I've had the original Huawei Watch for a while now as my daily wear smart watch. I've also had a Fitbit Charge HR that I'd wear for working out and sleep monitoring. I found myself wearing the Fitbit more often as I liked keep track of fitness throughout the day. So I was quite interested in a Smart Watch that could potentially replace both. Let's take a look and see how it does.
+ Long battery life (2 days)
+ Clear & Bright Display
+ Physical Buttons
+ IP68 Dust & Water Resistant
+ Light weight
+ Android 2.0
+ GPS & NFC
+ Continuous Heart Rate Monitor
+ Workout Assistant
+ Stylish Design
+ Improved charging cradle
+ Native Google Assistant
+ Gorilla Glass
+ Solid build quality
- May be somewhat bulky for some
- Wrist strap could be better
- Slightly smaller screen (1.2")
- No LTE for US variant
- Bit Pricey
- No Sapphire Glass
UNBOXING & DESIGN
Out of the box you've just got the watch, a charging cradle with attached USB cable, wall charger, and documentation nobody reads. That's about it.
Compared to the original Huawei Watch, the second generation here is more of a "sport" watch. In that it features a more rugged design, plastic type band, and no shiny bits that will get scratched easily. Despite this, it still feels very solid, and well built. There is a stationary "dial" often seen on diving watches, which as noted, doesn't move. There are also two buttons on the right side. The upper button is to access the Apps menu. Lower button is is for Fit/Activity features. Such as to start a workout.
This is no leather band. It looks and feels like plastic, which may be an issue for some. Not a big deal for me, as I found it it well enough. But could be a softer rubber compound, to offer more comfort.
I think for an average to large wrist, the size won't be an issue. But it is taller and bulkier than some may expect, or desire. Just be aware of that.
The brand new version of Android Wear brings a noticeable updated designed, layout, and ultimately changes how you interact with the watch. Long press of the main watch doesn't do anything unless your particular watch face has added features. Swipe left or right is now only to change watch faces. Swipe up will show any notifications. Swipe down is the settings menu.
What about the apps? That's where the new dedicated upper button comes into play. Single press to get your app carosoel. Swipe up and down to see everything installed. Pretty basic. Long press the same button to bring up the ever helpful google assistance. Or just say "OK Google," as usual.
The lower button access the fitness/workout settings. More on that next.
Initially, it felt like they simply changed things, for the sake of change. But after using it for awhile, I've gotten used to everything and find it to be fairly intuitive. It's just a bit different, but it works.
This is where things like a plastic band, IP68, GPS, continuous hear rate monitoring, and lighter weight all come together. The original Huawei Watch was simply too heavy to use for fitness, and lacked a lot of the features above. Not to mention leather + moisture don't go well together.
So this is really where I was quite interested. Did I still need to swap out watches to go for a run, do cardio, list weights, or other workout stuff? Nope.
Today, for example, I wanted to hit the elliptical. I've been slacking off, and it was time. I just pressed the fitness button, selected my routine, and off I went. It automatically started continuous heart rate monitoring, including what zone I was in (i.e. fat burn, aerobic, etc), distance, and time spent. All at the same time, in a nice presentable way. That was actually nicer than the fit-bit, thanks to how easily accessible this information was.
If I wanted to do the same routine, but actually going somewhere when I run, there's an activity for that. Except now it knows you're moving, and will kick in GPS to track your run. Nice.
Once you're done, you can easily view all kinds of neat stats via numerical value and pretty graphs. Including time spend running, where you're hear rate was throughout, pace, steps, calories, etc. All on the watch itself. That's right, don't even need to grab your phone. Or bring it with you. And considering I usually have large phones, that's a big plus.
In some ways, I've actually found Huawei Watch 2 and Android 2.0 a bit more advanced than the Fit app itself, on my phone. Fitbit app still has more in-depth and useful information there. But I think Google has caught up enough so that I don't feel the need to swap watches just to go for a 30-45 run or exercise routine. All while being nice enough to wear out of the house, to a social event, or even to the office. Sleep monitoring is just about the only feature where I'd need a fitbit.
While it lost some "nice" features like a leather band and sapphire glass, those would have simply gone against the fitness requirements and added more weight.
Overall, if you're looking for something that can be true 2-in-1 replacement, and don't mind the bulk or cost, I consider the Huawei Watch 2 highly recommended.