Test Huawei watch GT a complete experience

BySteve Lowry 2019-04-16 1483

Despite tensions with the United States on security and espionage issues, Huawei continues to flood European markets with its products. In addition to its countless smartphones, the brand occasionally launches connected watches. The end of the year 2018 saw the arrival of the Huawei watch GT. His ambition is that of most Chinese actors: great performances for a reduced price. It is therefore positioned at €199, much less than the tocantes of the other CADORS that are the Galaxy Watch (€309) or the Apple Watch (€429).


Ergonomics and design

For its watch GT, Huawei has done in sobriety. The connected tocante displays a classic needle watch aesthetic. The Chinese manufacturer even pushed the defect by positioning two imitations of winding crowns on the slice. Imitations, because they do not assume rotating functions, but only those of pushers. Probably an aesthetic choice in order to get the watch incognito. And that's almost the case. Unfortunately, if it is rather light (46 g), its size betrays it. Like the Galaxy watch 46 mm, here we are dealing with a watch is particularly imposing (46.5 x 46.5 x 10.6 mm).


The watch GT is home to a 1.39 inch OLED screen displaying 454 x 454 px for a resolution of 326 DPI. It still occupies 58% of the façade. A result slightly above average, providing more than adequate readability.


Beyond its size, the watch GT is pleasing to the wrist. Its silicone bracelet does not irritate the skin, even wet. It also proves to be quite resistant to deformation and other tortures to reassure the user. At the back, the heart rate monitor is housed in a slight excavation, far from being noticed when the watch is threaded.


Despite its Galaxy watch tunes, the watch GT does not show itself as effective in terms of navigation. It must be said that the absence of a circular ring is always so regrettable. But hard to say as far as it disdeserves. For this new model, the Chinese giant has decided to move away from WearOS and offers its own operating system, LiteOS. Yet very rudimentary in terms of possibility, it can still boast to be airy and to go straight to the point.


It is very easy to navigate in LiteOS and to arrive at the display of its choice. The first button at the top allows you to return to the home screen, while the second one is used as a shortcut to reach the physical activity selection menu. Additional support on the same button is used to initiate the activity. A perfectly intuitive navigation choice. This is done, however, it is necessary to wait for the GPS to locate the watch in order to start its session in the best conditions. Note that even if the GPS sometimes takes a little time to settle, it is possible to start the activity without. It then activates automatically as soon as it has found the user's position. A practical function that sometimes misses its competitors.


Like an Apple watch, the watch GT from Huawei offers a menu in the form of a list. A list composed of rather common functions. In addition to sporting activity, there is a history of sessions, sleep or heart rate. It is also possible to access the weather related to its geographical position, a stopwatch, an alarm, the compass or even the barometer. The notification reading is also available in the menu to return to the last messages received. These are also displayed in a mixed way. If the OLED slab allows a quality reading, especially compared to other watches, it does not offer a display of the most aesthetic. Namely a black background overlooked the origin of the notification (Twitter, Gmail) as well as the message with its sender. Unfortunately, optimization is not ideal. Thus, at the end of the line, the OS automatically applies a hyphenation, annoying to the reading. Similarly, when receiving a call, the operating system shows its limits and displays a black screen, without indicating the name or number of the caller. It is then simply possible to hang up, blindly. One of the most frustrating limits.


Another small frustration of LiteOS, the settings are confined to a minimum. Thus, from the wrist, it is only possible to change the dial, change the brightness, reboot the device or activate the mode  "do not disturb ". So few possibilities. It is necessary to go through the application to have more details.


The watch GT offers from the outset 12 different dials, some simulating the display of a mechanical watch, others more modern with, for example, a totally digital display with a maximum of 7 complications. Not enough to overburden the display. Especially since some of them give interesting information like monitoring the heart rate on the day.


If Huawei offers an application named Huawei wear to synchronize its watches with phones, you will not need to use it here. Whether on Android or iOS, the watch GT does not appear in the various products offered. Then you have to turn to Huawei health. Luckily, this one shows itself perfectly intuitive and clear. It gives access with a click to all sorts of data collected, whether it be the number of steps, the history of the sports sessions or the monitoring of sleep. The different graphs are in fact quite detailed to offer a complete vision of physical activity. A real plus.


It is also possible to further tune the watch from Huawei health with, for example, the choice of notifications displayed, the setting of alarms and other adjustments.


Uses AND precisionTo measure the performance of the watch GT, we compared its results with those of the polar H10 pectoral belt, which we consider to be very reliable in terms of measurements. We measured the running by linking the towers on a circuit of 1.9 km. Regarding cycling, we had a typical circuit, of 3.12 km.


The watch GT incorporates a GPS. The most enjoyable feature, especially as it proves to be quite accurate. It is thus possible to perform a session without having to worry about his phone. The experience would have been perfect if the watch GT had been able to host and manage music directly from the wrist. Unfortunately this is not the case.


For its part, the heart rate monitor of the watch GT is of excellent quality. Controlled by a home-made algorithm, it achieves performances that are very close to those of the polar H10 chest belt that we use as a stallion. During a jog or a bike ride, the watch GT displays a margin of error of less than 4%. Heart rate curves are also well respected. At rest, the observation is identical. The watch perfectly follows the user and accurately rewrites the data.


It is often when performing a split exercise that the different connected watches and activity sensors see their performance collapse. But that is not the case here. The watch GT follows the different heart rate changes in a realistic way. On the other hand, in these situations, the Huawei watch tends to underestimate the heart rate by about 13%. A drift that allows however to maintain a coherent curve.


The watch GT is also able to perform sleep monitoring. This one is rather good, even if, as still too often, it is enough to spend time with his phone in bed from the awakening to trap him. The Huawei health app allows a few tips to help us improve our sleep.


If there is a recurring concern in the world of connected watches, it is obviously autonomy. Often too limited, it prevents a serene use of the Terminal and requires to keep a charger handy. A few months ago, the Galaxy watch was very autonomous. And the watch GT has the merit of doing even better. With daily and intensive use, namely reception of notifications, sleep monitoring, daily sports practice, the Huawei connected watch held a little over 7 days. A whole week! This is without a doubt a very good performance for Huawei — which has embarked a 420 mAh accumulator in its tocante.

Note that it takes about 1:45 to inflate the batteries of the watch GT on its owner charger.


Advantage Disadvantage
A week of autonomy An OS still messy and too limited
The Huawei health app is very complete An imposing case
A precise heart rate monitor  
Good sleep monitoring  


With its watch GT, Huawei goes to the basics. The autonomy is hot (7 days), while the record of cardiac performance shows itself accurate. Add to that a pretty good ergonomics despite an imposing size and you get a watch connected to 4 stars. Finally, his only flaw is his OS. Having abandoned WearOS to launch LiteOS, Huawei offers a lame operating system spoiled by display problems and customization too light. 


 You may also want to read:
How to use Huawei watch GT?
New Huawei Watch GT smartwatch and earphones will be released along with the Huawei P30 series smartphones
Huawei WATCH GT Active/Elegant smartwatch were exposed: might be released along with the Huawei P30 series smartphones
Huawei watch GT smart watch review: a fitness tracker and smart watch with excellent battery performance


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