Skip to main content

Hands on: Huawei Watch GT 2 review

A smartwatch with a big focus on battery life

What is a hands on review?
Huawei Watch GT 2
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Huawei Watch GT 2 combines a premium-feeling design with the long-lasting battery benefits of the original device. It doesn't offer as much functionality as some other smartwatches, but that won't be a deal-breaker for many of those who'll like the look of this wearable.

For

  • More premium design
  • Attractive display

Against

  • Limited functionality
  • Proprietary charger

After a few years experimenting with Android Wear (now renamed Wear OS), Huawei has switched to its own software for its smartwatches, and that remains the case for the Huawei Watch GT 2.

The new smartwatch from the brand builds on the original Watch GT. Huawei has opted for a more premium design here, and expanded functionality, but has stuck with the key elements of long-lasting battery life and an affordable price compared to many rival smartwatches.

We got to try out the Huawei Watch GT 2 at the company's Munich launch event, where it was unveiled alongside the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro phones. Here are our first thoughts on the new wearable...

Huawei Watch GT 2 price and release date

(Image credit: Future)

The Huawei Watch GT 2 was announced alongside the Mate 30 series of smartphones, and you'll be able to buy it starting at some point in October.

Huawei has yet to clarify all the markets where you'll be able to buy the watch, but we do know it'll be on sale in the UK.

The Watch GT 2 is priced at €249 (roughly $275 / £220 / AU$405) for the 46mm model, and €229 (around $250 / £200 / AU$370) for the 42mm version. 

Design and display

(Image credit: Future)

Design-wise the original Huawei Watch GT wasn't the most premium piece of hardware, but this time around the company has made a clear effort to produce something that looks and feels like a high-end timepiece.

It comes in two sizes: 42mm or 46mm. If you have a smaller wrist you'll likely prefer the smaller device, which sports a 1.2-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 390 x 390.

We prefer the larger 1.39-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 454 x 454, on the 46mm variant. In both cases that resolution works out at 326 pixels per inch, and both watches offer a clear and vibrant display.

On the 46mm model there's a black bezel around the outside that's engraved with 24-hour clock markings - these appear to be decorative rather than functional, but the add to the stylish look.

The right-hand edge of the device has two buttons for interacting with the device, but most of the time you'll likely find yourself using the touchscreen, which feels smooth under the finger.

We've only had the opportunity to test out the silicone straps so far - those come in a variety of colors, including brown, black and orange - but there are other options too, including a metal chain design and a leather strap.

Features and fitness

(Image credit: Future)

The Huawei Watch GT 2 isn't going to be the best running watch money can buy, but it comes with a lot of features to make it a fitness powerhouse. It has GPS onboard, and there's a heart rate monitor, which we found to be accurate in our testing time.

There's a huge variety of sports modes on the watch too, from running and cycling to rowing and swimming. The heart rate tracker will also work in water, which is a first for a Huawei watch.

We've yet to be able to test out all the fitness features on the Watch GT 2, but we'll be sure to do so during our full review process.

There's 4GB of storage on the watch, so you'll be able to put your own music onto it and listen to it over Bluetooth headphones. The 46mm version of the watch also has a speaker.

It comes running Lite OS software, which is Huawei's own operating system for smartwatches. This means you can't download third-party apps to the watch, so you're limited to what is already on the device.

Huawei has included most of the key features you'd expect on a smartwatch, including notifications from your phone, but it means you won't be able to install third-party apps as you can on an Apple Watch or Wear OS device.

Battery life

(Image credit: Future)

We've yet to test out the battery life on the Huawei Watch GT 2, but the last device from the company performed extremely well in this respect, and we'd expect it to be a similar story here.

Huawei estimates that you'll be able to use the device for two whole weeks on a single charge - that's with limited usage though, so if you're using lots of the fitness features, for example, you can probably expect less than that.

Early verdict

The Huawei Watch GT 2 takes the interesting tech of the original watch and employs it in a far more premium-looking device that looks great on the wrist.

If battery life is important to you in a smartwatch, the Huawei Watch GT 2 looks to be a great option for your next wearable.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.