Today, we are reviewing a unique device – Huawei Watch D costing about 400 euros. Let’s find out what makes it special and whether it’s worthy of attention. But first, a little background.
I recently heard the news about the release of the “dumbest” smartwatch. Yes, that’s exactly how it is positioned. This is Stone Watch from the Japanese company Tama-Kyu. And they can’t do anything. Not at all. It doesn’t even show the time, let alone synchronize with a smartphone. And instead of a display, the watch has a piece of black plastic. But from a distance it looks like an Apple Watch. In general, it’s a tribute to the fashion for wearable electronics that isn’t. However, this is not surprising, because the Stone Watch is not really a watch, but a stylized addition to the Tama-Kyu capsule toy collection. In Japan, they are as popular as amazing inventions like a washing machine for people. We are currently developing one of these.
Huawei Watch D is also something amazing. Though not that amazing. The first smartwatch with the function of measuring blood pressure using a cuff blood pressure monitor. It’s a watch, not something “like a watch”. And it is a smart watch that has the functionality of gadgets of its class, while standing somewhat apart. After testing the device, which I must admit was an interesting experience, I’m going to tell you how accurate Huawei Watch D is in measurements, how the main feature of the model works, and whether it’s worth the money.
Specifications of Huawei Watch D
- Screen: rectangular, AMOLED, 1.64″, 456×280 pixels (326 ppi), AlwaysOn function
- Operating system: HarmonyOS 2.1
- Compatibility: Android 6.0 and above; iOS 12.0 and above; iOS 12.0 and above
- Sensors: tonometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor, ECG measurement sensor, pulse oximeter, body temperature sensor
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC for Huawei Pay
- Charging: wireless
- Body: aluminum and glass, IP68 protection
- Strap: fluoroelastomer
- Weight: 40 g
- Size without strap: 51.0×38.0×13.6 mm
- Colors: Graphite Black
- Features: blood pressure measurement, skin temperature measurement, ECG function, HUAWEI TruSeen™ 5.0+ heart rate monitoring technology, SpO2, sleep, stress level, health monitoring.
Huawei Watch D is positioned as a unique smartwatch that measures blood pressure using a cuff blood pressure monitor. At the same time, it also measures heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, records ECG, and has a standard set of functions for devices of its class. With one amendment – Huawei Watch D is “not like everyone else”.
Although the watch runs on HarmonyOS 2, like other top models of Huawei wearables, it stands out in the manufacturer’s lineup. By the way, and in the entire market – thanks to in-depth health tracking. This is a one hundred percent lifestyle device with a trump card in the form of measuring blood pressure in the most accurate way possible. Others can’t do that. And if you see the option to measure blood pressure in some fitness bracelet for 20 bucks, you should know that it is done based on heart rate data (not very accurate) using mathematical formulas, in other words, with a finger in the sky.
Rare competitors of Huawei Watch D, such as the Health Watch Pro 80M and Omron Heart Guide, are not only fully customized for the function of full-fledged blood pressure measurement, but also scare off with their price and inaccessibility. Whereas Huawei Watch D combines the functions of a typical advanced smartwatch (though not all) and a diagnostic device. As they say, it’s both ours and yours.
The device is sold in a massive white cubic box and in the company of accessories related to the gadget’s special functionality – the blood pressure measurement function.
The set includes a paper tape for measuring wrist circumference (from the number 9, you need to choose the L strap) and several straps with a built-in cuff, which is more compact than the one in a standard blood pressure monitor. There are two sizes: L and M.
Replaceable textile cuff covers, a steel clasp for attaching the cuff to the watch, a user manual and a guide for wearing the device, wireless charging with USB-A – all you need.
Instructions can be found in a separate booklet explaining how to attach the cuff to the strap and to the watch. And it will surely come in handy.
It is attached to the watch with a special clasp. The strap itself is connected to the watch with knitting needles (a classic “telescopic” attachment). The assembly is unusual, it makes you strain, but even a child can handle it. I was distracted for fifteen minutes – my 9-year-old son figured it out.
It’s important to adjust the strap and cuff so that they fit snugly on the wrist: they don’t hang loose or pinch the arm. Only then will the watch be able to measure blood pressure correctly. To begin with, use a paper blood pressure monitor to understand at what value to fasten the clasp of the strap. The user manual will help you further.
Design, construction and screen
The watch looks typical, but its construction is unusual. The design of the model is determined by its main function. This is a large and heavy watch with a rectangular screen and an indispensable fluoroelastomer strap. Any other will not work, as it will not be able to accommodate the inflatable cuff of the blood pressure monitor. A special groove with an air duct where the built-in blood pressure cuff is attached is located on the back of Huawei Watch D, along with the usual sensors and a connector for a magnetic storage device.
The 1.64-inch AMOLED screen has a resolution of 456×280 pixels (326 ppi). It’s not dense, but the graininess is not striking. A significant plus is that even at maximum brightness, which is 420 cd/m², the picture is visible in the sun – thanks to the screen’s excellent anti-reflective properties.
As for the minimum brightness value, it is 10 cd/m². In automatic mode in a dark room, it’s the same. It is quite comfortable for the eyes. Convenient mode with automatic brightness control by light sensor with a customized brightness level in current conditions. It works without complaints.
The outer surface of the display is pleasing with its oleophobic properties. Fingerprints are noticeable, but they do not appear as quickly as on ordinary glass and are easier to remove.
I note the large bezels around the screen. But the rounded edges of the glass compensate for this. And the interface is designed so that you hardly notice these bezels.
In addition to the touch screen, there are two buttons on the right side for control: Home is used to go to the general mode menu, and Health is used to measure blood pressure. The latter also works as an electrode during ECG measurement. The user just needs to put a finger on it. The left side is free of controls.
The strap is also worth mentioning. It is wide enough to match the gadget, with a steel butterfly clasp that provides a tight fit.
At first glance, you wouldn’t know that there’s a blood pressure monitor hidden inside the Huawei Watch D. Yes, the watch is quite large, but it looks fine even on a woman’s wrist.
Protection from water
There are nuances here. IP68 protection is declared, but the manufacturer warns that you can’t swim with Huawei Watch D on your wrist and it’s better not to go into wet rooms either. That’s why swimming lessons are not programmed into the workouts.
And if you go to the shower with the watch, you can damage the blood pressure monitor, and the device will stop performing its main function. Although theoretically, nothing bad will happen to Huawei Watch D in the rain. I didn’t have a chance to test it, but it’s good that there’s at least some protection for the case.
Pressure measurement function
Now about the key feature of the device, for which it is designed. About the blood pressure measurement function. The watch has an internal cuff under the main strap. In fact, it is the thinnest tire possible. The gadget inflates it with a special built-in mini-pump, creating pressure on the wrist. As the resistance in the cuff increases, the sensor reads the readings.
The technology for measuring blood pressure is the same as your grandmother’s blood pressure monitor. Only it works quietly, so the child behind the wall won’t wake up. By the way, the sensations of pressure measurement are about the same: the cuff squeezes the arm and pulsation is felt. Of course, adjusted for the location of the cuff.
To measure blood pressure, click on the Health button and select “Measure”. It is important for the user not to change their body position. The hand with the gadget on the wrist is at the height of the heart. The other hand should be supported by the elbow. It is important not to move or talk. Any movement can affect the results. Otherwise, the watch will warn you that the values may be inaccurate or refuse to measure the pressure until you do everything correctly. Recommendations for the correct body position during blood pressure measurement are below:
It is worth noting the relatively high accuracy of systolic and diastolic (upper and lower) pressure readings, and this is due to the use of the traditional method with an inflatable cuff. I have repeatedly compared the results with the readings of a blood pressure monitor. The first time, the watch gave a pressure of 130 over 76 and a pulse of 90, while the tonometer gave 125 over 73 and a pulse of 92. In subsequent times, the error was the same plus or minus.
And the tonometer itself may have an error. And human blood pressure is constantly changing. No gadget can exactly repeat the result with a minute difference.
The most important thing is that the overall picture is true, and that there are no major discrepancies in the readings, despite the fact that the watch takes data from the wrist. For control, I checked the correctness of the work on my family, and the results were similar.
For people with hypertension or hypotension, this is a good gadget for everyday blood pressure monitoring, although it is not certified as a medical device. You can customize the pressure measurement schedule. For example, in the morning and in the evening at a certain time. The results are saved both in the watch and in the app on your smartphone.
There is an important nuance that will surely be appreciated by the older generation. I’m talking about using the watch without a smartphone. The first time you use the gadget, you need to set it up, and then you don’t have to pair the devices, although I strongly recommend it.
It’s convenient that there are dials with blood pressure and ECG data, as well as many other options. You can also put your own picture on the screen saver.
Blood pressure and ECG data are sent to the Huawei Health app. It is convenient to track the dynamics here – there is a function to record a cardiogram. I did not compare it with data from specialized equipment. Apparently, the discrepancies here are greater than when measuring blood pressure. But to identify potential problems and consult a doctor in a timely manner, the graphs from Huawei Watch D are quite enough. The gadget will warn you of the risks if it detects any alarm bells.
As for the rest of the health monitoring features, they are not new and are familiar to us from Watch 3 and Watch GT3.
Check out our reviews:
- Huawei Watch GT 3 SE review: smartwatch… not just for sumo wrestlers
- Huawei Watch GT 3 Elegant review: Smartwatch with HarmonyOS on board
- Huawei Watch GT 3 Elite review: Sporty elegance
- Huawei Watch 3 Pro review: premium smartwatch running HarmonyOS
The watch measures heart rate using the modern HUAWEI TruSeen 5.0+ technology. It contains eight circularly arranged photoelectric sensors and two sets of LEDs that read different signals. A high level of protection against interference is declared. And the readings are 100% accurate.
There is an ECG measurement, which in my case always says that there are no problems, but I have heard stories when people brought doctors changes from Huawei Watch or Apple Watch, and this allowed doctors to draw conclusions about some problems.
Watch D sleep monitoring is accurate. All available sensors are used. The watch will remind you when it’s time to go to bed, assess the quality of sleep in percentages and points for each parameter, including breathing. A microphone was added to detect sleep apnea, a stop in breathing for more than ten seconds. It is possible that you may be surprised by the results.
You can activate the function of recording sounds on the phone’s microphone while you sleep. Snoring, talking in your sleep – everything will be recorded.
Another useful feature is temperature measurement. The gadget takes readings from the surface of the wrist, so it measures the temperature of the skin, not the body. And they depend on the ambient temperature. It is important to follow a few rules: stay indoors for at least 10-15 minutes before the measurement so that the temperature levels off, do not measure the temperature in the cold or in direct sunlight.
But even with these measures, the readings were significantly lower than the “armpit” norm. At home, the watch usually showed 34.5°C, while the electronic thermometer showed 36.4°C. Over time, Huawei Watch D understands the user’s norm. And when the body temperature really changes dramatically, it lets you know. The main thing is to remember that physical activity, being in the heat or cold affects the indicator. Consider the “context”.
The gadget can also count steps. If you’ve been sitting too long, it will remind you that it’s time to move. More than 70 training modes are supported. However, Huawei Watch D didn’t do well with swimming. There are no water workouts due to the lack of full water protection. And also no cross-country skiing, which is strange. During functional and running workouts, the watch works perfectly.
Huawei Watch D has GPS support. The watch tracks your route quite accurately, but you can’t listen to music on it while jogging because there’s no speaker. And the manufacturer hasn’t forgotten about NFC, although you can’t pay for purchases in stores from the watch, since Huawei Pay doesn’t work in many places.
But the watch can warn you of impending bad weather, which is very important when planning your next run. And it measures the level of oxygen in the blood. Saturation, like skin temperature, is determined automatically once in a certain period. Of course, there is also a manual measurement option.
Huawei Watch D correctly displays messages up to about 280 characters long. You can use the watch to reject a call, but you can’t accept it and talk to it, because there’s no speaker, which is a shame.
Software – HarmonyOS and HUAWEI Health
To use the watch, you need to install the HUAWEI Health app on your smartphone. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS. We have already seen some of the screenshots from the app above.
Important point: for Android devices, download the app from Huawei’s website, the version on Google Play is outdated due to sanctions. It’s easier to scan the QR code from the watch screen when you first start it.
I also tested HUAWEI Health on a tablet. The interface is the same. And it is convenient.
The app is used to synchronize with the accessory (via Bluetooth), monitor the main data received from it, and change the watch faces – everything.
In the Healthy Living section, you can set an individual goal plan. The gadget will remind you to fulfill it. Let me remind you that planning can also include blood pressure measurement with the activation of a reminder. This is very convenient.
The watch itself is powered by the Huawei HarmonyOS platform. It’s beautiful, thoughtful, smooth, comfortable, and with all my desire, I have nothing to complain about.
The application menu on the watch contains:
- Training records
- Training status
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Skin temperature
- Healthy Living (goals for physical activity, sleep, etc.)
- Breathing exercises
- Remote shooting
- Alarm clock
- Phone search
Applications are in a vertical carousel that is called up by pressing the top hardware button. Here you will not find a “matrix” with applications, nor will you be able to install new programs on the watch. All this is a privilege of the Watch 3 and Watch GT3 series. Huawei Watch D has a different focus – medical. In China, they are generally certified as a medical device.
The manufacturer claims a week-long battery life for Huawei Watch D in typical use. The gadget really lasts about that long with periodic pressure measurements once or twice a day, constant monitoring of heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature, sleep, and stress levels.
