The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant edition offers all the same features as the Watch Fit Active edition, but with the addition of that stainless steel case and a more glossy-looking screen, that does give it a nicer look. Aside from that though, it’s unlikely anyone that picked up the first Fit will be desperate to get this one instead.
Nice stainless steel case
That great sharp screen looks sharper
Heart rate accuracy for exercise isn't great
Huawei Health not the most polished
Strap not removable
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The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant as the name suggests, is billed as a more elegant version of the Watch Fit that launched in 2020. Huawei has now renamed the original the Huawei Watch Fit Active edition.
It’s taking the same fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid look and swapping the polymer case for a stainless steel one. It does mean a slight jump in weight, but it does give what was already an attractive wearable a slightly more high grade feel.
That’s still wrapped around that slim screen that offers the same sharp, bright and colourful surroundings to check fitness stats and show off of the many great watch faces. The polished glass makes a difference here too, and with what seems like a subtle jump in maximum screen brightness, really elevates the look.
As far as living up to its Fit name, it offers all of those staple fitness tracking features like counting steps and monitoring sleep, and does it with a pleasing level of accuracy. Heart rate accuracy though both continuously and during, much like its predecessor didn’t feel up to the task and was generally too high, particularly for exercise. You do still get those animated workouts, which work well on the watch.
As a smartwatch, it’s more of the same from the Elegant where features like notifications and music controls generally work well on that skinnier screen, but features like payments and a music player don’t make the cut. If you like watch faces though, there’s a good collection and they work well on the sharp display.
Things don’t really change on the battery front, with the Elegant getting you a week with the capacity to go longer if you sacrifice features like continuous monitoring and not putting the GPS to regular use. The GPS battery life numbers seem to hold up well too.
The Elegant much like the non-Elegant Watch Fit is surprisingly really nice to live with. That added metal while welcome, isn’t going to be deal breaker for many, but it’s nice to see Huawei offer a more elegant option much like it does with its full smartwatches. The only real bad spot for us is the once again iffy heart rate accuracy, which is more worrying more so for daily readings than the exercise, which many do falter.
If you can live without that supreme HR accuracy, then you might find a place for the Huawei Watch Elegant on your wrist.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: price and release date
The Huawei Watch Fit Elegant edition is available to buy now in frosty white and midnight black priced at £79.99 (about $110 / AU$140). That’s the same price as the Huawei Watch Fit Active edition.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: design and display
- 46mm case
- 1.64-inch, 456 x 280 resolution AMOLED display
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
The headline draw here with the Fit Elegant edition is the promise of a more elegant design. Huawei hopes to achieve that by swapping the polymer fiber case it used on the first Fit for one made out of polished stainless steel. That added metal adds an extra bit of weight jumping from 21g to 27g (without the strap), but it’s not really the kind of difference you notice day-to-day and taking it to bed.
It’s the same half smartwatch, half fitness tracker look with a single button on one side of the case and a touchscreen display that’s front and centre. The Elegant comes in either white or black looks, which is less than four colour options available for the Active edition. It’s one of those looks that some will like and others not so much, but we’d definitely be in the camp that says it actually works quite nicely. It’s almost the kind of look we’d wished Fitbit’s Charge was packing.
As far as whether that metal case elevates that Fit look, it does to some extent, but there wasn’t anything hugely wrong with the first version in the looks department even with that plastic frame.
That was largely down to the display the Fit was packing, which remains the same 1.64-inch, 456 x 280 resolution AMOLED display. What Huawei has changed is the new polished glass surface, which does give that display an extra gloss and sheen that does make that screen feel slightly sharper and does add a nice sheen to it. It’s still nice and responsive and offers good viewing angles on the whole.
There’s been a change on the strap front too, with a fluroelastomer strap instead of the silicone one on the Active edition. Sadly, it’s not removable. Huawei has used this type of strap on its GT 2 watches as well to offer something that’s stronger and more durable, though it doesn’t really feel all that different from the silicone one comfort-wise in our experience.
As a package, you’re getting the same 5ATM water resistance rating as the first Fit, making it safe for swimming in the pool, ocean and keeping it on when you jump in the shower.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: fitness
- 24/7 activity tracking
- Heart rate monitoring
- Built-in GPS
- Continuous SpO2 monitoring
While the aim of the Elegant is clearly to offer a less sporty look, this watch is still about tracking your fitness, and it offers plenty on that front.
In terms of sensors, you’re still getting gyroscope and accelerometer motion sensors for tracking daily and indoor activity and enabling sleep monitoring, Huawei’s TruSeen 4.0 optical heart rate monitor is used for continuous monitoring and for use during exercise. It also unlocks stress tracking too. This sensor also enables the SpO2 measurements, which you can now track 24/7.
There’s built-in GPS for tracking outdoor activities and additional training effect and recovery insights if you care about whether you’re making progress with your exercise time. You do still also get animated workouts, offering step-by-step guides to show you how to perform exercise and can count reps for some exercises as well.
As a fitness tracker, it offers a clearly Apple Rings-inspired watch widget to keep track of step counts, active minutes and hours you’ve got up and moved. Accuracy-wise, it tended to be 500-1,000 steps of a Fitbit Sense smartwatch. You get a nice breakdown in the Huawei Health companion app to show when you stepped and what activities those steps were generated from.
