Although I never reviewed the original Huawei Watch, from the little time that I played with it as well as reading about it, Huawei managed to surprise almost everyone with it. It was a very well built watch that looked classy and ticked all the right boxes. Thus, expectations were high for the follow-up that was revealed at MWC earlier this year and I finally have one with me.
The Huawei Watch 2 comes bundled in a squarish box with the charger and a quick start guide. The charger isn’t a dock that your watch can rest on your bedside but attaches to the belly of the watch easily. Huawei hasn’t included any additional strap sizes either which is a bit of a shame as both Samsung and Apple provide you with two different straps for different wrist sizes. Removing the band requires you to hold off a small pin and putting it back again needs some wiggling.
My first impression on the design of the Huawei Watch 2 was disappointing. Whereas the first Huawei Watch looked very classy and elegant but this one is much more on the sporty side. There’s nothing wrong with being sporty- in fact, that seems to be the direction most smartwatches are heading towards but I prefer the elegance of a minimal design and luxurious look.
Being sport also means having larger bezels around and bigger buttons. The bezels are made from Ceramic which Huawei claims is used in high-end watches and is six times harder than stainless steel. The overall size of the Huawei Watch 2 has increased and it feels chunky even though the size of the actual screen has shrunk. I’m coming from a Samsung Gear S3 and compared to that, the screen on the Huawei Watch 2 feels considerably smaller.
While I wasn’t impressed much with the design, the Huawei Watch 2 does well on features and functionality. It comes equipped with Android Wear 2.0 which is the latest OS from Google for watches and tweaks the usability for round-faced watches like this one. It also feels faster- but that’s not based on science and I’m just comparing it to what I thought the Moto 360 felt like. Like most new Android Wear watches, the Huawei Watch can also be paired with an iPhone if you prefer that over Android.
I mentioned that the Huawei Watch 2 has a sporty look and there’s a reason for that- Huawei is positioning the hardware and software of the Huawei Watch 2 towards the fitness conscious. The Watch has two buttons and the lower one is dedicated to opening the Workout app which lets you select many different types of activities such as walking, running and cycling. I was a bit surprised to not see swimming in there as the watch is IP68 certified allowing you to swim with it for 30 minutes.
Wrapping things up, the Huawei Watch 2 has a larger battery than the original which helps it get through two days without any problems. In fact, once it switches to low power mode, you can get an additional day with it making the Watch 2 a good companion to travel with for short business trips without the need for a charger.
Overall, the Huawei Watch 2 is targeted more towards the crowd that’s into fitness. It’s looks and functionality is clearly targeted towards that segment and if you’re in that space and looking for an Android Wear watch, then the Huawei Watch 2 should tick all the boxes for you.