It’s been six month, and this is already the third smartwatch from Huawei for me. It seems that the manufacturer decided to fill the current line of wearable devices with all possible offers for any category of customers. This time we take a look at the relatively new Huawei Watch GT 2e, aimed at a youth audience with an emphasis on sports.
Let me remind you of previous reviews of Huawei Watch GT 2 line of watches:
- Huawei Watch GT 2 – The most serious and expensive version of the watch with all the possible functions, including phone calls.
- Huawei Watch GT 2 (42 мм) is a smaller model in a classic design. It has versions aimed at men and women, depending on the color.
All photos in the review are taken on Huawei P40 Pro
Positioning and price
Huawei Watch GT 2e is a device for the youth audience, that much is clear from what the company’s ads. That’s why it’s cheaper than the other models. Certain features have been eliminated as well. How significant they are we will find out during the testing process.
As for the price, this watch costs about $180, which is almost $74 less than Huawei Watch GT 2. Actually, a significant reduction in price. But what was sacrificed in the process?
Where to buy:
What’s in the box
In a massive box made of cardboard, decorated in black with gold inscriptions, we find a set typical for the current line of Huawei watches: a watch with a strap, a white magnetic charging unit, a white USB-C cable and a paper manual with a warranty.
Design, materials, elements’ configuration, build quality
On the one hand, Huawei Watch GT 2e retains the general concept of the design and construction of the entire GT line. Most importantly, they are round! The case is steel, the front has a protective glass, under it is a display, and behind is plastic. Everything is basically the same as before.
But when inspecting the watch, it is easy to notice the first simplification – the absence of a ceramic bezel around the glass, which is available for older models of the first and second generation.
A purely visual bezel is represented by a pattern under the glass. All of this means even less protection than before; the watch is more vulnerable than the other models, although the edges are hidden behind the metal edging of the case. So not everything is bad. But in any case, it should be borne in mind that the glass protrudes slightly above the case and upon impact, the probability of damage is much higher than that of the more expensive models.
Buttons are also noticeably different. Until this model, all models of the GT series were equipped with two buttons, stylized as classic winding wheels. Huawei Watch GT 2e has low rectangular buttons, like in a digital watch. Because of this, the appearance of the device takes on a more sporty design.
The bottom cover of the watch is plastic, it contains in the center a familiar set of 4 optical sensors. I will talk about specific functions later.
Perhaps the main feature is the case, which smoothly merges into the strap. Previously, the strap was always open. Because of this feature, the straps are rigidly connected to the case and do not rotate around the axis of attachment.
Fastening to the case itself is carried out by standard clock axes with a spring lock. You can remove the straps without the use of tools, or replace them with others, even third-party ones. For example, the strap from my first generation Huawei Watch GT works, although the watch lost this smooth transition between the case and the strap.
So, there’s certain compatibility of Watch GT 2e with third-party straps and bracelets. But the strap from this watch is unlikely to be installed in other watches.
As for the color options of the device, there are only three of them – a black case with a completely black strap, a black watch with a red strap, in which there are black accents and a gray case with a soft mint green strap, again with black accents.
In general, the design of the straps is updated, this time they have large perforations along the entire length.
The straps themselves are high-quality, made of hypoallergenic TPU – dense but soft. Wearing the strap is comfortable; there are no unpleasant sensations. It does not cause sweating and does not irritate the skin.
It is fully suitable for round-the-clock use. I almost never take off the watch, and only for charging, but more on that later.
Also, do not forget that the watch is protected from dust and moisture (5ATM). It’s suitable for swimming in ponds and pools, but without deep diving. Rain and shower are also okay.
These are all the key design features of Huawei Watch GT 2e and the differences between the new watch and all other models of the GT line. The quality of materials and build quality, traditionally for Huawei, are at the highest level, there is absolutely nothing to complain about.
Screen, hardware, performance
As for the hardware, Huawei Watch GT 2e is an almost complete copy of the original model. The screen here has not changed since the first generation – 1.39″ AMOLED with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. And I understand why they do not update it – the display is excellent (for a watch) and there is no point in installing another one. There are 5 available levels of brightness and overall brightness is enough for any conditions.
Personally, I use automatic adjustment to save battery power and although it underestimates the brightness a bit, the information on the display remains legible. Manual adjustment can significantly increase readability if necessary.
You can turn on the constantly active screen mode – but only for 5 minutes. In addition, in the settings you can activate 2 options for Always On Display mode. Digital and analog watchfaces are available with customizable color accents (red, white, green).
The processor is designed for HiSilicon Kirin A1 wearable devices, introduced last year; it has proven itself in terms of performance and power consumption.
Bluetooth 5.1 with BLE/BR/EDR support is used to connect to the main device. There is also a GPS module for workouts that track the distance traveled.
The watch is equipped with 4 GB of storage. Of these, a little more than 2 GB are available to the user.
Functionality of Huawei Watch GT 2e
The watch runs on Lite OS, a specialized compact operating system for wearable devices developed by Huawei. In fact, everything is the same as in the senior version of the watch, except for the possibility of making phone calls. Huawei Watch GT 2e lacks a microphone and speaker. And this is the most important omission, which apparently influenced a significant reduction of the cost.
For the rest, we have a complete set of the GT 2 line – the watch measures steps, distance traveled, time and calories spent, displays current weather, notifications from selected applications, etc.
There is music playback control – both of the connected device, and of its own built-in player. You can upload music files from your smartphone to your watch via the Huawei Health app and connect a wireless headset to them for further listening to music without using the main device. 2 GB of storage are allocated just for that.
Also, the latest firmware update added the ability to measure blood oxygen level (SpO2). This option is positioned as especially useful and important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows you to approximately evaluate the effectiveness of your respiratory system. And besides this, the watch has a traditional measurement of heart rate, stress level and monitoring the quality of sleep.