When it’s time to sleep, it’ll capture sleep duration, sleep stages including REM sleep along with sleep scores offering some insights into why you may have had a good or bad night’s sleep. Up against Fitbit’s sleep monitoring, it generally posted the same sleep duration, though sleep stages showed some differences, particularly for deep and light sleep stages. It did offer similar times for REM sleep time, which is the part of your sleep tied to memory and learning.
Switch to sports tracking mode and you’ve got your pick of 96 workout modes, but just 11 that will actually get you those richer, more activity-specific metrics. For outdoor running sessions, it generally posted accurate distance tracking and core data like average pace compared to a Garmin Enduro watch. When you go further, the inaccuracies start to creep in though.
Heading indoors for rowing sessions and it was able to track average strokes and total number of strokes, though the latter was more accurate than the former. When it comes to heart rate monitoring, it feels fine for some activities and not so much for others. Where hand movement is limited like for indoor cycling, it coped well compared to a chest strap monitor. On runs, HIIT sessions and rowing workouts, the heart rate readings generally started wildly high and stayed that way, skewing the reliability of the data. It wasn’t all that great for all-day tracking either.
That has a knock-on effect on the promised training effect and recovery insights, where it’s relying heavily on that heart rate data to be reliable and accurate. It just wasn’t the case for us.
What is a plus is the animated workouts. You still have 12 preloaded workouts with names like Ab ripper or offering small workouts you can do at work when time is limited. The animations are nicely displayed and the rep counting for the exercises that support it was generally accurate with the odd mistake. It’s now over to Huawei to bolster the amount of workouts you have your disposal to make the most of this useful feature.
Other features worth highlighting are the guided breathing exercises, which aim to work in tandem with the stress monitoring and you can now monitor SpO2 continuously, which initially wasn’t the case on the Active edition when it launched. Though it wasn’t available to use in our time with it, so we can’t vouch for how useful or insightful it is.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: smartwatch features
- Works with Android and iOS
- Music controls
The Fit Elegant edition doesn’t bring anything new on the smartwatch front. It’s still one that works for both Android phones and iPhones and offers smartwatch staples like the ability to view notifications, music playback controls, weather updates and watch faces.
What you don’t get are things like payments, the ability to download apps, a built-in music player, the ability to make calls and a smart assistant. Some of those features are present on Huawei’s Watch GT 2 series smartwatches.
What does make the cut does generally work well. Notifications filter through as they do on your phone and are generally well optimised to that slim display. You can’t respond to messages or see emails beyond the subject line, so you’ll need to reach for your phone to go deeper for some of the incoming messages.
Features like music controls work well and weather updates are nicely displayed on the watch and you get a really nice collection of watch faces that make the most of the sharp, bright display too.
It’s a stripped back experience, but it’s one where what it does offer to do, it does at least work well.
Huawei Watch Fit Elegant: battery life
- Up to 10 days battery life
- Seven days in heavy usage
- Twelve hours in GPS mode
The Elegant packs in the same 180mAh capacity battery as the Fit Active edition that should get you anywhere from seven to 10 days of battery depending on usage.
You’ll get double digit days of battery life when you use basic sleep tracking features, enable continuous heart rate monitoring and track exercise for just 30 minutes a week. That time is going to be closer to seven days if you enable the richer sleep monitoring features, monitor heart rate 24/7 and track 60 minutes of exercise as week.
Based on our more heavy usage with continuous heart rate monitoring enabled, working out four or five times a week and keeping the screen one notch below maximum brightness, it was more like five days for us.
It usually dropped by 15-20% a day and was closer to the latter when we tracked exercise. We weren’t able to use the continuous SpO2 monitoring, so it’s unclear if it drains the battery in the same way it does on Garmin’s watches that can continuously monitor blood oxygen levels.
The GPS battery life claims seems to be accurate too with 30-40 minute outdoor runs knocking the battery by 5-6%.
When it comes to charging, there’s a small magnetic charging cradle that plus into the two charging points on the back of the Fit. It’s initially a little fiddly to get in place and a little light, so it’s worth double checking before you drift off to sleep while it charges.
First reviewed March 2021
Buy it if
You want a fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrid
If you’re not quite sold on a full-sized smartwatch, the Elegant offers a halfway house between watch and fitness tracker that works well.
You want a nice screen
Huawei drops another great screen on the Elegant and that polished glass finish makes it look even better.
You like watch faces
Huawei does a really nice job of making the most of that great screen by offering up a nice collection of watch faces that make the most of that great screen.
Don't buy it if
You train by heart rate
Like the Watch Fit, the heart rate data on the Elegant doesn’t feel reliable or accurate enough to be relied on for telling you about your effort levels for all exercise.
You want a fuller smartwatch experience
Like the Active edition, you’re not going to find features like payment support and a music player if you care more about smartwatch features than fitness ones.
You already have the Watch Fit
While you miss out on those small design changes, it’s likely the SpO2 monitoring will make its way onto the original too, so you don’t miss out on that one software extra.
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Michael is a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specializes in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he also co-ran the features and reviews sections of T3, and has a long list of bylines in the world of consumer tech sites.
With a focus on fitness trackers, headphones, running wearables, phones, and tablet, he has written for numerous publications including Wired UK, GQ, Men's Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff, and has appeared on the BBC Travel Show. Michael is a keen swimmer, a runner with a number of marathons under his belt, and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.