In Always-On Display mode with constant time display, the battery life is reduced by 30-40 percent.
Endurance is difficult to compare with competitors due to its absence – due to the highlight of Huawei Watch D. But, of course, battery life is one of the advantages of the watch.
The watch gets infected from a breed-free charging tablet. It takes an hour and a half to fully charge.
General impressions and main conclusion
Huawei Watch D, the first smartwatch with a blood pressure monitor, can be classified as a specific health monitoring device. It is a kind of doctor on your wrist that will help you diagnose and share recommendations. The watch is “different” and has its own target audience: people who need to control their blood pressure. Perhaps those who lead an active lifestyle, because the watch also has everything you need for sports.
The watch is noticeable. It’s a bit too big for a woman’s hand, but it looks nice.
The elongated shape partially hides the bulkiness of the screen, as does the black color, which makes it look a bit “full”. I like that the screen is rectangular – it’s more comfortable to read information from it than from a round one. It is bright and of high quality.
As for the cons. Several times the fabric cover slipped off the cuff. It is not so easy to put it back on the rubber base. But with a little patience and fine motor skills, the gadget is saved. I would like to note the comfortable fit of the watch. To customize it for yourself, you just need to use the bundled paper ruler once – at the beginning of operation – to determine the value for the mount, and maximum comfort is ensured. This is also important for measuring pressure.
Among the disadvantages is the somewhat limited training potential, while Huawei Watch D is quite suitable for an active lifestyle. I planned to do more sports using the watch, but, to my great regret, my motivation with the new gadget was not as strong as I would have liked, and I did not try out all the sports functions for the benefit of my body and business. As a smartwatch, Huawei Watch D is part of the basic program.
The moisture protection of the case is questionable. However, there is no need for full-fledged protection, because it is impossible to swim with the cuff, and it is a pleasure to unfasten it every time.
I missed the ability to listen to music in Huawei Watch D – I use this function in my main watch when jogging. The watch does not have a speaker to receive calls with a speakerphone, nor does it have the ability to use it autonomously with an eSIM. However, not everyone likes to communicate from the watch. In addition, it should be noted that smartwatches usually have a much worse microphone than a smartphone. Add to this the speaker that notifies everyone around you about the content of the conversation… In general, the function does not make much sense. But I won’t deny it: the fact that you can’t make calls from the watch, nor can you pay, even though NFC is listed in the specifications, will be a big disadvantage for many.
The watch also lacks a barometer, altimeter, and compass. However, Huawei Watch D remains interesting and unique in terms of health monitoring, and everything else is secondary. It has something that its competitors do not – the function of measuring pressure using an inflatable cuff. It works correctly. And this is the main thing. Unlike the temperature measurement function. The watch does not show the temperature of the body, but only the surface of the skin, and the error is huge. But if you follow the official recommendation and wear the watch for more than ten minutes indoors, the measurement results give you an idea of what’s going on with your body. For example, whether there is a significant rise in temperature. It is also important to take into account the “context”, for example, if you are working hard physically or the room is hot.
As you can see, all the disadvantages of the device are conditional, with a “but”. I can safely recommend Huawei Watch D for purchase as a smartwatch with unique functionality. By the way, it is also a good gift for elderly parents. However, not every member of the older generation will be able to measure blood pressure with it, even considering that the watch can be paired with a smartphone. For some elderly people, this may be an insurmountable task. There is a way out – you can monitor the health of your loved ones using the watch and your phone. And for fans of medical gizmos, Huawei Watch D is a hit.
The only thing is that I can’t recommend this watch to water sports enthusiasts if they want to monitor their performance. And for simple heart rate and workout tracking, Huawei Watch D may be too “medical”.
Huawei Watch D is a specific device with a special function that is needed to monitor health. For hypo- and hypertensives, people with cardiology problems, it is quite possibly a must-have. The watch is ideal for those who need to understand their blood pressure at home, at work, on the road, and beyond for health reasons. And you don’t need to carry any additional devices with you – just calm down and hold your hand still for about a minute.
The target audience of the gadget is clearly defined. At the same time, the watch is not just a wrist blood pressure monitor. It is quite functional in its main purpose: it measures heart rate, skin temperature, displays notifications, helps during training, analyzes sleep quality, stress level, etc.
To measure blood pressure, we had to sacrifice full-fledged moisture protection, support for swimming workouts, and a couple of options that are available in the brand’s lineup, such as a built-in speaker and the ability to use eSIM. And the functionality of the Huawei Watch D has also affected its appearance: the watch is large and heavy, more masculine than feminine.