Huawei pursues its ambitions in the connected object market. With the new Watch GT, the manufacturer wants to seduce lovers of watches. Stylish, it incorporates home software instead of the Google Wear operating system. A successful bet for Huawei? Answer in our comprehensive test.
The connected watch market, largely dominated by Apple Watch, is struggling to find its audience. That does not stop some technology giants from continuing their march forward. Huawei is one of those irreducible and has been selling the Watch GT since the end of 2019. The brand new watch is elegant and durable. For the first time, Huawei is out of Wear OS, the software dedicated to Google connected objects, and Lite OS, its initial interface. Offered from 200 euros, the GT watch looks promising. Does this prove to be the case? We carry it for several days. Here is our complete test!
Price and release date
The GT watch is available from 199 euros for the composite version of a black hood and a silicone bracelet. The model with a silver case and a leather bracelet costs 229 euros.
|Huawei Watch GT Datasheet|
|dimensions||46.5 mm x 46.5 mm x 10.6 mm|
|definition||454 x 454 pixels|
|functions||GPS (Galileo, Glonass), accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and optical heart rate reader|
|Resistance to water||5 ATM waterproof|
|Wireless Qi Recharge||not|
Design: elegance in all circumstances
With the Watch GT, Huawei looks forward to sobriety and elegance. The brand offers its watch connected in two versions: leather strap and silver case, silicone strap and black case. We used that last model for a few days. At first glance, more sportswear, this version is nonetheless seductive. The black case made of stainless steel, plastic on the back and DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating protects the screen. This allows it to withstand the tensions of everyday life (bad weather, crashes, falls, etc.).
Lightweight (46g without wristband), the GT watch is comfortable. Its fineness (10.6 mm) and the case diameter (4.65 cm) make it a relatively compact watch. It will suit any type of morphology, including users with small pulses.
The supplied silicone bracelet (22mm wide) can be replaced in real time like any classic watch. Huawei pushes the comparison with a watch jewel, incorporating two crown buttons on the right side of the case. In addition to the illusion, they can navigate the interface.
Finally, note that the GT Watch is waterproof certified 5 ATM. This does not mean that you can swim up to five feet deep, but that the watch can withstand a pressure of 5 bar. However, we do not recommend diving with Watch GT. On the other hand, she can accompany you during your swimming sessions or possibly snorkelling (provided you do not visit the depths).
Thanks to the exemplary finishes, Huawei combines the richness of a sports watch with the elegance of a watch jewel.
AMOLED screen on top!
The Watch GT screen contributes to the success of its design. Huawei chooses a 1.39-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels are 326 pixels per inch. The choice of this screen technology has several advantages: deep blacks and infinite contrasts reduce energy consumption (we will go back to this).
Unfortunately, Huawei does not fully exploit the potential of its screen for not offering an Always-On mode. When you do not look at the clock, the screen is all black. It is not possible to display a minimalist clock in shades of gray, for example. The manufacturer only allows a continuous display of the display, but only for five minutes.
The GT watch shines on other points, including the excellent brightness of your screen. The display is readable in all conditions. The built-in brightness sensor allows the watch to automatically manage the power of the emitted light. However, in extreme conditions (in the dark, in full sun), we can adjust the brightness in five levels.
Software and Features: Huawei Abandons Google
Huawei abandons OS Wear, Google interface, to integrate Lite OS, your home software. It is compatible with all iPhone with at least iOS 9 and all Android 4.4 smartphones. Chinese manufacturer plays simplicity card. Navigation is done by gestures directly on the display and by the crown buttons as follows:
- slide from left to right (and vice versa): access to different data (activity, heart rate, climate)
- slide from top to bottom: access to quick settings ("do not disturb", setting, "display time", "find my phone", lock)
- Bottom-up: access to notifications sorted by application
- top button: back home
- bottom button: access to sports exercises
These manipulations require a more or less lengthy learning phase. Half a day was enough to assimilate everything and navigate the interface without thinking.
Compatible with Bluetooth 4.1 (we would like to have 5.0), Watch GT connects to any compatible smartphone through a companion application called Huawei Health. It serves as a gateway to set the clock and get accurate data about our business.
Very well designed, Huawei Health can be linked to "Health" on the iPhone. The Apple application automatically recovers the data. On Android, syncing works with Google Fit, MyFitnessPal and Jawbone UP. We regret the absence of Strava, much used by regular athletes.
This frustration we also feel in other uses. For example, the Watch GT incorporates eleven different dials (a long touch on the house allows them to roll), but Huawei does not give you the possibility to download more. If pre-installed are varied and successful, we would like to have more options.
A good smartphone relay
Despite these minor disappointments, the Watch GT is very enjoyable every day. First it serves as a smartphone relay for everyday use. Notifications, messages, app calls, and the clock can be reported. Notification filtering is done through the Huawei Health application.
However, Watch GT has some limitations. If reading messages is comfortable, sending a reply (even voice) is impossible. Likewise, the clock indicates incoming calls, but the answer is impossible, only call rejection is displayed on the display. But again, unpleasant surprise: while we think we're off, the smartphone continues to ring. In fact, pressing the small red button interrupts the clock vibrations, but does not reject the call.
However, we love using Watch GT daily. The impossibility of interacting directly with the clock (calls, messages) has a beneficial effect: relearning to prioritize, delay, allow us not to respond. This "detoxification" separates us (somewhat) from our smartphone, and can not hurt us.
Like all other manufacturers, Huawei also sees its Watch GT as a "health assistant" attached to the wrist. The watch incorporates a package of technologies: GPS (Galileo, Glonass), accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and optical heart rate reader. This huge amount of sensors is controlled from the companion application. For example, you can choose not to follow your heart rate continuously or sleep data. This, in turn, saves energy.
Watch GT presents a particularly interesting resource for sedentary people (like us journalists during our writing sessions). When the watch does not detect any activity (you know when you stand up and walk), it indicates regularly that you need to move (every hour). Huawei incorporates this feature by default, but can be disabled in the same way as the others.
note that Heart rate monitoring is particularly accurate. It indicates not only the data at time T, but also the highest peak and the lowest frequency. Finally, note that Huawei has "inspired" the Apple Watch interface for tracking activities.
For Sunday athletes, but not only
In addition to the daily monitoring of health data, The Watch GT will also accompany you during your sports sessions. Trailers and cyclists / cyclists can go their way: GPS is very inaccurate for reliable data. Once again, we feel real frustration because the clock is accurate in relation to heart rate and elevation. Unfortunately, the distance traveled (erroneous) measured by GPS distorts all other data: time, rate, calories burned. Sunday sports will be satisfied, those looking for performances will get bored very quickly.
Despite these inaccuracies, GT Watch remains a good coach as it proposes many different exercises. Running obviously is part of the program, but Huawei also offers swimming (indoor and outdoor), cycling (indoor and outdoor), walking, hiking and first-time triathlon. A last category called "other" allows you to analyze the data during physical conditioning sessions, for example.
The variety of exercises is one of the great strengths of Watch GT. If more demanding sportspeople turn more to brands like Garmin or Polar, Huawei's watch will be suitable for those who want to stay in shape.
Autonomy of at least one week
Watch GT ships a 420 mAh battery, which may seem slight at first glance. Huawei promises autonomy of 14 days. Actually, we calculated the average of one week with a full load and intensive use (Bluetooth and heart rate reading continuously activated).
Even if these results do not match the brand promise, they remain excellent for a watch equipped with an OLED screen. Most competitors do not exceed five days of use, while Apple Watch, the smartest watch connected in the market, must go through the recharge box every day.
In the box, Huawei provides a round loading stand in which the watch is placed. This cradle is connected to a USB-C / USB-A cable, but the power supply is missing. Then, we connect the watch to a PC or to the power supply of our smartphone. Using this latter method, the watch recharges in less than two hours.