Huawei has chosen an interesting time to release its first smartwatch – a high quality wearable device that combines the style and tradition of a timepiece with the technology and connectivity.
The company staked out October 15 as the official release date some time ago only to have Samsung surprise everyone a day earlier with the launch of its Gear S2 smartwatch.
The good news is the Huawei Watch holds its own with classic styling inspired by Swiss timepieces.
Even at the unboxing stage when you are opening the luxurious lined box – you know the product inside has a premium quality to it.
Huawei has shown the world it has gone to the next level with its smartphones in terms of both features and design and this had carried across to its smartwatch as well.
The Huawei Watch has a circular 1.4-inch AMOLED touchscreen that’s covered in sapphire crystal glass – the toughest transparent material after diamond.
It is made from stainless steel and has the handcrafted look and feel of a high quality timepiece with a nice weight to it.
There are four models – silver watch and black leather band, silver and silver mesh strap, silver and silver link bracelet and black and black link bracelet.
Our review unit was the silver with silver link bracelet.
The device is running the Android Wear operating system so it will pair with Android devices and now it will even work with an iPhone.
We paired our Huawei Watch to our iPhone 6S Plus. We downloaded the Android Wear app to the iPhone and was paired to the device within a minute.
You can choose from up to 40 different watch faces that can each give the device a new feel and mood to suit any occasion.
Android Wear allows you to then receive notifications, emails, messages and call notifications on the Huawei Watch.
It literally puts Google at your wrist with the ability to ask question and search for information using your voice.
You’ll also find info like the weather and maps and directions.
It’s also a handy activity tracker that will count your steps, distance travelled and calories burned.
It can even distinguish between different types of activities like walking, running and even climbing.
It even has a heart rate monitor to take your pulse when you’re training and when you’re at rest.
You can’t install apps on the device like you can with the Apple Watch but you will see all of the notifications you’ve signed up for on your smartphone on the Huawei Watch.
If you receive a call you can’t answer it on the Huawei Watch – you can see who is calling and then decide if you’d like to answer the call on your smartphone.
Emails and messages can also be read on the device so you’re able to see them without constantly referring to your smartphone.
Huawei Watch provides enough information to be helpful and without being a nuisance.
The only nuisance we felt was having to reconnect the device to the iPhone each day.
We only had to touch the watch’s screen and open the app on the iPhone but we had to do it every time we turned either the watch or the phone on.
But it’s hardly a major issue.
The Huawei Watch has the same size bands as a regular watch so you can personalise the product with any 18mm band.
Our link bracelet need three links taken out and, like a regular watch, I couldn’t take them out myself. It cost me $20 at a jeweller.
Apple Watch link bracelets can be adjusted by the customer for free with buttons on the links to easily add and remove them.
The device is not waterproof so you can’t take it swimming or wear it in the shower.
In terms of pricing the Huawei Watch is not the cheapest in the market and start at $549 (silver watch and black leather band), $649 (silver and silver mesh strap), $649 (silver and silver link bracelet) and $749 (black and black link bracelet).
With Huawei Watch, you get what you pay for. It is made from premium materials and you can see where the money has been spent.
Up against the Samsung Gear S2 which is made from plastic at $499 and $599, the Huawei Watch holds it own.
It does however have a solid challenge from the nicely designed Apple Watch which is about the same price.
It is available to purchase now from Harvey Norman, JR Duty Free, Dick Smith Move, JB Hi-Fi and selected jewellers and Huawei kiosks.
Huawei Watch is stylish smart time piece that’s functional and provides enough notifications for an Android or iPhone user without being a nuisance.
Huawei has delivered an excellent first entry into the smartwatch space with Huawei Watch.