Huawei had released quite a few smartwatches in the last year or so. I’ve personally reviewed both the Huawei Watch GT 2 and GT 2e this year, both of which are quite compelling watches. Well, Huawei also released the Watch GT 2 Pro variant, the watch that we’ll be taking a look at in this article. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is quite probably the most premium watch the company made, at least when it comes to its build materials. We’ll talk more about that soon.
Other than that, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro does remind me a lot of its predecessor. The software did not change all that much here, so the experience was quite familiar. The Huawei Watch GT 2 still offers amazing battery life, as you’ll find out in the review, and that is still one of its main selling points. This smartwatch is not without its issues, though, it actually has some of the problems that plagued its predecessors. That being said, let’s dive in.
Design-wise, this is one of the most premium smartwatches in the market
As I mentioned in the introduction, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is the most premium smartwatch this company ever made, at least if we consider the materials used here. So, Huawei decided to combine titanium with both ceramic and sapphire glass. Needless to say, these are really premium choices. The watch’s frame is made out of titanium, while you’ll find ceramic at the bottom of the device. The sapphire glass is placed on top of the display, and also on top of the heart rate sensor. In other words, it's also located at the bottom of this watch. That glass is supposed to protect both the display and heart rate sensor from scratches, as it’s more durable than Gorilla Glass. It is also supposed to enable the heart rate sensor to be even more accurate.
The physical buttons are very clicky
The watch comes with two physical buttons on the right, the same as its predecessors. These buttons are even more clicky this time around, and quite loud for what they are… which is not a bad thing at all. Considering their placement, chances that you are hit them by mistake often are very low. The watch is not too thick, nor is it too large, at least for men. Its display is flat, though its edges are curved, which is also a good thing when using the watch, as it doesn’t cut into your finger. The variant I reviewed came with a silicone strap called “Black Fluoroelastomer Strap”, while it also comes in a variant with a “Gray Brown Leather Strap”. Two color variants are available, Night Black and Nebula Gray. The one you can see in the images below is the latter.
At the bottom of this smartwatch, you’ll notice a heart rate sensor that is surrounded by ceramic. That material feels so good against the skin, even though it’s more slippery than the plastic Huawei used on previous smartwatches. That is not as important, though, as the watch will be still on your wrist thanks to its strap. The watch weighs 52 grams, without the strap, so it’s not heavy at all… even though it has a bit of heft to it. All in all, Huawei did an excellent job here. It did not reinvent the wheel when it comes to the design, but the watch feels sturdy, looks great, and the materials used are top-notch.
The display is vivid, and more than sharp enough
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro features a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a 454 x 454 resolution. That display is touch sensitive, and it is flat. The display is a perfect size, and it’s actually quite vibrant. It may even be the same panel Huawei used on previous watches, I can’t tell the difference, as they all look really great. Even the viewing angles on this display are good. The best of all, this display does get quite bright outdoors, so using it under direct sunlight is not an issue either.
This display is also sharp enough for you to read everything you need. I never had to squint, or anything of the sort, nor did I ever thought to myself “I wish the display was sharper”. It’s plenty sharp for its size, for everything that you’ll use it for. Considering that the sapphire glass is placed on top of this display, it should handle scratches really well. That was an issue on previous watches, as I managed to scratch their display easily, even though I was really careful. I’m not sure what Huawei used for protection on those watches, though. I did not try scratching this display, but I didn't do it by accident either. True sapphire glass is difficult to scratch in everyday situations.
Smooth performance affected by lackluster software
The general performance of the watch is really good. It is fueled by the Kirin A1 SoC, the same as the GT 2 and GT 2e, and that’s a good thing. This processor is plenty powerful to let you do whatever you want with the watch, and yet it’s quite efficient as well. So, you may feel a stutter here and there, but you’ll never feel like the watch is laggy or anything of the sort. You can access every part of its software without an issue. Speaking of which, the software performance, well, that’s a slightly different story.
First and foremost, I have to say that Huawei improved touch responsiveness here. I have not experienced many accidental presses while using the watch, not nearly as much as on its predecessors. It did happen once or twice, but that’s perfectly normal. So as far as that is concerned, we’re all good. The watch’s software does have some issues, and most of them are still related to notifications, as was the case with its predecessors.
The notification system needs work, and is the main problem
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still get all your notifications, but you still can’t dismiss them one by one without tapping on every single one beforehand. You still have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the notifications list to dismiss them all, which can be a chore. Responding to notifications via your watch is also something you can’t do, unfortunately. What probably bothers me most of all, though, is the fact that notifications are not synced up with watch notifications. By that I mean you cannot dismiss a notification on your watch, and see that mirrored on your phone… or the other way around. That is one big issue for me personally.
Another thing that is a bit annoying when it comes to notifications, is the fact there’s no indication you have a notification on this smartwatch’s watch face, any of them, really. At least not from the ones I’ve tried out. In order to see if there are any notifications that you’ve missed, you have to swipe up in order to open the list. It would be nice of Huawei if it included some sort of a dot, or whatever else to indicate there are unread notifications in the queue. The bottom line is, the company has to improve how notifications work on this watch, in general.
