Smartwatch segment

Huawei Watch: Traditionalists' favourite, with minimalist design

This Android Wear smartwatch from Huawei wowed many when it was first announced at the Mobile World Congress event in March.
This Android Wear smartwatch from Huawei wowed many when it was first announced at the Mobile World Congress event in March. PHOTO: HUAWEI

The Huawei Watch comes in several versions - stainless steel case with link bracelet ($549), stainless steel case with black leather strap ($649), black stainless steel case with black leather strap ($649, version tested) and gold-plated stainless steel models (from $899). They all come in one size, at 42mm.

This Android Wear smartwatch wowed many when it was first announced at the Mobile World Congress event in March. The main reason is that it caters to traditionalists who prefer round watches.

It is minimalist with a relatively thin bezel and a single Home button at the two o'clock position.

The circular stainless case is quite thin at just 11.3mm. However, this lightweight watch looks like any other watch from afar.

The round display (400 x 400 pixels) is sharp and vibrant. Sapphire glass protects the display and heart-rate sensor at the back of the case. The sapphire glass back protrudes slightly, which caused some discomfort to my wrist. The leather strap is a tad stiff and probably needs more use before it becomes comfortable.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $549

    CASE MATERIAL: Stainless steel

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.4 or higher and iOS 8.2 or higher

    WEIGHT: 62g (with leather strap)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

The Huawei Watch is rated IP67, meaning you can use it at a depth of one metre for 30min. So, you can wear it while showering but probably not for swimming.

The smartwatch counts your steps but getting heart-rate measurements is a hit and miss thing. Many times, it asked me to try again. Sometimes, it could not hear my voice commands even though I was in a quiet room. Battery life is average at up to two days.

While many Android Wear smartwatches in this roundup use a wireless charging dock, the Huawei Watch's Apple-lookalike charging dock has four small connectors which can be finicky to use. There were instances when I thought it was charging but it wasn't.

Pricing is at the higher end, with its starting price more expensive than the Apple Watch Sport.

Trevor Tan

  • Verdict: Huawei Watch is a decent¬†Android Wear smartwatch that caters to traditionalists, but its pricing and performance need to be adjusted.

Smartwatch segment

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Traditionalists' favourite, with minimalist design'. Print Edition | Subscribe