Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom.
When I reviewed the original Huawei, I loved it. Classic look, metal casing, the screen was perfectly round unlike the Moto 360 at the time – it was one stellar smart timepiece. Well, I’m pleased to show you guys the newest model: this is my Huawei Smartwatch 2 Sport edition in Carbon Black which retails for $299 at the time of this review. I personally got it for a slight discount at $250. As always, I’ll leave my links above the article; click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time. You never know when they might go sale.
So, without further ado, I’m Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom, and I’m here to help YOU, make that purchase decision. Welcome everyone, to another review.
Going over the physical features first, I like the sport design a lot. I loved the beveled edges and how the screen is recessed in. The button placements on the side are perfect – they don’t stick out as much as the ZenWatch 3 from Asus which I also enjoyed using. The casing on the sport model is all plastic to be a bit more rugged, and it hasn’t scratched up on me like stainless steel competitors. I’ll admit, and this is personally just me, I should have bought the Huawei Classic as I do miss the premium feel of metal. Also after testing the Samsung Gear S3, it’s hard to switch to plastics. You can be the judge on which might look and feel better to you. The bezel is glossy and fingerprint prone. The display covered by Gorilla Glass and is slightly smaller than the previous generation, which is a shock – but more on that assessment later.
The Huawei Smartwatch 2 is IP68 certified. With my testing of dunking this in the bucket, it’s still functioning perfectly fine, and because it’s not the leather band, you don’t have to worry about damaged straps.
Looking at the back, Huawei retains it’s tool-less band removal design like most smartwatches – pull the pin over and swap them out. The Sport model uses 20mm straps while the classic uses the standard 22mm sizes for your reference.
There’s a built in heart-rate sensor which I’ll get into detail shortly, and on the right are the pins to charge the Huawei with the supplied magnetic cradle. Not the prettiest thing coming in all white but it does justice. Huawei is claiming more than 2 days worth of use. With my tests, I’m averaging 1.5 days until I receive a notification that there’s 15% battery life remaining. Usually around 6 pm on the second day, the Smartwatch goes into watch-mode with no Always-On Display, and no notifications comes through. The watch continues as a pedometer so it’ll continue to count your steps. In watch mode, after 1.5 to days worth of use, I’m able to stretch the watch for another three days before it officially died. In regards to recharging, I’ll place a quick chart on below, but from a dead battery to full takes about an hour and thirty minutes.
Battery Life : 1.5 days till critical, 2 days to death
30 mins = 50% charged
60 mins = 92% charged
89 mins = 100% charged
Other additional features which are available on the Samsung Gear S3, Apple Watch Series 2, and the Zen Watch 3 to name a few, you are able to take phone calls right on your wrist. You do have to go into the settings to turn this on, as by default it is off. Speaking into your watch might sound weird at first, but it is convenient while driving, as you can still keep both hands on the wheel if you’d like, working at home on the computer, cleaning around the house, it seriously comes in handy. Testing microphone quality, the Huawei Smartwatch 2 does a fairly good job, not as good as the Apple Watch or Gear S3. My voice is audible, but testing this with two other people, both said the same exact thing. The analogy they both gave me was as if I was speaking on my phone with the comforter over my head. Audible, but not crystal clear, slightly muffled. In regards to me hearing you from my wrist, it’s loud and sounded like a good speakerphone in general.
Touching base on comfort, I did prefer the leather straps of the previous generation. Keep in mind, you can easily swap the bands out, but this being the sport model, it’s a blend of ruggedness and durability with some flexibility. I’ve never felt uncomfortable wearing this, but I wished the sport straps were slightly more elastic. Although I tested this with running, sweating in this to normal day use, my skin never became irritated.
Looking at the dial, there is an Always on Display in color which is super handy, and lifting up your wrist or pressing the buttons does enable the display to show it’s full glory. I did notice the Huawei Smartwatch 2 is not as sensitive to the previous watch or the competitors out there, requiring me to noticeably flick my wrist more often to get the full display. While wearing outdoors, and I know my camera isn’t really doing justice, but in person under bright direct sunlight, the display is still visible. Pretty impressive how bright the screen can get. As for the size of the display. There is a minute difference, I do notice the screen is smaller at 1.2inches versus last generation’s at 1.4. (POST : Show watch face straight down (not holding it) and draw a 45 degree line and text with 1.2 inches)
Samsung gear S3 = 1.3 inches
Asus Zenwatch 3 = 1.4 inches
Apple Watch Series 2 = 1.6 inches (square)
The watch looks chunkier that the competitors and the old model. The display on the other hand get’s less pixels but because of the smaller screen, pixel density has increased and it looks noticeable. I don’t see any pixelation, the screen looks great and has smooth edges around small text. Movements on the screen are also buttery smooth.
Jumping into features and performance, besides the basics like receiving Push Notifications, seeing the weather on your watch to controlling Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music … You can store music on your watch with up to 4 gigabytes of storage, and then pair your sport earphones or headphones via Bluetooth, and listen to music while running or out and about – no need to carry your phone.
For text messages, besides typing on the little screen, we also get Voice-to-Text for our messenger apps and Allo. Voice-to-text has worked great – it’s still not 100% like most other smartwatches, but Huawei does recognize my voice inflections to a reasonable degree for the average consumer. Much easier and faster than typing on that little screen.
One of the basic features that all smartwatches have is the vibrating alarm. The vibrations are a moderate to slight buzz. If for some reason you’re wearing this while sleeping, I would say deep sleepers will have some trouble waking up. For times you are awake, the buzz should do a good job getting your attention. As for the audio alarm, it’s loud and it will surely wake you up. With the alarm, you can have both audio and vibrations on, or one or the other.
So, let’s take a look at the Huawei health features. The Huawei’s Daily Tracking app on the watch is surprisingly robust. It tracks steps, distance, active minutes, resting heart rate, and duration of various walks and moments you’re going up the stairs. On the main menu screen, you also have Google Fit and Runtastic that comes pre-installed, I was able to download Strava as well, but with Huawei’s own app, you can utilize the GPS inside and go for a run.
GPS at times oddly doesn’t pair immediately, despite me being outdoors. With other competitors, it doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or cloudy, as long as I’m outside, it works fine. But once it does pair, going for runs and comparing it to my smartphone’s GPS, it’s spot on. As for heart rate tracking, Huawei did very well when I compared it to my chest strap. I tested both consistent runs to interval runs with running and brisk walking, Huawei was very close in accuracy. Overall, it’s as good as Samsung’s S-Health with data such as steps, calories, pace, distance, elevation changes, etc. All of it is in there.
So in the end here, the Huawei Smartwatch 2 is a still a great watch, a good alternative to the others out there. Compared to the last generation, it’s better in regards to function and display quality, but takes a step back in screen size that’s noticeable, at least to me. Comparing to what else is out there currently in the market, Huawei has caught up to the competition by offering everything that the others do, and it does have a hard time standing out from the rest. Although the Asus ZenWatch 3 is very similar, it beats most of it’s competitors in price. If you haven’t watched that review, be sure to check it out. On the flip side, if you can spend a little more, you can get the Samsung Gear S3. So in the comment section below, what would you prefer, Samsung’s version or Huawei’s… or maybe some one else? Let me know in the comment section below. I’m Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom and I’m here to help YOU, make that purchase decision. You guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye.