We’ve all set our New Year’s resolutions at one point as “be more active”, “go on a diet”, “get enough sleep each night” and so on. I know, I’ve been there (not) done that. And as this year now hurtles on towards another new year, no, decade—yes, let that sink in for a moment—we are again faced with a new beginning filled with resolutions that we hopefully can now finally tick off from years past and be better, happier humans.

Now, I’m a competitive person and for me, setting goals are so much more fun when you’re “winning”. Like when I can see that I’ve drank enough water for a day or when I’ve walked the required 10,000 steps a day. Thankfully, technology has now evolved enough so that watches can now also tell (or judge—up to you) if you’ve been active, slept well, and so on. And I’ve never felt more judged when it helpfully told me that I’ve been sleeping erratically for the past few days (okay, Watch GT 2, I get it, I say as I type this at 2 am)

Très chic

I’m normally not a big fan of the aesthetic of smartwatches but the Watch GT 2 changed my mind. You can choose from either a leather, fluoroelastomer, or metal strap paired with either a 42 elegant or 46mm watch face. I mostly used the walnut-toned, genuine leather strap with my 46mm unit and it perfectly complemented casual or business ensembles. Those who have smaller wrists can opt to get the 42mm elegant, but it won’t come with a microphone or loud speaker. The 42mm variant has a more feminine touch as it doesn’t have the strong bezel design as the 46mm one.

It features polished, stainless steel lugs and its matte black bezel frames a 1.39-inch 3D glass, AMOLED HD touchscreen with a 454 x 454 resolution. There are two physical buttons on the Watch GT 2 that can be used to wake the screen, bring up the smartwatch’s features, and start and stop workouts.

The screen itself is bright and crisp, even in bright daylight and the glass surface lets you navigate smoothly. There are also several watch face designs to choose from, ranging from a real watch design to more ‘smartwatch-y’ displays. I haven’t tried to swim with it yet, but the Watch GT 2 is water resistant up to 5 ATM or 50 meters.

What’s inside?  

The Watch GT 2 runs on Huawei’s Kirin A1 chip and posssbily Huawei’s Lite OS, shrugging off Google’s Wear OS—so there is no playstore access or tap-to-pay capabilities here (only the China version has NFC). We hear that Huawei is set to bring the all-encompassing Harmony OS into its smartwatch range in the future but that’s yet to be seen. While not posing much of a difference from last year’s Watch GT, the GT 2 keeps the looks of the GT but comes with a few upgrades like a longer battery life, better performance and tracking, and a more stable UI.

 Fitness-wise, it comes well-stocked with a range of workout settings such as running courses, swimming, climbing, hiking, triathlon, indoor workouts, and others. It also keeps track of your workout records and syncs over to the Huawei Health App on your smartphone. You can also view stress, sleep, workout, and other reports on the app along with some recommendations if you’re sleeping well, always stressed out, and the like. It has an accurate GPS tracker for outdoor walks and runs and there is also an air pressure monitor and a compass that is suitable for hikers.  

The software does stand to be improved when pinned up against the likes of Googles Wear OS or Apple’s watchOS in terms of seamless integration from smartphone to smartwatch or feature availability. It also poses some issues like the watch face not always turning on when you lift your wrist (this is an optional setting though) and a hit-or-miss message notification system.  

From the first Watch GT, the GT 2 sports great additions like music storage (my personal favorite), a loud speaker, and a microphone. Taking calls on it can get a little awkward for me, especially when you’re out in public but I’ve used it a couple of times when my phone is buried deep in my bag. With music or calls, its sound projects well even when outside. You can also store around 2.4 GB worth of music on it which is more than enough for workouts and hikes when you don’t want to bring your phone with you. Selecting songs and transferring can take a while though.

What’s really commendable about the Watch GT 2 though, is its battery life. Huawei promises up to two weeks of juice on its 455mAh battery. Your usage and other factors can lessen the battery life. For instance, if you want the watch’s display to project a static watch face all the time, then expect the battery life to get cut in half. Other features such as constant heartrate monitoring, automatic stress test, sleep tracking will also reduce battery life. I had all three on and used the loudspeaker or paired it to my Bluetooth earphone for music for a few jogs and got an impressive near-10 days of mileage before having to charge the watch. There is no wireless charging here but the Watch GT 2 charges rapidly via a magnetic charging puck so you can be back on track in no time.

Our Opinion:

The Huawei Watch GT 2 combines a good range of features over a competitive price point. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful smartwatches at its price range with good hardware, too. If you’re not all that particular about having access to third-party apps or touch-payment, then the GT 2 is something to consider.   

The Watch GT 2 46mm retails at P10,990 for the sporty Matte Black (fluoroelastomer strap) variant and P13,990 for the classy Pebble Brown (leather) variant. The 42mm elegant version has lighter features (shorter battery life, no mic and speaker, and a 1.2-inch screen) and retails at P9,990 for the night black variant and P13,990 for the Refined Gold variant

Full Specs:

Dimensions L × W × D: 45.9 mm × 45.9 mm x 10.7 mm
Weight 41 g (without the strap)
Material Watch body: metal and plastic; Straps: fluoroelastomer, leather, and metal.
Watch strap width: 22 mm (suitable for wrist sizes ranging from 140–210 mm)
Screen 1.39-inch full-color AMOLED, full-screen touchscreen, 454 x 454 resolution, supports up, down, left, right swiping, touch, and touch and hold commands
Wakeup modes Lift-to-wake, Press-to-wake
Battery 455 mAh non-detachable lithium-ion polymer battery, charged via magnetic thimble charging port (type-c)
CPU Huawei Kirin A1
Memory 32MB RAM/4 GB ROM
Sensors and Connectivity GPS, GLONASS, 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1, supports BLE/BR/EDR, Accelerometer sensor, Gyroscope, Magnetometer sensor, Heart rate sensor (PPG), Ambient light sensor, Air pressure sensor, Capacitive sensor
Other Microphone and loudspeaker
Physical buttons Power button, Multifunction button; supports touch, touch and hold, and double tap commands
Water resistance level 5ATM
Ambient operating temperature –20°C to +45°C
Humidity 5% to 95% (non-condensing)
Huawei Watch GT 2 Full Review: Style meets Function
Build Quality 9.5
Form Factor 9.5
Ease of Use 8.5
Performance 8.2
Value for Money9.5
9Overall Score

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