After the initial smartwatch craze subsided, it became clear that consumers are more interested in the fitness aspects of these devices than the bling factor.
This changed how these gadgets were made and marketed, and Huawei’s new Watch 2 is no exception.
Just launched as part of the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, the Huawei Watch 2 is a sporty, rugged-looking, Android Wear 2 device that’s resistant to dust and water. It also tracks your steps, precisely measures your heartbeat and offers you a pretty extensive running experience.
The watch also comes in a less sporty, “Classic” variant, but it felt almost like an afterthought at the company’s event. Huawei’s reps spent most of their time at a pre-briefing in Barcelona talking about the devices’ fitness capabilities.
These include things like fat-burning and cardio presets, working out with music (the watch has a built-in speaker and can store up to 2GB of music) and dynamic heart rate monitoring, with the sensor updating your heartbeat every second. The watch also has two physical buttons, one of which immediately takes you to the workout app.
We spent some time with the sportier version of the Huawei Watch 2, and it felt surprisingly light, with the looks being on par to sport-oriented smartwatches you’ll see from companies like Suunto and Garmin.
Specs include a 1.2 AMOLED screen with gorilla glass and a 390×390 pixel resolution, 4G connectivity, 4GB of ROM and 768MB of RAM. The 420mAh battery is good for two days of use according to Huawei, but it can even work for weeks if you put the watch in its ultra-battery saving mode, which only shows you the time and tracks your steps.
The device is water- and dust-resistant to IP68 specifications, but Huawei does not recommend swimming with the watch; splashing it with water is fine, though.
The Huawei Watch 2 will come to some European countries in March, and should reach the United States in April. Pricing will start at 329 euros.