Huawei has unveiled two new wearables that it is adding to its portfolio today at its event in London. It's no surprise that Huawei is still focusing in on wearables, considering at the end of the second quarter (according to IDC), Huawei's wearables shipments grew over 118-percent year-over-year. So it's clear that Huawei is going to continue to focus on wearables for the foreseeable future. But Huawei is not launching any Wear OS-powered smartwatches today. Instead, both of these are running on its own in-house operating system, Lite OS. Huawei says that you can think of these wearables as competing with Fitbit, or Garmin. Particularly the Watch GT. While it does look like a full-fledged smartwatch, it is really just a fitness tracker that looks like a traditional watch.
Huawei wanted to build a smartwatch that would last longer than a day and a half, which is why it decided not to use Wear OS, but instead to use its own Lite OS. This is actually the operating system it has used on its Talkband and other fitness bands for the past few years. So this is not a new operating system for Huawei. As the name implies, it is a much lighter operating system, and doesn't really come with any apps. Now it will bring your notifications to your wrist, but it focuses more on health tracking. It can do everything that you would expect it to do, which includes tracking your steps, calories burned and workouts. It can also track your swimming, since both the Watch GT and Band 3 Pro are water-proof.
Smartwatch functionality with Fashion Watch Looks
Huawei is no stranger to building amazing looking smartwatches. The first Huawei Watch got a ton of praise for looking very elegant, and like a traditional watch, but one with Android Wear. And Huawei is continuing that with the Watch GT. It's an elegant looking smartwatch, that isn't actually all that thick. It looks great so that you can wear it with a suit during the day, and it'll fit right in. But you can also wear it when you go to the gym in the evening and it can still track all of your workout activities.
The Watch GT can have its bands swapped out as well. It still supports the usual watch bands, so you can swap it out for a nice metal band, or even a silicon band for when you are at the gym and don't want to get the leather band covered in sweat and make it look pretty nasty. The Watch GT has a metal casing, but underneath the watch, you have a plastic backside that will rest on your wrist. The reasoning for this is two-fold. For one, it makes it work with wireless charging, and also makes it feel a bit lighter, than a fully metal smartwatch. This also helps the Watch GT work better with the new heart rate sensor that is included.
Watch GT sports a 1.39-inch 454x254 AMOLED display, and since the background is almost always black, it helps keep the battery life pretty stellar. It also sports three different methods of location tracking, with GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO. This is going to allow for the Watch GT to offer better location tracking when you are out running, swimming, or what have you. The Band 3 Pro sports a 0.95-inch AMOLED display as well.
Battery For Days
One of the main reasons that Huawei is opting to go with Lite OS over Wear OS for the Watch GT, is battery life. While Wear OS is pretty constricted, according to Huawei, and battery life tops out at around a day and a half to two days, without adding a massive battery and making the watch much thicker, Lite OS allows the watch to have a smaller battery and last for nearly a month. Huawei says that the Watch GT will last you around two weeks if you are using it to track activity every single day of the week, and for notifications. But depending on your usage, it could last up to a full 30 days. Which is a huge improvement over Wear OS, where you need to charge it nearly everyday. That was one of the main reasons that Huawei decided to go with Lite OS over Wear OS.
With the Band 3 Pro, you're still going to get some pretty incredible battery life. We're looking at around 20 days or more on a single charge. This is less than the Watch GT and that is because it does have a smaller footprint, so smaller battery. And 20 days is still really good for a fitness tracker, considering most Fitbits only last around four to seven days, if you're lucky.
Artificial Intelligence To Improve Heart Rate Tracking Accuracy
Huawei has been super into artificial intelligence over the past few years, and have been adding it to a lot of different aspects of its smartphones. Now it is using AI for its wearables. With the Watch GT and Band 3 Pro, and its heart rate sensor, Huawei is using artificial intelligence to make this sensor more accurate. Now, of course, there is only so far that Huawei can go with this, seeing as this is not going to be very accurate, unless you have it on your heart actually measuring your heart rate. But with artificial intelligence and the new six LED heart rate monitor built-in, it will learn where the watch is placed on your wrist. Which is going to help it get a better read of your heart rate. Huawei says that it is self-learning, so it is going to improve as time goes on.
The Watch GT is going to be available in Q4 of this year, while the Band 3 Pro will be launching in Q1 of 2019, so expect Huawei to make an announcement about it at CES in January. Huawei is going to be selling the Watch GT Sport for €199, Watch GT Classic for €249 and the Band 3 Pro for €99 beginning later this quarter. The specific release date has not yet been given.
Huawei is essentially offering two different fitness trackers here in different form-factors. Which is going to offer something for everyone. Those that want something that looks like an actual smartwatch, there is the Watch GT that will last nearly 30 days on a charge. But for those that want a fitness band, there is the Band 3 Pro that will still work really well, thanks to the improved GPS that is built-in, as well as being water-proof and able to track swimming.