Huawei needs to find way to keep 'Health' app active at all times, on all Android devices
Speaking of software, connectivity with the phone’s Health app is also not the best. The Huawei Health is the app you’ll need to download in order to get this watch up and running. The app itself is quite good, but for some reason, the watch tends to lose connection to it from time to time. That is due to the way Android OS works, probably. I’ve tried locking the app in multitasking, and remove it from the ‘battery optimization’ list, but that didn’t help.
Once a day, or once every two days, it gets disconnected. Once that happens, the watch can’t pull some information from the phone, such as weather info. The same happens with music. If the connection is not there, I can’t see what song is playing on one of my phone’s music apps via my watch, I have to fire up the Health app again in order to get that info. In some cases, the connection ends up being terminated completely, and the notifications stop arriving as well.
So, as you can see, the vast majority of issues when it comes to this watch are software related, and most of them belong in the software department. That is quite unfortunate, but it’s also something that Huawei can fix with updates. This smartwatch is so great in so many other ways, it would be a shame if the software doesn’t improve.
Stellar battery life
The battery life on this smartwatch is amazing, to say the least. While Wear OS and Tizen OS smartwatches can offer 1-2 days of battery life on regular use, this watch can keep the lights on for about two weeks. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on how many of the watch’s features you’re using. I was able to get very close to two weeks, as I placed the watch on a charger when it was at 5-percent. That was at a 13-day mark, so it could have lasted 14, technically. I used the continuous heart rate monitoring for the vast majority of the time, and the same goes for stress monitoring.
I used it to control music on my phone, to read notifications, and for some light fitness activities. I’m not much of a fitness buff, but I did use it for running and biking. The watch handled all that with ease, and provided me with plenty of battery life. I love what Huawei watches can offer in the battery life department. It allows me to completely forget about a charger, pretty much. If I plan to go away for the weekend, or something of the sort, the watch charger is the last thing on my mind. Sure, packing an extra charger may not be a problem for most of you, but the less I carry with me, the better, and considering how many devices I have to charge… this is a blessing.
Wireless charging is finally on board
Speaking of battery life, the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is the first smartwatch in the series to offer wireless charging. The watch comes with a charging dock, which works exactly as you expect. It’s not large, it’s not angled, which is fine by me. The smaller the dock, the better. Huawei claims that you can get 10 hours of usage with 5 minutes of wireless charging. There’s no way I could have tested that, but it seems about right. This is not the fastest wireless charging around, but considering how small that battery is, the watch charges fairly fast. Besides, even if you had to charge it for hours, it lasts for two weeks, so, that’s a tradeoff many would agree to.
There are tons of fitness options with 100 workout modes
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is a fitness-oriented watch, needless to say. Pretty much every watch in the series is. Therefore, it comes with a ton of fitness-oriented content / features. This watch can monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, and it can use that data to estimate your VO2Max levels. Those of you who don’t know, such readings are supposed to represent your base fitness level.
The watch comes with 100 workout mode, and over 10 of those are running exercise variants. The watch can remind you to do your workouts. Workout modes include hiking, mountain biking, indoor running, outdoor running, skiing, driving range, snowboarding, triathlon, and tons more… we really can’t list all of them here. This watch will cover the vast majority of exercises out there, pretty much.
I haven’t had the chance to try out many of them, but I did test the biking one. I've also tried running… even though that’s not my thing. I honestly can’t say how accurate are running readings. That’s not something I usually do, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. The biking was quite accurate, and worked extremely well. I also have to note that the watch does a really good job when it comes to counting steps, that’s something its predecessor had issues with… well, this watch does not.
The watch will auto-detect you're exercising
It’s also worth noting that the watch can automatically ask you whether you’d like to fire up a workout session, based on your movement. If you’re running, and you forgot to fire up the exercise, the watch will start recording everything and ask you if you’d like to fire it up… after about 10 minutes or so. If you decline, it’ll stop, if you accept, you’ll have the record of your exercise even before you confirmed you want to record it. GPS is also a part of the package, by the way… and the watch can monitor your sleep and stress levels as well.
You can make calls using this watch, easily
Who would want to make calls on a watch? Many people say that the experience is crappy, and you look ridiculous while doing it. The experience part is true, on most watches, not on the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. Taking calls on this thing was actually quite delightful. Its speaker is loud enough for you to hear everything, while those microphones that Huawei included are quite good. I haven’t had a single complaint, which is the first time it happened with a smartwatch I’ve used.
Now, for the second part, yes, you’ll still look ridiculous to most people. If you’re a fan of sci-fi aka a bit geeky, and chances are most of you are (as you’re reading this), then you’ll actually enjoy it. Besides, who cares what people think, they’re just jealous of you and your cool phone watch. Jokes aside, if you want to use this thing as a phone on your wrist, you totally can do that. Well, you can as long as you connect it to your phone.
If not for the software issues, it would be an amazing watch… this way, it's just really good
So, is the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro worth recommending? Well, if you don’t mind some of its software quirks, yes, sure. The watch is extremely well-equipped with fitness modes, and its build is top-notch. The battery life is insane, and one of the best aspects of the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. The display is also really good, while wireless charging is finally included. To top it all off, you can actually take calls using this watch, and not be frustrated with the experience. The only downside are those software issues, most of which have been around for a while now. If only Huawei fixed those, this watch would certainly be able to compete with pretty much anything out there.