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Tech Talk: Huawei GT2 Watch Review

Let's be honest, you probably already know that I'm pretty obsessed with Huawei products. After I got my first beloved P10, saw how intuitive the phone was and just how amazing the camera was, that was it. That's why when I got the chance to test out the GT2 watch, I was first in line. I've never really been a watch person, but enjoyed a fitness tracker (Huawei, obvi) for about a year before deciding I wanted to give to a smartwatch a try.

I've now had the watch for about two months, so here's a non-watch wearer's review of the GT2.

Firstly, the watch is both beautiful and beautifully presented. It's large but not bulky and is comfortable to wear. I have the matte black version and find it sleek and luxurious looking - it is not overly masculine and goes with everything! I don't have very big wrists, so it was a bit of an adjustment to go from a fitness band to this watch but I quickly got used to it and do not notice it at all at night which I am happily surprised by.

You can download and assign various faces from the health app so that the style matches your personal taste. There are enough available that you should be able to find something to suit you, whether that is a classic analog watch face or an info-packed page displaying heart rate, calories, stress levels, weather, step count, battery life as well as the time. I've noticed that a bunch more user-designed faces have been appearing on the Health app which is fun.

The battery life is really good. I find myself charging about every ten - twelve days and use various features most days. It takes less than an hour to reach a full charge from empty (I admit that I haven't timed this accurately). My previous tracker definitely needed plugging in more frequently, especially with heavy use, whereas I've traveled quite a bit with the watch and haven't bothered to bring the charger along.

The main appeal of this watch to me was the in-depth workout options and analysis. There are fifteen different types of workout you can select on the watch (including triathlon!) as well as thirteen guided running courses. I really enjoy the workout feature and the little details such as being able to specify whether I'm on an elliptical or treadmill. You can set the watch to alert you at various points during exercise (e.g. every 10 minutes) and a cheerful voice will tell you how long or far you've been going and your current heart rate. You can mute him if you don't need to know or are in a public place, but I quite like him.

Having records available on my watch to check my progress and compare previous workouts has been really useful. The Huawei Health app is really good for in-depth records but I admit, since getting the watch I rarely check it any more (except for the deep fried chicken legs calorie counter which is endlessly entertaining).

I love seeing my outdoor hiking and walking routes. The GPS works independently from the paired phone and I haven't noticed that it drains the battery, even if I keep location settings on constantly. I don't usually do this, but you can keep it on for weather alerts too.

I thought it might be awkward to use the watch to make phone calls but am happy to report that it isn't. There have been a few times where I've been away from my phone (cooking, getting my eyebrows done) and have picked up on the watch instead - sound quality is very good and it meant that I didn't miss the call altogether. There is the option to add some contacts to the watch which I imagine could be very useful and you can also access your recent call log. The message alerts are good too - they come through with an alert sound and are accessed by swiping up on the face. Obviously pictures are not displayed.

I enjoy many of the extra features too, even though it took me a while to discover where they all were. My most used have been alarm, stopwatch and timer (perfect for cooking), flashlight,  find my phone and the breathing exercises (these are simple, but definitely help refocus your mind). I haven't added any music to my device but did test the pre-loaded song and it sounds excellent. You have the option to add music from your phone or earbuds and shuffle/loop the playlist.

There are a couple of things that I've had issues with.

First up sleep tracking - this stopped working on January 1st 2020. I had to unpair, reset and then re-pair the watch with my phone. There was also an update for the Health app around the same time. Annoyingly, the watch doesn't let you look at any of your sleep info from the previous night - just how many hours you've slept, and occasionally it has recorded naps that I didn't take. Generally though, the sleep tracking works very well and I find the data on the Health app thorough and useful. Does it cure my insomnia? No; It's just a watch. But I do find that when I look at the records and patterns, I can see what I need to work on and what helps.

Heart rate during workouts - Ugh. It took me several tries to correctly position the watch so that it would pick up an accurate reading. I found this pretty frustrating, especially if I was in the middle of a high-intensity workout and the watch told me I was still in the warm-up range. There were a few sessions where I wanted to throw it at my heavy bag in a sweaty rage, but I persisted and finally figured out where it should be worn. I do have smaller wrists and naturally wanted to wear it closer to my hand, I don't think that correct placement would be a problem for people used to wearing watches.

My final issue is not a fault, I just miss being able to use the watch as a shutter for my phone's camera - this was a feature on my fitness band but is not available on the watch and I'm not sure why. I loved being able to trigger the shutter, especially for group selfies, but sadly it's not an option on the watch. Overall the GT2 is convenient, stylish piece that I enjoy wearing and using. I'd recommend it to anybody who is into fitness and wants a beautiful smartwatch. It'd also make a great gift for people who are awkward to buy for.

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