Also recently in the watch got the function of taking photos remotely, or the shutter button of the smartphone’s camera with a 5-second delay. You can install the smartphone on a tripod, move away and take a photo remotely using the wearable device.
What else is in the watch… barometer, compass, stopwatch, alarm clock, timer, flashlight, notification of disconnection from the main device (useful if you often forget it) and smartphone tracking if you misplaced it.
There are lots of watchfaces. Lots more than before, and they became more diverse as well. Also, it became possible to adjust the composition and position of widgets in some variants of the watchfaces. In such customizable faces, there is a gear icon at the bottom and you can choose the content of the screen from the standard set – activity, heart rate, stress, weather widgets and battery power. In addition, for some skins that actively strain the battery there is now an “energy-intensive” label.
If you are looking for the most advanced sports smartwatch, then you can stop now, because no one has as many predefined workouts as Huawei Watch GT 2e. Yes, I myself was a little shocked by such abundance. Judge for yourself. When switching from the main menu to the “Training” application or by pressing the lower button by default, we get to the list of available exercises. By the way, the action of the bottom button can be programmed in the settings.
And here we see a list of standard exercises: Running courses (13 programs), Running on the street, Treadmill, Walking on the street, Walking, Cycling, Exercise bike, Swimming in the pool, Swimming in a pond, Lifting, Cross-country running, Triathlon, Ellipse, Rowing machine, Other.
Below is a seemingly harmless “Add” button. There you can get lost in an abundance of various activities. It seems that the developers tried to remember everything that could only come to mind, and then google it and added a little more on top. I just have to list all the options. First, so that you realize the scale. And secondly, so that you know before buying whether there is a preset of your favorite occupation or exercise in the watch. So, are you ready? Go!
Training is divided into categories, the distribution is not always logical and often incomprehensible.
Indoors: Power, Spinning, Stepper, Walking Trainer, HIIT, Aerobics, Group training (whatever that means), Yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, Functional training (what), Physical training (what x2), Taekwondo, Boxing, Sparring, Karate, Fencing, Belly Dance (wow), Jazz Dances, Latino, Ballet, Core Muscle Training, Body combat (ummm?), Kendo, Beam, Bars.
Entertainment: Street Dance, Rollers, Martial Arts, Square Dance, Taiji, Dancing, Hoop, Frisbee, Darts, Archery, Horse Riding, Hunting, Kite, Tug of War, Swings, Climbing stairs (what can be better?), Running with obstacles (so fun), Fishing.
Sports: Badminton, Table Tennis, Billiards, Bowling, Volleyball, Badminton (second time, yes, but here a small figurine does something with his feet), Handball, Softball, Cricket, Rugby, Beach Soccer, Beach Volleyball, Gateball, Hockey, Squash, Sepak takraw (use Wikipedia), Dodgeball.
Water: Sailing, Surfing, Rafting, Dragon Boat, Canoeing, Rowing, Jet Ski, Surfboard.
Winter: Skates, Ice Hockey, Curling, Bobsleigh, Luge, Biathlon. And where is the traditional skiing, Huawei? Speed skiing, springboard? Freestyle, after all!
Extreme sports: Skateboard, Rock climbing, Bungee jumping, Parkour, BMX, Orienteering, Parachute, Racing.
All of the above are items on the same list, can you imagine? Any exercise can be moved to the main training menu.
Huawei Watch GT 2e battery life
The manufacturer claims 2 weeks of battery life. And with a certain usage model, this is really possible. If you do not enable Always-On display. Long training sessions using the GPS module drain the battery quickly.
But for starters, I turned on all the possible functions – constant measurement of heart rate, stress level, sleep monitoring and Always-On display, notifications and smartphone monitoring. In this mode, the watch worked for 6 days.
All the same, but with Always-On turned off – 12 days. In general, the situation with the battery life is completely similar to the other models. It’s as good as before, nothing was sacrificed.
Charging speed when connected to 2A adapter:
- 00:00 – 10%
- 00:10 – 25%
- 00:20 – 45%
- 00:30 – 63%
- 00:40 – 76%
- 00:50 – 89%
- 01:00 – 94%
- 01:04 – 100%
In 10 minutes you can charge the watch for the whole day of use. Impressive.
Traditionally, Huawei Health is used to set up the watch. This application is also a hub for recording your activity. Recently, the app received a new menu design in the form of cards. But the overall functionality has not undergone major changes.
Connecting the watch is simple, all settings are clear; there are tips on the smartphone and watch. There is also synchronization of activity data with the Huawei cloud and uploading data to Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. In addition, the utility is responsible for checking for new firmware versions and updating the watch by air. Paired with Huawei Watch GT 2e, the application is also used to download music to the watch.
Huawei Watch GT 2e continues to develop the concept of compact, lightweight and comfortable smart watches that are designed for daily use. This is a wearable device that is always on your hand – day and night, and you need to remove it infrequently, only to recharge.
There are certain issues, like the impossibility of expanding functionality (installing apps), unlike Wear OS watches. However, all the basic functions are already embedded in the device by the manufacturer. In principle, there is everything that a typical user needs, and even a little more. You can customize the appearance, but only a little. In addition, thanks to the energy-saving operating system without unnecessary applications, the consumer receives the main advantage of the watch – battery life of up to 2 weeks.
And of course, the main feature of Huawei Watch GT 2e is an impressive sports component, complemented by a new ability for measuring the level of oxygen in the blood. And given the reduced cost, I see no reason not to recommend this watch.
All photos in the review are taken on Huawei P40 Pro
Where to buy Huawei Watch GT 2e
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