Tech review: Huawei Watch GT 2e is affordable with superb battery life

The Huawei Watch GT 2e is compatible with both Android smartphones and iPhones.
The Huawei Watch GT 2e is compatible with both Android smartphones and iPhones.PHOTO: HUAWEI

The Huawei Watch GT 2e (available on Amazon and Shopee) is the fitness version of the Chinese tech giant's Watch GT 2 smartwatch series.

Running on Huawei's Lite OS, it is compatible with both Android smartphones and iPhones via the Huawei Health app.

Unlike the GT 2, which comes in two sizes, the GT 2e is available in one size, with a 47mm watch case and 1.39-inch display.

There are two colour options: One with a silver case and green silicone strap (version tested) and the other with a black case and red silicone strap.

There are also slight design differences from the GT 2. For one thing, it has integrated lugs instead of conventional open lugs. But you can still use 22mm watch straps.

In addition, the two big round buttons on the right side of the GT 2 are replaced by two flat rectangular buttons in the GT 2e, to prevent accidental presses during workouts such as weight training, when your wrist might be bent.

However, its round watch case still has a single piece of glass over its display that gels seamlessly with its black bezel. If you use a black watch face, the bezel will blend in.

The GT 2e certainly looks more sporty than its GT 2 cousins.

It also offers automatic workout tracking, which the GT 2 lacks, and has the usual optical heart-rate sensor and built-in GPS. It automatically tracked my outdoor runs and walks without issues.

Its step-tracking readings vary by only around 5 per cent from those recorded by my calibrated Apple Watch Series 4.

Getting a GPS signal lock took 30 seconds on my first run and 10 seconds on subsequent runs. On the GPS-tracked runs on my usual 5km jogging route, the distance readings were off only by an average of around 100m.

 
 

But it is in sleep tracking that the GT 2e really shines. It pinpointed accurately the time I went to bed and woke up as well as when I got up to go to the toilet.

Its app shows sleep cycle graphs that break sleep patterns into deep, light and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, to provide insights into how to improve sleep quality. I found that my REM duration is slightly longer than normal and the app offered recommendations on how to improve my sleep.

But the GT 2e is lacking in terms of smartwatch functions. For example, there is no way you can make a quick reply to a message.

Also, the watch face library is more limited than that of the Apple Watch series.

While the GT 2e can make and receive calls when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, it does not have a cellular version.

It also does not have Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality, which means it cannot be used for cashless payments with NFC payment readers. You need to take along your credit card for your runs if you want to buy a post-workout drink.

Battery life is superb though. It is rated to last two weeks on a full charge.

After the watch was constantly connected to an Android smartphone and had clocked two 5km jogs, its battery level dropped to 40 per cent by the end of five days. Many smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch Series 4, need to be charged daily.

Perhaps the best part about the GT 2e is its price tag.

At only $218, it is cheaper than even premium fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge 4 and far cheaper than the likes of the Apple Watch series and Garmin's fitness watches.

FOR

• Good looks

• Impressive sleep tracking

• Affordable

AGAINST

• No cellular version

• No Near Field Communication

• Limited smartwatch capabilities

SPECS

PRICE: $218

DISPLAY: 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 pixels

WATER RESISTANCE: 50m

CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

WEIGHT: 43g (without strap)

RATING

FEATURES: 3.5/5

DESIGN: 4.5/5

PERFORMANCE: 4/5

BATTERY LIFE: 4.5/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 4.5/5

OVERALL: 4/5

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