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HUAWEI Watch GT hands-on: HUAWEI's Galaxy Watch competitor

The HUAWEI Watch GT doesn't run Wear OS, but might be one of the best smartwatches of the year.

Published onOctober 16, 2018

Update: Feb. 14 – The HUAWEI Watch GT is finally available in the U.S., via Amazon. The Sport model costs $199.99, while the Classic model is priced at $229.99.

Original story – Oct. 16 – Today, the HUAWEI Mate 20 and HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro were announced. Alongside these brand new phones, the company also unveiled its new HUAWEI Watch GT smartwatch.

At first glance, the Watch GT may look like a Wear OS smartwatch, but it’s a actually a competitor to Wear OS and Apple Watch. The Watch GT runs on HUAWEI’s own in-house platform LiteOS. HUAWEI didn’t tell us much about LiteOS, but from our short time with it, it appears to offer many of the same features as other wearable platforms, like exercise tracking, custom watch faces, and notifications.  We’ll have to wait to see how well it stacks up against other wearable platforms.

huawei watch GT on hand
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With the Watch GT, HUAWEI had two goals. It wanted to create a smartwatch that looks like a normal watch and has a long lasting battery. The company says the watch will last up to 22 hours on a single charge, with continuous exercise tracking, GPS, heart rate monitoring, and the screen turned on at all times. More impressively, HUAWEI says the watch will last two weeks on a single charge with heart rate monitoring and 90 minutes of exercise tracking per week. That’s only the middle point of what HUAWEI is shooting for though. If you only use the watch for messages and calls with heart rate monitoring and GPS turned off, HUAWEI says the Watch GT will last 30 days.

This all sounds great on paper, but we’ll have to wait and see if it actually lives up to these claims once we get our hands on one for review.

huawei watch GT turned off black screen

The HUAWEI Watch GT is quite attractive, offering a classic and elegant design. The watch case is made of 316L stainless steel, with a ceramic bezel on the front and two sizable crowns on the side for interacting with the OS. The Watch GT is 10.6mm thick which made it feel very sleek and less bulky than something like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch. Its a 1.39-inch circular AMOLED display felt large enough for comfortable touchscreen interaction.

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Other specifications for the watch include an altimeter, which is great for hiking, and a heart rate sensor on the back. The heart rate sensor uses what HUAWEI calls Truseen 3.0 heart rate monitoring, which employs six LEDs and self-learning algorithms for a more efficient and accurate real-time measurement. The watch will learn where it sits on your wrist to get a more accurate reading.

The processor inside uses a double chipset architecture, a low-speed chip for low power consumption and a high-speed chip for more powerful tasks. The AI on board will switch between the two cores depending on what tasks you’re doing to conserve battery or deliver more power. There’s a  low consumption mode for sleeping or other sedentary activities, and a normal mode for activities like swimming, running, or hiking.

You can purchase the HUAWEI Watch GT in the U.K. on Amazon for 148 pounds. It is not currently available in the U.S. but we will update this post when and if it shows up.

HUAWEI Band 3 Pro

HUAWEI Band 3 Pro Hands On

HUAWEI also took the wraps off a new fitness tracker called the HUAWEI Band 3 Pro. This multi-sport fitness tracker will last up to 20 days on a single charge, or a full month in standby mode. It’s built with runners, swimmers, and cyclists in mind, and the internal specs and features reflect that. The Band 3 Pro comes with a built-in GPS, multiple swimming modes, and personalized exercise tracking and training modes.

The HUAWEI Band 3 Pro is on sale in the U.S. via Amazon for $69.99. You have your choice of three colors for this fitness band: Obsidian Black, Quicksand Gold and Space Blue