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Review: Huawei Watch

Review: Huawei Watch

The watch utilises Google’s Android Wear operating system and has a classic design

The Huawei Watch was one of the stars of the show at 2015’s Mobile World Congress and with good reason.

The classic design amid a sea of tacky, plastic or generic competitors proved that it was possible to manufacture a smartwatch that was not an embarrassment on those more formal occasions.

This is perhaps the device’s greatest strength. In fact, over several weeks wearing it out and about, it was often mistaken for a regular watch. But it does come with a premium price tag to match, at between Dhs 1,200 and 1,300 in the United Arab Emirates.

So what are you getting for your money?

The device utilises Google’s Android Wear operating system, which may or may not be a blessing in disguise.

On the plus side, any updates should come to the device more quickly than would be possible with a customised user interface.

However, this does mean that the user experience is very similar to that of other Android Wear devices.

This is not to say the experience is bad. There are a large variety of watch faces to choose from depending on your preference including aviator, classic, dual-face and digital. And, thanks to the 286 pixels per inch sapphire screen, these will look better than on most competing smartwatches.

You can set the display to be always on or save power by activating it with a wrist gesture, or a push of the button on the device’s top right corner.

There is also a surprising amount of functionality at your fingertips.

Whatsapp chats, emails, Tweets, Facebook updates and more can all be viewed with a swipe of the watch face. However, replying to these messages and other functions that require user input does feel a little clunky due to the reliance on voice commands. Raising the watch to your mouth is sure to attract funny looks with some likely to mistake you for Knight Rider, a Power Ranger or some sort of spy.

It is clear fitness is not the device’s speciality but it does come with a heart rate monitor and a footstep counter. These did not prove entirely accurate in practice but can provide an outline of how much (or how little) exercise you are getting in a day.

Where the device does shine though is its battery life. Despite the relatively small 300mAh battery, it lasted up to two days with minor use and more than a day with regular use. This compares to some devices on the market right now that do not even last 20 hours.

So what is the verdict? The Huawei Watch is among the best of the bunch in the current generation of Android smartwatches, provided you are willing to meet the asking price.Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.53.49 AM

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