among the new features of the Google Wear 2, is an onscreen keyboard that allows user to swipe out words, just like on a smartphone.

The 1.2in screen of the watch makes it difficult to type as the onscreen keyboard feels squashed in between the screen.

Regardless of a miniscule issue with onscreen keyboard, Android Wear 2 has been impressive with the ease of use and accessibility.

It is relatively easy to understand how things work and one biggest update of the OS is that the watch is able to function on its own without the need to be paired with a smartphone.

Nevertheless, while the Huawei fitness app worked without a phone present and being able to use Google Maps for directions, apps like Spotify and Gmail would not work without a smartphone.

One that will be an impact from Android Wear 2 is that it supports Android Pay where once it has been set up and authenticated, user can access the feature with a double-press of the bottom side button.

The other impact of the new OS would the Google Assistant where it has been more responsive than the voice recognition on past Android Wear smartwatches.

This works as alternative to the mini onscreen keyboard for writing texts and other messages.

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Fitness Features

Coming with its own Huawei-branded fitness app, it delivers everything from training plans to on-watch guided workouts. It also tracks all sorts of metrics and display a graph of your heart rate during workout sessions.

Battery Life

Huawei Watch 2 Sport offers two battery modes; in Watch Mode, a unique feature to Huawei, will get up to three weeks of usage on a single charge but with limited access to its features; the watch will continue keep count of your steps and display the time.

However, regular mode, with multiple GPS trips, listening to music and a few phone calls, it would last you about two days before it needs a charge.

Conclusion

If you are into fitness and the always on-the-go, Huawei Watch 2 Sport’s rugged look and with the wide array of features and fitness options, it will fit right into your lifestyle.

At the same time with the Android Wear 2 OS, it makes simple to use alongside the ability to use Android Pay, as your digital wallet, while not forgetting the watch good battery life.

Nonetheless, with minor temporary hiccups on certain apps on watch, it will be just a matter of time until they are rectified.

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