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HUAWEI Watch GT 2e hands-on: The endurance smartwatch (On sale!)
Update: May 4, 2020: Our full HUAWEI Watch GT 2e review is live! Check out our thoughts on HUAWEI’s sporty smartwatch right here.
Original article: I’ve liked HUAWEI’s watch efforts since the original HUAWEI Watch. It’s only since the epic two-week battery life of the Watch GT series though that HUAWEI watches have become a staple on my wrist. I’ve long appreciated the classic watch design of the GT series, but now there’s a cheaper, sportier version. It’s targeted at a younger generation as well as those living a more active lifestyle (or aspiring to). This is our HUAWEI Watch GT 2e hands-on.
When I reviewed the original Watch GT, I called it a fitness tracker in smartwatch clothing. The much-improved HUAWEI Watch GT 2 looked much the same — essentially a fitness tracker that looked like a traditional watch. The brand-new HUAWEI Watch GT 2e breaks free of the suit-and-tie of traditional watch styling and slips into something a little more… athleisure.
- 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen
- 454 x 454, 326ppi
- 43g (without strap)
The biggest difference between the €199/£160 Watch GT 2e and its GT 2 predecessor is apparent on the outside. The GT 2e swaps the traditional watch crowns for more sporty-looking buttons. Beyond looking more contemporary, they also look to me like they won’t dig into the back of your hand during certain types of exercise.
The Watch GT 2e switches up the lug area, opting for a solid lug that transitions seamlessly into the watch strap. Depending on what color you get, you’ll either get a fluoroelastomer strap (Graphite Black, Icy White) or a TPU strap (Lava Red, Mint Green). In keeping with its fitness DNA, the GT 2e strap is perforated for increased airflow. The GT 2e is water-resistant up to 5ATM so is sweat-proof and can handle the pool as well.
The GT 2e swaps traditional watch crowns for more sporty-looking buttons and gets a perforated watch strap along with a price cut.
There’s also a subtle change in the way the stainless steel bezel area has been treated. On the Watch GT 2, the diver’s watch markings are on the angled outer part only, leaving an unused bezel area on the flat part of the watch’s face. The GT 2e makes better use of this area, bringing the diver’s watch markings onto the front as well (see image below). There’s no extra screen or smaller bezel here but the GT 2e arguably makes better use of the same amount of space.
Software and hardware
- Kirin A1 wearable chip
- 4GB ROM, 32MB RAM
- 455mAh battery
We can’t say too much about the Watch GT 2e’s software because the unit we got access to is awaiting a final software update in mid-April. Stay tuned for our full HUAWEI Watch GT 2e review for more on that.
What we can tell you is that the Watch GT 2e pairs to your phone via HUAWEI Health, a comprehensive but easy-to-navigate fitness companion you can install from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store if you’re on an iPhone. The Watch GT 2e is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or newer or iOS 9.0 and newer.
The HUAWEI Watch GT 2e has 85 custom workout modes for tracking activities like parkour, skateboarding, yoga, and rock-climbing. There are also 15 professional workout modes for more precise tracking. The GT 2e can detect six common activities and automatically prompt you to start tracking them: indoor/outdoor walking, elliptical, rowing, and indoor/outdoor running. GPS and GLONASS ensure accurate positioning data no matter where you exercise.
The two-week battery ensures that no matter how long you can exercise, the Watch GT 2e will outlast you.
Blood oxygen saturation level monitoring (SPO2) has been added via a dedicated IR sensor and the heart rate sensor has been upgraded. Stress levels, sleep patterns, and music playback are also supported, although the GT 2e doesn’t have a microphone or speaker so you can’t use a voice assistant with it or receive calls (alarms are handled by vibration so that’s not a problem). The GT 2e can store up to 500 songs on its 4GB of storage if you want to stream music to a pair of wireless earbuds over Bluetooth 5.1.
The two-week 455mAh battery ensures that no matter how long you can exercise, the GT 2e will outlast you. One of the upshots of the epic battery life the GT series promises is you can even have a live watch face on your GT 2e. Additional watch faces can be downloaded from HUAWEI Health if you’re not feeling the dozen that are pre-loaded (only with EMUI 10 or newer, not available on iOS). Switching the always-on display on will cut your battery life roughly in half and in my experience, it isn’t really worth it seeing you can just use raise-to-wake when you need the time.
HUAWEI Watch GT 2e specs
|HUAWEI Watch GT 2e|
46mm, 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen
454 x 454, 326 ppi
Kirin A1 wearable chip
4GB ROM, 32MB RAM
455 mAh (2 weeks est.)
Sensors and components
Optical heart rate sensor (PPG)
Ambient light sensor
Bluetooth 5.1, BLE/BR/EDR
Android 4.4+ or iOS 9.0+
53mm x 46.8mm x 10.8mm
Body: metal and plastic
Strap: fluoroelastomer or TPU strap (color dependent)
Graphite Black, Lava Red, Mint Green, Icy White
43g (without strap)
HUAWEI Watch GT 2e price and availability
The HUAWEI Watch GT 2e price is €199 in Europe and £160 in the UK. HUAWEI Watch GT 2e availability began April 15 in the UK with select retailers. You can now order the Watch GT 2e from Argos with shipping in a few days, or order from Amazon UK and have the watch ship on April 23. As we get more European pricing and availability we’ll add details here.
Alongside the Watch GT 2e, HUAWEI also announced a new color for the 42mm Watch GT 2 — Champagne Gold — with two new strap options: Chestnut Red and Frosty White. The new P40 series was also officially unveiled and our HUAWEI P40 Pro review is already live if you wanted to check that out. Stay tuned for our P40 Pro Plus review when that device comes in.
In other HUAWEI news: